Jan 2018 - Sep 2019
Oxford, city of dreaming spires. Coming to Oxford, feels like a dream. Like a superman, putting on a cape, flying to Oxford, leaving daily life and noise behind, living a mysterious life, dreaming the dreams. Once the module is over, taking off the cape, and back to my regular mundane self.
Three modules into Oxford EMBA program, my dream continues, and it just keeps getting better! Cruising down the streets in a bicycle (borrowed from Balliol College), meandering the historic streets, buildings, shops and bars, enjoying a meal in the magnificent dining hall with cohort buddies, even staying back and working on the assignment sometimes seems enjoyable, after being out of school for so long!
In between the modules, many things happened at a crazy pace: Oxford Saïd Entrepreneurship Forum; Chinese New Year celebrations; Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds, and one of the most famous Oxford alumni, died; Trump started a trade war with China; Kobe Bryant, the NBA basketball superstar, won an Oscar Award; and I switched jobs to JP Morgan, after 11 years with S&P Global! Arghhhh, let reality set in.
This bubble of the Oxford dream is occasionally poked, as I was, like others, sweating through Analytics group and individual assignments on decision trees and Monte Carlo – Professor James had amazing ways of teaching the boring subject (for most earthly beings), and reading through insane amount of reading materials, overflowing the brain capacity for sure! Nonetheless, all seems to be tamed and enjoyable like a good workout.
Until the reality of ‘The Global Rules of the Game ‘ India module punctured the balloon, and pulled us closer to the reality of daily life of the poorest of poor in India, when we visited slum areas in Bangalore.
There is a fine line between academia and the sad reality, and it’s extremely tough to stay purely academics and not get emotional about those people, especially kids, while some sophisticated ‘entrepreneur’ wearing an expensive suit was talking incessantly about interest rate, installment, and fine sales plan to sucker the poorest of poor, for a solar powered light costing them 6 months of rent!
‘The Global Rules of the Game’ India module definitely put many things into perspective, shedding a light onto doing business and establishing social enterprises in emerging markets. Both are in dire need. Bureaucracy and corruption should and must give way to humanity.
Looking forward to being in Oxford again.Back to top of article