Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship – Question no. 1: Why Ramlal’s mentor is an Entrepreneur?

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“A pressing need would need to be mostly satisfied before someone would give their attention to the next highest need”. Ramlal was introduced to this Hierarchy of Needs by his mentor about 2-3 years back. & this introduction of Maslow was further used to explain why Ramlal’s mentor is an entrepreneur by arguing that, “person’s effectiveness is a function of matching man’s opportunity with his appropriate position of hierarchy of needs.”

Ramlal struggled for some time to figure out what hierarchy of needs is. It is only after some research he figured out that human needs can be arranged in a particular order from the lower to higher. At the lowest level is the basis physiological need. The needs that are taken as the starting point for motivation theory. These needs include things like food, clothing, shelter, air, water and other necessities of life. As soon as the physiological needs are met people want assurance of a given economic level. This comes under safety and security needs; job security, personal bodily security, security of source of income, provision for old age and insurance against risks.

Maslow proposed that the needs have a definite sequence of dominance. Next in the order comes social needs; as man is a social being, he is interested in conversation, sociability, exchange of feelings, companionship, recognition, belongingness.

Once this order is achieved starts needs classified as esteem and status needs. Need also known as egoistic needs. Needs concerned with prestige and status of the individual.

The final step under the need priority model is the need for self fulfillment or the need to fulfill what a person considers to be his mission in life. It involves realizing one’s potentialities for continued self development and for being creative in the broadest sense of the world. After his other needs are fulfilled a man has the desire for personal achievement. He wants to do something which is challenging and since this challenge gives him enough dash and initiative to work, it is beneficial to him in particular and to the society in general. These senses of achievement give him psychological satisfaction

According to Maslow second needs does not dominate until first need is reasonably satisfied and third need does not dominate until first two needs have been reasonably satisfied and so on. The other side of the need hierarchy is that man is wanting animal, he continues to want something or the other. He is never fully satisfied. If one need is satisfied the other need arises. Man lives for bread alone as long as it is not available. But once a need or a certain order of needs is satisfied it ceases to be a motivating force.

It is through this theory that Ramlal’s mentor concluded why he is an entrepreneur. His mentor argued that the once the first four levels are achieved then you feel content. And right after contentment come the highest level which calls for creativity, spontaneity, problem solving and entrepreneurship.

Ramlal then asked his mentor, “Sir, but what are the factors for entrepreneurial motivation?

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Ramlal & Mathematics: horribly anxious moments ahead

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“I would like to ask you a question that requires an honest answer.” After a pause, Ramlal slowly scanned the faces of ten students enrolled in his recently launched mathematics course. And after the pause Ramlal continued, “How many people in this classroom feel some anxiety about mathematics?”

Not to Ramlal’s surprise after initial hesitation almost all the hands were up. Ramlal said, “Please keep your hand up and look around.  Just notice that you are not alone. There are two subjects that make almost every student anxious – first being mathematics and second foreign language. While most people leave foreign language without attaining fluency, almost everyone fears mathematics & would feel bricks in their pants even if asked what 10% of 30” is?”

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Ramlal continued, “I have spent some time on this fear psychosis & according to me the reason is simple. Whenever you are asked a simple mathematical question your brain tells you, Oh! Shit, not again. This time you will be caught. You will get it all wrong & people sitting around you will boo you. They will see right through you and recognize you as a ‘Duffer.’ May be they will not hoot but will definitely make you feel sick. Better pick a calculator or better just say you don’t know. You can’t learn this. This is too tough.”

