Going Forward, Going Backward: My Next Life
As I move forward to the next phase of my life, which is, as it was meant to be, about setting up a Higher Ed institution which draws its reputation from the lives it transforms rather than pupils it rejects, one that is aligned to the future and carries the message of creative enterprise, rather than of the past, which was about being a company man (or a public servant) in context of a largely predictable world. This two year exploration of Higher Education was meant to be my enquiry into the art of the possible, of the practises of financing, organising and delivering higher education, which could be used in the enterprise that I wish to pursue. Indeed, there are many things I learnt not to do: Like Higher Education is indeed a matter of managing details, as well as having a bold vision, and lack of one can not be covered by excellence in another. I have learnt that the market driven financial model that works for other businesses may not work for Higher Education: The financial planning horizon of the investor must be in alignment with the financial cycle of the business. And, the trouble is, the financiers think, with usual arrogance, that they know the best in everything and can override the financial horizon of the business. The biggest task for an educational enterprise is to seek out an investor whose plans are in alignment: This is possibly why philanthropic organisations usually do a better, and profitable, job in Higher Education than the state-owned, or for profit ones do.