Thursday, November 13, 2008

Entrepreneurs : Don't Do an MBA

First let me ask you few questions.
1. Do you remember Maradona?
2. Do you know who Bill Gates is?
3. Do you know who Britney Spears is?
4. Do you know Sergey Brin?
5. Do you know Steve Jobs?

Well, you must have scored 5 out of 5. Great.

Now can you give some time to think who are the people managing these folks. Remember the managers of Britney and Marodona? Remember who Steve Ballmer is? And then think if you can remember what educational degree these folks have.

Done? YES!! Cool.

I am sure none of you actually scored 100% on the later half.

I have been studying whether MBA is necessary to be successful in career, especially an Entrepreneur career. The study showed that most of the World CEOs are MBAs, and it was a WOW for MBAs.

But then the underlying thing is, none of the most successful Entrepreneurs are MBAs. They are either college drop outs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, or they are simply very passionate youth Entrepreneurs like Kishore Binyani (founder, chairman of Future Group).

This lead I to think that MBA is required to be a high spending CEO or a high profile Employee as the Entrepreneurs tend to hire MBAs for the Managerial roles. But if you have something to deliver to the world and if you are passionate about it, You Don’t Need an MBA.

MBA is a waste of two years. And at the end of two years, you are left with little passion about work but are trained to manage other folks. Managing is a great skill to have to lessen risk in life. But to really do something World will remember for long, it might not be. Because World Remembers people who actually work but not the one who Manages them.

MBAs have built many companies but only few of them can actually jump into starting a business after an MBA. They need to work for some other company to build their profile and earn money to pay back educational loan (which most people think is a path to greatness).
So MBAs when start a company, it’s gonna be their retiring venture which calls for being risk averse (for family reasons or age issues or whatever). Instead if someone starts a company early, he can take it much ahead as it is gonna be his starting venture and he can take up huge risks.

So if you think, you are Entrepreneurial and can build company. Please don't do an MBA and please don't go and work under someone who once chose not to go for an MBA.

Just start a company. Do it asap.


LG said...

Its a dangerous post.... if everybody started their own enterprises... then every enterprise will have manager less. :) great article...

Bhupendra said...

Ha ha ha .... Good one dude!!

Thanks for the good words!!


Stephane Hamel at said...

It's a comment we've often heard about MBAs... Not sure I agree completely! Being entrepreneur doesn't necessarily mean you will be a good manager, and vice-versa. I know MBAs who really sucks at managing their companies... I know great innovators who are sinking their ideas because they don't have a clue about how a business is run!

I'm in my 5th year of completing my ebusiness MBA, doing it part time, on top of my consulting work and starting a business.

Why did I decide to do an MBA? Because after 15 years in IT, I was stamped as a techie guy who couldn't possibly understand the business side of things! I'm doing it as a challenge, and yes, for my ego too! And I'm proud to say I'm on the honor roll (top 5% students!)

However... I see a huge number of young and inexperienced people doing their MBA without any previous work experience... Not sure I would hire any of them fresh out of school!

Bhupendra said...

Thanks for putting your views and experiences.

You have raised a great point about MBAs without work experience. It is really sad that people go for it to get some certificate.


Deep Sherchan said...

With all the difficult entry level exams available, it looks like doing MBA is more like being a skilled labor than a leader.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs is something different. Someone with a vision and not bound by scores or certificates.

Confused Confucius said...

Guys let me introduce myself. I am an engineering graduate who worked for 2 yrs in MNC before I quit to start my own thing with the guidance of my dad. Infact offlate I have been relieving him of his work too. My few lessons from my short entrepreneurial experience.
1. You really dont need an MBA to run a business.
2. You learn things the hard way and you develop instincts which no classroom will teach you.
3. Basically running your own thing is a matter of passion and drive.

On the other hand in favor of an MBA( My own father is an MBA from a top school and he is a first generation businessman)
1. It really opens doors when you have that degree.
2. Some of our reach into big clients has come through my dad's old school network as half of them are pretty senior or middle level managers with important profiles.
3. It does give a distinct tag and breaks a few doubt full barriers when you talk about your education from a top school.

My conclusion is if you are clear you dont need an MBA DONT DO IT. Dont do it because people tell you to or pressure from the family.
Do it because you would like to meet new people with interesting ideas and you would like have a good future network and credibility.

If you are sure you want to do a business then the earlier the better.It gets tougher as you get older.
As an alternative I would suggest to young guys who want do an MBA and then start their business - instead of joining some overgrown MNC straight out of college try and join a small medium enterprise where your pay may not be the greatest but your responsibilities and exposure are more. You can the use this valuable experience to better use in a MBA course before you step out on your own..

Bhupendra said...

Mr. Confucius,I can't agree with you more. Thanks for the well thought comment.


Ankit said...

A great post though its not that easy to digest.Infact,this is something that had been hot on linkedin for sometime.

Not everyone is a built in entrepreneur or rather nt everyone realises they have it in them for various reasons.An MBA from a decent place gives the oppurtunity and the atmosphere to get that 'i can do' instinct out.
But then again,there have been people who have done it without,so no clear winners on this one

Zishan said...

I don't agree. It is just the passion which is required, doesn't matter what degree you hold (Having MBA is also not harmful).

Be passionate and be ready to learn and deliver. That's it. And this is very true in every field, even for the sports, whether you are trained in an academy or self trained or God gifted, its important to know your shoes before you wear them :)

What do you say Bhupi???

Rathish said...

nice post dude.

Bhupendra said...

I have to agree with you guys on the voice that people can get the latent push to start a company anywhere. It can be in MBA college or after it too.
Its just the passion that matters, and not the degree!

Thanks for the good words :)


Manik Kinra said...

Nice post and generally well accepted that MBAs have much lesser risk taking capabilities than non MBAs and hence chances of getting into entrepreneurship is much lesser.

However things are changing and there's a whole lot of MBAs taking pride in starting their own ventures.

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