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Demystifying the youth: The ambition is there, but where’s the passion?

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Demystifying the youth: The ambition is there, but where’s the passion?

Almost everyone has a vision, but execution of that vision is what is vital. A leader needs to celebrate heterogeneity among his employees rather than make them behave in commonality. Passion is something that needs to be alive in young people to move ahead in life. These were some of the takeaways from the Young Leaders’ Conclave. The event, held in Mumbai on June 8, 2010, was organised by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Young Bombay Forum.

The objective of the Conclave was to foster a positive environment for the emergence of young leaders in the spheres of business, environment and politics. In addition to this, it also aimed to create a platform for young leaders to achieve professional excellence and act as agents of change for inclusive and sustainable development.

What it takes to be a young leader

The first session dealt with ‘What does it take to be a young leader and perspective for the future’. The session saw industry stalwarts share their views and give insights on the factors leading to success.

Sharing his thoughts on what it took to be a leader, Ravi Kiran, CEO, South East and South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, highlighted, “Having a vision is necessary, but not sufficient. Ideas do not belong to anyone except those who bring them to life.” He further spoke about celebrating the heterogeneity among people and about imagining the possible rather than the impossible.

According to Kiran, “The pace of life is significantly higher, the information overload is high, young people want to achieve more in less time. I believe that although values and principles may be in contradiction to business, they can never be overrated. Most companies expect people to behave in commonality, we need to celebrate the differences of people and let each human try to do his best at work.”

Priya Kumar, corporate trainer and CEO & Chief Facilitator of Priya Kumar’s Training Systems, spoke at length about what led her to success and what had been her driving force all along. She said, “You know you are on your way to success when you outdo yourself every time. It has been a very good journey for me and my driving force has been my passion. Passion, I believe, is something that needs to be alive. The future is certainly bright and the opportunities are far more today, but what I feel is missing today is the passion, compassion and the courage to move ahead.”

Of sustainability and inclusive growth

The panel discussion on ‘How young leaders can help sustain India’s growth in the next decade’ looked into the importance of inclusive growth, whether the growth rate also transfers into happiness, and if at all we can measure ourselves using the happiness index rather than profitability.

The panellists included Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City; Devita Saraf, CEO, VU Technologies; Rahul Bose, film actor and activist; and Saugata Gupta, CEO, Consumer Product Division, Marico India. The session was moderated by Shaili Chopra, Senior Editor and news anchor, ET Now.

Gupta of Marico India stressed that the youth should understand what sustainable growth was and that the organisations that focussed on long term and sustainable growth would do better in the long run.

Rahul Bose asked, “You can have 45 per cent growth, but if it does not make one happy, then how does it become relevant? We need to change the idea of growth to respect hope, compassion and inclusivity, etc.”

Purohit of Radio City also highlighted the importance of focusing on the long term and sustainability. She also pointed out that today’s youth lacked perseverance and the importance of public-private partnership in the country today.

According to Saraf of Vu Technologies, young people should compete more with themselves rather than with someone else. She also pointed out that technology companies had greatly benefited from India’s growth, however, the challenge of language divide in this country still remained.


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