IHS Take Part in Insight 2015

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One of the important events that we, students of Classes XI and XII Standard, look forward to when we return to Isha Home School for the II Term, is the Insight Programme. The progamme, conducted in the Isha Yoga Centre during the last week of November, gives us an opportunity to meet the participants who are a galaxy of eminent people from all walks of life.

Earlier this year, we also had the opportunity to see, meet and interact with giants from the Indian corporate sector. Our first encounter was with the legendary Mr N R Narayana Murthy of Infosys and our Founder Sadhguru. During the riveting session conducted by both, Mr Narayana spoke about the crucial subject of working with people. All students of classes XI and XII , without any exception, were impressed by the simplicity of the message that they communicated.

Later on, we had a number of assemblies conducted by some of the guests who had attended the session. Each assembly was followed by a wide ranging discussion. Here is a brief glimpse of some of these interactions.

Our Encounter with Mr Dhiraj Rajarm Chairman and CEO Mu Sigma

When our teacher briefed us about Mr Dhiraj Rajarm of Mu Sigma, we, the students, were expecting the success story of yet another software engineer. As he came in and began his short interaction, all of us (including the not-so-science-minded guys) were left awestruck and wanted the session to go on.

Mr. Rajaram gave us a brief account of his career and spoke to us about how the field of Data Science works at finding solutions to problems using a combination of science and art. He also spoke to us about some of the exciting products his company had designed. For instance, they have created an application which allows a simple camera to sense your heart beat by taking a photo of your face.

It was indeed fascinating to hear about the future and potential of Data Science. We were pleasantly surprised when Mr Rajaram invited us to come and spend some time in his company in order to understand better what is happening there.

Mr. Rajaram, named one of the 40 most influential people under 40 by Fortune Magazine, left us with a simple message- “Don’t give up on something because you think that you’re not smart enough. Work hard. The harder you work, the smarter you get.”

Our Encounter with Vellayan Subbiah – Chairman Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company limited

On the 29th of November we met Mr. Vellayan Subbiah, one of the key resource persons for the Insight Programme. He runs Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company limited, a non-banking finance company, which has over 500 branches all across India, and has assets over Rs 25000 crore. They work as a private financing company and finance small and medium businesses mainly in the Truck Financing business. He spoke to us about a wide range of topics beginning with his own career and family background to how the finance companies operate in general.

We were also impressed to hear about the work that the company does to support the truck drivers who lead a very difficult existence, given the nature of their job. Mr Subbiah also spoke about the initiatives in reply to a question about the CSR activities undertaken by his company.

Other than his business, he also spoke about his two passions- cycling and running. He believes that both of these sports give you a rush and keep you close to nature. He loves jogging so much that he has a favorite jogging track in every city he visits!

The students will remember this session for the down to earth manner in which Mr Subbiah spoke, and for his endearing wit. We hope we will have the chance to meet him again.


Our Encounter with Luis Miranda – Dot Connector

The last interaction with the Insight participants was with Mr Luis Miranda, a renowned banker and finance professional who now heads initiatives in multiple areas ranging from finance to Civil Society issues. He is one of the key resource people for Insight, and was also a guest in 2014.

This year Mr Miranda facilitated a student discussion on the topic of intolerance. Using a series of questions Mr Miranda made students share their views on what causes intolerance, and he shared some of his experiences on the matter. He then deftly steered it to the student side by posing the question, “Are we really tolerant at the individual level?” Some students emphatically stated that they did not feel so.

At the end of the conversation all of us left still thinking about the topic and realizing that in most cases most of the intolerant speeches come from people who do not care to know the underlying situation, and that is clearly irresponsible. We need more such thought provoking discussions amongst ourselves.


Contributions from Sukanya Janardhanan, Sundareswaran