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Our second article of the Governing Board series by Neeraj Batra.

 

(Neeraj Batra is the founder and chairman of Infinity Business School. He is an alumnus of IIM, Ahmedabad (Batch of ‘84). He has over 18 years experience in the field of investment banking, having worked with leading names such as Bank of America, and The Hinduja and Amas Group headquartered in London.)

 

Adversity is the best breeding ground of Excellence. Although this may sound a trifle clichéd, there is enough empirical evidence to back this historically. This tenet is fortified further by the achievements of the People we researched for this year’s Prospectus.
   
Oprah Winfrey made a fortune by getting people to bare their souls on a talk show that has retained its spontaneity and warmth for more than 22 years. This by itself is exceptional given her background of a black woman struggling in a white dominated society. This was despite her childhood trauma of being born out of wedlock. She survived an abused childhood, indifferent parental support and a difficult time at school. Many believe that Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on American culture than any President, political or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope.

 

J.K. Rowlings was born to parents who were college dropouts. She had an unremarkable academic life and was constantly badgered for wasting her time in daydreaming. She went through trauma in her personal life and her marriage. Rowling was undergoing depression at this stage and was on the verge of destitution. It was an inspiring moment that gave birth to the concept of Harry Potter. She recollected later that ideas would come fast and furious so that she would scribble them at all hours and places on scraps of paper. For capturing the imagination of millions and recreating a magical world in which adults can relive their childhood with ease, JK Rowlings represents excellence in creativity and imagination.

 

Warren Buffet also called the Oracle of Omaha is a legend who has written new rules for Capital Markets.  A man known for his commonsensical style of investing he shuns the sophisticated techniques and mathematical models used by Investment Banking firms on Wall Street. Using homegrown wisdom from the streets his firm Berkshire Hathway towers over the largest Investment Banking Firms. Buffet has managed long-term returns exceeding a compound growth rate of 27 % over several decades. He is a beacon of sanity in the chaos that surrounds financial markets. He represents the epitome of excellence given his foresight, simplicity and ability to perform consistently in turbulent markets.

 

Steve Jobs has been at the fore of innovation since the start of his second innings at Apple. Under his creative leadership Apple has set new paradigms on design and technology. The I-Pod, I-Mac and I-Phone have taken on the biggest names in industry such as Sony, IBM and Nokia. Apple’s leadership in the markets has largely been a function of the creative genius of Steve Jobs and his passion to invent futuristic products. Steve Jobs is a visionary. He is David versus Goliath. It is because the innovative spirit of Steve Jobs that has catapulted the computing, music and communications industry into the future.

 

Muhammad Yunus represents the man who found the proverbial pot of gold at the bottom of the Pyramid. An anti poverty pioneer he started the micro-finance Grameen bank three decades ago. His bank lends to the neediest without collateral support. Going completely against the strains of conventional banking he has had great success in lending to the destitute. He has uplifted the lives and economic status of more than 5 million people. Even more importantly he has given self-esteem and new meaning to the lives of millions. He has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

 

Despite hailing from entirely different backgrounds our icons excel in one or more skills that are an integral part of contemporary management education. Oprah reflects the critical role of interpersonal and communication skills in success.  Tiger Woods represents the prime role played by timing and power in achieving excellence. JK Rowling firmly establishes the undeniable importance of creativity in capturing the imagination of millions. Warren Buffet represents the synergistic effect of analytical ability when coupled with simplicity and common sense. No other entrepreneur has shown the greater role of innovation and the ability to invent the future than Steve Jobs. Last but not the least Muhammad Yunus represents an epitome of excellence for keeping compassion and social responsibility as a critical but profitable part of achieving excellence.


It is our hope and endeavour to thread these values and qualities in our work environment and the academic ethos at Infinity.

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