There is a relentless imagination that is taking place all around me. Do u see that too ? Every guy or girl is imagination-driven. Each is imagining her orhis own future. Some are even audacious enough to imagine a future for us through thoughts, ideas, mischief, action, anything. They are audacious enough to think that simple little efforts will change something – the way we conduct some simple acts, the way we go about a specific task, the way something needs to be done in an era where a few new tools are available and so on. You can call them by any name. It does not matter. But, there are millions and millions of them doing it. Whether you like them or hate them.
Unsurprisingly, most of them, I would argue, are the impatient youth. The irreverent teenager. And they are the reason for all the disruptions. Disruption of an old order is a natural outcome of re-imagining the future. Look at every single innovation over the last 20 years or 200 years…..each one that you think has dramatically altered the landscape. Each of those were very simple acts of restlessness by a young, skilled, irreverent youth.
The word ‘irreverence’ occurs often to me because that kid does not care a damn about how his father or grandmother conducted his or her life. He is born in a newly wired world. Has scarce respect to continue with the tradition. His or her anchor is in the future….. railway Engine, IC engine, bulbs, a chip, mobile, television, internet, social media ….. eachhas altered the world irreversibly.
But, the more important thing to me is to be able to notice not these tectonic shifts after they take gigantic proportions but to notice the little innovations that are underway while they are underway. That is that crux. The secret sauce.The enabling matra.That is what helps is in not being a witness but a player. Not to see it from the stands but to ride the wave. That is the essence of change. Do we have this skill of wave creators and wave riders ? Do we strive to keep adding to this skill ?
The list of top or successful individuals or organisations every decade in every area makes for a fascinating reading. If you go back and do that for the entire world for the last 15 decades, you and I will find that there are not more than a handful that have been among the top 100 or 500 in any country or globally.
The ability to stay cued to the process of imagination by self, by others is crucial at a personal and at an organisational level. This is a process. Not an event. This leads to a compelling reason to re-skill or re-invent ourselves at a personal level. There is no way of re-inventing an organisation if each person is not re-inventing himself. Each person inside that entity is restless to be constantly reinventing a thinking or a process.
Stagnation is just an immediate outcome of opting out of this race. There is no choice of not running this race. Or starting the race if you are a natural re-invention guy/gal. The race is on. May be, you and I start it inadvertently because of our restlessness, our creative energies. Of course, some one is doing it to us all the time in different facets of life.
I find it fascinating. I find it so compelling that I am likely to ramble for a long time to come. I also find it extremely enabling as this process keeps creating a level playing field for all. The rich and the poor play the same game. The successful and the trier are together. Your yesterday has little to do with the impending tomorrow. This is the narrow invisible space where the upstart dethrones the incumbent.
LageyRaho! Main bhilagahoon! J
Dedicated to the thought of entrepreneurship
Ya toh kuch kar jaaoonga
Ya zid se bikhar jaaoonga
soz e junoon men jal jaaoonga ya
sehra e fateh baandh sar jaaoonga
idhar se na udhar se, markaz e
shamah se hi ghar jaaoonga
Andhion ko sameteyghoomta hun kya main jhokon se dar jaaoonga !
In anmol lamhon ko main beshak
‘Muasir’ ke hi naam kar jaaoonga
Markaz e shaman = centre of fire.
The following conversation between me and Karan, an engineering student through my personal email id is a sample of my work life as a teacher at Career Launcher (CL) since 1995. I would let you go through the same before coming to what I wish to say in this piece.
(Email From the student)
I am BD Karan, currently pursuing my final year in B.Tech(Nanotechnology). I had given my MBA exams(CAT = 93.47 percentile, NMAT = 214 and SNAP = 97.2 percentile) and have got SCMHRD call. I have enrolled for PDP session and had the first GD of my life yesterday. The topics were general in Nature and I was able to note down points and suggestions to make. But, I wasn’t able to speak out at all and gave up.
Later, at the end, I found out that all my points were decent enough. After some self- analysis, I understood that I have an Inferiority Complex due to my skin tone ,physical appearance and as I was ridiculed a bit by North Indians in my college since I am from TN . I would like to overcome it immediately. I request you to provide me with suggestions.
