Gaurang's Thoughts

Power of community - an instance

As a community member, you got to give out value for others. If you are giving and giving, eventually you will get some value in return too. 

Here's what happened. I made a youtube video around my workflow for keeping a track of passwords of dozens of accounts. In that video, one of the viewers commented about KeePass XC software. I explored that out and it was just brilliant. Thousand times better than my Excel workflow and I immediately adopted Keepass XC for storing passwords for myself. 

Therefore, keep on creating values and 1000x return will be waiting for it, just don't do things out of an expectation. 

My MBA (PGDMM) journey with NGASCE/ NMIMS - Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Students

It's prudent to stay competitive in this fast paced world and everyone who wants to jump the corporate ladder must join multiple courses, be it an MBA or some tangible skill certification.

Since I have been a Tech graduate with work experience in marketing and corporate communications with tech giants, I needed to have a MBA degree to deepen my knowledge about the domain and to learn from the best.

The work life was busy and crazy, and preparing for GMAT/ CAT and other MBA entrance exams was a distant dream so I thought to take admission in NGASCE's Post graduate diploma course which seemed to be intriguing as my friend has been already pursuing the course and had recommended me the course for two years (in 2014/ 2015) and finally I gave in and took admission in 2016.

I still remember the first class with Dr. Deepak Gupta Sir who was our CSR professor, he was just brilliant. A very passionate professor who taught every concept by connecting it with real life examples which every student loves and learning becomes so effortless. Being a passionate marketer and a community manager, I was waiting for the opportunity through which I can build a community of my batchmates which I was sure of diversity in terms of education background, work experience, location and that's when Deepak Sir asked us to create a Facebook group and share the link to the chat window. Gladly I was the first one to pitch in and I created our batch's Facebook group. It was all exciting with a feeling of going back to college. A feeling which I was enjoying after being 4 years out of college.

About 500 batchmates connected over the period of few months and all of us got connected via whatsapp eventually. It was the time when I learnt about MBA even more -- groupism takes place in the group which must be countered if you want to maintain a focused community towards the main goal. Few crazy elements needs to be removed or else they destroy the culture of the group. That's a MBA concept which directly correlates with corporate culture as well. I learnt a lot of MBA out of the whatsapp groups that I created and managed during my course.

The subjects were interesting -- my Marketing Management course was extensive and some of the major learnings around Carroll's pyramid, Market segmentation, 5Ps were transformational. Certainly the list is too long.

In semester 1 and 2, I was living in Ahmedabad and I used to arrange group discussions among our batchmates to reinforce our learnings from the lectures and to discuss the assignments. It was a great brainstorming exercise through which we all learn more about each other as well as studied really well, so much so that we scored about 70s without preparing much during the examination days, which was great as being a working professional we never knew when we could have the work related spikes and often times they coincide with examination dates.

Throughout the two years and some more, I helped my batchmates in their studies by sharing notes, sharing important topics and engaging myself and others in countless discussions and debates too which transformed us all in much better way, we became a better person who learnt to co-exist with hundreds with a little ons and offs. Indeed our personalities improved and we now share a bond which gets stronger with every passing year. Now the group is called Alumni group and we do now have a student run alumni group on LinkedIn too to connect with students and alumni from all other batches. Students driven communities are after all more approachable, casual and runs with less friction.

Some of the fond memories are around PCP classes too wherein we met our batchmates in doubt clearing sessions and all the professors that we met were extremely prolific and fun to talk to. Also the fact that I have visited the NMIMS Mumbai campus multiple times for taking exams from Delhi says a lot about my love for NMIMS.

I answered few questions about NGASCE on Quora and asked aspirants to approach me for any guidance they seek. And so many folks reached out and few also called me up. Few took admission after my feedback and I was so proud to see them joining the course and becoming part of the community and carrying the name of NMIMS -- a highly respective MBA brand. They used to invite me to their whatsapp groups and it was fun being part of their groups and helping juniors by answering the obvious course questions -- something I am fond of!

And recently I joined the NGASCE course again, pursuing my second majors in PGD Information Technology and Systems to upskill myself further and to stay connected with NMIMS and to build more friendships and knowledge base for myself.

To the future students of NGASCE, all the best for the course -- it's the course which is transformational and you got to study hard to clear it as I have worked harder than my engineering days to complete my PGD with NGASCE and I am thankful to them for such quality course.

What to focus on and what not to?

The world is now full of abundance. Abundance of information, knowledge, opportunities and ideas. With an entrepreneurial mindset and good amount of influx of information from social media and the internet, one can come up with numerous business ideas out of the problems which one can identify.

Same is the case with me and at times I struggle to action -- as they say one who chases 10 rabbits, catches none.

It's a must to be a niche-focused in the beginning and do things really well end to end to close one idea, one goal, one opportunity fully. Perhaps the initial goals should be small enough to work up really quick to have the satisfaction of completing something.

I hope to follow that regime but it takes humungous amounts of willpower to just stick to one.

What do you think?

Books to read

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins
Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and Marketing
Predatory Thinking
Innovative Tableau: 100 More Tips, Tutorials, and Strategies
Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design
Graphs for JEE (Main & Advanced)
The Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors
Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick: People, Probabilities, and Big Moves to Beat the Odds
Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth
Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know about Data Mining and Data-Analytic
Statistics Without Tears
Statistics 101: From Data Analysis and Predictive Modeling to Measuring Distribution and Determining Probability, Your Essential Guide to Statistics (Adams 101)
Keith Johnstone, impro
The war of art, Steven pressfield
Mans search for meaning
The compound effect, Darren hardy
Autopilot, Andrew smart
Ruchir Sharma breakout nations
Velocity, Ajaz Ahmed
Make time - how to focus on what matters every day
Read - measure what matters.
Delayed gratification by Jeff Bezos
Buffett & Munger - A Study in Simplicity and Uncommon, Common Sense

My learning framework

We consume a lot of information on daily basis and quite often it isn't retained much, effectively wasting all your efforts and precious time. Therefore we much primarily focus on topics/ information which is going to help us in long term and is retained well for longer period of time.

For that purpose, the concept of spaced repetition comes handy.

Also, the way we learn differs. Knowledge is consumed easily through watching videos than by reading books while reading books gives you more deeper knowledge and sticks with you for longer period of time.

Therefore, as of now, my learning framework which I can think of, will have watching video tutorials on the topic I am interested in, make notes of those, practice a bit and practice a bit more after few hours.

After that, read blogs and books on the topic to reinforcement and deepen the learning and practice after few days to weeks and further months to retain the new learning and using the knowledge in day to day life to ensure that returns are fetched from the investment of your efforts and time.

More thoughts to follow and please leave your comment.