Friday, January 06, 2006

IIM grads who gave up India Inc.

AHMEDABAD: Think about an Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad alumnus and you conjure up the image of a corporate warrior engaged in boardroom battles.

That's till you meet people like Bhushan Punani, director of city-based Blind People's Association, or social entrepreneur Vijay Mahajan.

"Money offers pseudo comfort which never attracted me," says Punani. And Mahajan wishes that "more IIM-A alumni would move away from the beaten path".

The latest issue of IIM-A's inhouse magazine 'Alumnus' features 20 IIM-A alumni who took the road less travelled. These "intrepid souls", says the magazine, put their cause above themselves by promoting livelihood for the poor, supporting the visually challenged, contributing to performing arts, sports, eco-restoration etc.

It features the likes of Pavan Kapoor (1985 batch) who made a career in the Indian Foreign Service. "It is particularly satisfying when we are able to defend our nation's interests against others," he writes....

Kapoor's job involves negotiation on behalf of the Indian government in specific WTO committees. Then there is the more famous Harsha Bhogle who lived out of his wife and batchmate Anita's income before making it big in the world of cricket.

"It is important to realise," says Punani, "that the concept of management is relevant to any activity which concerns people and money."

It was while working on dairy development in Punjab, that Punani decided to pursue an alternative career and has established a leading disability development organisation.

There are a few odd students who do think differently. Vardan Kabra (2004 batch) made headlines when he chucked an offer from P&G and started Fountainhead Education Foundation.

But what about status and money? Kabra is candid, "At times, I do wonder whether I have made the wrong choice but that's a temporary phase."...

Punani's words probably reflect the overall sentiments of many others of his kind, "My batchmates earn tonnes, while I earn pennies; most people have sleepless nights, I go to sleep content."

There are some unconventional souls in the present batch too, like Gaurav Dagaonkar, a guitarist and vocalist who wants to start a music company. This soon-to-be IIM-A grad calls money "a by-product of talent.

Source:- Rediff News

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