If a nation can, YOU CAN.

Amazed by the rise of the fringe footballing nations in this Fifa WC, I started reading about Belgium and how this golden generation of the Belgium National Football team came into being.

A meagre nation with only a population of 11 million people (Parisian Suburbs have a population of 12 million), Belgium’s gameplay wasn’t dominated by the mesmerizing Hazard’s and the De Bruyne’s before. Infact, in 1998, after witnessing his country losing to France, a former professional goalkeeper for Belgium, Bob Browaeys was upset about his country’s disorderly gameplay, lacking in creativity and possession. On the other hand, he was envious of France, mesmerized by the Zidane’s and the Henry’s.

It was then that this former GK, started a revolution. Combining a few other colleagues, he took on the responsibility of improving Belgium’s footballing prowess. They did not only change the way football was played by the National team, but looked into every professional match being played in Belgium at every age group, and analysed what could be improved.

After looking at hours of video, and analysing the collected data, they drew a roadmap that focused on every professional football club in the country and how football is played in it. Clubs were encouraged to play more posession based football, enabling players to do creative things with the ball.

As time passed, a different footballing culture developed, which over a period of 15 years has led this Belgium team knocking the ever fluent Brazil out of the WC.

If a country with 11 million people can change the very way in which it plays football, can’t a company with a few thousand employees invest in it’s culture to reap dividends in the long term? Can’t an individual go back to his basics and lay a stronger foundation which enables him to solve even the most insurmountable tasks?

All it needs is passion, a will to change the way.

Darpan Jain


What the Iceland National Football Team teaches us..

While contemplating about Iceland’s meteoric rise in World football, I came across an article in the daily newspaper, which not only increased my fascination for the nordic nation, but also got my grey cells working.

Football wasn’t a hugely popular sport in Iceland until 2012, when it’s National Team coach, Heimer Hallgrimsson started off a rather unusual routine.

Before every game with the national team, Heimer used to go to a local bar and discuss his team’s playing XI, the formation and the strategy that they were going to adapt in the upcoming game. He didn’t do this with his fellow coaching colleagues, but with 15 or odd national team supporters who were regular customers at the bar.

After every game, he would return and seek feedback on how the strategy worked, what went wrong etc. Doing this with a set of supporters who were novices in respect to tactical acumen wasn’t primarily aimed to get wonderous strategic advice, it was meant to involve the supporters and make them support the national team.

Slowly, the bar’s population increased from 15 to 500, and the Football stadium’s strength increase from 30% to more than 100%. The stadium were now packed with supporters singing their team on to glory.

In a big company with huge number of employees, the motivation to work can falter, given that most employees don’t feel valued enough and hence, have no particular interest in the organization’s success. At this time, it is this humbleness, this small step of connecting with them, involving them in decision making, that can do wonders. Not only can you get an out of the box advice once in a while, but what you can get is a committed workforce, which can help you beat even the big giants.

Don’t forget, Iceland drew with Argentina in the WC, and topped their group during qualifying, pipping Croatia that beat Argentina 3-0.

Sometimes, small things can get you big results. Sometimes, being humble and reaching out can prove to be a difference.

What England’s 481 against Australia teaches us..

As a kid, I used to ask my father, ‘Dad, why is it that cricket teams score 200+ in T20s, but manage to score only 300 or at the most, 350 in rare cases? Shouldn’t they be scoring 400 and above considering that they are capable of scoring over 10 runs per over from the beginning?’

My father answered, ‘Son, as the number of overs increase, teams change their strategies and plan accordingly. In an ODI, a team has 50 overs, and it has to build a solid base so that it can maximise it’s score towards the end, and achieve the best possible score. If it starts hitting from the beginning, it might as well get wrapped up inside 30 overs’.

It seemed rational. As a professional cricketer myself too, I planned according to the number of overs left. Higher the number of overs left, the less risks you shall take. You should deal in singles and doubles, and go for the huge hits at the end.

However, as time changed, strategies changed. There was a time in the 1990s, when scoring 250 in 60 overs was considered an above par score, and then there was a time when 300 in a 50 over game was a good score. Now, we see teams crossing 350, even 400. We see individual players scoring double centuries.

What has changed?

The teams and the players have surely started taking more risks, but they are planned risks. They are calculated risks. They know their capabilities, and they know a loose ball has to be dispatched no matter when it is bowled; in the beginning or at the end. Even though the teams know that having wickets in hand during the latter overs and playing out the overs of the top bowlers of the opposition, would put them in a good position to capitalise at the end, they know that putting top bowlers under pressure and having a decent scoring rate from the beginning will give them a huge advantage.

