Today's 16-year-olds don't want to be lectured, Subroto Bagchi, chairman of the city-based IT solutions company MindTree, has said. He was speaking at the launch of his fourth book, MBA at 16 , here on Saturday. After scripting success with his earlier books he decided to make the present generation interested in business.
“In four years, these 16-year-olds will be policy-makers, entrepreneurs or law makers. It is important that they understand business, as it touches upon every aspect of our lives. What is their access to business? Their sources are uninformed and extreme,” he said.
This gave birth to the idea that is a deviation from the earlier trilogy. Mr. Bagchi spent about four weekends with 31 students, all from National Public School, Bangalore, and got first-hand accounts of their understanding of business. The book derives heavily from this, and also has references to these accounts.
“It is a blend of fantasy and fiction with business concepts; it's about real children having fictional discussions with real parents in a lot of inter-woven stories,” he explained.
For instance, the coffee-growing business is explained through a story where the students are taken on a trip through the aromatic coffee estates of Chikmagalur. One of the students from the group which was chosen for the ‘Business with Bagchi' sessions (the weekend interactions) admitted that she was educated about the concept of social entrepreneurship through the sessions. Until then, she “wanted to start a business that helped people.”
Mr. Bagchi, when asked if his book could supplement the existing textbooks on business and commerce, said: “Today, useful information is mostly outside of textbooks, thanks to the Internet.” When asked how relevant today's commerce and management syllabi were as far as business education is concerned, he diplomatically said, “It is like trying to fly a dream liner with tools of the 16th century.”
MBA at 16 is available for Rs. 199 and is published by Penguin Books India.