Saturday, May 14, 2005

"Arbit" Raj

“An idea can change your world!”.. so goes the punch line of one of the mobile service providers.. I now know what that means.. One small idea which germinated in our minds in August of last year, the idea of creating the 1st ever B-school comic character, has today evolved into a unique concept that is entertaining the management community all over the country and abroad.. The ever increasing stream of appreciation mails that have been flooding my mail box over the last 6 months are just a small testimony to the overwhelming popularity of Arbit Choudhury.. (After all, how many of us, if we like something, actually go to the extent of mailing the creators about it).. Some of the stuff have been very touching indeed.. like one junior getting the forward of Arbit strips from his friends in 4 different B-schools simultaneously.. like a guy sitting in the caribean instantly recognising Hemant’s name during a tele-con and congratulating him for Arbit.. like 2 of my school time friends contacting me after seeing the Arbit strips…. like the appreciation mail we got from a B-school Prof....

Apart from most of the B-schools in the country, here are some of the companies from where people have sent Arbit appreciation mails.....
Patni, iflexsolutions, covansys, mckinsey, tataelxsi, tatamotors, wipro, cognizant, ge, symphonysv, persistent, mmm, irevna, mastek, strategicindia, timesgroup, mphasis, kotak, yesbankltd, deloitte, tatainternational, tatatel, torrentpower, itc, bpl, accenture, ksa-technopak, hsbc, wildcardsystems, ndplonline, citigroup, tcs, sapient, tatachemicals, hssworld, infosys, crisil, birlasoft, caritor, punjlloyd, quark, quasarinnovations, sap, vfirst, i2, deshaw, sbicaps, o2, satyam, siemens, polaris, godrejagrovet, ivycomptech, kanbay, tvs, mahindrabt, hclcomnet, hp, ashokleyland, suth, boardex, sierraatlantic, inductis, xansa, icicibank, amdocs, rallies, maricoindia, 3dplmsoftware, keels, oracle, visualsoft-tech, igate, GE Consumer Finance, SSKI Institutional Securities, mentorware, sprisminvest, kdynamics, reliance india ltd., acs-inc, fedelity, tavant, evalueserve, genesispr, ernst & young, motilaloswal, honeywell, abp, lehman, zensar, mentorix, relianceinfo, omrsystems, icici one source, icici prudential, spectrum consultants, vsnl, ambuja cement, microsoft, afs india, futuresoft, HCL tech, SBS, IBM, GE Health Care, IDBI, comat, ericsson, citigroup, reuters, tibco, SAIL, BHEL, hewitt, touchtel india, centurian bank, lucent, slk soft, norwich union, jasubhai, irco, sonata software, bernardlabs, daimlerchrysler, vedanta, arisglobal, shopper's stop, taj hotels, jet airways, NSE....

With the popularity of the Arbit yahoo group (which releases fortnightly issues of the latest Arbit strips)constantly on the rise, we have also received offers from a couple of magazines for publishing Arbit.. Soon, Arbit will descend from the electronic world to the print media..
Today, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have contributed to getting Arbit where it is today.. Nikhil, Sabya, Payal, Milind, Ashita, Medda for helping shape the character.. Atul for repeatedly granting his scanner.. Anish for reviewing the Arbit ideas.. Alex and Neelesh for providing creative inputs.. and finally, Arijit for suggesting the name “Arbit”.. I would also like to thank all those who took time off to write Arbit appreciation mails..
Just remembered a comment I made to Hemant the other day.. “Good thing Arbit was not created a couple of years back, before the advent of gmail and multi GB mailboxes.. Otherwise, where would we have stored the 100s and 100s of these appreciation mails??”

