1) What has been the story of your career and what message would you like to send to young people aspiring for MBA’s
(Masters of Business Administration)
Jaya -I come from a small town in Bihar, where I completed my class 10th in a residential school close-by. Finished my high school from DPS Ranchi and then joined IIT Kanpur for a B. Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering. Joined IIM Lucknow right after that. Since then I worked with a start-up and then with Google India in Product Management roles, before starting full time on Pothi.com
Message to young people aspiring for an MBA: Don’t aspire for an MBA, because everyone else is doing so, or because people want you to. Aspire for being good at what is in your heart. If you an artist at heart, aspire to be a good artist! If MBA it is, then you probably know what you want to get out of it.
2) Why did you turn down a job from Google and start a startup straight after college
Jaya -I had opted out of placement from the campus and joined a start-up (not my own). There was no offer for Google at that time. I did work for Google later as a Product Manager before starting on my own. The reason for joining a start-up after the college were two fold. Firstly some of the job possibilities that looked very lucrative before joining an MBA turned out to be not so lucrative. I really enjoyed reading the psychology and sociology behind consumer behaviour, how they shape choices etc. But a real life job would have entailed ensuring that people drink more Pepsi and eat more chocolates! After my summer internship I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy it. So, I thought going back to technology and take up something where technological as well as management education could be put to use. The start-up was providing the right platform with a product management role.
Secondly, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur myself and hence working in a start-up looked like a good preparation ground. After about two years since graduating, I found myself ready with an idea I was passionate about, a partner with complementary skills and same passion for the idea and some savings to sustain myself for a few months. So, Pothi.com emerged.
3) What are the key learnings that you have learnt in this short period
Jaya -I think one of the major (and useful) realizations for me has been that start-up (success) and institutional funding are not synonymous. Somehow, people always talk to entrepreneurs and discuss start-ups in terms of how good the business is from a Venture Capital (VC) perspective. One has to realize that VCs are geared towards investing in only certain kinds of businesses. That does not mean there is no demand for some of the other kinds of product and services or that a sustainable business can not be made out of them.
4) Is an IIM MBA necessary for success .Comments please.
Jaya-I am very biased against an MBA, especially the way it is used in India/IIMs – as a job agency and not a learning ground. No, I don’t think that an IIM MBA or any MBA (or any particular degree for that matter!) is necessary for success.
Note- IIM stands for Indian Institutes of Management. They are six IIMs and they are the analogous counterparts of the IVY league of USA
5) Whats your vision for Pothi.com . Which website is a good analogy for it ? Why should anyone visit the website ?
Jaya-There is lot more interesting and good content out there than what traditional publishing (and distribution, as we learned over time) can support. All of them should be produced and distributed in the form of a book, which is the most versatile, economical and easy form for consuming content. And Pothi.com should pioneer that!
Jaya Jha is the co-founder of Pothi.com. She is an IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow alumnus and was working with Google India as a Product Manager before starting up on Pothi.com full time. She enjoys reading, writing and traveling.She topped IIM Lucknow and was a gold medallist there.First person to be hired outside of US office in the APM Program at Google. APM Pogram is a 2 year training program for fresh graduates to take up the Product Management Role in Google.She was also awarded Sangeeta Goel Memorial Award for highest All India Rank (88) in JEE 2000 amongst the girl students admitted to Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Specific Services at Pothi.com start as low as 12 USD for writers (due to India based costs).International shipping is enabled.