RRGwrites

On life…and learning

Friends@ISB, forever…

with 2 comments

Yesterday, I completed my education stint at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.  This was a 6-months course in Strategic Retail Management, and I was the part of the founding batch of 32 students/professionals from all over the country. The participants came in from various companies spanning across sectors like FMCG, Telecom, IT and of course, from Retail. Ours was a batch of 32.

When I joined in July and got introduced to the course-mates, I was awestruck! They were all amazing talent. Ranging from 22 years of age to above 45 years, carrying work-experience of 3 years to 25 years, educated across the globe, some hand-picked by their organizations to participate in the course; some CEOs and entrepreneurs and some bright albeit very young managers. Retailers experienced in apparels, luxury, FMCG, telecom, grocery, electronics, pharma, the works!

Whew! That appeared as diverse as it could get. And the fact that I was the only HR professional in the class, it promised to be one heck of a ride…

One heck of a ride, it truly turned out to be…

Six months down the lane, and I got to know them from really close corners. The talent-manager in me was amazed to witness the abundance of talent in front of me, as it unfolded day-after-day. I met and befriended great professionals, each having a unique talent. Some were superb presenters; they’d leave any audience spell-bound. Some brought in the gift of intelligence, they’d crack the code demanded by genius academia in minutes, if not seconds. Some demonstrated the promise to sell the comb to a bald man, and some appeared sharp enough to hold all that money in the most profitable financial statements. Then there were some who truly belong to the GenY, out to conquer the world; in fact, one of them indeed got chosen as the Economic Times Young Leader of the Year 2011. Grey hair (including the ones dyed in black) brought in the necessary poise and calm – method to the madness. In short, we had all the talent any organization would crave for!

The usual happened too…the classes, assignments, projects, presentations, even grades! All that and more! And it did not deter this brilliant set of people to gel seamlessly and learn from each other, every day. I have seen and been part of many similar groups, training sessions, and even cross-functional teams that come together and work. This group was way different! They were the eager ones; eager to participate, to learn from each other, eager to acknowledge each other, eager to praise each other; willing to go that extra mile. With them, seldom did I witness any ego, meanness and jealousy, which have all become bane of today’s corporate group dynamics.

This group brought back my memories of school days, the good old school days! Days, when we were happy for a friend coming first in class, for a friend getting scholarship, for a friend winning a debate and even for a friend wearing great looking new shoes! Days when we loved to help each other complete the homework, felt sad when someone scored low marks or when some felt left out in the melee. Somehow, I missed all this honesty all these years of my post-school education.

In the recent blockbuster movie ‘3 Idiots’, Madhavan’s voice-over says, “When a friend fails, it feels sad. But when a friend comes first, it feels gloomier!”

I am glad to say, this group of students proved otherwise!

As we graduated yesterday, we did it all. We studied diligently and presented our work with passion. We received our certificates amidst fun, family and fanfare. We cheered for the awardees, the best of the bests and hugged them as a band of brothers! Amidst the farewell, we posed for photos, exchanged contacts; promised to stay in touch and to continue to meet for biryani and coke! We felt happy meeting parents and kids alike of our course-mates!

It all ended yesterday.

Today, I am back. And I am back a better person. Not because I studied at this great institution and was taught by the world-class academia. Because I come back a man enriched by meeting 31 great women and men.

I come back humbled too. Not because I met intellectuals, geniuses, experienced and educated; because I met people who meant no harm, no malice and no envy to each other; who sought harmony amidst competition, friendship amongst peers and who sourced & offered strength to each other, in all they did.

I am not sure whether we will all meet again, may be some of us would. But I would always remain connected to each one of them in my heart.

For me, it is difficult to say good-bye. I did say it yesterday with a heavy heart. And said it with great pride too. For, I will always look back at these days, these mates, with same love and affection they offered to me so effortlessly.

All the best, my friends. Wish you all Godspeed and good luck.

______________________________

Photo-credit: isb.edu 

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Written by RRGwrites

December 23, 2011 at 10:04 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Great to know about the diversity of the class, specially the generational diversity! Like the enrichment part of the course!

    Nagaraj

    December 24, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    • Nagaraj, thanks. It was actually by design that the class was as diverse as it could get, which brought in the world-view to the table and that led to constructive learning for each one os us.

      RRGwrites

      December 26, 2011 at 7:25 PM


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