(If you’ve already read this, see “Part 2: How I answer my Economics paper”)
Here at IIFT, “Economics” appears in every trimester (in some form or the other), as part of our core course and I’m given to understand a similar situation exists in almost every B-school in India. Obviously, it is a very important subject, something that needs to be well understood by a candidate aspiring to become a Master of Business Administration.
Fair enough. I sat ramrod straight in the first few classes and burdened the professor with the full weight of my unwavering attention. When the assumptions were laid out, I started thinking: “OK, so how often do all those assumptions ever hold true, together at the same place at the same time?”
Then came the beautifully constructed mathematical derivations, followed by the graphs and their constituent lines and curves. Still, the question remained: “Fine, but when is this actually going to be useful in the real world?”
The classes went on, but somehow I never really understood how managers used more than the basics of economics to take decisions in their organisations. Most of the basics seem like simple horse sense to me anyway. So I did some research on the Internet and found out about the part that was simply never mentioned in class; most of the theories being taught had a large group of researchers/academicians/economists who supported it, and another group that looked at it in a completely different way. Soon enough, the only question left was “Why am I being taught this subject?”
That question has not gone till today. Unfortunately, I still see all our Economics classes as an absolute waste of time; time that could be spent doing something more useful. After the first trimester, I developed my own formula for the eco subjects, and I trot it out quite proudly here:
The interesting thing is, a few of my classmates quite vehemently defend economics and its place in our course curriculum. They argue that eco is the underlying basis for all business transactions and therefore quite rightly the king of all post-graduate business studies. I obviously don’t agree. In fact, I vehemently disagree.
I think consumer behaviour should be the king of post-graduate business studies. Understanding consumer behaviour to me is the ability to understand what the person in front wants. That’s it. I’m almost certain that this would apply in all kinds of industries, segments, markets, businesses, whatever.
Now, dear reader, kindly move on to the second post in this series: “Part 2: How I answer my Economics paper”. I promise it’ll be worth a few chuckles.