Similarly, in the business environment, building a base is important. Being cautious in the beginning is important. However, not taking opportunities when they come can come to haunt you later. Not taking advantage of a vacuum that a competitor has left and playing it safe, would not get you that match winning score. Grabbing opportunities and taking risks is important. It is imperative to knock the competitor off his comfort zone. It is essential to sometimes step out and smack the ball for a six to remove that silly point fielder breathing down your neck.

Calculate and move forward. Make the most of the opportunities that come to you.

Ps:- There’s learning everywhere, be it a cricket match or a business summit.

Is ‘Passion’ the new Infatuation?

(Disclaimer:- Don’t let the word ‘Infatuation’ fool you. This piece is anything, but about love.)

‘If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out’
– Steve Jobs

It was at a family wedding (yeah, an unlikely place to discuss such an issue) that I met one of my distant relatives who is currently a professor in one of Singapore’s esteemed universities, that we started discussing the issue of Passion (only passion, and not infatuation) and how the whole concept of doing what you love seems a superficial one that fails more people, depresses more people and has a negative effect on more people than a positive one.

Let’s take a look at the quote by which this article starts, which is yet another one of those motivating quotes, that stirrs up your adrenaline, fires up your productive side and lights up that burning desire inside you to follow your passion; the passion that maybe, one of you gave up for something more practical, for something more ‘ordinary’. Well, for most of us, this adrenaline rush, as it might rightly be called, lasts only for a minute (like, in the literal sense), and then we go back to being our old selves, binge watching another season of F.R.I.E.N.D.S or Game of thrones or any of the new Netflix series (not to say that binge watching is unproductive).

It is funny how mostly all ‘self help’ books as they call them, are centered around the very same concept, following your passion, doing something that you love doing, letting your heart decide what you want and other ‘fiery’ stuff. And the result? If you follow this passion, you’ll make it big in life, you’ll earn loads, be successful, and most importantly, satisfy yourself, internally. Now, who can forget the very famous line by Paulo Coelho in one of his much acclaimed works, The Alchemist, ‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’. Most of the critically acclaimed self help books be it The Alchemist, The Monk who sold his Ferrari or one of the many others, focus on this very thing. Besides, the most famous quotes by the most inspiring men are something like the one with which this article starts with, all focusing around your passion, telling you that there is that one thing that you love, that you will be successful at. Now, I am not saying all this is a sham or that all this is just a reflection of an utopian scenario which most people cannot attain, all I am saying is let’s for a moment, look at it the other way, let us see why this whole argument might not always be true or should not be something thay every individual strives to achieve.

Firstly, this argument suggests that passion is all you need to be proficient at a thing or to be happy and satisfied, undermining other factors which play an important role in making the overall experience an enjoyable one. Let’s say a cricket fan gets a job related to cricket, but he doesn’t like his fellow colleagues or is not proficient enough at the task in hand, the experience would most certainly not be a satisfying one.

Secondly, it is not a certainty that a person has a passion or there’s also a possibility that a person has multiple passions. In such scenarios, motivation involving following your passion is not only rendered worthless, but can also be a source of depression and dissatisfaction among the individual who might blame himself and try unnecessarily hard to find that one thing he is passionate about; which again as said by such motivators is not found by looking, it just comes your way.

A third reason can be that not all passions are worth following. Yes, people say that if you are passionate about something, you’ll find a way, but the following data will surely raise some doubts regarding the practicality of the said statement.

Fourth, statements like these make it sound like you can work out the right career in a flash of insight, and this is where the heading of this piece comes into the picture. Thinking too hard about a passion or a premature decision just because you enjoy a thing in the short term can lead to drastic consequences and possible regret, as is usually seen when a person experiences infatuation for another person, and not love. Such adrenaline driven motivated decisions can do more harm than good in the long run if you identify the wrong thing as your passion, provided that life does not give you unlimited opportunities.

Lastly and most importantly, a passion for most people is a passion and is enjoyable because it’s not a profession and because it does not have those added deadlines and pressure attached to it. Consider sports, many people like playing football, are ardent admirers, and think that if they commit to playing professional football, they might get a breakthrough and live the Santiago Munez life, but as soon as they enter the professional scenario, they experience the internal politics, the uncompassionate teammates and the selfish agendas and miss their old, more settled life.

Passion is a deep word, with each of it’s 7 letters being as deep as the seven seas, with each of it’s letters indicating the happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment you get from following it. Passion is not a firecracker which burns quickly, explodes and then vanishes, it is more like a candle, which during it entire lifetime illuminates your life and of those around you. Passion is not a panacea that alleviates your pain temporarily, it is a vaccine that prevents you from catching the disease of being dissatisfied and depressed for the rest of your life, and passion is not necessarily a camphor that catches fire easily, it is more an incense stick that can take time to burn, but once it does, it gives out a fragrance that makes everyone happy.

