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Do You Need An MBA To Become An Entrepreneur?

Do You Need An MBA To Become An Entrepreneur?

jayneel patelJayneel Patel
Jayneel is the CEO @ OpenXcell, Leading Mobile App Development Company and Orderhive, a SaaS based Multichannel Order and Inventory Management System

  1. Do you know what’s common between Satya Nadella (CEO, Microsoft), Sundar Pichai (de Facto CEO, Google) and Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook)? They are all MBAs.
  2. Do you know what’s common between Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg? They are not.

An MBA degree, in my humble view is not required when you are just starting a business. Exceptions being of course, the careers that require MBA courses as a skill set, viz; Management consulting, Investment Banking etc.

In my view, running a technology company requires a few things. Firstly, you must be young enough to be the first mover or one of the first movers. Secondly, you should understand your customer base and design your product or service accordingly. Lastly, you must be pretty good at what you do.

For a company having employees in single digits, there is hardly anything to manage which surpasses your skill set as a human.

According to the management faculty at Babson University, ranked consistently at Number 1 in Entrepreneurship for the past 17 years:

  1. If your business is under 10 employees, MBA is quite useless and can even be harmful, keeping in mind the time and money you invest in it.
  2. If your business is over 10 employees, the MBA starts producing the value. That is why most college dropout founders hand over their reins to MBA.

Okay, I have started a company and have a handful of employees, Now what?

Once you start a company and it starts performing well, you begin to hire people. The company has larger, more consistent cash flow and you have the resources to ‘strategise’.

At this juncture, an MBA could have come handy. MBAs advantage comes in scaling a company and squeezing the profit margins:

  1. Buying and scaling a business – This whole course is about how to buy someone else’s business and grow it.
  2. Creating a culture of innovation – How do you create new products and new markets? Let’s assume you have already made one success, but how to sustain it? The course answers it all.

Should I leave everything and Go for an MBA?


The answer obviously is No. You’d argue that I said, it becomes useful and you’ll be losing out if you do not do it. At the same time I would tell you, it need not be studied in a university only.

With the ubiquity of technology, almost unlimited resources are available on the internet about everything you need to know. The edX courses, TED videos and the good old library can teach you more than you can imagine.

As Henry Ford puts it, ”You cannot learn in school, what’s going to happen next year.” And that is what will decide your business’ success and failure. Read. Learn. Educate yourself and conquer the world.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


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