Global leaders need to be pragmatic and not dreamers. While this was one view, the other one to emerge at the Global Leadership Summit held at Amity Business School, Noida, was that leaders needed to be dreamers to face the global challenge.
Times Internet CEO Mahendra Swarup, who chaired the summit, held that a true leader was one who had “crossed the border between dreams and reality”. He agreed that India had knowledge workers but asserted that mere incremental growth didn’t make global leaders; they needed to think in terms of galloping growths.
Every nation builds an exclusive identity based on its core competence. India had carved a niche for itself as a global software talent pool, and for many in the hi-tech world, Bangalore stands tall on the international IT map. “In India there is hardly any churn of leaders, unlike the US where leaders of yesterday are not seen around today. India in the same way needs to recognise new people and new talent,” suggested Swarup.
Swarup urged students to take risks and emphasised that India needed to have more employers than employees. “There is no dearth of capital in the country but there is a dearth of entrepreneurs and a total lack of entrepreneurship,” he pointed out.
Rahul Dev, Advisor, Zee Telefilms, said, “World leadership will come not only through economic leadership but through value leadership. Indian business needs a level of transparency, social responsibility and spirit.” He also pointed out the need to reach out to every segment of consumers without discrimination. “Our vision cannot be confined to the upper middle class alone. Even the lowest base of the pyramid needs to be included. Every individual is an economic asset. Even the poor constitute a market, an opportunity,” he advised.
Dev emphasised on the need to use the language of the masses. “The Indian market cannot be won with borrowed language, idioms and jargon. New paradigms will come through Indian consciousness. Global leadership will come into play only after the capture of the Indian markets,” he said.
Harshvardhan Ghai, Managing Director, Group4Securitas Guarding, said that the name of the game was survival. His mantra for successful leadership: “What should we do today to survive tomorrow.” He illustrated his presentation with examples of Bill Gates and Azim Premji as leaders who have translated their vision into reality. He also emphasised the need for social welfare and a responsibility towards society for corporates.