Education is one of the most important aspects of a good career. While there may be a few who might not agree with this, a good education does play an important role in developing a holistic personality and becoming a subject matter expert. Better the institutions, better the learning. Today some of the best corporate honchos and entrepreneurs are from Legacy League institutions.
The sheer grit with which they have built and led the organizations is as if success has been their birthright. These honchos have not just built organizations, but have built brands and a legacy. They are unstoppable, valuable and are the torchbearers of a successful India.
Let’s look at some of them who have made an indelible mark.
A distinguished alumnus of IIT Kharagpur from where he completed his metallurgical engineering and later his MS from Stanford University in material sciences and Engineering and an MBA from Wharton University, Sundar Pichai is an example what hard work coupled with education from the best institutions can shape you into. He joined Google in 2004 and soon became CEO - a position he took up in the year 2015. Prior to that, he led the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google's consumer products, including Google Toolbar, Chrome and Chrome OS. Before joining Google, he held various engineering and product management positions at Applied Materials, and was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company for a variety of software and semiconductor clients.
Having completed his B.Tech in electrical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, a master's in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Vinod Khosla, after a short stint with Daisy Systems, co-founded the Sun Microsystems. He later became a Venture Capitalist. Vinod Khosla, along with 4 other Indian Americans, was on Forbes US' richest list in 2014.
Closer home we have business icons who have put India in the world map for their successful venture in IT and Finance.
An alumnus of IIT Bombay, Nandan Nilekani is the co-founder of Infosys. As a co-founder, Nilekani led the company from strength to strength. Before assuming leadership as CEO in 2002, Nilekani held various posts, including managing director, president, and chief operating officer. He served as its CEO from March 2002 to April 2007. During his five-year tenure as CEO, Infosys' topline grew six-fold to $3 billion.
An IIT Delhi alumnus, Sameer Gehlaut went on to start and build India’s successful financial empire in 1999. He is the founder and chairman of the Indiabulls Group, a diversified financial services group with businesses in housing and consumer finance and broking through independent and listed companies in the Indian stock exchanges. Before starting Indiabulls, Gehlaut worked for an American oil services company called Halliburton for 2 years.
He is one of the youngest billionaires in the country.
The examples provided here offer just a glimpse of what premium league education does to an already ignited mind. While we do have dropouts who went to build legacies such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, let’s not forget that they quit IVY academy and not just another university. While preparing for such academics, one gets to delve deep in subjects and cement the basics thoroughly which helps in building on that knowledge. With such a firm understanding it is but natural to build upon a spectrum of knowledge that is not just an occasional brilliance, but one that nurtures an entire ecosystem that one works with.
A few conscious approaches when young will help one in chalking a well-chequered career. Be it leading an organization or becoming an entrepreneur, having sound knowledge, enhancing one's understanding, keeping with the pulse of the ecosystem, both technological and economical, doesn’t come as a fluke. It needs hard work, smart deliverables, focused approach and upskilling as and when required and an intelligent network that will help in acquiring them. If you just asked how? Then read again. IVY education is not just about studying from the best, but networking with the best as well.
Rome was not built in a day, neither one’s career. Whatever path you choose, it is detrimental to have a disciplined focused approach. The more you strive, the better you become. No one said it is easy. To get the best, you need to give your best.
Do remember, when you set out for the best there are times when your grit is tested. Just remind yourself of the greatness that the people listed here have achieved; it would just give the requisite impetus to move further.
Ravi Soni is an alumnus of The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Angel investor; digital transformation strategist