(My Email reply to the student)
Dear BD - your case is no different from how any young girl or boy would feel at your age or even I felt at that age. There is a simple way to deal with it - work on self. Many a time, it is our own complex that is making us think that I am inferior or superior. Focus on working on a positive script with yourself. Say ‘AhamBrahmaasmi’. Or ‘I am going to win’ or ‘ I will get into my dream biz school’ or any such mantra that you want to come true for yourself.
Please know that everyone is feeling small about himself or herself for some reason or the other. Those who are able to get past that through the fire of desire, hardwork realise how easy it is.
No one is stopping you except your own thinking. It is a reason to be proud of for being a Tamilian or whatever else. No one is better. Get positive.
All the best
For the record, I must clarify that I have changed the name of the student and also the contents marginally to adhere to the unwritten code of confidentiality between a student and a mentor. Yet, the reason that I share the story is that it is the most common need and unattended aspect of our education – How do we enable the self-esteem for the young ?
Youth – The marvellous vulnerable
The infinite potency is held by you – the youth. The most vulnerable also is within you. Both can and do co-exist. However, there are times when the potential is held back by the inadequacy – real or imagined. Please be aware of it. A million conversations such as the one shared above sums up for my life as a teacher or mentor for almost two decades now. More importantly, the motivation to become a mentor was also from my own journey as an under-confident youngster who overcame a script that was hugely negative from my own complexes andbackground.
Please know that you are marvellous. You are feeling vulnerable deep inside of yourself whatever you might portray. Feeling vulnerable or inadequate is not bad at all. It is natural. Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Have fun with it. Indulge in a bit of self-deprecating humour with that. That is confidence.
The feeling of vulnerability even presents an exaggerated picture of your weaknesses and inadequacies many a time every single day. Every gesture of others is read as one of approval or rejection. Every outcome of a small event adds or erodes confidence. This is all but natural. This is happening even to the guy or the gal who you consider a rockstar in your college or school or place of work. It is a snapshot of that moment. While you deal with this moment, how will a future moment pan out depends on how you act now.
Focus on the fire :
The remedy for weakness is not brooding about your weaknesses, as Swami Vivekananda says. It is to think of strength. Each day is presenting a choice of passage through some fire for you. Are you making a choice to go through that fire or are you skirting the fire and escaping through an easier option ? To me, that is the key. If you make a choice to go through the fire every single day, you will be a different person as the fire will melt and take away the impurities.
These are simple ones –
- if you are weak in spoken English, the fire is in the choice of not speaking in any other language for the next six months and endure the ridicule. You will be scoffed at. How do you deal with that and stay focused on the task ?
- If you are weak in written English – do you make a choice to start writing. And graduate to writing a blog in a period of a few months.
- if your weakness is to do with something deeper as shared by BD Karan (above), focus a goal that will add confidence to you…a simple career goal. Your looks are as good as your success or self belief. I donot see Sachin or Sainaor Shah Rukh or Dr Kalam as handsome, per se. They are beautiful due to their deeds or accomplishments. Focus on your core goals.
I am because of the choices that I made :
One of the best ways of dealing with fire is to take responsibility for the outcomes in your life. Tell yourself that you are here because of the choices that you have made. You will be, based on the choices that you will make in the future. Focus on every choice that you make. This also includes about the choice of feelings that you make – if you are feeling small, it is a choice that you make. If you feeling happy and confident when you walk into an interview room, it is a choice that you have made. Every single moment is a choice that you make whether you realise or not. Whether you do it with awareness or not.
When you feel good next time, tell yourself you made that choice. If some one or some event made you feel bad or small, it is the choice that you made not the other person or the event. Focus on self. Focus on altering the script in your head. Focus on the logical wirings inside your brain as the only thing that you control is – YOU. Fortunately so, if you realise.Unfortunately so, if you cannot act even after getting to be aware.
The marvellous youth that you are can transform huge things but by only focusing on the self. The rest is all an outcome. This season of dreams of the youth has her own bouquet of opportunities. Where are you in this season of harvest vis a vis life and dreams ?Don’t let her go past because you were not ready to go through your share of fire.
