E-Summit 2008

I attended the E Summit for the first time. According to the people who attended the earlier ones, this is the best so far. The turn out was good – estimated at around 350 to 380.

I attended the panel discussion between Sharad and Ashish. The initial talk was something I had heard from both albeit in different settings. Both of them were very candid and frank in the Q&A. Sadly the questions were pretty bad. The worst was when a NITIE professor got into a self promotion mode by asking a question: why can’t entrepreneurship be taught from LKG? And then he told us about how they are very successful at doing so at NITIE where all MBA students have 30% grades dependent upon the performance of the company each has to start when they join. Not a bad idea. Just that success is measured using 30 parameters! He should probably refresh his corporate finance basics.

Another self congratulatory question was on how well have the IITians done in both India and abroad. Both panelist shot it down. In summary, IITians of an earlier generation made it to IITs and continued to do well later too because they were hungry. Training at an IIT had little do to with it. Today’s IITians don’t have the hunger and still have a big attitude problem. As Ashish put it, he doesn’t hire from IITs anymore. Pretty damning statement coming from someone who holds a Gold medal from IIT Kanpur.

This is something I completely agree with. The problem at IIMs is even worse. Lot more people with an attitude but not enough competency. I remember giving a project to 5 IIM students (will not name which IIM). Out of the 5, one did well, one was ok, rest three were bad. Sadly the three who didn’t do well had more attitude! Similarly, in tech projects given to 5 IIT B students in the same time frame, only one guy had some attitude. And one could even justify it given that he did well.

I would take an IIT guy over an IIM guy anyday given my personal experiences. But the experience of Sharad and Ashish who have seen it for far longer makes me think if I should just look at RECs.