Wishing you happy 56th birthday Professor on my blog…
For the readers, Professor Sadagopan is esteemed Director of my Institute, IIITB and my favorite. A well-known and famous but at the same time very down-to-earth personality, whose every word can give inspiration and motivation for fights and struggles of life. Have a look at his homepage and his blogs with the links at the right hand side of the blog…
I still remember getting a pen from him in my first semester; though the reason being not so big (3 Essays which he liked the most on “Person who inspired you the Most”), but the experience and the moment of getting that pen from him is priceless and eternal.
May you LIVE LONG LONG AND INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATIONS…
I was very touched by the entrepreneurial spirit of people like this when people live for their dreams. They breathe the dreams and the result is a very successful Company. One of them is definitely “Akaar Events“. I was going thorugh the blog of Basab when I came to know of his wife’s writing spirit has given rise to a wonderful magazine-Water, No Ice. Thanks to Vidya Pradhan and Rohini Mohan for initiating such a beautiful informative website. From there, I landed up in the Entrepreneurship Column where I came to know about this wonderful Entrepreneurial initiative of Sujatha Suresh.
Starting to earn form repairing shoe heels for 3 dollars to building a successful organizing event company is really a great and daring initiative; to be applauded and to get inspired and motivational. I would really recommend you all to go through the website of Akaar Events to know its roots. And I did not find any other better way to wish my female readers of the blog a VERY HAPPY WOMENS DAY.
Died: July 6, 2002 Mumbai, Maharashtra
Spouse: Kokilaben Ambani
Children: Mukesh Ambani
Today, nearly three million people hold shares in Reliance Industries and its sister concerns. And these shareholders beget special treatment form Dhirubhai as his’ family’. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to give them a feeling of belonging. When he floated his last series of debentures, he set up a temporary force of delivery boys who handed over the certificates to each individual shareholder at his or her stated address.
“I remember, a children, my elder brother Mukesh and I had to share clothes, and our only playgrounds were the gullies in the area,” recalls 32 year old Anil, the younger of the Ambani, sons, who was in the limelight earlier this year because of his marriage to former film star Tina Munim.
In his early days, Dhirubhai found the domestic cloth market controlled by wholesalers who preferred to deal with established companies. So he decided to set up his own chain of retailing stores throughout India, using the franchising technique. Today, Vimal textiles are sold through thousands of retail outlets, and easily from the industry’s best-selling brand.
Since it went public in 1977, Reliance has set several corporate records. One of these is for the growth in its assets; these have bloated by a factor of 33 times of currently top the Rs. 2,000 crores mark. No other company has grown so much, so fast.
Subsequently, the subsecription record was broken by Larsen and Toubro, which collected well over its equity offer of Rs. 820 crores in 1989. That happened when Dhirubhai was elected chairman of the highly respected engineering colossus, and put his weight behind the media blitz that accompanied the announcement of the offer.
Why do the investors in his companies respond so wholeheartedly to Dhirubhai Ambani? One of the reason is that, all through his career, he ahs employed one principle that he picked up at A. Beesse in Adenlibreally rewarding those who have come to his assistance in times of need. Enormously large-hearted with those he considers his benefactors during his days of struggle, he has been known to dole out massive sums of money across the table without expectation of its being return.
Recently, when I came across an artice that spoke about the Startegy and Ethics at rediff.com. I thought I should share it with you all also. The article was actually the speech of N R Narayana Murthy, chief mentor, Infosys Technologies, at the Governance Series session on ‘Ethics and Values as Corporate Strategy’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi, January 17.
Strategy is all about differentiating yourself in the marketplace to maximise your margins. Differentiation could come through products and services. But your stakeholders must feel you are more and more valuable to them, compared to competitors.
Stakeholders would mean society, customers, employees, government, investors; each must say this company is adding more value to me than any other.
What are ethics and values? They transcend the legal framework and as a society evolves, what is in the realm of ethics and values moves into legality. In India, before Sebi in 1990, a lot of good practices were part of ethics and values.
Today, it is all part of legality. Similarly, in the US, a lot of practices were part of ethics and values before the Blue Ribbon Committee report. My friend John Hunstman, in his book, says that successful people never cheat. That good people never cheat.
Ethics and values can be defined as anything that stands the test of golden behaviour. That is the rule, that you must do unto others what you would like to be done unto you. I define ethics and values in a more elaborate manner.
Ethics and values form the protocol for conduct and behaviour in a community for each of its members. So that enhances the confidence, the enthusiasm, the energy, the joy of everyone else in the community. If I conduct myself as per that protocol of behaviour, it enhances the confidence, the enthusiasm, the energy and joy of everyone else in the company.
