For Love or Money

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.

0 Responses to For Love or Money

  1. Vulturo says:

    Very candidly written

  2. It’s not just the marriage. Technically, you stand to inherit but in reality no decisions can be made without family consensus. Imagine you did inherit a business, but there are still people around: close family (sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, mother, grandmother etc.) and friends/managers.

    These people will influence, quite deeply, the way you run the business. You will hear dialogues like “Your father would not have liked this”, “khandaan ki izzat mitti mein mila doge”, “How can you sell this business, your dad started it!” etc.

    Apart from this, you need family consensus to make tough decisions. sacking people (esp. people close to your father), selling or buying assets, roping in partners, getting capital.

    It’s a mess.

    Of course people have succeeded in this: Think Vijay Mallya, Azim Premji, Tatas, KM Birla. But families have separated – Bajaj, Birlas, Ambanis – possibly for maintaining control without the background dialogue, and of course there are enough of the unknown inheritors who couldn’t manage and either sold, broke up or destroyed their businesses.

    You forgot another choice though, Aadisht. You can set up your own company. I did that (though I am now a corporate slave) with very little capital, and ran the company for seven years. Not only could I choose what to do, and who to marry, I had another place (my office) available to me in case I was unceremoniously kicked out from existing residential premises. 🙂

    Of course, the pay isn’t much to talk about.

  3. india says:

    i am your motherland

  4. Sujatha says:

    Interesting. But since option B is not open to me I’ll have to ignore that I suppose. What did you finally go for?

  5. […] Just to clarify, the previous post was not about me. For me, having any sort of romantic entanglement, even one my parents didn’t approve of, would be a step up. This was about entirely hypothetical situations about hypothetical people with Day Zero placements (wink, wink). […]

  6. anon says:

    iim students fall in love???? *faints*

  7. […] So what’s a girl- and her parents- to do in these days of overheated valuations? That, dear reader, will be the subject of several upcoming posts. These two rumours have gotten me thinking about dowry as a concept, and there will be lots of blogging on it this week. Until then, do read these somewhat related links: For Love or Money I and For Love or Money II. […]

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