‘Yet another Nadella’

Karanvir Gupta
Those reading the article would be amused by the title itself that how can appointment of Nadella (who is an Indian per se) as Microsoft’s CEO be a loss-loss story for us. Rather it should be the moment we all should rejoice and take pride in. I wish we could all understand the seriousness of the situation and the tacit drivers that have caused all the talent to move out of the country and then prosper and grow. Well it is not for the first time that we are so fool-hardy celebrating the victory of our own weaknesses and adding to the woes is we are still not conversant about the same.
Everytime an Indian takes a coveted position, we indulge in self-congratulatory mode and all the patriotism runs high in our blood. Have it been really the case, we all would have strived hard to make sure that all these brilliant minds stayed back in India and contributed to India’s growth story. From Indra Nooyi (CEO PepsiCo.), Vikram Pandit (ex CEO, Citigroup) to Salman Rushdie (author of Booker winning Midnight’s Children); all though born Indian reside under different citizenships. It talks enough about their success story; cutting the umbilical chord with India and treading the path of success. Yes it can be sheer coincidence but then it can be smart enough of them to move abroad because they knew their talent won’t be appreciated here.
If you still have some doubt, I would like to trace the pattern even back in history. Have you ever wondered that every Indian-origin person to win a Nobel in sciences after Independence is not an Indian anymore; Hargobind Khurana (Nobel in Medicine, 1968), S Chandrasekhar (Physics, 1983), Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Chemistry, 2009). They have left India behind. So let us overcome the illusion that we are celebrating Nadella’s appointment to the position. All these victories are reflection of our incompetent system.
The whole problem is with the system that we have developed for ourselves to live in where we talk more and act less. Gyaan baantne ko sab tayaar hai, use apnaane ko koi nahi. (Everybody is ready to speak wise words, none ready to follow the same). We have made ourselves so comfortable to live in a state of mediocrity. Bitter but the truth is our thought process is if we can’t succeed why let others do so. And in the process we start pulling others down too. For there are umpteen people who break the rules (deliberately) but we make sure that we punish the simple wise person who might have done so for the first time that too unknowingly. We in terms of marketing jargon are quite’Predictably Irrational’ citizens of the country.
It only begins here. From our education system that promotes caste based system rather than meritocracy to our government services where (no matter how dumb a person is) people are promoted on the same basis. This not only falters the system in long run but also discourages people to work hard and succeed because they know that hard-work and intelligence would not be duly awarded. Had Satya Nadella been in India, Indian Inc. would have looked for an IIX (where X= T or M) in his CV rather than his excellence. And this is the very reason why people feel desirable to go abroad and put in their efforts.
So let us come out of the closet and realize that Satya Nadella’s appointment as the CEO of Microsoft is his personal achievement and victory and we have got nothing to do with it. Rather it is shameful for us that we are not able to preserve such wonderful talent in our homeland and make them a part of OUR success story. So the fact being that we are unable to conceive an atmosphere that is capable of empowering people to achieve their dreams is our first loss. And our ignorance of not realizing it is a double whammy blow to the whole gamut of affairs, hence another loss. Have lots of illusions being celebrated, it’s time we celebrate real victory!
(The writer is a student at Indian Institute of Management Shillong)