A BETTER INDIA A BETTER WORLD
In essence, this book is a collection of lectures delivered by the author on special occasions, in India and abroad, and a few publications in magazines and newspapers. It covers a period of 1999 to 2008. Out of 150 speeches delivered, 38 have been presented in ten Chapters, appropriately categorized. These cover various topics. Introduction points out the rapid progress of India, in spite of several tragedies and problems. There have been achievements in many fields e.g. IT, telecom, technology, space, sports, music etc. But the fruits of such achievements have not reached the masses. Narrating the background of his initial days, around the time of starting of Infosys, the author shares his views and experience. Technology has to play a big role for improvements. Full literacy is very necessary. Challenges faced by us have to be met, and success can be achieved with hard work, commitment, focus and confidence of everybody, with faith in the youth of the country. A company can survive for a long time, when it lives in harmony with society. Globalization is helpful to improve lives of the people. Part one contains eight speeches for students during 2001-08 in India and abroad. Part two discusses values, with three speeches and three publications in Times of India, Business today and Indian express, all during 2002-07. Part three covers important national issues, with four speeches in India and abroad, and one publication in Hindu, during 2000-08. Part four deals with education, with three speeches delivered during 2001-06 in India and abroad. Part five discusses leadership challenges, with one speech in New York in 2007 and one publication in Business Today in 2008. In part six, Corporate and Public Governance is dealt, with four lectures given during 2002-06 in India and abroad. Part seven covers corporate social responsibility and Philanthropy with two lectures given in 2003 and 2004 in India and Singapore. Part eight deals with entrepreneurship, with lectures at Wharton school USA and in New Delhi during 2003 and 2004. Part nine discusses globalization, with three speeches given in India and abroad, during 2007. While discussing Infosys, part ten presents two speeches in India and one publication in Business World during 2006-07.
The abstract writer would like to present in brief, contents of part eight viz., Entrepreneurship, since it is close to his heart. These lectures present some fundamental lessons learnt, while founding Infosys, and working with colleagues and young persons. The first lecture starts with a meeting of seven persons in July 1981, with a vision. They had a good idea, but no market in India at that time. For any entrepreneurship, a strong and talented team working on a common value system is necessary. Challenges faced were many and one, who could sail through in adversity, became a better manager. In 1991 reforms of free trade came along as a turning point. Infosys never looked back thereafter. The Infosys team had their value system and made no short cut compromises. The strategic resources (e.g. human intellect, technology and processes in this case) are very important. People should be willing to learn continuously. Company longevity depends on its people resources. The company was open to new ideas, recognizing merit and promoting speed, imagination and excellence in execution. Incentives have to be given for innovation. This pro-active step avoids obsolescence of the company. The solutions mostly come from within us. Leadership has to be shown by self example. Models like Predictability-Sustainability-Profitability-De-risking (PSPD model) have to be used. We must measure our Degree of Affordable Risk (DAR). Risks have to be taken, but carefully thought out. We should maximize share holder value, and be fair to customers, investors, employees and vendors etc. We may go in for under-promise and over-deliver. There should be healthy competition without prejudices. We must be trustworthy in all our dealings. Our actions must not depend on fear. A support system consisting of family and friends is essential for facing even setbacks in life. We must keep our feelings separate. We must follow our bliss. The second speech is about removal of poverty from India, for which we have to create jobs, leaders, incentives and good environment. We can add wealth to existing wealth, or create it from scratch. Our product or service must provide better benefits than existing ones, that too at proper time. We should have a sound strategy, an implementable action plan, competent management, a shared value system, professionalism, separating control from management, spirit of sacrifice, pride in the creation of wealth, ideology, intellectual arrogance, enterprise R and D and the bread-and-butter stream, provide leadership by example and provide finance. The coming days being those of severe global competition, we need several attributes for our survival and success.
The book is dedicated to several special and general persons and organizations. Acknowledgements cover a wide spectrum of persons from family life, work life, others and publications. Generally the speeches are simple in ideas and expression. Each speech is complete in itself, though there may be repetitions of some ideas. These suggest some solutions for the problems. These speeches will serve to motivate the young to find solutions, work hard and make the world a better place. The book is considered very useful for everybody, but more so for the young persons.