Saturday, December 23, 2006

'Connected' to a Billion

I have met our President on 2 occasions. Once with the CEO of Electrolux and another time with a delegation of YI (Young Indians), division of CII.

The first time I met him, we were taken to his room and we were 5 people. He got up, smiled and shook hands with everyone. He asked Hans Straberg, Electrolux CEO about Sweden and interacted quite knowledgeably with him. Then the discussion veered about India, President Kalam's face lit up as if a Child had got an opportunity to show his abilities. He turned his sleek monitor towards us and for next half an hour lucidly explained the strengths, opportunities and challenges of India. He described his own vision and also talked about how 'connectivity' by road, rail, water, air, net is the key to sustainable and inclusive growth. The discussion was relaxed and extended into President's Lunch time but he never objected. When we came out the first thing which Hans said was despite its challenges, India with leaders like the President is bound to dominate the world. He carried on .....this is the stuff which he would share with his grand children. Clearly the meeting exceeded Mr Straberg's expectations by far.

Next time I was part of the delegation of a few Young CEOs and the President again surprised us with his clarity of thought, preparation for the meeting, humility and above all 'current knowledge'. He talked about having met over a lac children across the country. He then took us to the Gardens outside and I fell talk to the Staff....they said that most of the Presidential House is vacant and the costs have been brought down drastically as the President does not indulge and incurs only that expenditure which is necessary. He answers his own mail and also gets up early in the morning to do yoga and keep himself fit.

I too cherish my meetings with the President and have tried to imbibe some good qualities which I observed . This year, I too have met about 5000 children across various institutes


Vanshika Uppal said...

Talking about leaders like our President, who will take India to a completely different level , I would like to add that it's not only the political leaders who can make a difference, rather corporates , lawers , doctors , students , etc. have a greater share in changing the face of our country. The pace with which you turn companies GOLDEN , has inspired a lot of people and this helps in getting the country on a fast track . We students will try our best to maintain the pace and if possible, increase it.

sivaraman said...

i am a final year MBA student, i am totally in favour of people like you who have left big jobs and started venture of your own and had the courage to live your dream. i think going forward if India has to see progress and become a developed county , there has to be encouragement from everyone around i.e from govt. to corporates to educational institutions to family towards enterpreneurs....i will be a "young turk" one day and i am sure India will only sky-rocket from here.