As part of CII Innovation Summit in Taj Residency, Bangalore, there was a session moderated by Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys that was simply amazing.
Well-known police official turned social worker Kiran Bedi talked of “raising resources” guiding her from Day 1; she used innovation to use corporate sector to supplement the minimal budget; for example using 16 cranes to “tow away” and “fine” those violating parking rules with “fines” paying for crane charges (interestingly one of the towed away cars was that of the then Prime Minister Mrs Gandhi!) She talked of starting a “Gali School” to educate the children of Police Staff; that Nav Jyoti School became a Community College on this very day (June 17, 2010) was very satisfying; she alluded to taking help from Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India to create “online complaint” of incidents anywhere in India and providing computer education to the children of Police staff. Of course, she did mention the pioneering effort to educate prisoners using used text-books and empowering educated prisoners to teach! She made an interesting point that the work Police force is one of social engineering!
Accomplished computer engineer turned social worker (and wife of iconic Infosys Founder Narayana Murthy) Sudha Murty talke of “being impractical” (starting from marrying NR Narayana Murthy and giving all her savings of Rs 10,000 to start Infosys, though both paid her huge dividends!). She talked of pursuing things with passion; she talked of she studying epigraphy these days! She made an interesting observation that if you run after Lakshmi (wealth), Lakshmi runs away; but if you pursue your goals with passion Lakshmi will follow you! Later during Q & A she talked of the need to combine discipline with creativity; talking of Infosys Foundation work she said all (rich or poor) only get 24 hours in a day and discipline ensures best use of her time. Her secret of success “do not mix up – when she does Foundation work she does not discuss other things; when she is out giving talks or visiting friends there is no Foundation related talk”
Noted writer Shashi Deshpande talked of the writer ‘being “all by oneself” with little support from most parts of the Society though the writer is studying and writing about the Society all the time! She made an interesting point as to how dull the world will be if there is no record of the society (no writers, no literature)! She talked of “long term” view (she has been writing for 35 years but in the first 15 years nobody took her seriously! Her secret of success “I have something to say till this day”and I keep a clear distinction between personal and professional life”
Beueuracrat Raj Khatri talked of the need to persist and be convinced that though you can get away doing nothing (in fact get punished for doing anything) in Government, there is a joy of doing the right things! He talked of the Global Investor meet (GIM) that concluded just 2 weeks back, and how effective planning made a huge difference. Quoting very impressive figures, he was humble enough to talk of the challenges of converting the commitment into reality
It was late in the evening 7 – 830PM and the hall was overflowing! That shows the quality of the Session. Hats off to Kris for pulling through such amazing speakers!!