by Jim King
In April of this year, I had the opportunity to meet and visit with Dr. Pramath Sinha in Delhi, India, thanks to our common friend, Amardeep Kahlon. While you might not have heard of Dr. Sinha before this blog post, I know that after you read this post you will not forget him. Very importantly, I am extremely proud to announce that Pramath has agreed to become a Champion of ChangeU!
Pramath has held many titles over his professional career: co-founder, CEO, founding dean & board member, Indian School of Business (http://www.isb.edu/) ; co-founder and trustee, Ashoka University (https://www.ashoka.edu.in/) & its acclaimed Young India Fellowship program (http://www.youngindiafellowship.com/) ; partner & senior advisor, McKinsey & Co. (http://www.mckinsey.com/) ; CEO, Anandabazar Patrika Group (https://www.abp.in/) ; senior counselor, Albright Stonebridge Group (http://www.albrightstonebridge.com/) ; founder & managing director, 9.9 Mediaworx Pvt. Ltd. (http://www.9dot9.in/) ; and chairman and/or director of numerous for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises.
Given Pramath’s relationship to Change University, it would be very appropriate for us to share how his efforts with ISB and Ashoka have made a difference on education in India – especially through the “difference makers” birthed through the Young India Fellowship program. Wow has YIF produced some outstanding graduates. In anticipation of Pramath’s appearance at their 2016 conference, no less than the India Conference at Harvard posted the following on its website: “ISB and Ashoka have created new benchmarks in higher education in India in terms of collective philanthropy, ethical governance, international partnerships, and all-round excellence grounded in academic freedom.” (http://indiaconferenceatharvard.com/2016/speakers/pramath-sinha/ ) Surely these efforts to affect education change would be our focus. However, at least for this blog post, we are going to focus on one additional educational undertaking in which Pramath has played and continues to play an instrumental role.
Pramath is a member of the founding team of The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women (http://www.vedicascholars.com/). In this effort, he joined Anuradha Das Mathur and Daljeet Wadhwa to create “…a unique alternative to the traditional MBA programme, which will create a cadre of successful women professionals for the 21st century.” (http://www.vedicascholars.com/about/about-vedica/) This direction is certainly a novel undertaking in any country, but especially in India. And while its direction is novel, possibly its process for accomplishing its goals is even more so. “Vedica is a combination of classroom learning, hands-on work experience, and mentoring and coaching by some of the most inspiring academics and professionals of our times. The programme weaves together the objectivity of management principles with complementary perspectives from the liberal arts, an emphasis on personal growth through leadership training, and the impact of thinking and communicating effectively.” (http://www.vedicascholars.com/about/about-vedica/)
Now, at this point in your reading, I am thinking that you are thinking that this blog post is not talking about the hungry, the uneducated, the poor, the trafficked nor any other marginalized group about which you have previously read. I could not agree more – at least on the surface. However, the really important thing about Dr. Sinha’s direct impact on the creation of Vedica is the indirect impact that this founding has had, and will continue to have, on India – and even the world. The additional important thing is what the graduates of the Vedica program have done and will do. I do not want that statement to minimize the importance of what Pramath and his co-founders have done with the founding of this program. Rather, I want to challenge each person reading this blog post to realize that difference makers and change catalysts do not always see the final results of their efforts on behalf of the marginalized. Their efforts do not always put them on the front lines. However, their work is no less important – and in many cases even more important – than the work of those whom they are preparing for the front lines in the battle again poverty, hunger, disease and the many other social issues of the world. Without the Pramath’s of the world, we would not have the next generations of difference makers prepared to tackle the front lines.
As an example, Vedica brings in approximately 30 post-graduate females from around India in each batch (i.e., intake class). To date two batches have been accepted. Those 60-ish will grow to hundreds and then to thousands of students being impacted. These students are put through a multi-dimensional, 18-month program that includes courses taught by faculty from around the globe, mentorship by female practitioners, and experiential projects including those with social impact. These graduates will then go, and in many cases return, to work for Indian companies and multinationals; for-profits and not-for-profits; enterprises large and small; some in India, some not; social enterprise organizations and enterprises with CSR programs. Imagine the direct impact such graduates will have on the world. And there will be thousands of them!! They will tackle poverty, hunger, disease and the many other social issues of the world. And some of them will do so directly while others will do so indirectly. Interestingly, in both cases, the resulting impact must be attributed back to Pramath and his founding partners at Vedica.
To be fair, we are all products of our environments, our educations, our faiths, our cultures and other impacting aspects of life. Many variables affect the impact that we will have during the course of our respective lives. However, the impact that Vedica graduates will have will be “intentionally” impactful because Vedica is intentional in preparing its graduates to be impactful. Vedica is not hoping its graduates will make a difference. It is insuring that its graduates will make a difference by preparing them to be difference makers. And Pramath’s direct impact as a co-founder at Vedica, no matter how far removed he is from the end-result social impact Vedica’s graduates will produce, will have generations of direct and indirect impact on the social issues of the world. And that type of legacy is what a Champion of ChangeU gives to each of us. Through your reading of this blog post, may Pramath’s legacy have direct impact on you and may you have direct and indirect impact on the world. May we all strive to follow in Pramath’s huge foot-steps.
Dr. Jim King is the President of Change University. You may read more about him at the bottom of the page at this link: