IWSB Alum Sumit Gunjan, an inspiring changemaker, featured in Indian Express

Delighted to see #IWSB 2010-2012 PGP alum, @SumitGunjan, who anchored the school for children of construction workers in the evenings on campus, being featured in the Indian Express today.

IWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenGUNJAN with friends facilitating children at the IWSB – SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for children

Sumit Gunjan has always been an epitome of empathy; a fine human being who always strived to create an impact wherever he was! Blessed to have such purposeful, passionate, persevering human beings who walked into life.

The above photograph is from the occasion of launch of the library for children at the evening school, when Indira and Mallika bought over 200 books for children from CBT and other sources. The evening saw story-telling and book reading sessions. More of the photos can be seen at the album Mull-A-Cause


Here I am copying the Indian Express Story, as it appears on its website. I humbly thank IE.

In hostel for tribal children near Ranchi, lessons on how to stay close to roots

Two events, two years apart, were to set Sumit Gunjan on a journey that would not only change his life but that of scores of tribal children in ‘Bal Nivas’, a hostel he set up for them in Banta-Hajam, a village in Silli Block, 70 km from Ranchi.

The first was eight years ago, in 2010, when Gunjan, then a 20-year-old pursuing a post-graduate management programme in a Greater Noida institute, came across a group of children of construction workers at a plot near his college. He began engaging with them, holding informal classes for them with the help of his batchmates and a few professors.

The second “turning point” was in early 2012, when Gunjan, still with the Greater Noida institute, undertook a “research yatra” to Jharkhand for the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) in Ahmedabad to study medicinal herbs used by the tribals of Jharkhand.

The first time Gunjan, the youngest of three children of a district court lawyer in Jharkhand’s Giridih, visited Banta-Hajam, he stayed for five days. But he kept coming back to the village, fascinated by the tribal way of life, until he finally decided to stay on for good that April.

“Yahaan ka boli, yahaan ka chaal… hum sab kuchh sikhaya usko (I taught him our language, our practices… everything),” says Bhavani Patar Munda at whose mud house Gunjan began by imparting basic literacy lessons to children.

Gunjan also worked in the fields, did errands and lived like any other member of the Munda household. “From then until today, we have never discussed rent. I live with them, work with them, eat with them,” says Gunjan, who has a Bachelor’s degree in management from Durgapur, West Bengal.

A couple of years ago, Gunjan, with help from villagers, friends and well-wishers, set up Bal Nivas, where 35 tribal children are imparted knowledge of traditional tribal languages, and trained in singing, dancing, classical music, computers and spoken English, besides vocational skills such as bee-keeping and knitting.

The children, all of them from the village, live in Bal Niwas, cooking their own food and cleaning their living quarters. While some children go to the primary school in the village and others to schools in Ranchi, they come back to the hostel, where they are encouraged to stay connected with the tribal way of life.

“At any given point, we teach around 35 children, of whom 25 are girls. They learn music, folk and classical, instruments such as the tabla, harmonium and even the tuila, a traditional tribal instrument on the verge of extinction, the do-tara and the mandolin,” says Gunjan.

When he arrived at Banta-Hajam village, Gunjan realised the children had limited language skills, and were not interested in studying. That’s when he came up with the Bal Nivas concept. “Initially, this was a place to give young children time after formal school where they learned basic things like mathematics and language through activities that were part of their own milieu like local games, which children don’t play these days,” he said.

At present, there are around 15 children, including seven girls, who live at the Bal Nivas. “Most of these children either do not have a father or a mother or are orphans. Also, we take children, who are generally dubbed failures by their own community or those who veer towards alcoholism and other vices at a young age,” he said.

The villagers donate rice every week, while the children have created a fund, donating Rs 2-3 a week. Gunjan also earns by teaching at two teachers’ training institutes in Koderma and Giridih.