It is ironical that Steve Jobs, one of the most vocal proponents of the passion theory did not indeed follow his own passion, or else he would have been a Zen Teacher, depriving the world of one of the most elite electronic devices of the current era. You’ll always find examples where in people left their monotonous life to follow their passion and succeeded, but you’ll never find the failure stories, stories of people that left what they were doing, people who started loving their current thing, but switched because of a premature feeling, mistaking it for their passion. So, come on, let’s not get blinded by all these utopian quotes, let’s not leave everything to follow something which we don’t know holds what for us, let’s give the thing that we are currently doing a chance, give it time, understand it, because once our mind gets a hold for it, it makes a hateful task a mission that we strive to achieve. To end this piece, let’s go through a more practical advice given by the Apple Lover, ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’.

Let’s start loving our profession more, and not only focus on doing what we love. Let’s love what we do, if we can’t do what we love.

Darpan Jain

Choosing CBS:- The Road less travelled by..



Born and brought up in East Delhi, I usually wandered around the streets of Karkardooma, Vivek Vihar and the not so posh area of Jhilmil where taking your own four wheeler was a horrifying nightmare. And hence, I used to gear up my Hero Maestro, cut through lanes, pass the Leela mesmerized by its beautiful structure, a structure that was very hard to find anywhere near East Delhi and enter the bustling area of Jhilmil trying to differentiate one street from another in order to reach my destination, the destination being my place of fun, my cousin’s house! Little did I know that sandwiched between the Leela and the hugely difficult to pass through streets of Jhilmil stood a college, a college operating out of a government school building. It was around 2 years back, in June 2015 that I got to know which college I had seen, a college that was more difficult to get into than the overcrowded streets of Jhilmil, the only difference being that here only people who had a Lamborghinious mind would enter, people who stood out from the rest, unlike my Hero Maestro. I knew that a year later, after completing my 12th, I would again be out in the streets of Jhilmil, but little did I know that this time the destination would be different, the destination would be something I dreamt of; dreamt of for my career, not for fun ( like I did for my cousin’s place), that the destination would be that same college, and that I would realize that Lamborghini could be my cup of tea.

Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies or CBS as it is popularly ( or not so popularly) known has made a huge name for itself in the field of management in a very short period of time. The college completes 30 years of existence this year (2017). The college is the go to college for every management aspirant and with a meagre 250-300 seats for its two coveted courses, BMS and BBA(FIA), students who get through the college rightly are the Lamborghinis of the country. I knew none of this, but as every 12th standard kid does, I researched to find my prospective colleges. Various names appeared, including top north campus colleges best for commerce education and various private institutes which conduct their own entrances. However, one routine day when I visited my maternal grandparents’ house, the usual college talk started and it was in the midst of this talk that I heard the name CBS. Barely covered by newspapers that focus on sky-high cut offs, CBS was quietly making its name as a professional college which accepted students on the basis of an entrance. When I met my fellow colleagues at CBS the lack of media attention for the college was highlighted by the fact that a very few number of students’ parents knew about CBS. But again, this was a perk of being a Yamuna Paari, my whole family knew about CBS and it was courtesy them that I had this dream of getting into it.


A whole year passed, Boards were done and the results came. I had done well, in fact pretty well. But, I was not satisfied. My dream was to crack JAT and get into CBS. I had this certain feeling, a feeling of accomplishment, of pride that I got just from the name, SHAHEED SUKHDEV COLLEGE OF BUSINESS STUDIES. I had googled about the college everyday during my 12th, certainly more than what I had ever googled about the other Shaheed Sukhdev, the legendary freedom fighter. And hence the preparation for the entrance started. The day came, 20th June when I had to showcase whether I was capable enough to get into the college I dreamt about. The entrance went well, and all I waited for were the results. Meanwhile, I had cracked every North campus college, Even the very best. I took admission in the top commerce college of the country, but at the back of my mind was the anxiety, the nervousness of the JAT results, which not many would experience after cracking the topmost commerce college of the country.  But then the day came, it was 18th July, The JAT results were out, and I had got a decent rank, a rank I knew was enough to get me into the college I dreamt about. I consulted many people whether to go for CBS or the other college I had gotten into, and most had conflicting viewpoints portraying merits and demerits of both. But, finally I chose. I chose learning and development over North Campus life, I chose good academics and brilliant society exposure over the best fest. I chose to create a legacy instead of following an already existing one. I chose my dream. I chose CBS. It might have been a difficult, almost stupid decision for many, but then I knew. I knew following one’s dreams was not stupid.

It’s been a year since that decision, and there’s not been a day that I have regretted the decision. All the merits that people said have turned out to be true. The excellent faculty and the competitive society culture really develops you. It develops you to grow from a Lamborghini to a Boeing, a Boeing that has all the sky to itself, a Boeing that can scale massive heights, a Boeing that does not ply on busy roads, but in a free sky waiting to be conquered.

