How my MBA teacher became my boss

Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.
- Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer famously said that good teachers could change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges. Mine used simulation instead of chalk, and that changed my life.

It was a dream come true. I had just graduated and landed myself a well paying banking job in Dubai, or should I say Vegas of the Gulf. I had great managers and an even better team. My friends made every weekend unforgettable. It was all I could ask for.

Rajiv Jayaraman, the CEO and Founder of KNOLSKAPE

It was a conversation with Rajiv Jayaraman, the CEO and Founder of KNOLSKAPE, and my former professor at SP Jain, one sultry winter afternoon, which burst this bubble of contentment. Rajiv made me an offer that I wanted to refuse. He offered me a job at KNOLSKAPE in between a great discussion on experiential Learning, technology, start-ups and software pricing.

It was time for an opportunity

People say that one does not know what they want, until someone shows them. While I had definitely considered joining a start-up, I was not sure if I was comfortable leaving the cocoon that I had snuggled into. And then it hit me. I had always been a narrator in a well-scripted story and Rajiv was providing me an opportunity to play one of the lead characters in what could be an amazing story.

It was time for contemplation

There were a million questions, which looking back now, seems so trivial. But in a nutshell, they were all about how much was it worth moving back to India and starting from scratch. I can never forget the several conversations I had with my supervisors and even the CEO, discussing the pros and cons. I remember what my CEO had to say, "As long as the world is capitalistic, banks are going to do well. So think about the opportunity you are letting go," he pointed out.

It was time for a decision

However, it was not the opportunity that I was letting go, but the opportunities that were possible that I was excited about. I knew that if my interactions with Rajiv during my education could inspire me, having him as a mentor would be my biggest strength. I had cleared my education loans and my family and friends were supportive. I had nothing to lose and I took a leap.

This was my Facebook post just before I boarded the plane to India.

If I have to go by the number of likes I received, I probably made the right decision. However, two years down the line, I KNOW I made the right decision joining KNOLSKAPE. We have grown substantially, and Rajiv continues to inspire and guide me.

About the author:

Sethu Meenakshisundaram is the Vice President of Marketing at KNOLSKAPE. He has 7 years of international experience in various domains including telecommunication, financial services and experiential learning, across various geographies. He loves challenges and has built sales team from the ground up, to turn around and revive a failed segment.

An avid quizzer, he has won national level quiz competitions. He has a passion for photography and has leveraged the same to work with start-ups for brand building.


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