Gunjan says he realised that to impart education to tribal children, he would have to first understand them better. “They ate rice three times a day. I started having the same diet and realised it was affecting my stamina. It then became easier for me to explain to them why having a balanced diet, especially for children, was necessary,” he says.

Some of his friends from NIF pushed Gunjan to introduce machines for sowing paddy. “But I decided to sow the saplings myself, along with the women. I then realised how it was also a place and platform for women to socialise. They would sing their traditional songs and come to know about each other’s lives. If we introduce machines, this beautiful thing would be lost. I am not against technology, but it has to be integrated with the milieu in which it is to be introduced,” he says.

Villagers are full of praise for Gunjan’s efforts. “Earlier, the only option for a young boy growing up in these parts was to migrate for work, or fall in bad company and take to liquor and other intoxicants. Gunjan has brought the focus back on all the good practices and traditions that we lived by but have now forgotten,” says Jogendra Gope, a folk singer, on whose land Gunjan set up the hostel. His daughter Sumati now learns classical and folk music at the hostel.

However, the journey wasn’t always smooth. “Last year, some people, upset with what Gunjan was doing, approached the panchayat. They wanted to know why so many girls were in the hostel and why they were being trained in music and dance. But, we stood our ground and, finally, they relented,” says Ramesh Chandra Kumhar, a lac businessman who lives opposite the hostel and who trains the children in vocational skills.

Kumhar says the reason why almost all villagers backed Gunjan was that the change he had brought about was for everyone to see.

Suraj Patar Munda, one of the students at Bal Nivas, says, “I had fallen into bad company and would take marijuana and never attend school. Now, I have left all that and I’m getting trained in music, besides English and computer,” says the teenager who is enrolled at the Ramakrishna Mission School in Ranchi.

Gunjan says he could win the trust of parents, especially of girl students at Bal Nivas, because he kept things transparent. “We would invite parents to live with us at Bal Nivas. When they saw for themselves how things were, they felt good about it and believed me,” he says.

The biggest certificate of their trust came in 2015 when he travelled with some of the children to Ahmedabad for the annual Satvik Food Festival of NIF. “For a village where girls are not supposed to go beyond Ranchi without men escorting them, it was a big thing,” says Gunjan.

One of those who made that trip to Ahmedabad was Ashtami Patar Munda, the 15-year-old daughter of Munda, at whose house Gunjan stayed when he first came to the village in 2012. “For the first time, I saw a world outside our village. Had it not been for Gunjan bhaiyya, it would have been unthinkable. I want to follow his footsteps,” she says.

Jharkhand’s Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson, Arti Kujur, who has attended a couple of cultural programmes organised by Gunjan’s students, says, “He got the artistes to perform to themes such as child marriages and human trafficking, which is a problem in these areas. Also, he has gained the confidence of the tribals. It’s not easy.”

But what really matters for Gunjan are lines like these, delivered with a warm smile. “For us, he is one of our own. He has changed our lives for the better,” says Alam Khan, a resident of Banta-Hajam.


TYE : Stoking Entrepreneurial Spirit among School Students and Youth

TYE awards ceremony - stoking entrepreneurial spirit among youth

TYE awards ceremony – stoking entrepreneurial spirit among youth

It has always been inspiring, meeting the young brigade from schools, who are keen to explore the possible opportunities that exists around them. During the TYE sessions, as part of the program, in teams, they have to identify a potential opportunity, do market research, create a business plan and then embark upon realizing the idea in a small way. If they can prove the potential, they will certainly capture the imagination of Angel investors. At the end of the program, the graduation ceremony acknowledges and facilitates the talented youngsters. I addressed the principals, parents and youth who had assembled for the felicitation function.

TYE program has been designed, anchored and facilitated by IWSB for the last three years.