All the best.Happy to hear anything that you wish to ask or share.
Satya Narayanan R
My petrol tank has never been more filled. The hands-on innovation is at the highest. The joy has not been more ever. Less management and more innovation.Makes me feel lighter too.More in control.Puts me in the circle of influence. Yes, every day gets longer, physically weary, long late night hours in silence are back. Overall, the Era Four of CL will be yet another revist of Era One and promises to take all of us to a very exciting set of destinations. We must be worthy of it. We must be ready for it. I am. Are you ?
A Million Dreams this year at CL Educate :
CL has just crossed an important milestone this year. CL is nurturing 1 Million dreams this year alone at an aggregate level – CL Testprep, Indus World School, CL Skill Schools, CL Media and GKPublications put together. One million customers who has paid money and consuming a CL product or service as they aim towards their immediate career goal. It includes aRs 100 book from GKP or a 2 Lakh IITJEE prep program. One million career dreams this year. Let us rededicate ourselves to make worthy of many more millions. And that is a possibility by focusing on every student, every day…One by one.
This milestone definitely brings back memories of Prof (Late) C K Prahalad when he came for the inauguration of our first K-12 school, Indus World School, Hyderabad. When he spent a few hours with all of us, the senior leadership team of CL the previous evening, he was categorical that CL must think in terms of millions of learners if we are aiming for impact in a vast country such as ours, India. His words were – “A million is a rounding off error in India”. Was he wrong ?Far from it. Nothing is truer than this statement. At that time, we were serving about 25,000 students, perhaps. We have just arrived at the first qualifying criteria to impact the Indian Society. One Million.
All Credit to you :
This is a matter of immense pride for each and every CL-ite who has contribute towards this goal since 1995. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you for being a part of this journey and also thank you from the bottom of my heart for making CL the place that it is. The credit for this goes to only one person – The CLite. You.
No Model to follow :
We have no model to follow but our own insights and deeply wise inner voices. At CL, we are blessed with a team that is super competent in intellect and that is nurturing the brand CL in over 225 locations. The calibre of many of the field leaders is much more than my own, in my own estimation. That makes me feel secure about the future and feel enabled too. We need to stay tuned to the developments all around us and ensure that we keep tweaking ourselves ever so slightly every single day. We cannot afford to freeze even for a moment.
We need to reset our goals. We need to be constantly focused on our students and their parents too. The most valuable dreams of every family in India is built around the future of the child. We must be worthy of being the enablers and nurturers of those millions of dreams – One, at a time.
My expectation ofyou – The CLite :
My expectations of you and myself is simply guided by the expectations of us in the minds of a young career aspirant. Call it what you wish - sky high or Normal.It is sky high if you benchmark it with other typical corporate roles and expectations. It is simple if it is tuned to the dreams and aspirations of a 18 year old young boy or girl who walks into CL. The first does a job and goes home. The second loses sleep to value-add and make a significant contribution to a young dream.
As you know, in Test-prep, our students dream about getting into a top college – for law, or for Engg, or for MBA or a university abroad and so on. In our vocational practice, the young school drop from an extremely under privileged background is hoping to get a job that pays her Rs 5000 and contribute to the family. At Indus World School, the parents are choosing us so that we can nurture the child into a well-rounded adult and even when a student buys our book from a shop, he is hoping that it will help him or her to do well at the examinations. There is one thing in common when they come to us with these dreams – these dreams do not go to sleep or into a ‘pause’ mode late at night or over the weekend. In fact, all of us know that this community is super active during the off-hours and that is our peak activity time in all our centres across the country.
Just as they do not go to sleep over the weekend, we cannot go to sleep or switch ourselves off ever. We are committed to our core purpose only if each one of us continues to be committed individually. We have reached here because we practiced this commitment honestly since 1995. And I have every reason to believe that we have not even scratched the surface.
We aim to be an education entity that is experienced as unparalleled when it comes to student welfare and commitment. We need no other resource but the student goodwill to make all our audacious dreams look puny.
