Which is better: joining a management consultancy, being paid 14 lakh rupees a year, and working 16/6; or being the heir to a small family business where your dad and some professional managers do all the work, you can take it easy, and all your needs are met (though you don’t actually own anything: you only stand to inherit)? The (expected) wealth you will earn as a consultant and the (expected) wealth you will inherit when your father tells jai are equal (in present value terms), so from a purely monetary point of view, both options are the same.
If you don’t enjoy the work for itself than you would probably prefer the second option. The money is the same, but you get to take it easy. All your time is leisure time, and you can spend it doing what you like- adventure sports, perhaps, or wildlife photography. If you were the sedentary sort, you could spend all your time blogging.
But what happens if you fall in love and your parents disapprove? In fact, what happens when they disapprove so much that they throw you out of the house and cut you out of the inheritance if you continue to put blade?
In that case, you would definitely prefer the first option. Your employer might make you work hundred hour weeks, but at least you won’t be fired for your choice of significant other.
This is actually one of the overlooked but vitally important advantages of getting into an IIM and cracking a Slot Zero placement: it neutralises the financial risk of pissing off your parents and being estranged from your family. You will still have to face the emotional trauma of not being able to speak to your family, but at least you won’t have to pull a Salman Khan and spend your life breaking rocks in a mine wearing nothing but a vest. (Given the eating and exercise habits of most IIM grads, this is a good thing from an aesthetic point of view as well.)
Of course, everything is not always as simple as this. Your inheritance could be much more, or much less. You could be very blase, or very worried about the prospect of never speaking to your family again. The point is that you have an income source that is not going to exercise veto power on who you marry.
I’ll close here, but this has actually made me wonder why more families aren’t estranged. That would be worth a post by itself.