My friend and learned Prof. Saikat Majumdar, of Ashoka University, recently wrote an article in The Hindu, on the importance creating knowledge. It is a telling article. The state of the Indian Education is summed up in the following paragraph of the well articulated article.
How can students who have been trained all their life in consuming knowledge, be expected to create knowledge – innovate, research and express?
Isn’t this true? And, the reality?
When I read this article, I was taken back to 1987 when I got to read the book “The competitive advantage of nations”. One of the profound topics discussed in the book was “Competitive advantage of people and society and of Nations”.
The phrase competitive advantage stuck with me all along, and when I went to BYU (USA) and worked with my Professors, I saw the constant endeavour to build core competencies, in an American University.
Later, as we started vkinfotek, we decided to build our core competency in ERP software, and true to mission we have stuck to it and to this day our books and know how are sold all over the world, thanks to Micheal E Porter the celebrated management Guru and incidentally adviser to the President of USA.
We at vkinfotek.com took pains to understand the basics of accounting, build the database schema for the ERP system and chart of accounts. We built a unique and sophisticated inventory system which can handle manufacturing inventory and stock inventory and the other modules.
Why am I telling you all this?
To quickly bring into focus what it takes to build core competency. Each of the above topic is vast and comprehensive by itself.
Can you guess how long it took us to build ERP core competency?
3 years and more.
This is the reason I urge all youngsters to choose your area of focus and specialisation as early as possible in your careers. The best example is Sachin Tendulkar. Did he start focusing on batting at 16-18 yrs? (this is the age at which our engineers start studying engineering). FYI he started around the age of 9-10 yrs of age.
Read my article on key steps to land 6 figure job, if you want to see how acquiring specialisation and starting early is the key to success.
So, what happens when you choose your area of specialisation in your career, at an early age?
You get time to learn, understand, improve, specialise, and innovate. And, remember world over the average age of innovation is falling. You see more and more youngsters starting startups with admirable dreams and excellent products.
You should ideally set a target of innovation at around 23-25 yrs. Hard? Not at all, if you start early.
The question “is it possible to trigger a wave of innovation using system tweaking?”
Definitely. The only requirement is powers that be and their advisers should note that times are changing and changing really fast.
So fast that the way we learn our subjects will undergo a massive change, in the very near future.
Let me end this article by drawing your attention to what Bill Gates said about core competency.
If you spend 10000 hrs on a skill set you will achieve a high degree of core competency.
We should be expert knowledge consumers and become excellent knowledge creators.
Harrappans – Were they Bachelors of Engineering when they built this marvel?