‘The Biggest Risk That I Have Taken So Far Was To Pursue An MBA In Marketing Instead Of Following My Passion For Designing’ – Vidushi Kajaria – Best50 – Class Of 2017

Hi, I am Vidushi Kajaria from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune. A design enthusiast, it is all about colours, patterns and moments for me.

Symbiosis was a turning point in my life, as I was exposed to a lot of opportunities which I capitalised on. Being a design enthusiast, my Godrej LOUD dream was to visit London College of Communication, which helped me bag a Pre-Placement Summer Offer from Godrej Industries Limited. Part of the Gurukul program, the summer internship program at GCPL we won the national level case study competition ‘Crescendo.’ Achieved significant results for the pilot project which I was working on as part of my summer internship project to achieve the two-fold objective of increasing market share of soaps and category penetration of household insecticides using e-commerce as a channel.

My team also represented SIBM Pune as National Finalists for Asian Paints ‘Canvas’ which explored the opportunities of Asian Paints venturing into Asian Paints Home where they aim to provide home improvement solutions under one roof. As a keen researcher, I was part of various live projects, one of them being Fastacash Pvt. Ltd. a Singapore-based firm which provides innovation in financial payments to study the landscape of Australia and identify prospective business opportunities.

Being a part of various committees and organisations, from the Corporate Interface Team at SIBM, to being a part of the Xavier’s Management Society at the college level, International Award for Young People or leading the school as a prefect these experiences have helped me be a better team player and well-adaptive to situations. They shape my personality into a well-rounded individual who wants to grow and learn at every step of life. I envision myself as a future leader creating an impact in society and making a positive difference in the world.

And as the two years at SIBM draw closer to an end, I have lately been associated with ‘The Wedding Story’ to pursue my passion for film-making, capturing a world populated with a billion heartfelt feelings and stories etched ceremoniously in magic, love and joie de vivre.

If you had a magic wand, what is the one problem in India that you would magically wish away? Explain why.

If I had a magic wand, I would strive to obliterate the ‘Chalta-Hai’ attitude of people in our country and raise the level of awareness among people. From cleanliness to sex education to understanding the repercussions of government reforms and policies there needs to be more participation as well as information on issues which create voluminous impacts. If Kerala can be 100% open defecation free, why cannot other parts of the country emulate that. The ‘Chalta-Hai’ attitude needs to be replaced by a ‘Kyun chalta hai attitude?’ so that we understand the root-cause of problems and our responsibilities as citizens of the country.

Be it an open manhole, a swaying lamppost or a crumbling building, chalta hai can miraculously make us – well, at least some of us – forget everything and get on with our lives, which clearly is not the correct approach to things. It needs to be nipped at the bud, so that we grow into responsible citizens and take corrective actions and measures for things which need to be stood up for. (No reference to the latest national anthem controversy)

 

How would you explain the “The Credit Crisis of 2008” to a 12-year-old?

Once upon a time in the US in 2008, the crisis began with the central banks creating too much free credit. That means they made money available to all.

Investment bankers sold loans to homeowners to earn a profit, which meant if homeowners couldn’t pay off their loan, the banks would take away their home. Just like how parents take away the gifts when the children do not do their homework.

Investment bankers sold off many of these loans to investors and smaller banks for more profit. That means parents give out gifts to the children, in spite of them not doing their homework and other things they are supposed to do and spoil them in the long-run.

The banks got greedy and rich through the process and began lending mortgages to people that they knew weren’t going to be able to pay the money back, that is, give gifts to kids who don’t deserve them.

As people defaulted on their loans the banks took their houses, which means suddenly parents realised this will do no good, and they started taking away the gifts from children. As more people could not pay the money, the banks had lots of houses, but nobody wanted to invest. Investment bankers were sitting on supplies that there wasn’t any demand for. That means suddenly all the gifts came back to the parents as most kids were not doing what they were supposed to do.

Creditors stopped buying loans from the banks, so the banks stopped investing, leaving them without any money. That means suddenly the kids did not want the gifts and the parents did not know what to do with the Barbie’s or bats which were of no use to them and all the money they spent on them was wasted.

The crisis stemmed from the central banks creating too much free credit, same way as parents were not as strict as they should have been.

Markets collapsed and big business’s folded. In a similar way, the parents were left with no money. To save the parents, the grandparents (read: Central Bank) artificially created more money in the economy, inflating the currency and causing prices to rise which led to the credit crisis of 2008.

 

What is the biggest risk that you have taken so far and why?

The biggest risk that I have taken so far was to pursue an MBA in Marketing instead of following my passion for designing. Having a creative bent, I always thought I was cut out for something in the creative field, but I decided to take another course of action which has definitely been life changing for me.

Why I took this risk? After thorough analysis, I realised that an MBA would prepare me for life. The ROI I was getting out of this would outweigh the ROI I would get out of following my passion, maybe it could never match the fulfilment level. It required a lot of courage on my behalf to give up on something which made me feel alive. But everything comes at a cost, hence I chose to take the road ‘most’ travelled.

Pursuing an MBA was one of the turning points in my life and there has been no looking back. I can now combine my newly acquired skill sets and leverage my existing skill sets to better approach and tackle things and bring in new dimensions to business problems, design thinking coming up in a rampant way.

Now I strongly stand by the saying, to know what life is worth we have to risk once in a while, even if it involves life changing decisions like a career path. There is not much trade-off involved, all you gain is more experience!

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