SHAYAD, Yaheen Se Ho by Satya – Book release, Photo exhibition and musical evening

SHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical evening
SHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical evening
SHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical evening
SHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical eveningSHAYAD, YAHEEN SE HO by SATYA, Book Release ...on Hindustani Poetry with a Photo Exhibition and Musical evening


by MUASIR (Satya)

Dr. S Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner, Republic of India, releases the book, along with Cricket guru Bishen Singh Bedi, Dance Guru Geeta Chandran, Corporate guru KK Mehta and Satya’s Parents..

The occasion also saw a Photo Exhibition by Sreeni

The poetry of MUASIR was also brought to life through music and Abhinaya by Dancer Renu and Singer Vidhi along with accompanists..

Satya (Satya Narayanan R) is the Founder Chairman of CL Educate Ltd (formerly Career Launcher) and chairman board of governors – IWSB (Indus World School of Business)

Sreeni (R. Srinivasan) is the Co-Founder of CL Educate and also Director – IWSB.


About a dozen of the Nazms have been set to music. Two are done by Krishna N and team. Here are the video montages of these..

Saurabh Arora, that I knew!………. We will miss you Saurabh….

The tall, handsome yet shy, soft spoken, desirous of learning, willingness to put that extra effort, still, with an amount of self doubt, trying to find the better way ahead was Saurabh Arora. Though emotional, as I got to know, his outwardly projection of smile and softness was anti-thesis of his well built physique. He was a gentle-giant.

His desire to improve himself was manifested in his sending his write-ups to me on issues of interest to him, seeking my feedback. He would not let go of it, if I did not respond. Whenever I came back from my tour, the moment he spotted me, he would remind me that he is waiting for the feedback on a particular article that he had sent.

When on Sunday afternoon, I received information about sudden demise of Saurabh, I went through my journey of life of last two years that I have known Saurabh – from my first interaction in Ludhiana to the graduation ceremony at IWSB that I photographed while he was awarded the degree.

I pay my humble respects to his departed soul and also pray to almighty to give all strength to his parents and family to withstand and overcome the grief of the loss. God bless.

Saurabh receiving the degree
Saurabh receiving the degree
Daring to be sitting in front
Daring to be sitting in front
Saurabh at the batch farewell
Saurabh at the batch farewell
Saurabh at the batch farewell
Saurabh at the batch farewell
sitting with friends - outbound 2011
sitting with friends – outbound 2011
helping as always - lifting the bench - outbound 2011
helping as always – lifting the bench – outbound 2011
Being at the back, yet supporting
Being at the back, yet supporting
At times sticking his neck out to lead
At times sticking his neck out to lead
Ready to tango
Ready to tango

I pray that each one us has strength to face the reality and have confidence in oneself.

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James

“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option” – gabrielita

Love and peace…

The Hindu Column : Teaching – Vision, rationale and personal standards

A few questions have been forwarded to me for a column to be published in THE HINDU. I responded with these answers..

1. What are the standards to which you as a teacher hold yourself? What’s your personal vision/critical rationale/purpose of teaching?

  • I see myself as a learner first and then a facilitator. I believe that no one can be taught. Yes, I can inspire one to learn with my enthusiasm and energy, the discipline and standards I set for myself and the way I go about, all the time, in pursuit of realizing my potential. Potential is unlimited, that is the philosophy I subscribe to. Walk the talk is the methodology.
  • My rationale of facilitating, is to help every individual realize his or her potential. Towards making it happen, I am always creating a learning environment for them to explore, experience and discover; sharing my learning, and bringing in outstanding achievers to interact with the youth. That face-2-face exchanges make a huge difference.
  • It is all about enabling an individual set goal for oneself and chasing them. Once that happens, everything else will fall in place.

2. What educational goals do you expect of yourself in the classroom? What are you committed to doing/achieving?

3. How do you approach your instruction methods to achieve those standards? How do you put them into practice?
4. How well do you model these expectations? How do you evaluate whether you’ve accomplished those standards?

