Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I've just returned from an interesting one hour long discussion with Anil Sir, our librarian. As the co-ordinator of the Book Club of the Institute, it has been an added advantage for me to get sound bites from a heavy set man who has wonderful ideas about books and academics. Truly, talks with him are extremely thought provoking. Often it happens that I enter his cabin thinking that I'll have a short conversation with him, but somehow we always end up discussing academics, student life, entrepreneurship and business philosophies, and obviously, these discussions go on for much longer than a short 15 minute chat.

And as we chatted today, I made a short reference to two interesting excerpts from speeches that I'd attended. Interestingly, I had also blogged about the first lecture.

This was a speech by Mr. Sam Pitroda. During his speech, he mentioned an extremely interesting anecdote. It so happened that he was invited to represent India at some European conference where various countries were brainstorming how to develop a 'Silicon Valley' for Europe. After a few speakers had spoken, it was Mr. Pitroda's turn. He walked up to the podium and said "In my humble opinion, I do not think that there is any possibility of a Silicon Valley here". The stunned audience asked him for a reason. To their further surprise, Sam Pitroda said that the reason was right in front of their eyes. He asked the people to take a look around them and observe the people who were attending the conference. "Each one of them," he told us, "was wearing a similar shirt, had short-cropped hair, wore either a black or blue suit, neat trousers and shining black leather shoes. Where's the innovation? Where's the differentiator? Who's going to break the mould? If only there were someone who had a pony-tail, had worn a simple t-shirt, ragged worn-out jeans and sneakers, it would have been heart-warming for we would have known 'Here is the man who isn't afraid of thinking out of the box, someone who's not afraid of being the exception'."

The other excerpt is more recent, and, I dare say, more interesting. During our regional SIFE presentation, one of the judges was an Australian. He comes to the mike and in his typical Australian accent, starts off by saying..."This is the first time I'm here and it has been a wonderful experience looking at all the talent that the students have brought to the field of social work....(Pause)....I hope you guys have been able to understand what I'm saying...(looks around at the audience with a smile)...Yeah!! I know...I'm Australian...we speak funny, but we play good cricket!!"

Snubbed, but enjoying the pride of the avid Australian cricket fan, the audience burst out into applause. :)


Hiren said...

Very interesting. It is not necessary to have a different appearance to be a good lateral thinker. Dhirubhai Ambani was the best lateral thinker India produced but he did not have a different appearance.

If you are really interested in out of the box thinking, there is a link to my published article on the right hand side on my blog.

Shekhar said...

hiren: Hey Hiren, thanks for visiting my blog. I'll surely check out the link.

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