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What Ambani, Narayana Murthy, Mallya told top MBAs (1)

By Supriya Jha | 02, June 2010

What are the B School Convocation speeches, made of? Pep talk & Economic affairs? From policymakers to Biz bigwigs, all manage to grace the occasion to deliver words of wisdom. MBAUniverse.com reflects on the key themes of B school convocations 2010.

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To start with, the tone is congratulatory, with a tinge of nostalgia. Then comes the pep talk flavored with dollops of inspiring quotes and review of the present economic scenario.

What are the B - School Convocation speeches made of? To start with, the tone is congratulatory, with a tinge of nostalgia. Then comes the pep talk flavored with dollops of inspiring quotes. A convocation address at a B school is incomplete without a review of the contemporary economic scenario. This may further include citing Growth rate and GDP figures. Indian economy is contemplated upon keeping in perspective the global scenario. High expectations echo loud and the future managers are given a sufficient dose of morale food. Enthusiasm, confidence, conviction and a whole range of positive factors are prescribed to the passing out Grads. 

Convocations 2010 at B schools saw a host of eminent personalities, ranging from policymakers to business bigwigs making an appearance as Chief guests. The policymakers included the likes of Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee (at IIM Shillong and MDI Gurgaon), Commerce Minister Anand Sharma (at IIFT), Economic Advisory Council Chairman C. Rangarajan (at IIM Ahmedabad), etc. whereas the others were industrialists like Mukesh Ambani (at IIM Bangalore), Vijay Mallya (at IMT), Harsh Mariwala (at IIM Indore), Narayan Murthy (at Great Lakes, Chennai) and so on. 

MBAUniverse.com read and re-read select speeches made by 10 stalwarts at Top notch B schools which include IIMs, XLRI, MDI, IIFT, IMT Ghaziabad, etc. From amongst a varied range of inspiring speeches, we bring to you a constellation of excerpts from these convocation addresses conveying what the eminent people mostly spoke upon, in the convocation season 2010.

Global economic crisis: How India fared better than others

Global financial crisis being the buzzword this season, almost all B School Convocations 2010, saw the Chief Guests harping on the happy tune of India’s intelligent recovery from the recession. Their addresses definitely narrated how, in the times of declining global economic health, India fared quite well and better than the West. In addition to appreciating kudos for indigenous efforts in maintaining the financial health, the experts also prescribed the strategy to keep progressing and moving ahead on the path of becoming a superpower.  Especially the policymakers like Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who afforded to attend the convocations at MDI & IIM Shillong, mostly talked about India’s better demeanor in dealing with the economic meltdown and cited some good statistics to support his speech. Be it Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India who delivered the address at IIM Ahmedabad or Dr. Rakesh Mohan, former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India who graced the IMI Convocation and many others did not miss out on praising India for getting out safe from the financial tsunami. 

Challenges ahead

Besides praising India’s efforts, the speakers also reflected cautiously on the various challenges that lie ahead. They talked about what lessons India can learn from the global financial crisis and what measures must be taken so as to face the forthcoming circumstances.  The students were made aware of the potential rough situations India may have to go through in future. So, they spoke of the various strategies that must be followed to reinforce India’s position.

Strategy to succeed

Everyone generously doled out the basic ingredients that go into making of the recipe called ‘Success’.  Better communication was stressed upon by Anand Sharma whereas Vijay Mallya talked about confidence being the key. Former president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam urged on innovation and FM Pranab Mukherjee offered his mantra of three Cs. 

Tales of toil

What goes into the making of a living success? Whenever the greats like Narayan Murthy, Infosys Chairman and Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Group Chairman and Managing Director speak, one is always eager to know about their life journeys, the challenges faced and the milestones achieved. So, when these icons of success started speaking, they made sure to narrate their own success stories, of how they started from scratch and catapulted themselves to being what they are now.

Harsh Mariwala, Chairman and Managing Director, Marico Limited and Narayan Murthy were amongst the few who shared with the grads how they went on building their brands.  

Inspiring future leaders

One cannot imagine a convocation address untouched by words of motivation. Dr. Kalam at BIMTECH, Kapil Sibbal at IIM Kozhikode, Narayan Murthy at Great Lakes, and many others delivered electric speeches replete with inspiring quotes. Their words were powerful enough to supercharge the passing out graduates. The chief guests contributed their bit by encouraging the students to face the challenges that lie ahead once they step out of B schools and enter the ‘real world’.  

Next in this series:  Read the excerpts from the speeches of five policy makers, viz. Pranab Mukherjee @ MDI, C. Rangrajan @ IIM Ahmedabad, Anand Sharma @ IIFT, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam @ BIMTECH and Dr. Rakesh Mohan @ IMI.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com!

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