Monday, July 29, 2013

Lessons from School Dropouts

Have you ever had an experience with the school dropouts you interact every day, which made you ask the question, is my college education worth anything? Some of these guys are so smart in striking a deal that I feel every Business School need to have a course of practical wisdom. Talking to these folks will provide you with such insights which no university in this world can offer.
Our Middle Eastern stint crossed its second year and we had planned to shift our house. We found a place and planned to shift in the next couple of weeks. While being there checking out the house and talking to the main security guard about the details of rent and other facilities I met one of the cleaners there named Gani. He approached me earnestly and put across a request to give him my car for regular washing and almost politely asserted that I give only to him. I didn’t commit anything that day since the rate he was quoting was quite high that what I was expecting.
A couple of days later when I revisited the apartment, there was another security guy who also requested me to give him the car for washing. When I informed him that I am already in talks with Gani, he said we’ll somehow work that out though the rate this guy quoted wasn’t any different either.
We moved in to the new apartment while the negotiations were on, with respect to the rate of washing the car. Gani seemed to have made some progress showing some flexibility while the other guy was busy showcasing all his worries in life and trying to prove a point that why I should pay him the same amount as he initially quoted. After a few days even he had decided to bring down his stakes. But that’s when the brilliance of a deal breaker was seen from Gani!
When I came out in the morning, the day when I was supposed to finalize a rate for the car wash between the two guys, I saw the car waiting for me, sparkling clean! Standing beside my bright red dazzling beauty was Gani with a smile on his face with the confidence of a deal breaker. I asked him that we never finalized the rate, but he gave me such an answer with which I was so convinced about his capability to wipe out the competition with a swift move! He said, “Are you happy with the work sir? We’ll talk about the rate later”.
The deal was his and a fair one for me too!


  1. That is one great Sales strategy I often see Sales people around me follow. What is impressive is that Gani doesn't have the degrees to go with his name.

    Or does he have? He might be an IT guy out of work.

    Nice moment and well written.

  2. Thanks Rahul! :) I've not asked Gani yet about his formal education, but I'm guessing he belongs to the likes of Bill Gates, Kamal HaAsan n all :)

  3. Jerry,
    Very nice article mate. Thanks for sharing the trexperience.

    My only concern is Gani hasn't earned his money yet! And in legal terms, there has been an offer without acceptance and hence no contract at all.

    This is ok for car cleaning but not for IT Services during RFP stage where a UX guy makes the car shine, an architect repairs the misalignment, the delivery manager cleans the muddy tires and finally the sales guy with a smile on his face with the confidence of a deal breaker, comes back showing teeth with no win for the only reason the page which was supposed to have Costing had Gani's line, "We’ll talk about the rate later" :D

    BTW, what's about Kamal Haasan n all?

  4. @Danny: Gani represents that part of the society which is not entangled in all those complexities which makes life so difficult to even sometime understand! :) He is the epitome of simple living and looks forward to earn his daily bread, literally. Hence the strategy quite well works for him I believe :) Did you not know that both Bill Gates & Kamal Haasan are both school dropouts?

  5. Ok I got the context now.
    But Kamal Haasan considered film studio as his school and he never dropped out of it.

  6. @Danny: Oh absolutely! In fact, forget about the fact that he's a school drop out, he must be one of the most informed and knowledgeable guy I've come across, at least in interviews. Awesome! Saw one the other day where he was addressing IIT Mumbai students almost five years back. Brilliant man!


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