Here are some of the best remarks we have received so far....
“I am delighted to see your comic character. You have understood the truth of MBA.” – an e-mail from a B-school Prof.
it really reflects the truth of an MBA Grad. I just felt my MBA days were back.
Was very impressed with the originality of thought & the simplicity with which u guys expressed the realities of MBA education..
You will be happy to know it was distributed to our class by a professor Suranjan Das.
After spending 2 years in B School today got to know the realities of it. Thanks buddies.
It was the best ever forward, I happened to read...
It might surprise you that someone sent a copy of your cartoons to me here in Cyprus.
it sucks! you should find an alternative job. keep your day job. coz thisis the lowest form of humour. please stop writing and save us the misery.
Your work is highly appreciated by all of us working here in UK ( just tolet u know it reached here also ) .
finaly i see 2 mba grads-potential ferrari owners- really doing smthing more constructive than copy pasting.....hey i still make a living out of that ....
Arbit is the personification of the gross anomalies thatthe Indian business education system suffers from.
Well if it's the "Chacha Choudhury" for the common mass, then its "Arbit Choudhury" for the MBA / corporate executive stuffs! Get going and looking forward to many more of these "edutaining" series of the B-school comic character "Arbit Choudhury".
It is really good... you can definitely work into an ad agency and beat Piyush Pandey (O&M)... just kidding...
Pink papers and boardroom discussions need stufflike this to come to mean sea level from time to time.
just to appreciate "arbit chaudhury"... i had come across it a few months back too n really liked it but didnt bother to mail u. came across it today n it entertained me all the more...... so tht goes to say tht ur creation is in no way turning stale............ great work!! how about some more?? perhaps a "hemant kotler" or a "phillip choudhary"!!
This is really good. Carry on. It puts Dilbert to shame.
U guys can create a niche in the Industry & also encourage the B-schoolatmosphere to move out of the Boredom of typical classroom sessions/guestlectures/events/parties etc.
The Arbit Choudhary Strip is one of the best management comic strip i have seen after the Dilbert's....
it is simply awesome. I have never seen Management studies being expressed in such a funny way
Some of the clips are really old jokes but in comic strip, should be avoided.
I have already spread ur creation to 100 odd ppl
You guys are great artists. Do not let this die. Better it would be if you think of it as a career alternative. Arbit Chaudhary represents the typical "Indian MBA" and that's the best thing. It is a welcome break from Western management jokes and dull ridicule.
it sounds amateurish and lacks maturity
Wud thank God that we have the potential to have our own desi version of Dilbert!
Brilliant is the only word I have for your creation....arewe seeing another Bill Waterson or scott Adams in the making...I dunnowhat you are doing in NITIE, but with your levels of creativity, you guysshould take a small hop and land next Bollywood......
And now, here is the longest mail of them all.. in it's entirety--

Dear Arbit,

Congratulations ! on your birth! Getting born is really a great experience, I am sure your dad-couple has gone through a lot oflaboured pains...
I am sure you will mature into a full fledged character like Laxman's common man if your pairents (two fathers, no mother!) put in more efforts. Cartoon characters become great not for the artwork; they become great for what they embody or what they signify. I am a fellow artist myself in another area, kind of drawn from the same crows(Oops! that 's' at the end was supposed to be a 'd') as your dad-tuple... My league is slightly different, but all of us areessentially the same, trying to see if black (humor) can make life look better if used on the dull - lifeless colors which generally come as a package deal called life.

