Skip to main content

Meritocracy is not an absolute law

There are two kinds of people who are successful in the industry ….

The first who have great talent
The other who have great contacts

.... and they both need each other... however the rarest of most respected are those who have both.

For me the biggest difference in the transition from Academics to Professional circles has been the realization that meritocracy is not an absolute law. While in schools and colleges too, there would be some difference between different students due to their upbringing, but ultimately it was meritocracy which ruled. There are always students who do not have proper guidance at home or resources to make it to the ivy league, but unless the disparity is huge (like a slum child vs. rich brat), the meritorious always end up with a better career, even though the amount of hard work put in might be a little more for the unprivileged.

Probably this is the true testimony of the Indian educational system where higher education is within reach of middle class. With fees structures becoming increasingly westernized; I hope the system remains rooted in egalitarian principles.

However, in the industry one finds many people who are where they are, not because of merit but because of their lineage. They compete with those who have risen to their positions due to meritocracy but without possessing the requisite technical skills. These people are those who have ‘contacts & network’ as we call it in courteous professional language. These are people who have the capability to get business even when the product or service being offered fails to differentiate with competitors.

However today, due to the rise of the knowledge economy, the meritorious do get a chance to compete and outsmart others by using knowledge to create a product or service so far superior that it sells by itself and does not require 'contacts' and network to sell. These children of meritocracy are real wealth creators, the true leaders and genuinely respected individuals. N R Narayan Murthy is one of the best examples of such individuals.


Popular posts from this blog

How will travel industry transform post-Covid

Unlike philosophers, journalists and teenagers, the world of entrepreneurship does not permit the luxury of gazing into a crystal ball to predict the future. An entrepreneur’s world is instead made of MVPs (Minimum Viable Product), A/B Tests, launching products, features or services and gauging / measuring their reception in the market to arrive at verifiable truths which can drive the business forward. Which is why I have never written about my musings or hypothesis about travel industry – we usually either seek customer feedback or launch an MVPised version and gather market feedback. However, with Covid-19 travel bans across the globe, the industry is currently stuck – while a lot of industry reports and journalistic conjectures are out, there’s no definitive answer to the way forward. Besides there is no way to test your hypothesis since even the traveller does not know what they will do when skies open. So, I decided to don my blogger hat and take the luxury of crystal gazing

Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective

Shubham and me compiled and created an article during our first year of MBA. It was never published, nevertheless MBA aspirants will find it very useful. Publishing it online for the same purpose. However, Shubham and myself claim a copyright on the text .... and of course very many thanks to all our freinds whose views have helped us compile the article. Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective By Nikhil Kulkarni, KPMG Shubham Choudhury, Infosys PGDIM- X, NITIE, Mumbai Ashita Mittal was placed during her final year in engineering college with a leading software firm. But she never wanted to be another brick in the wall. She wanted to differentiate herself from other graduates who start their career at the lowest rung of organizational hierarchy. MBA was a natural choice for her. On the other side is Shailesh Dhawla, who worked as a software engineer with a leading software consultancy firm for 3 years. He started his job with some ends in mind, like working with a known c

हिंदी दिवस के उपलक्ष्य में एक ट्वीटमाला

A thread on Hindi Diwas; for the last few months I have been influencing my daughter to learn Hindi by telling her greatness & elegance of Hindi हिंदी दिवस के उपलक्ष्य में एक ट्वीटमाला; पिछले कुछ माह से मैं अपनी बेटी को हिंदी की महत्ता और लालित्य के बारे में समझा रहा हूँ| She is in Grade 2 and just started learning the Hindi alphabet and grammar.  वह कक्षा २ में है और अभी हिंदी वर्णमाला और व्याकरण के पहले पाठ पढ़ रही है|  Yesterday, she asked me why I think Hindi is a great language. Context being India has so many languages and our mother tongue is Marathi.  कल उसने मुझे पूछा कि मैं हिंदी को एक महानतम भाषा क्यों मानता हूँ - जबकी भारत में इतनी सारी भाषाएँ हैं और हमारी मातृभाषा मराठी है|  My answer - No doubt Hindi is a rich language in terms of literature, vocabulary, variety and its script Devnagiri is very scientific in nature...  मेरा उत्तर था की यद्यपी हिंदी साहित्य, शब्दावली, विविधता से परिपूर्ण हैं और उसकी प्रमुख लिपी देवनागिरी वैज्ञानिक है, ...  ... But then these virtues des