Leadership Lessons learnt from Rahul Bose

This article is contributed by Roopika Gupta (Batch 2015-17). Roopika is a part of the JEdi ( Junior Editor) team for 2015-16.

Rahul Bose was invited as a guest lecturer as a part of the 360 degree lecture series on 12th August 2015 to enlighten the student managers of SIMS about the leadership lessons he learnt in his field of cinema, rugby and from being a social activist. The lecture started with Rahul Bose giving brief description about his NGO “The foundation”. He believes the founding idea of a free India is where every citizen mattered and would be cherished by the state regardless of class, caste or religion. He believes in reaching out to the ones who have been neglected and empowering them with tools of education and helping them find their inner strength.

Moving on he spoke about how facing failure in life has taught him more about leadership than success. He mentions how having faced rejection in his career has taught him some of the most important lessons of life. Recalling back to the time when he got recognition for his work in his first film ‘English, August’ at the Toronto film festival, makes him firmly believe that creativity stems from a place of turbulence and pain. Despite the harsh conditions he faced during his shoot in Narsipatnam in the scorching heat in July 1993, he was able to deliver a remarkable performance. The world of Cinema has taught him to work and deliver against all odds, he says “Focus on what you are here for, be committed to your art and make it your temple”. He says for a good leader it is essential to have a vision, to have a direction of where and how to achieve the final outcome. He goes on to say that we should never hesitate to accept our ignorance on various aspects that face us in our daily lives; rather we should transfer power in the hands of people and learn from their constructive criticism.

His career in rugby has taught him teamwork which has left a very powerful impact in his life, teaching him being an individualist will never help him and only by virtue of being a part of a team has made him a better leader. Bose assisted in the relief efforts in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. As a result of this work, Bose launched the Andaman and Nicobar Scholarship Initiative through his NGO, The Foundation. The scholarship program provides for the education of underprivileged children from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Working as a social activist for over 10 years has taught him an important learning for life, he says “Always under promise and over deliver”. Concluding his talk that was constantly nurturing young minds of SIMS he stressed on another important quality of a leader which is to always have a calm mind even when certain things in life go unplanned because it will help us efficiently gage the situation and take appropriate actions. His inspiring talk has left a deep impression in our minds and as student managers we will consistently strive to imbibe the useful insights in our lives.


Remembering India’s Ratna – APJ Abdul Kalam

This article is contributed by Smriti Pandalai (Batch 2015-17). Smriti is a part of the JEdi ( Junior Editor) team for 2015-16.

India’s Missile Man, the People’s President, the Problem-solver, a nationalist thinker – he was known by many names, but former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a man the masses – cutting across religion, age and gender –  loved and respected as their President. His was a story that inspired the young and the restless to actually sit up and do something about the problems plaguing the society and the country on the whole. Hailing from a very humble background, a self-made man – he spearheaded the country’s missile program at the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and went on to be awarded the prestigious Bharat Ratna in the year 1997. Besides, he also held the unique honor of being recognized by 30 universities and institutions with an honorary doctorate.

During his tenure as the 11th President of India, there was a dimension of dignity and respect that the common man associated with the President’s office. Rashtrapati Bhavan threw its doors open to the public during his presidency. Dr. Kalam had this innate ability to influence the impressionable minds of the students and young children alike whom he considered very dear. One of the anecdotes in this regard would be his personalized thank you cards that he would sign and send out in response to the numerous letters and cards he received from students across the country.


Moreover, he was a visionary and could foresee a developed India. He had a roadmap in mind that would propel India to greater heights – Vision 2020, an ideology anchored in development using technology and freedom powered by strength. He epitomized humility in all its glory and in fact during press conferences, one could often see him interact with journalists and crosscheck with them if their questions had been duly answered. This was highly uncommon a sight in the journalistic world.  A passionate teacher – that truly embodied his persona – he had a thirst for knowledge and the curiosity of a child.  This was primarily why he appealed to all sections of the Indian society. In fact all his books, be it the highly inspirational “Wings of Fire” and “Ignited Minds”, all espoused the same ideals.

India has lost a great leader. It would thus be apt to remember Dr. Kalam in his own words that he perfectly embodied, particularly words we students must strive to live by:

“A leader must have vision and passion and not be afraid of any problem. Instead, he should know how to defeat it. Most importantly, he must work with integrity.”