So according to Ramlal it is simple; our brain tells us it is Better to be safe than sorry. The other reason, (let me clarify according to Ramlal), why mathematics makes student anxious is because this subject comes around as precise and disciplined step by step stuff to a logical conclusion. You know you can’t have two answers to one question. Mathematics for a huge lot of students is not one of the most creative ventures in the world, with discoveries made by drawing, jotting, erasing, and crossing out pictures. There is nothing that is left to imagination. Almost everything that we have to solve can be solved only one way because it was constructed to give one answer. That’s boring for a huge lot of people. “I know a lot of students who will have, “Maths! Please grow up. How long do you want others to keep on solving your problems”, written on the first page of their mathematics course book” ramlal further added

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Ramlal once asked a student, a not so good in mathematics student, “What goes in your mind when you are in mathematics class?” and student replied, “Ramlal sir, my brain always in the first few seconds concludes that all problems are “Nonsense”. It makes no sense to me to find what the age of ‘bharti’ is if her sister ‘neetu’ is twice as old as she is. Then my brain after a while tells me that if everyone else in the class finds some sense & relevance then it must be something wrong with me. It is at that point that I conclude that I am not good in maths.”

Does mathematics makes you anxious as well? Share a few incidents about your encounter with Mathematics

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Hurray its Election time : Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat

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Hurray! It’s election time. With farewell to ‘hall of shame – our 15th Lok Sabha’, that’s what the headline in morning newspapers was today; everyone’s getting ready for election. Current Prime Minster being only exception; who perhaps he will retire from active politics now. 

Ramlal who’s a passionate admirer of ‘run-ups to election’ season is a little bemused this time round. Admirer because these run-ups are the only free/easy source of information on what government did & did not do in its 5 year tenure (not all lok sabha lasted stipulated duration though). Incumbents & Challengers both locking horns on almost everything. 

Not that things have changed since 1st lok sabha when (as Ramlal’s great grandfather tells him. Of course he is still alive! He is cursed to live till eternity. Remember the famous adage; those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat.) JP and Kriplani were critical of INC for moving away from original Gandhian ideals. Ramlal just read that Gandhis are back in action & have joined challenger’s side

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Everyone knows JP & Kriplani lost just like Rajaji lost in 3rd Lok Sabha battle. 

The issues that Rajaji fought against were Incumbent’s policy of license raj. He advocated Free trade. Illusion it was then, illusion it is as this new party is claiming that Incumbent is still being funded by big business houses. 

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The new ideological anarchist who just filed an FIR against ‘Fund-God’ is destined to fall; (remember that adage those who do not….)

How can Ramlal forget the stimulating affect of “Garibi Hatao” (5th Lok sabha) slogan? Incumbent is thinking of a similar stimulating affect this time with “Bharat Nirman” 

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Ramlal voted her to power with thumping majority after listening to “Garibi Hatao. Incumbent is sure “Bharat Nirman” will do the trick this time round. 

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That thumping majority ended in big fall as she emerged as the most corrupt despot we ever saw. Ramlal till date gag about ‘kitchen garden’ and ‘kitchen cabinet’ of the most corrupt despot.  

Ramlal, I hope has learnt from his past (else the adage….. those who do not…)

Halt! Halt! Ramlal now has to get ready for his work. He will be back in his next post where he will talk about 7th to 14th Lok Sabha. 

Disguise : profound way of discovering truth : nearing extinction in today’s democratic societies

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Last night, just like every other night, Ramlal (no not the capitalist or policeman), was reading her daughter a story form the famous Arabian nights.

Harun-Al-Rashid, caliph of Baghdad, reputed to have condemned one of his subject to death, who so charmed him with her stories from evening to evening for thousand nights that he delayed her execution and eventually ended marrying her.

Thousand nights would make approx. 2 years & 7 months. Arabaian night doesn’t elaborate on what happened after marriage. 

Ramlal, however, passed the whole of last night wondering, what would have happened after marriage.  The other known/written fact about Harun-Al-Rashid is that he usually disguised himself as a beggar in order to discover what his subjects were thinking. Ramlal believes that this profound way of discovering truth using tricky ways   would have only come to him after marriage.  

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Authoritarian Harun-Al-rashid is not the only one about whom we have heard using these tricks. There have been others surrounded by the flatterers, who cluster around the absolute power, resorting to multiple ways to understand the real issues of the public.

While despot throughout history have used disguise as a way of discovery, the art seems to be nearing extinction in today’s democratic societies. The only thing relatable about today’s democracies seems to be Chinese adage, ‘dynasties rise and fall but the life of a peasant changes little’.