If you want to grow healthy and strong, you need the following things:
1. Presently, you are comprehensible to only the yuppie urban crows(oops, Sorry again, read that as crowd please). Nobody said that yuppie urban reps cannot relate to the larger issues we have in the world.
2. The larger you become, the more your life & longevity. You have tomake yourself understandable to a larger audience. I feel the growth path has to be carefully planned, otherwise things will spin out ofcontrol. The way I see you growing is : MBA Crowd to Urban Youth ofall economic strata to All Youth (youth related issues) and then apan-age character (get married, have kids, all the stages of life)which has a national color and at last a humanitarian issues guy. Butall this without loosing your humor edge... Remember Mahabharat ( and even Shakespear's plays ) are relevant today ONLY because the issues they discuss are still relevant today. The packaging of these stories would look ridiculous today, [can't imagine anyone bringing a Mace or Bow-Arrows to work today and still be called sane, or even wearing thepumpkin pants of the bard's time], but a viewer sees through these
(Anger, Lust, Greed, Jealousy, etc....). So, if you wish to transcendthis pop-corn level into something immortal, aim to be someone who can speak the 'human' language. Otherwise the laurels you get today will wither out in no time. Examples : Pu. La. Deshpande (Marathi) & P.G.Wodehouse (English), two of the world's greatest humorists of theirtimes are not comprehensible to the 'today' generation, simply because their humour was strongly rooted in the world in which the authors existed:viz, middle class Marathi people and Edwardian rich inheritors of royal wealth. Even a character as great as Jeeves is slightly off the mark today as his skills of 'mixing the perfect drink\' & \'tyingthe perfect knot' are out of place today. When the world changed, they simply lost their bearings! Kind of \'great navigators with old maps!\'

3. Wind up: Well after that sermon, let me summarize. I do not see anything wrong, incomplete or incorrect in your present aavtaar! YouARE great, today! But to rest on these miniscule laurells would begross underkill for the talent of your co-dads. Soon, some girls willfall for them and make them fall enough to get married, then do the usual things and have kids and seek a secure job, and then some where down the line, after twenty years, they will show these sketches to their kids for drawing practice when they will realise that their first-born was lost somewhere in life\'s humdrum, never to be foundagain.

I would be very pleased to see you outgrow your yuppie image and become larger than life. Your dads will have to put in a great amount of thinking and research + their own life's experiences (and this willtake time, do not hurry guys, you go and get the jobs and get married in the meantime!) to make you stronger.
With the appeal of Lakshman's common man on the wane, there happens to be some space vacant at the top.




alex said...

Good to see the appreciation flowing in :) Keep up the good work!

Ganesh Iyer said...

"WoW" is all i can say :)

keep the good work up

Milind M. Tapaswi said...

sweet timing. just when there was some noise on one of our y! groups against arbit. Dying to get back to NITIE, the birthplace of arbit. hope am not really dead by the time i reach there!!

Manish said...

Great job on Arbit. I had come across it too. Lot of effort and lot of imagination!

Alka Dwivedi said...

Keep us informed about its subsequent progress.When I was reading your post everything sounded like a fairy-tale.

shubham said...

hi alka,

u r dead right.. Arbit has been nothing short of a real life fairy tale.. when i had 1st set upto creating the 1st ever MBA cartoon, i knew that i cud be onto something big.. but the success of the endeavor has really overwhelmed me.. but all this brings additional resposibility as well.. since arbit will now be a regular feature, i will have to constantly come up with good ideas to maintain the standards set so far..
all i hope is that arbit countinues to bring smiles to faces in the future as well..

Jai said...

Wow, i see negative criticism makes Shubham cringe! My earlier comment has been deleted. Are all MBA grads this immature, so as not to take negative criticism at all?? I need a reply Shubham (if you ain't boohooing already!) :)

Rohan said...

I personally found the humour hogwash! That's the kind of humour we used to laugh at in school. Grow up guys and face reality - substandard work never has and never will last long.

Shubham said...

@jai and rohan,
thanks for commenting on my blog.
we have never cringed on receiving negetive criticism. if u read through the comments that i have posted on my blog, u would find that i have also posted comments from people who have disliked arbit.
in fact, criticism will only help us make arbit better in the future.
it would be great if you could also let us know which particular strips u disliked most. so that we would keep that in mind will creating future editions of arbit.
and please dont worry abt ur comment bein deleted, we will soon be putting up all the negetive feedback we have received for arbit, along with all the positive ones, on the arbit website. and i assure u that ur comments will also find a place there.

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