Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What am I?

No, I am not getting into existentialism and stuff. As the big three zero is fast approaching, I am in a more introspective phase. All this is of no interest to anybody except myself, so you can skip this safely.

One of the common questions one faces while meeting a stranger is, What are you/ You are working as... In the intial phase of my career it was easy, I could answer that I am a Mechanical Engineer / Workshop supervisor. But later on things got more complicated. In the nine years I have been working I have been

Welding Engineer - Did ok. It was my first job and I guess I did fairly well. It taught me a lot about human resource management as most of my sub ordinates were atleast 20 years older than me.

Machine Shop Engineer - Struggled with this job, never got comfortable with it.

Inspection Engineer - Spent three years in this job, did fairly ok. Realised that I don't have the patience and meticulousness needed for this. Major achievements in these three years was climbing up monkey ladders and scaffoldings without fear.

Sun Certified Java Programmar - This was the first major shift. Didn't know anything about programming when I started, learnt Java in three months and became a Sun Certified Java Programmer in six months and got a job as a programmer in nine months. Had real motivation though for this drastic jump. I worked for about 6 months as programmer, but then the company I worked had no real projects.

Software marketing - Since the company didn't have projects, I took it upon myself to market our services to potential clients. Spent some 9 months in this position and turned out to be a disaster, partly because the market was bust, partly because the company had no differentiator for us to sell, partly because I was a novice.

Ship Chandling - Second drastic shift. One of the major benefits of studying part time MBA was I met the proprietor of the company I am heading now. He was my classmate at LIBA and was looking out for some professional to run his ship chandling business. What it means is I have to sell stores to ships calling Indian ports, stores needed for running the vessel, like Potatoes, Tomatoes, Meat items, Engine spares, Cosumables - anything under the sun. So in the blogger meets I introduce myself as the potato seller. In this I am really successful as the company is growing 100% YOY - partly because the base was small to start with, partly because Shipping is booming, partly because I am good at this.

Stock Market Investor - This is more of a parallel activity. I started investing after September 11 when the markets were completely down. I am a more conservative investor, get in early and get out early. Haven't lost my principal, and my portfolio is growing at a decent pace, so can call myself a moderate success.

What next?


F e r r a r i said...

How about being the next Railway Minister?
Or you feel you are too qualified for that? :-)

Chenthil said...


One good thing about my resume is I can do any thing as I have done so many unrelated stuff. I can see you are making fun of some one, but am not sure whether it is me or Lalu :-)

Ravages said...

Hey! I need about 10,000 rupees to invest? Can you loan me, as well as invest it ?

ammani said...

You forgot, 'father'. Not a job alright. But a role, nevertheless.

Kaps said...

That's quite a shift. Why don't you try consulting next?

Ram.C said...

Similar to the track what I am following..

Eventhough, it is riskier, quiet interesting in a new career..isn't it?

Prashanth said...

hey when u say u dabble in new things u really mean it huh...great going man...

Chenthil said...

Ravages, I will loan you Rs. 10,000.00, invest it for you and keep the proceeds myself, ok? :-)

Ammani, I wanted to keep this post only about my professional career, expect a more personal post soon.

Kaps, What 3 years of PGDBA at LIBA has taught me is a healthy contempt of consulting. Once you have actually been part of a business, you will never like consulting.

Ram.C, you are right, charting the unbeaten track is a thrill. To be honest though my second shift to potato selling was made because I didn't have a choice.

Prashanth, yes I am a real dabbler.

Lazy Geek said...

Howbout writing a book. I am sure it comes closer to your dreams.

On another note, people who have done several different jobs are always either trying to graps where they are good at. So once they find they, they excel and take on others. Not my own philosophy. So you chandling potatoes is probably going to take you elsewhere !! Best of Luck !!

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with ur current post.But assume if somebody wants to gift u a book ,which book(s) would u really like to get

Chenthil said...

Guru, I wish I could write like the writers I read and that is what is preventing me from taking up the task. You get it?

The new thing I am plannin to dabble is even more uncool than selling potatoes. Will tell you when I meet you next.

Chenthil said...

Anon, I really hope you are one of my friends planning to gift me a book for my b'day. It is a tough call, but I will go with

"The Tipping Point" Malcolm Gladwell

Short Story collection of Asoka Mithran (Tamil)

There are lots more, but I will stop with these two. And please, no Dan Brown's.

Lazy Geek said...

Yep !! No Dan Brown to anyone ;-)

Dabbler, I assume you already did read the tipping point when you are asking for blink. Right ?

BTW, don't mistake that i was the anon. I wasn't

Lazy Geek said...

i went back and re-read your comment. you were asking for tipping point only. shucks !! Also read blink. I liked blink too.