As I said earlier, if you want to become unique in the marketplace, then you want all to work hard. If you want 67,500 people in Infosys to agree voluntarily to commit to hard work, then they have to trust the leader.
A leader has to have followers to be a leader. That is why I stood by my controversial decision on CEO’s salaries being linked to company’s earnings. If you want to enhance the trust of employees in the leader, then the leadership of the company has to conduct itself in a manner that enhances trust.
Also, the CEO or the leader must definitely reap benefits proportionate to the benefits derived by the company.
Never before in the history of business community in the world did we have a situation where trust of man and woman in the street is lowest in business leaders. According to a US survey, corporate leaders are least trusted, as many of them violated codes of ethics and even laws.
On the Indian side, if you have analysed how salaries of CEOs have increased in 15 years, they have gone up from Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 to Rs 70 lakh (Rs 7 million) on an average. I am one of those who fought for this. When on board of a company, I saw to it that the CEO had a variable linked to output.
Indeed, salaries of the lowest paid persons have not correspondingly gone up. I won’t get into a debate whether this is right or wrong.
But after getting the government to agree to limit on salaries, it is incumbent on our part to live up to expectations and conduct ourselves in a manner that enhances trust of all stakeholders, particularly the government and the society.
The fact that we opened borders in 1991 and welcomed MNCs to operate, has had a tremendous positive impact on value delivered to consumers. But if we have to continue to satisfy our customers we have to conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy for the simple reason that customers today have a plethora of choices.
It has been quite a time since I wrote my last post. Last couple of months have been quite hectic with life showing quite a different colours.
Well, no I feel I am bit settled. Now, I am out of the academics and started my first assignment of the indystry by joining Motorola Reserach Labs for my internship of 6 months this month. The work is quite good out here. So, I planned to start my blog again today with this idea of getting satisfaction from every phase of life rather go on cribbing and complaining.
We are all familiar with the metaphorical story of two people looking at the same glass and one perceiving it as half-full while the other sees it as half-empty. As much as we have heard this, it is still a valuable exercise to really observe our minds and notice whether we are engaged in half-full or half-empty thinking. People will refer to themselves as being of one type or the other as if it was a permanent characteristic, but we are all capable of shifting into a half-full consciousness if we simply make the effort.
When we look at our lives with half-empty consciousness, we perceive a lack and think that the other half of what we want is missing. We are coming from a position of expectation and entitlement. On the other hand, when we look at our lives as half-full we perceive fullness. It is as if we recognize that our cup could be fully empty and so we are grateful for what we see as bounty≈not something we expect or believe we are owed, but a gift. In half-full consciousness, we count our blessings. When we look at our lives we see all the elements that are in place and all the things we do have. This does not necessarily mean we do not seek more, but we seek from a place of fullness instead of from a place of lack. This fullness draws positive energy into our lives and often attracts more abundance.
If we would like to begin to make the shift into half-full consciousness, we should try imagining our life as an empty glass. This is our life without all the people we know, the work we do, our home, or our current state of physical wellbeing. This is just an empty, open space waiting to be filled. Once we have that feeling of openness in our mind, we begin filling it with all the people, things, and places that make up our life. We may be surprised to find your glass overflowing.
I got a wonderful speech by Subroto Bagchi in my mail from one of my friend, Sandip Panda, which I thought of sharing it with you all.
“I was the last child of a small-time government servant, in a family of five brothers. My earliest memory of my father is as that of a District Employment Officer in Koraput, Orissa
It was and remains as back of Beyond as you can imagine. There was no electricity; no primary school nearby and water did not flow out of a tap. As a result, I did not go to school until the age of eight; I was home-schooled.
My father used to get transferred every year. The family belongings fit into the back of a jeep – so the family moved from place to place and, without any trouble, my Mother would set up an establishment and get us going. Raised by a widow who had come as a refugee from the then East Bengal, she was a matriculate when she married my Father.
My parents set the foundation of my life and the value system which makes me what I am today and largely defines what success means to me today.
As District Employment Officer, my father was given a jeep by the government. There was no garage in the Office, so the jeep was parked in our house. My father refused to use it to commute to the office. He told us that the jeep is an expensive resource given by the government – he reiterated to us that it was not ‘his jeep’ but the government’s jeep. Insisting that he would use it only to tour the interiors, he would walk to his office on normal days. He also made sure that we never sat in the government jeep -we could sit in it only when it was stationary. That was our early childhood lesson in governance – a lesson that corporate Managers learn the hard way, some never does. The driver of the jeep was treated with respect due to any other member of my Father’s office. As small children, we were taught not to call him by his name. We had to use the suffix ‘dada’ whenever we were to refer to him in public or private. When I grew up to own a car and a driver by the name of Raju was appointed – I repeated the lesson to my two small daughters. They have, as a result, grown up to call Raju, ‘Raju Uncle’ very different from many of their friends who refer to their family drivers as ‘my driver’. When I hear that term from a school- or college-going person, I cringe.