For now, let us continue to stay focused. One student at a time.One family at a time.Day and night.
Satya Narayanan R
First things first, I could be condoned for two things -
One – Anyone who has a connection with us in any shape or form could be called a CL-ite
Two – To assume that once a CL-ite, always, a CL-ite
For the purposes of this note, please allow me to count you as one. Every CL student from the past 17 years, each CL employee – current or former, every CL parent from present and past, every CL business partner, every shareholder, everybody!
This mail is to introduce you to Indus World School that is now a growing baby in the CL family. Born in 2006/7, Indus World School is now a five year old entity well past her baby steps. She is galloping around and spreading joy and sunshine in the lives of 1000s of parents whose children are nurtured in her precincts.
Please forgive me for allowing a bit of my parental pride for coming through in this note. At the risk of sounding immodest, please allow me to share that IWS is making a mark in all the cities that she has taken shape from Aurangabad to Ludhiana to Pune to Hyderabad and so on. We are now a 21 campus entity.
In such a short life journey, Indus World School has already earned a distinction from an external agency that has not ever been achieved by any new organisation (forget schools) and is a tall order for anyone to surpass. As they say in Sanskrit – ‘Na bhootho na bhavishyati’ (not in the past, not in the future).
‘Great Places to Work’ Award:
I am sure you would have heard about the ‘Great Places to Work Survey’ that is conducted annually across the globe. Google has been the winner of this award in India for the past 3 years. The other marquee brands that feature in the top organisations that people take pride in working with and consider it a ‘great place to work’ include Intel, Adobe, etc. Mind you, this is not a benchmarking survey of Indus World School with other schools. This is benchmarking of IWS with real world players, top corporates with top-dollars in their pockets, decades of experience in building culture and business, and so on.
The survey is carried out directly by the GPTW organisation with the employees. It is considered a touchstone for the internal robustness and solidity of the brand or the company. In this survey, IWS came out as the only school brand in the top 50 organisations of India. IWS also was ranked 2nd in her category – Education.
Our principals received the award with an understandable pride. These are the educational leaders who are blazing a trail that will be seen long into the future.
Needless to say, IWS has all the bad habits of CL. Our goals are audacious. Our resources are rather limited compared to our goals. We believe that the yawning gap between the two is the source of immense entrepreneurial energy and innovation.
Our greatest assets are considered to be our goodwill. Our aim is to play a noticeable role in the transformation of school education in India, at least. Our sights are set on what we wish to accomplish a decade from now. Our educational goal is to be seen as the path-breaking 21st century education expert in India. Our benchmarks for our own competencies are of being seen as capable of educating and mentoring the parent and not just the child.
We need you. We need your unabashed support:
This is an effort to reach out to you and update you about the progress made by IWS, if at all you knew about it. As a part of building awareness about IWS, our principal/academic leaders will be available to reach out and share a bit about IWS with you in person or over phone or email.
There is a chance that IWS is already there where you live. Even if she is not, there could be your family, friends in some of the IWS cities. Please consider this a request to spread the word. I would, of course, insist that you do your own due-diligence before you put your weight behind it. One reason for me to reach out to you 5 years after the birth of IWS as a brand is also the same….. Today, I am sure of the solidity, the depth, the potential, the great work being done by our mentors, school leaders with our humility in place and so on…..
If you have a child in your family (say, 5 or 10 year old) who will become a productive member of the society in 2029 or 2034 (say, at the age of 22 or so) and is likely to retire in the year 2075 A.D, what she needs is, not the education of the 1960s. We need the wonderful age-old values but the skills of the 21st century. Indus world school focuses on the only thing – creating an environment where a child learns to learn! The rest is an outcome in itself.
Connecting to us is easiest if you befriend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/indusworldschool
Attached here is the list of CL locations with the details of our location leader(s) who can be reached for your cup of coffee on campus. A telephonic call is not bad either.
CEO : Sujit Bhattacharya, 0120-3969600 Cell: 9811167825
Uma Ramachandran ,0124- 4217266/69, Cell: 9958539992
Shiva Kumar Cell: 7389908995