Why an MBA?
I am presently a hardcore circuit engineer. Over the last 5 years, I have done detailed analysis of different complex circuits and have even created some worthy enough to get patented. It has been a very enriching and an enthusiastic engineering experience. I have worked on numerous projects – some were successfully released into the market while most were dropped in the development stage. The reason for dropping the projects was often put forward by our boss as – “the management decided it that way”. Though I did feel a bit uncomfortable, other ongoing projects kept me busy enough not to probe beyond – In fact, the dropped projects have always come as a relief to our busy schedule. However, there has always been an inner desire to look at the bigger picture. Why did the management decide so? What parameters influenced the decision? Besides having these questions, working in a big company like Samsung triggered a lot of other related questions. I now yearn to know how the big corporations with tens of thousands of employee actually work. How do they (who are they?) manage such a big workforce? My interest to acquire the know-how of running a successful business has got deepened. How business deals of billions of dollars are negotiated, materialized and how they later result into a huge loss/ huge profit deal? In a nutshell, I am very curious to learn how corporations manage the entire system, that too in a diverse, multi-cultural global setting.
Though I have worked on many projects, one of them has been very significant both for me and Samsung. Last year, I played a significant role in proposing, implementing and finally verifying the circuit ideas that saved Samsung US$10.6 per LCD TV (40 inch size and above). We have already sold more than 1 million of those TV sets so far. Looking at the figures, a simple equation and a question pop up in my mind. Profit = US$10.6 * 1 million. What if I had my own consulting firm and had sold the idea to Samsung, LG and other TV set makers while just making 10% of the above profit? It is indeed a bold thought – bold because it motivates me to change myself - to upgrade myself with business skill sets and effectively integrate them with my engineering perspective.
A knack for circuits and an ability to generate value by applying the VE (Value Engineering) methods in existing electronic circuit boards coupled with a budding entrepreneurial spirit looks like a great combination to start aiming at establishing a technical consultant firm. However, to make this move a success and to be able to think even bigger, I need to acquire the necessary business skills and practise those. I ought to quench my thirst to know how corporations work, how finances are controlled, how the brands are managed, how strategies for multi-billion dollar business deals are developed and much more that I am definitely unaware of now. I want to learn about entrepreneurship, study different cases and discern the dos and don’ts.
Hence, pursuing an MBA curriculum that covers topics on general management comes as a natural next step in my career.
I can foresee a big wave emerging in the electronic industry. Super-fast cell phone chargers, wireless powered gadgets like TVs and music systems and systems powered by renewable sources of energy are going to be some of the hot-picks of the next decade. All the above have one thing in common – they will all demand intensive research and development in electronics. The chemical engineers and researchers are working hard to come up with a battery that can accept huge amount of instantaneous charge. But, we would also need to have a power source that can supply that instantaneous energy. Similarly, wireless TVs would only be possible if we can efficiently generate a wireless power source and receiver. I have the necessary know-how to start working on the challenges associated with electronics.