Sucheta Dalal :Pathbreakers
Sucheta Dalal

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January 21, 2008

                                    An ispirational book on 26 top pathbreakers in industry, science, sports and academics


Deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 26 top achievers, in their own words. The interviewees are among the biggest names in Indian business, academics, sports and entertainment. A forward by Dr.Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of the 14th Finance Commission best describe the contents.


These are 26 fascinating stories of talented individuals who have achieved much in one lifetime. They are indeed inspiring stories not only for their dazzling successes but also because of the lessons they hold. As Geet Sethi, the world billiards champion says: “In each one of us there is a special talent and all we need is to find and nurture it”. This means that in each one of us there is a potential to achieve excellence in our chosen field. Dr Vijay Bhatkar, who designed India’s first supercomputer and stunned the world, says that “what is within us is what matters most”. An important lesson for anyone who aspires to achieve his or her grand vision. These stories are the grand saga of a New India. These men and women came from different backgrounds and illuminated the fields they operated in. They benchmarked themselves to the global best: nothing less. These are the jewels that make India shine. There are so many lessons in these rich narrations. Each one has emphasised that it is important to have focus and commitment to long-term goals. Prof MM Sharma always wanted to be a chemical engineer and he became one of the world’s best. Satish Magar aspired to ensure a new deal for Indian farmers and he created a development model called “Magarpatta” which lifts farmers to taste the fruits of the new economy. Ramesh Mashelkar wanted to put India on the world map of science and he did it with panache. Each one, whether Rajiv Bajaj or Sam Balsara, is an innovator challenging the conventional. In some narrations, serendipity does make an entry but still an important lesson from our interlocuters is to have a long-term strategy. In the short run, there can be twists and turns, but it is important to be constantly mindful of the larger purpose and have a longer perspective. We can see this in Jignesh Shah, Rakeysh Mehra, Mukesh Ambani, Ram Shriram or Jagdish Sheth. Each one also conveys a lesson, loud and clear, that there is no substitute for commitment to excellence and hardwork. From these individuals, we can also learn the fundamental importance of values. This is so well exemplified by Meeran Borwankar or RC Sinha, outstanding civil servants or by highly successful CEOs such as Keki Dadiseth or Sudhakar Prabhu. All these high achievers have accomplished so much in spite of constraints because of their commitment to values and the way they relentlessly pursued these throughout their professional life. What I find very heartwarming is that each one -- whether Hafeez Contractor or Anil Naik, Glen Saldanha or Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Ashank Desai or Baba Kalyani, Aditya Puri or Meenakshi Madhvani, K V Kamath or A K Purwar -- also believed that they are working for a much greater purpose -- to make India a better place for their fellow citizens.

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-- Sucheta Dalal


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