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Of successful personalities


WHAT DO great personalities have in common? They are always a cut above the rest. Be it a scientist, doctor, management professional or a bureaucrat. And, only those who `dare to be different' make a mark and are successful in their careers. The KG Foundation conferred the `Personality of the decade' award this year on Dr Mathew Samuel Kalarical, a Chennai-based Interventional Cardiologist, Vivek Kulkarni, Secretary, Department of Information Technology and Biotechnology, Government of Karnataka and Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri, Dean, Center for Economic Research and Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), New Delhi. All of them had in their own way brought in changes, which made all the difference. In their address they gave an account of their journey to success. Not, just that, they provided an insight into the traits that go into making successful careers.

No doubt, the focus has shifted on India due to Information Technology (IT), but software professionals are no longer welcomed with open arms abroad. In this changed scenario, what kind of a role can India play in this field?

"We are not software coolies. Our greatest asset is talent. There is a lot of potential that needs to be tapped," Mr. Kulkarni noted. "India needs more institutes like the IITs. With a wide pool of talent, every city can repeat the success of Bangalore. Our software exports are put at Rs.12, 500 crore," he observed. "When it comes to management, we follow the Western principles which do not in any way reflect our culture," Mr Chaudhuri remarked. "The American style of management is an extension of their culture. The fine-tuning between their national culture and management culture helped them grow. In the US `hire and fire' is the principle."

In Japan, the same kind of fine-tuning was done and their style of management was in direct contrast to that of the Americans. "We are from different cultural backgrounds. In India, emotional bonds are stronger and loyalty has much more value in the corporate world. Hence what we need is a management culture that is built on the fundamentals of our culture."

On a more philosophical note, Dr. Mathew said: "Looking back, I do not know whether I deserve this award. But, the day you realise that you have done something, there will not be much to worry." Quoting from the Bible he said, "Whatever you receive, you think that you deserved it."

M. A

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