To me, the lesson was significant – you treat small people with more respect than how you treat big people. It is more important to respect your subordinates than your superiors.
Our day used to start with the family huddling around my Mother’s chulha – an earthen fire place she would build at each place of posting where she would cook for the family. There was no gas, nor electrical stoves. The morning routine started with tea. As the brew was served, Father would ask us to read aloud the editorial page of The Statesman’s ‘muffosil’ edition – delivered one day late. We did not understand much of what we were reading.
But the ritual was meant for us to know that the world was larger than Koraput district and the English I speak today, despite having studied in an Oriya medium school, has to do with that routine. After reading the newspaper aloud, we were told to fold it neatly.
Father taught us a simple lesson. He used to say, “You should leave your newspaper and your toilet, the way you expect to find it”. That lesson was about showing consideration to others. Business begins and ends with that simple precept.
Being small children, we were always enamored with advertisements in the newspaper for transistor radios – we did not have one. We saw other people having radios in their homes and each time there was an advertisement of Philips, Murphy or Bush radios, we would ask Father when we could get one. Each time, my Father would reply that we did not need one because he already had five radios – alluding to his five sons. We also did not have a house of our own and would occasionally ask Father as to when, like others, we would live in our own house. He would give a similar reply, “We do not need a house of our own. I already own five houses”. His replies did not gladden our hearts in that instant.
Nonetheless, we learnt that it is important not to measure personal success and sense of well being through material possessions.
Government houses seldom came with fences. Mother and I collected twigs and built a small fence. After lunch, my Mother would never sleep. She would take her kitchen utensils and with those she and I would dig the rocky, white ant infested surrounding. We planted flowering bushes. The white ants destroyed them. My mother brought ash from her chulha and mixed it in the earth and we planted the seedlings all over again. This time, they bloomed.
At that time, my father’s transfer order came. A few neighbors told my mother why she was taking so much pain to beautify a government house, why she was planting seeds that would only benefit the next occupant. My mother replied that it did not matter to her that she would not see the flowers in full bloom.
She said, “I have to create a bloom in a desert and whenever I am given a new place, I must leave it more beautiful than what I had inherited”.
That was my first lesson in success. It is not about what you create for yourself, it is what you leave behind that defines success.
My mother began developing a cataract in her eyes when I was very small. At that time, the eldest among my brothers got a teaching job at the University in Bhubaneswar and had to prepare for the civil services examination. So, it was decided that my Mother would move to cook for him and, as her appendage, I had to move too. For the first time in my life, I saw electricity in Homes and water coming out of a tap. It was around 1965 and the country was going to war with Pakistan. My mother was having problems reading and in any case, being Bengali, she did not know the Oriya script. So, in addition to my daily chores, my job was to read her the local newspaper – end to end. That created in me a sense of connectedness with a larger world. I began taking interest in many different things. While reading out news about the war, I felt that I was fighting the war myself.
She and I discussed the daily news and built a bond with the larger universe. In it, we became part of a larger reality. Till date, I measure my success in terms of that sense of larger connectedness. Meanwhile, the war raged and India was fighting on both fronts. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then Prime Minster, coined the term “Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan” and galvanized the nation in to patriotic fervor. Other than reading out the newspaper to my mother, I had no clue about how I could be part of the action. So, after reading her the newspaper, every day I would land up near the University’s water tank, which served the community. I would spend hours under it, imagining that there could be spies who would come to poison the water and I had to watch for them. I would daydream about catching one and how the next day, I would be featured in the newspaper.
Unfortunately for me, the spies at war ignored the sleepy town of Bhubaneswar and I never got a chance to catch one in action. Yet, that act unlocked my imagination.
Imagination is everything. If we can imagine a future, we can create it, if we can create that future, others will live in it. That is the essence of success.