(I found all these questions closely related, hence I am clubbing them to answer)

  • Study, explore, experiment, interact, learn and contribute. I live by a maxim for myself, “Every day I will do something, which I have never done before”.  It could be in any form – reading, meeting, interacting, and writing that fosters my learning and quenches my thirst. Every new experience I create for myself is of immense value in enriching the learning environment – for self and for others.
  • In the similar vein, as a facilitator, I create experiences in the learning environment that enables learners to realize and comprehend the concepts through experiential learning, more than the theoretical lectures of the concepts. So, for me, learning is bottom-up. Knowledge is always built, and cannot be imparted!
  • I continue to live by these benchmarks.  I share all my learning with the co-learners (students) through various means – in the classroom, through my blog (www.sreeni.org), sharing of interesting articles or sources through various media – email, social forums etc.
  • I have always lived by these standards. The feedback one gets is a great indicator. There are formal, written ones and informal ones too. Those that I keep getting are-

o       How do you have so much of energy? Your presence makes a big difference;

o       My absence is being pointed out, whenever I am traveling and not seen on the campus.

o       “What all activities do you do? It is hard to point out where you do not excel?”

o       “Rarely we see anyone take so much interest in everything that happens around, like you. In fact none”

o       “You cannot measure everyone with same yardstick that you measure for yourself?”

Apart from facilitating at the business school, IWSB – Indus World School of Busines, and the Mentors of the K-12 schools (IWS), I do a lot of workshops and public seminars on “Realizing ones potential and dreams” and “Think Big, Start Small” for the youth of the country, “Enabling your child to excel” for parents of school going children. I travel about 200+ days in a year motivating the youth. These sessions give instant feedback about how do the participants feel. They feel charged and share what will they set for themselves and achieve in the next one-year. Many a times, people come to meet me later to share that they did achieve their goal that they set out with after those sessions. The videos and presentations of these sessions are available on my website / blog www.sreeni.org.

“Do what you love, Love whatever you do” – R.Sreenivasan, Director IWSB : Welcome address at the 2012 IWSB Convo

Graduating Class with the faculty and Chief Guest Deep Kalra

A photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.

Distinguished guests, students of the Class of 2012, parents and all the family members of the Graduating Class, members of the IWSB Board, the media, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the IWSB’s Third Convocation and Graduation Ceremony.   At the outset, I would like to welcome our Chief Guest, Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip.com. I welcome, one and all present here, this evening.


The pioneer of online travel in India, Deep Kalra founded MakeMyTrip in April, 2000. Drawing on his experience from his years at GE Capital, AMF Bowling Inc. and ABN AMRO Bank, under his stewardship, MakeMyTrip has become the largest online travel company, as well as the largest e-commerce business in India.

Deep is a member of the Executive Council of NASSCOM and chairs the NASSCOM Internet Working Group. He is also a Charter Member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) and serves on the Board of TiE, New Delhi. Deep is also a member of CII’s Tourism sub-committee and a regular speaker at numerous internet and travel conferences across the world. He currently serves as an independent Director for IndiaMart.com, a leading B2B website. Deep is also a founding member of “I am Gurgaon”, an NGO focused on the improving the quality of life in Gurgaon.

Deep holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi (1990), and a MBA (PGDM) degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (1992). His interests include adventure sports, swimming, yoga, quizzing and traveling to places off the beaten path.

Deep is one of the faces of the transformational India and it is an honour and a privilege to have him with us today. I welcome you Sir, as the Chief Guest of today’s occasion.

Chief Guest Deep Kalra with Satya, Chairman, BOG

A photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.

I would also like to welcome our Chairman, R.Satya Narayanan, Vice-chairman Mr. Gautam Puri and Members of the IWSB Board who have come down specially to be with us today. Thank you all for coming.

It is a very special moment for us with 59 students of the Class of 2012 graduating today. The students at the IWSB have a very pivotal role to play in the progress of the school and the Class of 2012 have shouldered their responsibility in an excellent manner. I would like to highlight some of the achievements of the last academic year.


