27 Aug The subtle art of being a business-minded engineer or a tech-minded businessman
Every student has different aspirations and ambitions while growing up. I remember I wanted to be an astronaut when I was young. As the years passed, I wanted to be a sports commentator. I simply loved watching sport and what was the best way to enjoy the sport? Talk about it to everyone, just like I did, all the time. It was so natural to me because my childhood was all about sports and about following my role models.
As I gave my first major exam (10th standard boards), the environment around made me feel like my life was suddenly serious. ‘Life ma kai banje’ or ‘become someone significant in life’ was a line I heard from everyone. My fifteen-year-old mind wondered what that meant.
This brings me to the topic we are discussing. I was told by my elders to ‘become business-minded’. I grew up listening to stories of grand success stories of five-year plans being executed and businesses being expanded from them. But the term business-minded was still something I didn’t understand at that time. Now I do. And it is, I believe, the secret of every successful entrepreneur or executive today.
Simply put, being business minded means being able to see that there is always a better way.
It is the search for continuous improvement for your task, which will lead to gains for your employer and eventually yourself. It involves undertaking any task, big or small, for your employer or for yourself, as if it is your own.
Can someone who is working at a job be business-minded? Can someone who is studying in his undergraduate course be business-minded? Can someone who is a school student be business-minded? I believe, yes.
Business means to provide a service or product to a customer by adding value and in return make some profits for yourself. If there’s no profit, the business cannot sustain. Similarly, if you want to grow in your college, or your career, or your business, you need to add value to the task that you do as compared to the same task done by someone else and then you will see gains not only for yourself but also your employer or your college.
This value that you create by being business-minded about a task directly impacts the value that you add to an organisation. The more value you add to an organisation, the harder it becomes to replace you. The harder it becomes to replace you, the easier it becomes to increase your salary at an organisation for the management. This simple funda drives the salary you get in any organisation after a certain threshold of time.
I firmly believe that any engineering student, whether from a business background or a professional background must do a job after college and learn the nuances of professional life. If they’re business-minded throughout their career, they will breeze through professional life and succeed easily. Good business-minded engineers will always attract good work!
Throughout your early career, your background (whether business or professional), your skill sets, certain business opportunities and your courage will open up a world of opportunities for you. This will make you feel that this is the right time to make a decision. There is no right or wrong decision at this point, but there is always a right time. This is the single most important parameter upon which you can make the choice you want! Thereafter, it is a leap of faith into a new opportunity whether that is a new job or a new venture!
As for the business students, or those planning to get into a business, having technical knowledge is a big plus. By harnessing its power in your venture, you can have an edge over the others. There is no need to know the nitty gritty of the technology but applying it in your business is necessary for this day and age. Top businessmen, all around the world have been open to cutting-edge technology. Businesses can be transformed by leveraging technology.
In the end, with a solid work ethic, a business-minded attitude, application of technology and an eye for opportunities are the four most important things that you will need to succeed in your professional and business career. There is a major difference between a business-minded engineer and a tech-minded businessman, but succeeding at both is a subtle art!
Yusuf led Team Vamos in Baja SAE INDIA 2012 & Team Vamos Autocross in Supra SAE India 2012. He was a founding member of Pune India Racing which raced at Sasol BAJA SAE South Africa 2012.
Yusuf is now the co-founder of BohriAli.com which aims to take Pune’s iconic marketplace BohriAli online. He is a mechanical engineer by profession and has worked in the design and reverse engineering division at Atlas Copco.