The Shift Series@life 2004

The shift series @life 2014 was planned in a way to leave an impression. Guests dressed up to the nines, the stage crafted to suit the occasion, the guest list deemed to leave positive remarks and an overall ambience to blow anyone’s mind.

Mr. S.K. Munjal was the first speaker and he spoke about the importance of people. He tagged them as “the biggest resource” of a company and raised the issue of creating trust among employees. He quoted that “how you respond to people and change defines who you are as human being” which, forms the basis of how he believes in carrying out work. After applauding for Mr. Munjal, we were all anxious to know what was in store for us through the event.

Mr. Ashif Shaikh a social activist was invited to the stage after a horrific video showcasing the life of scavengers in India. He enlightened the audience about what actually takes place in the country despite laws and regulations. His description of the life of backward class women nauseated the audience, there was a feeling of discontent amongst us that despite progressing the nation still needs to work on the basic rights of its women.

The show was brought to a light note by Mr. Dhruv Visvanath a guitarist from New Delhi.  Self-taught, Visvanath has been playing for over seven years. A trained pianist, he also plays the drums, the djembe, and the bass, and sings, occasionally. His performance left the crowd mesmerized. He came to the end of his performance by asking us to focus on life balance rather than on work life balance.

Kartik Sawhney a young man who has been totally blind since birth captured everyone’s attention. He is the first blind student to have completed schooling in a science stream in India. Kartik has secured admission to Stanford University in the USA for computer science with a full scholarship after being denied admission several times by the IIT. Since his first year in school he has used a computer in the classroom and at home. He is technically very competent, academically gifted, and uses all assistive technology available for blind people. He uses electronic text and a screen reader for his reading and writing needs which he displayed to the audience at the beginning of his speech. Kartik’s work left us awestruck and everyone stood up to applaud him for his terrific work.

Of the other speakers, Charlie Kim the founder and CEO of Next Jump made a spectacular impression. What sets Next Jump apart is their culture and focus on human capital. The company’s Next Jump the Demonstration Project proved that the combination of caring for your employees and helping them grow as human beings is possible while making money and helping the world become a better place. He ended his speech with the quote “build a company that would make your mother & father proud”.

All together, the Shift series was a great opportunity to witness the extraordinary work done by people despite numerous challenges that came their way. I’ll end by saying that a leader is not born, rather its effort and commitment that moulds a person into one.