Our focus at IWSB has been to offer a curriculum that stokes entrepreneurial thinking and leadership, and also in tune with the fast changing global business trends and this has been one of our significant strengths. Our students benefit from this exposure and the industry values this a lot.

We have had over hundred entrepreneurial leaders coming to the campus during their two years as part of our ‘My Journey series’ every week. Each one, when they experienced the incisive questioning about minute details of running business by students, during the interactions and Q&A, have always asked me and our faculty, what do we do to foster this kind of spirit among students? Thanks to the faculty who have made this happen.

Some of the notable new courses offered to the students this year include  -Financial Engineering, Managing Entrepreneurial Firms and Family Business, International Marketing, Retail Management.

NEN, National Entrepreneurship Network, has selected IWSB as their academic incubation campus for designing new programs. IWSB and NEN are working closesly on this front for the coming academic year.

Also the TYE, The young entrepreneurs program, with TIE that is designed and executed by IWSB has successfully completed its second year. We are in talks to offering this to the college going youth too across the country where we will technology to a great extent.

IWSB continues to use technology to aid teaching. We have extensively used WEBINARs as the means to reach to vast student population across the country in facilitating understanding of business and entrepreneurship. We have significant road map ahead in this direction.

Prof Veeresh Sharma, Dean Acads, felicitating Deep Kalra, the chief guest

A photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.

The Curriculum Review Committee, chaired by Academic Dean, Prof. Veeresh Sharma will soon release a draft of their recommendations that are currently being reviewed by faculty, area leaders and others. We hope to have the final recommendation of the committee in the next couple of weeks and we wish to implement in the coming academic year.

ENTREPRENEURIAL Endeavors and companies on Campus

We have been very delighted to have quite a few entrepreneurial talent on the campus. Our 2012 graduating batch saw –

–         JMD Pratza by kanu Mangotra in the food space

–         Arete Investors by Rishab Pruthi, Gaurav and Kriti Kankani

–         NOW by Sumeet Sharma, Arpit Kala in the convenience shopping

–         Antral by Sumit Gunjan and Arvind in education


–         Maharani by Anurag from the first year  in handicrafts exports

I am sure we will see many more emerging in the coming year

Prof Krishna and other faculty at graduation procession

A photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.


IWSB has been able to make a mark among the Young B-schools (IIMA research report of last year) in the short span of time, only because of outstanding faculty. Each of our faculty bring with them a deep passion and commitment to facilitating and bringing the best out of our students. They walk the talk. We have faculty like, Prof Navneet, who runs an integrated Marketing communication firm on the campus. We have entrepreneurial faculty to facilitate entrepreneurial students.

Our recent faculty achievements and publications in top ranked journals, by Prof Raju Mazumdar in finance area, Case publication of Prof Krishna in marketing, are testimony to the excellence that we pursue in business education.

Our permanent faculty figure stands at 14 and have had equal number of visiting scholars too who have contributed immensely to every student who is graduating from IWSB.

India Immersion Program and Exchange programs

IWSB is getting recognized as No.1 entrepreneurial campus in India and abroad too. Apart from NEN naming IWSB among the top 7 entrepreneurial campus for the third year running, world class business schools are touching down at IWSB campus. We have had informal exchange agreements for this year with a couple overseas universities and corporate bodies on India Immersion, which we will be formalizing this year. We should have about half a dozen of these agreements in the coming year for Student, Faculty exchange and research initiatives.