Over the next few years, my mother’s eyesight dimmed but in me she created a larger vision, a vision with which I continue to see the world and, I sense, through my eyes, she was seeing too. As the next few years unfolded, her vision deteriorated and she was operated for cataract. I remember, when she returned after her operation and she saw my face clearly for the first time, she was astonished. She said, “Oh my God, I did not know you were so fair”. I remain mighty pleased with that adulation even till date. Within weeks of getting her sight back, she developed a corneal ulcer and, overnight, became blind in both eyes. That was 1969. She died in 2002. In all those 32 years of living with blindness, she never complained about her fate even once. Curious to know what she saw with blind eyes, I asked her once if she sees darkness. She replied, “No, I do not see darkness. I only see light even with my eyes closed”. Until she was eighty years of age, she did her morning yoga everyday, swept her own room and washed her own clothes.
To me, success is about the sense of independence; it is about not seeing the world but seeing the light.
Over the many intervening years, I grew up, studied, joined the industry and began to carve my life’s own journey. I began my life as a clerk in a government office, went on to become a Management Trainee with the DCM group and eventually found my life’s calling with the IT industry when fourth generation computers came to India in 1981. Life took me places – I worked with outstanding people, challenging assignments and traveled all over the, world.
In 1992, while I was posted in the US, I learnt that my father, living a retired life with my eldest brother, had suffered a third degree burn injury and was admitted in the Safderjung Hospital in Delhi. I flew back to attend to him – he remained for a few days in critical stage, bandaged from neck to toe. The Safderjung Hospital is a cockroach infested, dirty, inhuman place. The overworked, under-resourced sisters in the burn ward are both victims and perpetrators of dehumanized life at its worst.
One morning, while attending to my Father, I realized that the blood bottle was empty and fearing that air would go into his vein, I asked the tending nurse to change it. She bluntly told me to do it myself. In that horrible theater of death, I was in pain and frustration and anger. Finally when she relented and came, my Father opened his eyes and murmured to her, “Why have you not gone home yet?” Here was a man on his deathbed but more concerned about the overworked nurse than his own state. I was stunned at his stoic self.
There I learnt that there is no limit to how concerned you can be for another human being and what is the limit of inclusion you can create.
My father died the next day. He was a man whose success was defined by his principles, his frugality, his universalism and his sense of inclusion. Above all, he taught me that success is your ability to rise above your discomfort, whatever may be your current state. You can, if you want, raise your consciousness above your immediate surroundings. Success is not about building material comforts – the transistor that he never could buy or the house that he never owned. His success was about the legacy he left, the mimetic continuity of his ideals that grew beyond the smallness of a ill-paid, unrecognized government servant’s world. My father was a fervent believer in the British Raj. He sincerely doubted the capability of the post-independence Indian political parties to govern the country. To him, the lowering of the Union Jack was a sad event. My Mother was the exact opposite. When Subhash Bose quit the Indian National Congress and came to Dacca, my mother, then a schoolgirl, garlanded him. She learnt to spin khadi and joined an underground movement that trained her in using daggers and swords. Consequently, our household saw diversity in the political outlook of the two. On major issues concerning the world, the Old Man and the Old Lady had differing opinions.
In them, we learnt the power of disagreements, of dialogue and the essence of living with diversity in thinking. Success is not about the ability to create a definitive dogmatic end state; it is about the unfolding of thought processes, of dialogue and continuum.
Two years back, at the age of eighty-two, Mother had a paralytic stroke and was lying in a government hospital in Bhubaneswar. I flew down from the US where I was serving my second stint, to see her. I spent two weeks with her in the hospital as she remained in a paralytic state. She was neither getting better nor moving on. Eventually I had to return to work. While leaving her behind, I kissed her face. In that paralytic state and a garbled voice, she said, “Why are you kissing me, go kiss the world.” Her river was nearing its journey, at the confluence of life and death, this woman who came to India as a refugee, raised by a widowed Mother, no more educated than high school, married to an anonymous government servant whose last salary was Rupees Three Hundred, robbed of her eyesight by fate and crowned by adversity – was telling me to go and kiss the world!
Success to me is about Vision. It is the ability to rise above the immediacy of pain. It is about imagination. It is about sensitivity to small people. It is about building inclusion. It is about connectedness to a larger world existence. It is about personal tenacity. It is about giving back more to life than you take out of it. It is about creating extra-ordinary success with ordinary lives.
Thank you very much; I wish you good luck and Godspeed. Go, kiss the world.”
I have been bit busy in some of the academic cobwebs for some weeks now. Now that the mid semester is over, I thought I should write something of which I was thinking for a long time to share with you all my friends out here.
