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A leader must learn to love change

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

“Leadership is all about learning to love change,” says Aneel Murarka, Managing Director at Mirachem Industries, Founder – Poetic Justice, Founder – Sampran, Chairman-Ample Mission.

I did my B.Com from Mithibai and Chinai colleges, Mumbai University and MBA from Manchester College UK.

Some of the subjects I studied for my MBA were Economics, Marketing, Human Resources, Systems, Accounting and Financial Management, Quantitative Methods and Business Management.  Emphasis was more on leadership thought.

The architecture of my college was aesthetically pleasing on the outside and innovative on the inside, with their host of top-class facilities these attractive buildings inspire one to work harder. It was a lovely campus.

The first day of college was very exciting. One expected to see a typical Indian first day in college, but this was very different. There were counselors and advisors who made you feel at home. There were many support staff who guided you. The faculty introduced themselves, and told us about the rules and regulations that we had to strictly follow. Ragging was a serious issue in colleges and in abroad they do not do such things.

My professors were very professional, and would imbibe in us the art of innovative business thinking, influencing business leaders, managers and policy-makers across the globe, creating world-class research that explores the key practical and academic issues facing the business world.
Studies were extremely interesting and it was a good mix of theory with practical examples, case studies, simulations and presentations.  The faculty would also interact with us and guide us on a one to one basis.

Most of the time, I would travel by public transport like the metro and buses. This helped me know more about local life, the people, their culture and the infrastructure there was excellent.

College life was pretty exciting, as one has the chance to interact with people from across the globe. Colleagues from different countries provided great perspectives that broadened your mind.  Lectures, assignment, projects, study tours were part of the rigmarole, but we also had the opportunity of organizing events, entertainment programmes and seminars that helped us develop holistically. Studies were truly about all round development.

We had our favourite eating, meeting, and socializing places. The local coffee shops were my favorite places for meeting and socializing. While for eating I would always want to seek restaurants that serve Indian food to satisfy my traditional palette. Wayside Inn was my favorite.

My friends comprised of some colleagues in the college, some local Indians who I had touched base with before my admission. Yes, I did stay in a hostel and therefore life became more disciplined than what one is traditionally used to being at home. I am still in touch with my good friends.

I would be very finicky about being vegetarian. So whenever, I would hear some words that were some vegetables, but were referred to differently, I would refuse to eat that dish; for example, Brinjal is call egg-plant. My friends would make fun of me.

Education has definitely helped me in my career. In the rapidly changing world we live in, it is those who are open to different ideas and are always looking for the opportunity to learn and develop, that will thrive. One has to learn to work with change rather than resist it. One who recognizes that change is likely to be the only constant in the future and enjoy the challenge and potential for learning which that entails. Leadership is all about learning to love change. For change to be effective there needs to be a framework for the delight in change. Having a clear vision of where you are going provides this framework.  

Learning is directly linked to your earning. I would say that the more you learn, not just in education, but also on the job, you constantly keep yourself refreshed and updated. Look at such positions as the challenges that you get, and how much you can learn. Salary expectations are relative, depending on individual wants and needs. You can expect to earn about Rs. 3.25 to 4.00 lakh per month when you start your career.

There is a major difference between education in India and abroad. Most of our education in India focuses on rote learning, where you have to almost mug up the answers to the questions in the same words and write it to get marks, while education abroad gives lots of importance to concepts.  Such a system is now emerging in India, thanks to the IB Schools and the like of them. Education infrastructure and quality of Education in India today is almost at par in some segments with some leading universities abroad, so one need not consider going abroad in present times. There is ample scope for good, quality education in India today.

My advice for college students today who want to study abroad is - Remember to grab opportunity with both hands and make full use of this platform to realise your full potential and grow to be future leaders, entrepreneurs and above all good human beings. When we refer to good human beings we are expecting that many from you who have gathered here would emerge as leaders in your fields and help to foster better technologies, applications, work practices and culture that further the environment, thus promoting sustainable practices.

As told to Monarose Sheila Pereira

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