We have hosted two universities –

  • State University of New York, with 18 students and faculty;
  • University Leadership team from San Diego State

On corporate leadership front in India Immersion, we have hosted –

  • A dozen business leaders from Hitachi, Japan
  • Leaders Quest brings Five hundred BCG consultants to India that Satya and I would address, of whom 15 will invest a day with our students on April 23 and 24 this year. I am looking forward to the batch on the campus and also Alumni, including this graduating batch to take advantage of this program

We are working on introducing FIELD program modules across the two years, of which this year, they started with Live projects/ The Experiential Learning Programme, that provided students an opportunity to work for companies, apart from the typical internship programme. All of the participating companies have reported a high customer satisfaction. Many of these projects are implemented. Our students continue to work on projects for not-for-profit organizations with similarly great results.


Events at IWSB serve multi purpose objectives. The students augment their class room learning with several learning events outside the classroom. The various student clubs organised events like the –

–         Shodhyatras

–         Eduthon: A 10Km Run for educating underprivileged

–         Rangmanch – The dramatics society

–         IWPL – The Sports Club

–         Tasveer- The Art and Culture Society

–         Blood donation camps

The enthusiastic celebrations of events like Holi, Dandia, Diwali, Krishnashtami and painting competitions brought the entire IWSB community together as a family.

E-Bootcamp, which we launched last year, will be an annual tradition for the School along with the Annual Business Plan competition, Srijan.

These events serve as a platform for the students to interact with industry leaders, and academicians apart from interacting with contemporaries from other institutions.


Our students and alumni participated in several national and international competitions and have brought laurels to the school. Notable mentions include

–         Jaydeep (Alum PG10) – A winner at IIT Mumbai, has been invited for Stanford University’s Social entrepreneurship Summit in April

–         Anurag – Business plan competitions at IIT Kanpur, Mumbai and a few other places

I congratulate each one of you for your efforts and success.

The IWSB Excellence Scholars symbolize the extraordinary ability, leadership, commitment and quality of participation of the PGP students in the IWSB campus life. I congratulate each one of them for a well-deserved recognition.


The IWSB graduates continue to script new success stories as far as placements go. The increased interest amongst young and fast growing companies, who see IWSB graduates as tailor-made for them, and also increase in leading national and international recruiters, is a testament to the rich entrepreneurial leadership talent at the school.

As is the news, a couple of our students will be placed internationally.

A formal announcement on the placements, once completed in the next couple of weeks, will be made. I would like to thank our friends in the industry for their continued association with the school.


While we have made considerable progress on several fronts, being a school in infancy, we still have a long way to go. The Board and industry have been a solid source of support in our work. The Faculty – Resident and the Visiting Faculty have contributed significantly to the development of the school. The resident faculty and management staff at the IWSB have always stood out with their innovative ideas and dedication in building this school. I look forward to building on these contributions.

The PG12 graduating class @ their OUTBOUND Induction

A photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.

Now a few words for the graduating class –

I congratulate each one of you for completing the two arduous years successfully at the IWSB. I do hear many of you sharing, how these two years have been transformational. I still can vividly recall the outbound we went two years ago on our induction program as you all entered the institution. Congratulations to the Scholars of Excellence and those who have made it to the Awards List too. We are very proud of you. I wish you all the best as you embark on the journey of realizing your dreams. As you set about charting new career paths, I urge all of you to pursue what you enjoy and enjoy whatever you pursue. I am sure you will be of immense value to the organizations that you contribute and also to the society at large. You are, and will always be, an integral part of the IWSB family, and we look forward to sharing in the joys of your accomplishments as corporate leaders, entrepreneurial leaders and worthy citizens of this world.

I leave you with a quote from our ancient literature –

“You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

And I quote Swami Vivekananda –

“Just believe in yourself, the world will be at your feet”

I look forward to seeing you all again and again on the campus! When the new batch walks in, we wish to have all our Alumni for the re-union sometime in October! I am sure I will see you all being there sharing your experiences and insights with the new batch.

Our wishes and love with you all, for ever!

Thank you.