And now, I am ready for an ever better  experience, an experience that will lead me to another side of Delhi; to Rohini, our new campus.


From Globalization to Nationalization

Olé, Olé sang the voices

And everyone thought they would have more choices,
Countries lifted their trade barriers,
And suddenly, there was more work for the international carriers.

Thus, began the sharing of resources,
And the nations had to deal with more economic forces.
Not only goods, but people, capital and information also travelled,
In alien countries, they unravelled. 

And the tourism industry started to boom,
No longer were the tour guides in gloom.
Harvard, Yale and stanford started getting more enrolments,
And the students from low income countries started getting their desired placements.

The MNCs now had new markets,
And the job seekers got more chances.
And so Everyone was happy with the situation,

But then stuck a realisation. 

Not only was the balance of payments in negative,
But the loss of jobs in the homeland was imperative.
The citizens after a long wait started getting restless,
And hence, there was no place; no place that the migrants felt was harmless.

Not wasting any time, the ‘developed ones’ took a decision,
And Soon after, the borders were closed down with the utmost precision.
Goodbye, they said to Globalization
And this is how began the wave of Nationalization.

PS:- The poem is centered around the current wave of nationalization and the populist movements that has taken over the world, including  western countries such as the United Kingdom, The USA and certain other parts of Europe.

Darpan Jain

Private Schools:- The New Profit Making Organizations. 

​A few days ago, I saw a circular that my sister got from her school, same school where I completed my +2 as well. The circular in very bold, attractive letters had the heading, ‘Career Counselling‘, which could interest any parent in an instance. My parents did not read too much into it, as they usually leave all these career counselling things for my younger sibling to me, which is logical as I am three years elder to her and have a better knowledge about what would be suitable for her at this present time, keeping in mind her interests. I procrastinated about reading the circular ( as I usually do :p), but then ultimately got rid of my laziness and started reading it.

 The school was tying up with a career counselling service company which apparently had mentored and guided several thousands of other students and had previous tie ups with hundreds of reputable institutions. The company, predictably was the same company that had given these services to the school at the time I was in my +2 years as well. For the entire 2 years, I had an account with the company, that was supposed to have weekly webinars and other services that would enable me to make a better informed decision regarding my college. In the few times I logged into my account on the company’s platform, I saw various college names, all of which had been ranked by the fellow users ( and other people). Unsurprisingly, there were a few institutions which were sponsored and always appeared at the top of the ‘desired top colleges’ list with a rating of around 4.5-5 stars out of 5, which serves onto explain how commerce and profit making is the thing of utmost importance, even more important than correctly guiding a student regarding his future. Still, I thought that the initiative taken by the school was in good spirits, indeed to help the students. 

However, when I saw the circular that my sister got, I found something very surprising. The school was charging an annual fee of ₹240 for the services of the same company, which were provided to our batch free of cost. This annual charge was not an ‘option’ that the students could avail of, it was a mandatory thing. All that the student had to do was to get the circular signed by the parents, bring ₹240 and hope that for the upcoming year these ₹240 would guide them to the correct path. ₹240 seemed such a small amount. An amount that provided so much more utility to the parents who trusted the school and wanted a bright future for their child, the parents who thought Career counselling was the boon they were looking for ; and the student, the student who thought that perhaps things would be a little clearer in his head now. 

But, obviously the school is as much an organization as the company, and obviously the tag of a ‘not for profit organization’ isnt going to stop it from tying up with companies and reaping profits, even though it plays on the hopes of those parents, rich or poor, who think enrolling in a private school would surely increase the chances of a brighter future for both; their child and they.
As a student of the same school, the school which I deeply respect for making me the person I am today, I perhaps should not care about a few extra bucks that the parents might have to spend, right? I think the same, but then I do my math. Assuming that there are 1000 students in the school and the school takes an annual charge of ₹240 from each of them, the school gets an impressive ₹240000 in its pocket in a year. And mind it, this is only a single service that I am pointing out here. There are several such services already added to your fee, and then there are the payment charges to get your I Card! Yes, to get your I card, you have to pay!  Not only this, it would take me a whole another article to point out the menace of under the table funding just to get pre primary class admissions into private schools. And also hiring teachers on temporary basis and paying them less than the standard salary rate. 
It is sad that the schools which legally are ‘not for profit organizations’ and are socially  considered as ‘holy places’ are neither not for profit nor holy. There is no doubt that some schools do provide quality education, which indeed helps you in shaping your future, but that is what a school is there for. There certainly is no rational behind justifying these extra charges on the pretext of providing quality education. 

Darpan Jain