India Uncut

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Salaries and advances

Much fuss is being made about the rather high salaries some IIM grads have been offered, and I find the drift of it a bit disturbing. There's so much envy and suppressed resentment in the media over this. Questions are being asked on TV shows about whether these chaps are "worth so much money" and so on. It reminds me of the attention lavished on writers who get big advances, and the questions that are then raised about whether they're "worth it," and how it is unfair that they get such fortunes while so many writers starve in attics or Prithvi Theatre or wherever it's cool to hang out these days.

Such questions are misplaced. What is the worth of a good or a service? Whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it. The publishers who pay big advances for a writer's book are doing so because, from a commercial point of view, they see value in it. They do it with their own money, not taxpayers' funds or something. If they've made a mistake, their bottomline will suffer for it. Similarly, the companies forking up these large amounts for these IIM grads clearly see value in the men and women they're hiring, who've worked hard to hone their skills. Good for them.

I, meanwhile, have no idea where my next meal will come from. That's because I'll be having it in a train, and I have no idea at which station they load the pantry. But that's neither here nor there, so tra la.
amit varma, 3:10 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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