18 February 2009

Harsha Bhogle @ SPJIMR, Mumbai

This was one of the defining moments during the annual Biz fest: OJAS '09 @ SPJIMR.
The audi was packed and everyone waited anxiously to be listen to Harsha Bhogle. As he strode in it took few moments to register that its him, due to the drastic change in appearance - he looked leaner, and much younger :)

He took his seat on the stage and instantly struck a chord with the audience, who greeted him with a huge round of applause. What struck me were his manners and calm and composed answers and of course his razor sharp wit and humour.
Though some of the points he made were general, they were profound. The manner in which they were delivered, left us all with a happy feeling at the end of the talk.

Real world vs virtual world: People are getting too attached to their virtual existence. They have presence over the web and are party to thousands of communities. But in real life their only companion is their laptop! When we go to work, we have to deal with real people and they have real problems which can’t be avoided. He quoted a person “Good coaches coach players, Great coaches coach people”.

Don’t run behind salaries: Since most of the MBA students are early in their career, they should focus more on building their careers and look forward for roles which will help them in getting a great opportunity later.

There will be sunshine soon: Everyone is worrying about the downturn and are worried day in and day out. It’s more psychological than actual. Though there are few sweeping changes occurring in the world, it’s a necessary change as it acts as a speed breaker and restore normalcy in the world. The salaries may be a little on the lower side, but once things pick up, it will prove that we are actually lucky to have this skill set in such times. It will also harden us going through a downturn early in the career.

Don’t go looking for shortcuts: If there’s a shortcut and no one’s taking it, we should pause and think why.

Work your backside off! : Harsha said that every successful person he met had worked very hard at some point of time. Nothing comes on a platter these days. We have to find our passions and go after them. It’s heartening to see some people mention entrepreneurship these days and not looking for a run of the mill jobs. But one thing’s for sure : Hard work is irreplaceable.

Don’t look for coaches: We tend to look for solutions to our problems. We expect that someone will come and solve our problems. Sadly, that doesn’t happen in real life. We ought to fight our own battle. In Australian cricket there was a common practice that no one was allowed to go to their coach with a problem. They can go to him only when they also have a solution to the problem. We try to blame people / circumstances for our problems, but in the end WE have to look for the solutions.

Luck by chance?: In response to a query he said that though luck is a part of life. It’s more to do with our efforts and planning. Some people are working while the world is sleeping, so when the opportunity arrives, the person is ready! It reflects a famous quote “It takes 20 years of perseverance to become an overnight success”!

The talk ended with a crisp vote of thanks by Prof Suranjan Das and was met with a resounding applause. He said "when I was in IIM A in 1991, I was jealous of a professor who addressed Harsha on the stage. It took 20 years for me to get on the same platform! “

Since my coming to SPJIMR I have heard a lot of executive, CEO’s and a lot of great people. But his talk was heart warming and left me with a good feeling.

In 2009 I had my Valentine ’s Day dinner with HARSHA BHOGLE. A night to remember ;)

- K K Kishore


Sunil said...

Good summary Kickass!!

shabda said...


Techna said...

excellent post KK! Completely agree with your point! It was a defining moment!

"It takes 20 years of perseverance to become an overnight success" Now, thats what I call a great thought!

Sasanka Rajaram said...

Thanks for putting it here.. this serves as a great deal of inspiration for many people whose thoughts are wandering ....
Definitely Harsha Bhogle is an epitome of success, which every one has to give a thought.
Btw..I didnt understand.. ur V-Day dinner..was with Harsha??!!?!!..some spelling mistake ,I guess hehehehe