Big city diaries

The most awaited event of my MBA program at CEU Business school !

A month back when I was booking my ticket for the trip, I tried hard to get a flight which lands at JFK to feel the adrenaline rush of NYC from the very moments I land, but I could only find to Newark airport. No complains as I got a transit at one of the most beautiful European cities, Lisbon. So, the first dose of Big city life was still pending as I went to New Jersey from Newark airport.  As expected, later, when I visited Manhattan with friends later in the night after a party, the city hit me hard. I was drunk and could hardly lift my head to see the scintillating skyline and the overflowing foot traffic was too much to handle. Soon I realized that I have come to completely different world which I do not understand and  that I need to keep up. The next day, I was preparing myself for the city by trying to relate to the New yorkers by running in the city across river and trying some “Halal food” . I was already falling in love with the city.

The morning of 20th May was probably one of the most awaited mornings I have had during the MBA program. No prior preparation lead me into a mind block when Alexandro&Brian gave us a very interesting exercise about thinking what the society would be thankful to you 20 years from now and what  I would be doing 20 years from now. Although, it is impossible to accurately guess what I’d be doing but the exercise definitely helped me to put my thoughts in sync, which were currently disarrayed. I have taken this exercise offline and since then I have been thinking about this and I believe it would help me to better plan my long term objectives.

After leaving us in deep contemplation, the duo took us straight into the city of New York. For a city of this magnitude, the program started just in the right manner, by studying the basic components which comprise this massive Innovation Ecosystem sheltering thousands of businesses.

The duo motivated us to come up with a business case based on observations in the city, how can we make life in New York simpler for its residents. The duo also quoted a fact that the ideas which can bring jobs to the city are the ideas investors will not think twice before investing.Further insight into the Ecosystem made me aware of the actors involved and gave me a clear structured overview of the Ecosystem. Although actors and components of a Ecosystem can be identified & listed in several ways, the structure explained to us with Primary, secondary and tertiary elements surrounding the Innovation ecosystem made sense and is a key take away. Also, an insight into how to harness the strengths of an ecosystem by considering  components in different contexts and to access these components using the CAPTURE model was another key takeaway.

After a strong foundation of a business ecosystem, the next day was rightly targeted on “how to launch a business in New York” . The duo gave a detailed information about the innovation hubs and the resources in the city. The business case examples were relevant and rightly exemplified the concepts which were in context. The case in the end  of due diligence from an investors perspective was a perfect exercise to compile the material covered in these two days. The wrap was precise and the key takeaways were summarized succinctly to end a fabulous talk.

The visit to the Urban informatics center of NYU enligtened me on the usefulness of data to build smarter cities. The importance of big data for cities and businesses was an obvious but yet an important key takeaway.

The career session by Kupler gave me a very important takeaways. The advice to keep your career in progressive mode so that you can shift careers at any phase of your career and the importance of networking were obvious and generic suggestions but I felt the re-iteration helped me to ponder upon my career curve.

The third day has been my favorite of all. The talk by Pfizer representative was outstanding and every sentence he uttered came out of his honest and credible experience at Pfizer. The concept of use of data for strategic direction in emerging markets was covered in depth with interesting models explained with reference to Hungary made it easier to digest. The questions raised in the class were impressive and I can say almost all of his answers were key takeaways for me.

The closing event for the week just perfect! A wine and cheese event at a posh law firm in Times square after an intellectual discussion on FCPA, will be an evening to remember. The discussion emphasized the importance of US as a country and Dollar as a currency in the business world. The compliance programs by US government will definitely ensure safe practices around the globe and I hope US and other developed markets help set up such strong compliance programs elsewhere in emerging markets.

Overall, after living in cities like Mumbai and Delhi,  I feel New York is at a completely different level and there is so much to learn from this city. Every metro I take and every place I visit has taught me something and I hope my learning curve goes as high as the NYC skyline.

Thank you CEU! 🙂


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