I am amazed by the kind of questions some of the kids ask me. Not sure if they think I am arrogant / cynical / indifferent to their queries. I can honestly say I do not have an answer to their queries.

If you are wondering what are these questions…well:

a. I have done my MBA from a not so great college. Should I spend another 2 years of MBA if I get into a ‘good’ college?

I met 3 kids who had done it – one in fact from the same COLLEGE! 2 years in finance, then felt she could not find ‘happiness’ in finance, so 2 years in HR. Frankly I do not know whether such an extended academic time spent is rewarded by the industry. Not sure whether it was a genuine change of heart or just the fear of having to take responsibility made her do it. Anyway after 4 years of MBA…she started off as a fresher (obviously, right?)

b. I want to be an Investment Banker, can you recommend some books which will help me reach there?

Hey it is not easy to read some books on Investment banking and ‘become’ an Investment banker. I have no clue what it takes to become an IB. I know a few of them – some of them are brilliant, some are not. Most of them are academically from high sounding schools, but I am not sure if that has helped them.

c. I wish to be a FUND MANAGER, can you tell me what books to read?

d. I wish to be a Fund manager, what is the route? and how many years do you think it will take for me to become a CIO?

The road to becoming a CIO is not very easy. You start off as an analyst understanding balance sheets and having some macro sense. Once you understand number crunching, you tend to specialize in one particular industry – or a bunch of industries. The examples would be to combine steel,  cement, sugar, banking and infra. There could be another analyst who could specialize in say pharma, fmcg, and banking. There is no great clarity in what works – but the basics are true in all industries. You then learn how to meet the management, understand how much to discount what they say, and then form an opinion. At this stage the reports start going out to the world in your byline. You also need very very good communication skills – because you need to meet the board of directors, trustees, HNI customers, FI and FII customers…etc.

Once you do all this, you stand some chance of becoming a fund manager – CIO is then a possibility if you have a decent track record……

hope this has been useful…seriously i cannot do better….



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  1. Everyone these days think they can anything and everything just by closing eyes (not watching what is happening around them) but by reading a book.
    Not learning from surroundings receipe of disaster

  2. “You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant”

    why everybody keeps forgetting above timeless statement is beyond me.now a days nobody wants to spend the time in understanding issues, it is about living in the now.
    Life is not copy paste function but a super Protected PDF you can read from others but can not copy paste other’s life, it is just not possible.

  3. I second subra’s and cherrypicks advise. just want to add one more – learning by hanging around. just what we do in the Army. A Lieutenant , after completing his basic courses/specialisation, still learns helluva a lot by ‘hanging around’ the Generals. Thats why Napoleon started the concept of Aide-De-Camp or ADC who a typically bright kid was selected to generally hang around, observe and learn the ropes – military tactics, strategy etc. Of course, he also did the odd job here and there for Napoleon but the young officer was groomed to become a general himself. Sadly, todays kids, fresh off the MBA bus, havent learnt this. Books dont really take you there.

  4. Unfortunately, the system work this way, I know many HR who would say to me that you must get a MBA to get higher pay (i am just BE with 10+years of exp in Account management in IT) that’s because these big/small/medium companies have these bull HR policy where they say that to be in a particular bracket one must have a post graduation, WTF dont you see what the person is worth for?

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