Its all about the Latest Hindi Movie Flick “Vidya Balan’. It goes like this:
“sheher ki is daud mein daud kar karna kya hai
agar yehi jina hai doston to phir marna kya hai
pehle baaris mein train late hone ki phikra hai
bhul gaye bhigte huye tehelna kya hai
serial ke kirdaron ka saara haal hai maalum
par maa ka haal poochne ki phursat kahan hai
ab ret par nange paaon tehelte kyun nahin
ek sau aath channel par din behelte kyun nahin
internet se to duniya se touch mein hain
par pados mein kaun rehta hai jaante tak nahin
mobile, landline sabki bharmaar hai
lekin jigari dost tak pahunche aise taar kahan hain
kab dubte suraj ko dekha tha, yaad nahin
kab jaana tha shaam ka guzarna kya hai
to doston, sheher ki is daud mein daud kar karna kya hai
agar yehi jina hai to phir marna kya hai”
The English translation is:
“what to do in running in this run of the city
if this is life, then friends, what it is being dead
first there is fear of train getting late due to rain
forgeeten what it is walking in the rain
we know all the details of the characters of the TV serials
but don’t have any time to know the details of Mother
why we don’t walk on sand with bare foot now
why we don’t enjoy the day even of we have 108 TV channels
we are in touch with the world through Internet
but we don’t know who lives in our neighborhood
there is loads of mobile phones and landlines
but where is the connection that connects with the best friends
when did we see the setting sun-don’t know
when did we know what it means when the sun sets
so friends What to do in running in this run of the city
if this is life, then what it is being dead”
The idea is very clear. Even though the technology is developing fast and we are running behind the technology like a mad person not seeing what we are losing at the back—the relations, friends, love and most importantly, FLAVORS OF LIFE. There are no values, attitude towards our LIFE and again our love and care towards our parents. Is that for our great scientists have developed the technology??? Parents don’t have time to play with their kids. Wife does not have time for her husband. Husband does not have time for his wife. Older Parents are constantly being neglected and its clear from the increasing number of age-old homes in the country. Is this the Modern and Fast Transfromed Generations’ Values, Traditions and Cultures and so called STYLE and FASHION???
Technology has come to work for us but if we watch carefully our day-to-day activities; don’t we find it’s the otherwise that is happening.
There is a clear showcase of the above thought as a small portion in the movie. A guy leaves his age-old father and has no time to remember or celebrate his birthday, until he was left with no other option than to celebrate forcibly when Munnabhai akka Sanjay Dutt hangs him from his office floor.
We need to ask ourselves, can this fast pace moving LIFE of these metros stop the old parents being neglected? Can the same bond of LOVE be established among persons? Can the technology make people understand the value of TRUTH in LIFE? How long people will run after MONEY, FAME and of course, NAME? Can the technology teach that its WE that matters and by being, I, they can only loose?
So, friends, it’s the time to go back and see that we find answer to our problems through the use of technology and not run after technology to create more problems, thinking them as solutions, unless it becomes too late.
2. Now, the second thing about the Movie—“The Power of TRUTH”. Mahatma Gandhi won us independence only on this value. In today’s world, people are loosing faith in it because the person, who dares to accept the truth and dares to tell it among all, is being punished. People now believe more in working secretly in fear that someone may not steal their knowledge and thought. They believe more in nuclear families than in joint families. They want to achieve short term goals with falsely self-created implications. They believe more in POWER rather than their self and the people around them. Parents try to hide their wrong doings from their children, children lie for chocolates, students lie and cheat in their examinations and assignments, friends hide themselves among themselves, which grows to give rise to corruption in the form of corrupt politicians, officials running and staying away from their duties and responsibilities being a member of a family, of a society, an organization and of a country. There are ample examples where students go on to curse their environment for their wrong doings but how many of us accept our faults and try to overcome them for the good. Every one of us is unique and have their own way of living life but TRUTH is TRUTH and it does not has any form but yes, it has its existence definitely. Once neglected, has to be paid later.
So, friends let us come together, BE ONE rather than MANY and walk to wards a common cause—development and prosperity, but not at the cost of the values, traditions and relations. BE A HUMAN BEING FIRST, rest all will follow automatically.
The essence of the movies has to be grabbed rather than just the craze and fame.
So, keep up MUNNABHAI and lag raho …
Looking forward to more such sequels from you…
GANDHIGIRI ko chalna Mangta Maamu…
Would like to end up with the comment of Lily Tomlin, which I always love:
“The problem with being in a rat race is even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
For some of my dear friends,
Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. —– Ryunosuke Satoro
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. —- Henry Ford
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. ———- Vince Lombardi
If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself. —– Henry Ford
When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality. ——— Joe Paterno
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. —— Babe Ruth
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. —- Michael Jordan
I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion. —— Mia Hamm