Many many and many more people have asked me this question. Why do I not teach at Business Schools?

Well let me enumerate the reasons – not even hinting that there are no more reasons!

1. Colleges do not pay well: In Mumbai the kind of money one gets for teaching is so low that it is not worth the effort. Happily will teach a bunch of under privileged kids – FOR FREE – but refuse to teach in colleges which charge a fat fee.

2. Did 6 lectures on Life Insurance in a TOP Mumbai Western Suburb college once: The most important question was – how can one become a ‘Fund Manager’ – largely the aim was to become a Rs. 3 crore CTC guy. The efforts were not visible, none of the students wanted to do equity research, no travel, no number crunching,…was amused, and stopped teaching there.

3. Most of the students were attending for attendance and a quick reconciliation showed I was marking more people present than those who were there. Told the students will mark all PRESENT, but please do not attend if you are not interested.

4. Schools mis-sell like mad to get the students – and the same expectations I think lead to students expecting magic from the teachers.

5. Unlike some of my friends….I do not need to interact with the students to bridge the gap….anyway industry does not believe it needs training to improve its effectiveness. As long as sales keep happening, it does not matter that people selling financial products do not know the difference between equity funds and debt funds. Training at best is an optional extra.

6. One Director of an institute said ‘Price determines quality. If the customer wants a Maruti 800 why are you trying to give them a Merc? Give them a product that they need and willing to pay for….

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  1. I am not sure who said this… but I read it some where…. It says.. One person/teacher cannot teach anyone, but can only facilitate. It is actually the one at the receiving side, decides what to learn.

  2. Guess you should be teaching/training the few(limited number) who are really interested/wise to learn (takes care of concern 2 &3) & charge a participation fee (takes care of concern 1). These filters would surely reduce the chaff.

  3. I do agree with your thoughts. My Father has been a teacher for the past 35 years and still being the best in his field the amount of hardwork and struggle does not reflect in monetory terms. Well everybody has their own choices and being in this time i would not choose what my Father choose 35 years back. But it does feel bad and also a sense of pride on the contrary when you meet a successful student who is a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and they do have the courtesy to recognise the efforts put in by their teacher

  4. If you look at indian culture teachers were not after money. The current concept of earning money in every aspect of life will bring unhappiness to everyone. Today we are having good economic fortunes because someone down the last 50-60 years have done good teaching job. This will not continue and we all will struggle with this attitude. If you love your job and happy in what you are doing then money does not have any value. After all money is concept and it is not real. We are made to believe it is real.

  5. teachers were not after money but they got respect from the King. Today they get neither money nor respect. Parents tell kids..your teacher did not get a clerk’s job, so he/she is a teacher.

    Frankly the cost of paying teachers so badly will be felt by the next generation. This generation which benefited by having good, dedicated teachers is treating teachers so badly that it hurts.

    If teachers and priests do not want their kids to be in the same profession, society will pay sooner rather than later.

  6. I too second chaitanya. Teaching is not meant for everybody just as sky diving or bungee jumping. If you don’t enjoy the process, you will not be happy there. And definitely if money forms a big component of your happiness, then teaching is not meant for you. And I do say it with all due respect!
    Also, Chaitanya’s point is worth repeating…
    “Today we are having good economic fortunes because someone down the last 50-60 years have done good teaching job. This will not continue and we all will struggle with this attitude. If you love your job and happy in what you are doing then money does not have any value. After all money is concept and it is not real. We are made to believe it is real.”

  7. teachers being paid less than every other profession. Being told..’teaching is a noble profession..you are contributing to society..’ is all fine. When the teacher goes to buy vegetables or a flat anywhere in the world, I have not seen the seller say..’Oh you are a teacher, will give u a 50% discount’.

    Money talks, teachers need to be paid a living wage. You cannot pay them Rs. 15,000 pm to a 40 year old..Man it is sick.

    Ayn Rand : “Saying …it is not money that you work for…” last refuge of the scoundrel

    As a country let us start by paying teachers well and giving them respect. I get paid and get respect..why cannot my daughter’s teacher get paid more decently. I pay fees as per the market, still teachers are paid badly..man it sucks.

  8. Let me narrate briefly my experience as a teacher in a MBA school many years ago – while teaching Corporate Finance I tried to link the concepts to basics of macro-economics and the students went and complained to the Dean that I was not sticking to the syllabus! No prizes for guessing what followed – you can’t kick the hand that feeds. So much for trying to educate by encouraging students to think and understand. Isn’t it much easier to choose your electives based on the average pay at the last round of campus recruitments? Who do you blame when fresh graduates enrol for MBAs without so much as an iota of work experience? 🙂

  9. Teachers, like doctors is a noble profession. But again vegetables & houses are not discounted for teachers. Teachers should be paid like corporate people are paid. Have a feedback mechanism for every teacher and pay them according to the feedback. (Incentives based salary). And to my knowledge government teachers atleast are paid fair enough compared to someone in other govt. agency with similar yrs. of experience. (6th pay commission)

  10. I agree to Subra that teachers need to pay more. The problem lies in society as a whole. Who changed our attitude? My father and mother both were teachers. They still get respect. Students do call them up for Gurupaurnima. After 80s everything has changed, Our attitude has changed. We are judging everything in money. Then came reservations. People moved to english medium schools which mostly were non aided. They collected lot of money and it is still vicious circle. Some day we all are going to pay for this. Sooner or later government and society has to change. I do not know when that time will come but till then good people are not coming to teaching profession which is a loss to younger generation and so is to India’s future.

    Sorry for long post.

  11. Or perhaps we might as well as accept the realities and treat teaching as just a profession. In that case, you will have to increase the pay to attract reasonably good people. You can see that happening with the teachers in the IIT JEE coaching centers (my experience is from 5 yrs ago in Delhi).

  12. It must be like that ‘Teaching Profession’ must be paid so that it will attract good talent. Because if they are not paid well, the ‘cream’ will go to other sectors & the second rung will be in teaching which will effect the students.

    But a good ‘Doctor’ can run his own hospital… but a good ‘teacher’ can’t run his own school..(A school requires a bunch of good teachers)

  13. I wonder how much the Professors in IIMs get paid. The IIM Graduates who learn from these Professors end up with huge pay packets so what are these Professors being paid actually? If thier students are worth millions of rupees CTC then these Professors must be worth even more!!

  14. f thier students are worth millions of rupees CTC then these Professors must be worth even more!!
    They are but not in terms of money! Infact, the true teacher leaves his student better than he found him. That is his job. But the actual performance still has to be done by the student. The teacher is teaching him the tricks of trade, and hopefully of life.

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