Sunday, April 9, 2017

Jottings - Slice of life ( A remarkable professional journey)

Jottings - Slice of life ( A remarkable professional journey)
RV college of Engineering, Bangalore may not be in the same league as IIT’s. At least, not in general public perception, but for those who have lived in Bangalore, interacted with the college, met its professors or head of departments, mingled closely with its alma mater - it quickly becomes quite clear, those who have studied and graduated there possess an ambition, charisma, grace, leadership and an ability to continuously learn which have often propelled them to highest echelons of success in many organization across the globe. This is not to say it is the atmosphere of the college alone which contributed to their success; we must give equal or more credit to the quality and calibre of students it has managed to attract from all parts of Asia. Over the last half a century, it has produced stalwarts in virtually every walk of life without too much fuss or propaganda.
Sapnesh Lalla, our new CEO- designate ( announced today) is an engineering graduate from RVC. In the last two weeks, I have had the privilege to write about two other achievers, and today, I once again rejoice in the tremendous achievement of Sapnesh in reaching the pinnacle of professional growth possible within an organization. Twenty five years of working up the ladder, and in each step a wider vision and dimension of the company embraced - his journey has been tough, fascinating and inspiring for those who have been fortunate to work alongside him. It is not my place or position to write about his professional achievements. The fact he is now designated to lead a strong organization of around 4000 odd professionals in diverse domains, is testament enough he has crossed several important business milestones to reach this position.
My first personal interaction with Sapnesh was in 2009, when I landed in America. he had just taken over as the President of our business unit. What stuck me instantaneously was his approachability, and a feeling of being in the presence of a man firmly rooted on the ground. There were no “airs” about him. One could meet him in the corridor and he would pass by with pleasant smile, a greeting or a handshake. The intangible psychological distance that normally exists in organizations between senior leaders and employees miraculously disappears in his presence. We look upon him with pride and awe, but never with a sense of apprehension or fear. He has this ability to put people at ease. A remarkable quality.
I have on several occasions observed his informal conservations with fellow co-workers. Sapnesh’s understanding of the IT education landscape, its possibilities, challenges and solutions to penetrate to the heart of a new business opportunity - has often left me amazed. While all around him, various strands of opinion would float, Sapnesh would make a single unassuming remark, which then would coagulate the entire discussion into concrete, coherent form, just as blood clots and unnecessary bleeding stops when an antidote is injected . It was not so much the force of his professional authority which steered the conversation; but the validity of his point, his ability to listen carefully to what was being said, and the way he placed his own views ever so gently on the table which steered the conversation. A gift of a true leader.
As I have repeatedly written in my previous pieces, we are fortunate in having wonderful senior leaders , who lead by example. In a way, I am proud that our new CEO is from the Business unit I am part of, but viewed more pragmatically and less sentimentally, Sapnesh always belonged to the entire education business, and his contributions over the last two decades has touched every part of this wonderful organization. This professional elevation is a formal consummation of one more milestone
I join everybody else in wishing him the very best in his new role.
God bless…
yours in mortality,

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