CEO Roundtable Conference on timeless leadership: What sustains leaders

Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode organized a roundtable conference on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The theme of the event was Timeless Leadership: What Sustains Leaders. This was a onetime event where fourteen CEOs from across India attended to discuss and debate on the values that the Mahatma lived by and gave to the world and their relevance in the contemporary context. The chief guest for the evening was Union Minister of State(IC) for Corporate Affairs Salman Khurshid who unveiled a bust of the Mahatma in the institutes Library and Information Centre.

He further said that this significant day reassures the fact that we will keep returning to his beliefs, faith and identity. The minister said that as a symbolic assertion of faith he was supposed to visit a Dalit family in UP. He, however, chose to make his presence felt at the round table conference. Khurshid appreciated the host institutes scenic beauty and recollected his days at Oxford University. He said there is a strange gap between leadership and what we think is a good leader. Khurshid said that the common man should be a little more like a politician and the politician should try to be more like the common man. Finally he said that real leadership means not going to a Dalits house, but, inviting him to yours.

The CEO roundtable conference started with the session on the Moments of Truth, where Professor Debashish Chatterjee, Director IIM Kozhikode, reaffirmed the great ideas of the Mahatma with the help of the august gathering of CEOs and their life changing experiences. He tried to address complex questions such as what constitutes the generative forces that go into making a CEO, using anecdotal reference as a medium to understand the ideas involved.

Professor Chatterjee initiated the proceedings with an incident from his life, the moment of truth where an ordinary coolie on the Dehradun railway station gave him a new perspective and a new way to look at people in general.

Sanjeeb Patjoshi, IPS and now managing director, Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. narrated an incident from his term as the commissioner of Police of Calicut wherein he heard the voice of a rape victim and took a stand which eventually helped secure justice to the victim.

Professor Chatterjee talked about how listening is of critical importance for a CEO and how the Mahatma portrayed these values in person traveling to the nooks and corners of India and listening to all those voices of people who were perhaps never heard by anyone. He further went on to expound the insight that there is a need of a different framework to view leadership, something that does not typecast people as rich or poor, male or female because great ideas can come from unheard of places.

R. Mukundan, Managing Director, Tata Chemicals, narrated an incident from one of his assignments in Kenya which made him think that great stories can come from anywhere, and a CEO needs to have his/her eyes and ears open to hear them.

P Rajendran, COO of NIIT, stressed on the saying that the more you give the more you get. Something that is true in the corporate life as well, wherein the companies should look forward to generating greater value for customers, who are seen not as mere entities bringing in revenue but as human beings.

P.T.Usha, the Sprint Queen herself, spoke about her experiences and how both positive and negative experiences earned during our lifetimes shape our personalities and influence our values. The lesson she learned in1984 in Los Angeles when she became the first Indian woman ever to race in Olympic finals has impressed upon her the value of time more than anything else. She lost the bronze by one-hundredth of a second. She has now taken it as a mission to improve sports in India and help an Indian athlete win a medal in the Olympics.

Sumit Banerjee, Managing Director ACC Ltd., described how his father helped him understand the purpose of life that life is what we make of it and have the liberty to define it in our very own way. Professor Chatterjee then explained how this story was about passion and the idea of being dispassionately passionate was expounded by the Mahatma wherein one focuses his/her life energy on one ideal so that he/she becomes dispassionate about everything else.

S. Hajra, Managing Director and CEO, The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd., narrated a piece where his teacher in IIM Calcutta impressed upon him the need to work in the public sector and how chance plays a role in shaping our destiny. Krishna Giri, Managing Director and CEO, APAC Health & Public Service – Management Consultant, put forth the point that a leader of today needs to inculcate a learning attitude and has to be flexible according to the changing times and conditions. Arun Balakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director, HPCL, told about how the power of communication helped him steer HPCL in times of crisis.

Harmony Cup 09 at IIM Lucknow

From September 30 to October 2, Bhavishya with the support of its sponsors Beeaar Hyundai and Royal Enfield, organized Harmony Cup for the third year.

The amount raised through the event will be used for three purposes. Lack of basic educational infrastructure has been a major impediment in the proliferation of primary and secondary education in India. A part of the funds generated through this event will be used to set up a library at ‘Prakash Bal Vidya Mandir’. ‘Rajkiya Balgriha’, an Orphanage in Lucknow, is ailing with the problem of ever increasing number of children and an old and rapidly deteriorating infrastructure to support the children. Bhavishya will contribute a part of the funds raised towards the improvement of living conditions at ‘Rajkiya Balgriha’, and provide the children a healthier environment.

Fatima Arunkumar Marneni was a student of the batch of 2010 at IIM Lucknow. To help his bereaved family through the difficult times following his sad and untimely demise, Bhavishya will contribute a part of the funds raised to a welfare fund established for the benefit of Fatima Arunkumars family.

The entire IIM Lucknow community joined in to contribute for a cause, this time, with students and faculty alike playing with enthusiasm. The cricket tournament was held between the myriad committees and clubs of IIM Lucknow, and the non-committee teams. The popularity of the event also led to the inclusion of the corporate community of Lucknow, with the participation of a team comprising of Managers from TCS.

A total of 28 teams participated in the tournament that was held at IIM L grounds. The matches started off in the afternoon and went on till 3 am under the blazing floodlights.

Bal Mukund and Pooja Vijayan were declared the man of the series and woman of the series respectively. The General Manager of Hyundai Beeaar, Mr. Padmanabhan graced the occasion and presented the trophies to the winners and runners up.

The tournament has played a big part in fulfilling Bhavishyas objectives of raising social awareness, being socially proactive and developing a culture of social responsibility.

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