Beyond Outstanding Prof Subbu !

The only session in which I didn’t capture a single screenshot was Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian’s. Yes, the same Prof who is currently India’s Chief Economic Advisor ! To say that the session was beyond outstanding is still not doing justice to it.

All of us know him as Subbu and I am kicking myself for having missed the one gala dinner that he attended when my batch was on campus in 2013. I did get to meet him later but never got a chance to sit in any of his classes till yesterday.

I have taken a whole page of notes and I just remember another page full of notes without writing down a word.


Some Highlights –

From the start of the Christian era till 1750 India’s GDP always varied between 25 to 35% of the world’s GDP. For 17.5 centuries India dominated the world economy vis-a-vis the US domination for the past 50 years… Let that sink in ? Poor country, forever-developing country, etc etc don’t really apply to us ! We have merely lost our way and are now getting back on track to be an economic super power.

Prof Subbu used the term – Ethical Wealth creation. Shubh Labh. The Indian civilization has never had a problem with wealth creation, but it insisted on ethical wealth creation and frowned upon greed or wealth accumulated by “any” means.

He explained the difference between crony capitalism and real capitalism beautifully ! And the Malgudi Days example to explain socialism was just brilliant.

Prof Subbu also made the all important distinction between self sufficiency and self reliant. He spoke of how till 1991, before the economic liberalisation unleashed by (Late) PM Shri Narasimha Rao, India’s focus was on self sufficiency. Today PM Modi’s clarion call towards “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” is about being self reliant.

Three Outstanding take-aways

Prof Subbu said that he would put up one last slide at the end of his classes for the PGP students and it had three take-aways.

  1. If your ambition in life is only to be rich in terms of money, it reflects the poverty of your ambition – Wow, this has to be printed and posted in classrooms everywhere !
  2. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration
  3. Be a good juggler – We all juggle several roles in our life. Imagine a juggler has all rubber balls and just one glass ball. The juggler will take care to not drop the glass ball because it would break into pieces. That glass ball is your health and family – never to be dropped. The rubber balls can be picked up anytime, you just lose some time should you drop one. Also throw each ball high enough so you get time to play the other balls and pay attention to the one you tossed up, only when it reaches eye level again. 

Now that’s one page of notes … have left out a whole page of notes ! It was truly a mind blowing session. Thank You Prof Subbu 🙏🏾. Hope to have many more conversations over the next several years.

Hey Kartik, I don’t know how you managed to moderate so well despite being dazzled by Prof Subbu’s brilliance ! Well done, buddy.

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