“Once you figure out what is your MOZZO! You will make it” – Mr. Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip.com @ 3rd convocation 2012, IWSB

Deep Kalra, Chief Guest, Founder MakeMyTrip.com awarding the Champion of the Batch medal to Mudassir, Satya looks on

Deep Kalra, Founder MakeMyTrip.com, Guest of honour, awarding the Champion of the Batch medal to Mudassir, as Satya looks on

I commend and congratulate the faculty for creating the environment, that has seen these youngsters blossom and take off.

I also congratulate Parents! You need to be proud of your young wards that are going to make a difference to the world.

It is a special day when Tendulkar got his hundredth hundred. You will remember your special day. You will look back with contentment and joy. Some of you were so eager, that you wanted to grab the certificate from me or even forgot to get the photo clicked. Keep that enthusiasm going!

Satya and I have some karmic connect. We both started at the same time. I got to know that we graduated from the same institution, St. Stephen’s college, just a year apart! Then our connection at TIE and today, I am here.

This is the second convocation ceremony I am attending. The first one was when I passed out of IIMA! Today is a special day for me too, as I am giving my first convocation address as a chief guest.

At the end of this ceremony, flinging of your caps will happen. Is this the culmination or a beginning?

It is the beginning of your career, in one of the brightest times of India. You have had wonderful two years on IWSB campus – going through the grind, ups and downs – courses, my journey interactions with over 100 leaders and so on.. You are experiencing a WOW moment now!

It is an opportune time for me to share a few lessons that I have learnt thus far, which could be of value to you in your journey ahead –

  • Learning never stops.
    • Formal education may have, but the amount you learn from your peers, colleagues, market place and environment would continue. You need to be keen. You need to figure out every moment, the secrets of success and keep incorporating in your script as you travel.
  • Discover what makes you tick, what makes you happy.
    • The sooner you realize the sooner you make it happen. People talk about ‘getting into the zone’.
    • Before parents get worried, chart your untreaded path. It took me eight years to figure out what I want to. And here I am in front of you. Had I not found out my ‘love’, perhaps I would not have been here sharing my learning.
    • Create opportunities and grab opportunities. If you do what you really love, sky is the limit. Once you figure out what is your ‘Mozza’, you will make it.
    • It is not necessary that you have to become an entrepreneur. I do see a few of you are keen. You can use your degree as a noose or as a ropeway to higher goals. There are many of my classmates who have joined big corporates – one of my batch mates will soon be a CEO of Wipro. Finding your calling is the key.
  • Life ahead will get tougher. I keep promising my family that I will slow down. But the journey becomes so exciting that you get hooked on.
    • Next 10 years you should look forward to work hard and sweat it out. Gather whatever you can to strengthen your armory.
    • Subsequent 10 years you will start working smarter along being harder.
    • Then perhaps being smarter will suffice
  • READING is the key
    • I keep reading and re-reading. Do not give up. Books like ‘Seven Habits of highly effective people, I must have read a dozen times. Every reading as I progress in life makes a new meaning. I keep applying in new ways and in new places too.
  • Value of Analytics
    • In the businessworld and the decision support systems that you will create or use, Analytics will play a very important role. You use analytics all the time to understand behaviours and create opportunities. You should focus on it. Every one has got data! How you analyze and make a meaning out of it will derive and drive your business.
  • Resilience Vs Stubbornness – Back yourself and your instincts
    • There is a fine line between the two. There have been at least two occasions in my early years of MakeMyTrip, that I thought of hanging up my towel.- 9/11 happened and SARS followed. The travel world collapsed. Tough times they were. We kept going…
    • If I look at people around me, Satya (founder CL Educate); or Sanjeev Bikhchandani (founder Naukri), who delivered last years Convocation address here at IWSB, all have the same trait – of bouncing back with passion and perseverance.
    • Back yourself and your instincts – Be yourself. It may take a little longer, but you will reach your path and the journey will continue to be wonderful one.

I would like to conclude this precious address by quoting one of my favourites – Jeff Bejos, The founder of Amazon –


Best of luck!

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