MY dream for INDIA, My dream for Career Launcher

This is an article I wrote on our internal blog on May 20, 2008

Dear Mentors and Facilitators,

I would like to address each one of you as the Mentors and facilitators of FUTURE LEADERS of the world. That is what I believe in, and I see each one of you as. Here in, I am addressing everyone from all the institutions of the larger Career Launcher (CL) family. But these thoughts are not limited to only CL, I would be delighted if every education institution finds a vision and a role in enabling an empowered India.

Last four months and especially the last thirty days, have been a real learning experience for me, as I created opportunities to visit many a centre and spent an hour or two at each in Delhi, and at outstation centres too, including that of our enabling partners, for a day or two. Also during these visits, I have had the opportunity to interact and address many a student with dreams in his eyes, from each one of your centres, and parents who have aspirations for their dear ones. Thanks to each one of you, for making my visit and interactions exciting and worthwhile.

Every year scores of students walk through our corridors, enliven our learning spaces, enjoy the meaningful interactions with you all, in the process, a few (a few hundreds, I mean) get charged and conquer their dream world – Schools of Business, Technology, Law, Hospitality, Design, fashion and……. many more, which we don’t even realize that we facilitate them to get into!! Are we just coaching or teaching them?

Do you really see what role we can play in enabling?

Dear Mentors, do we see the next Mittal or Ambani, Mallya or Murthy, Kamath or Nooyi in our premises? Do you see a future Balakrishnan Or a Palkhivala in our corridor? Do you see an OBEROI or Armani in our class? Do you see a Sharukh or Hariprasad, Sachin or Lance in our arena? Do you see a Manmohan or Kalam, Bobby or Shashi, Rabindranath or Hargobind enlivening our learning spaces?

Do we realize that we facilitate about a thousand corporate leaders of tomorrow every year, many of them will go on to occupy the positions of CEOs and COOs of this world, few years down the line. We are already experiencing this, as we look at the corporate sector, some of the students who have walked through our corridors in mid-nineties are reaching the top echelons now. Imagine, how many hundreds of them will be occupying such positions in the near future. Visualize, how many will go on to lead not only the multinationals but also the nations of the world? The world? Yes, indeed the world.

The world is talking about India being the knowledge super-power, along with China. Brazil and Russia will also get into some contention. Anyways, the world is hailing India. Over the last decade, we have seen many a Multinational being headed by an Indian. NASA, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia,Vodafone…. the statistics say that 30-60% of the enablers in these organizations are Indians!! These are a result of brain-drain of 70s and 80s.

Let us go a little further back in History – Body-drain of early 20th century: Many Indians, farm labourers, hardly schooled, during 1900-1920, moved to nations stretching from FIJI in the east to Mauritius, Maldives in the Indian Ocean to West Indies in the Atlantic. Do you realize that quite a few from the next generation of these families are heading the adopted countries as Prime ministers and Presidents? Going ahead, If Barack OBAMA, a child of an African Immigrant, is in contention for the PRESIDENTSHIP OF THE USA this year, Piyush ‘Bobby’ Jindal, child of an Indian Immigrant, who is the youngest ever governor in the USA (State of Louisiana), is seen as a potential presidential candidate in the near future!!

An article in The Economist, one of the reputed international periodicals, a few months ago, said that vast stretches of inhabited Europe is being rendered lifeless with growth in geriatric numbers and population dwindling. ‘Some of the villages and towns are being taken over by pack of Wolves!!’ It also went on to say, the days or not far when many of the countries in Europe, who hold on to their immigration forts steadfastly, will have to throw open the doors for skilled workers from the subcontinent to help the nations keep going!! This will lead to the next wave of skilled and qualified workers from India move to the corners of the world.

As an example, let me talk about Gulf. The world over, the movement is towards democracy and it has reached the shores of the Gulf Countries. Indians constitute over 40% of the population, majority of them are skilled workers, most of them have moved in the last 30 years. Also, many of the large organizations in these countries now belong to Indians [Jumbo, NM, LuLu, Varkey…..], though an Arab is a part-owner (mostly in books). The countries in this part of the world can neither wish away impending democracy nor the Indians. Once the democratic movement sweeps solidly, aam-janata (majority Indians) will certainly influence policy making and governance, which they already do behind the scenes now.

In such a fast changing context, with huge numbers of trained manpower, India is being hailed as a knowledge super-power!! As a nation are we really realizing our potential? Do we know some hard facts about our nation?

What percentage of students in India, who join schools really finish their class X? What percentage of Indians move to university? Mmmmmmmmmmm…., take a guess?

The numbers are abysmal 6% and .62% (as much as I know, situation may be even worse). Imagine with these numbers, we as a nation are being hailed as ‘Knowledge super-power.’ What would happen to India and Indians, if these numbers are facilitated to grow by a few percentage points?

Dear Mentors, I see Career Launcher, as a movement, will be one of the catalysts to bring about this change, albeit in a small way. This is also one of the reasons, I see, why we have moved into mainstream education – schools, business school that focuses on facilitating entrepreneurial leadership, and pretty soon a university. The other reason being, by facilitating an individual to really blossom in the formative and absorbent first fourteen years of life, we can not only contribute to every individual realize her potential and make her dreams come true, but also that of the nation.

Six schools functioning this year in cities and towns, twenty more taking shape in the villages of Andhra Pradesh; We dream of reaching out quality education to every village in this country in a decade or two, that is about seven lakh of them; Every school, with a vibrant, invigorating and stimulating learning environment, enabling truly leaders of tomorrow.

Also look in this context, our endeavours in the vocational and skill development arena – taking over a few Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in every state, across the country, creating finishing schools in retail, finance and banking, engineering etc. Integrating these institutions with the schools across the country will enable the youngsters, not only go through stimulating learning at schools, but also facilitate them gain skills that they can use to earn a respectable livelihood even if they do not go for higher education. I am sure, when the world throws open the doors of immigration for skilled workers, they certainly have an opportunity to move across the barriers.

If the children of not-so-educated farm workers, who migrated to various parts of the world, can become the PRESIDENTS and PRIME MINISTERS of the countries, What will the educated India moving around the world be, in a couple of decades from now? I foresee fifty percent of world leaders, by the turn of the century, to be INDIANS!!

Dear Mentors, do we see what an impact we are going to make in this world. Now, do you see the future leaders of the world walking through our Corridors? Are we not mentoring and facilitating them, thereby ‘Inspiring Leadership’ of the future world.

Do you see the role I see for The Career Launcher Family in enabling the FUTURE INDIA!!

Dear Mentors of the World, we truly should be saying – ‘Karlo Duniya Mutti Mein’.

Come, let us make it happen.


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