Saturday, October 21, 2006

Five Steps Towards Excellence


I generally get puzzled when I read editorial of daily. Heavy handed government interventions may have thwarted the growth of individual excellence, but the various systems prevailing in Indian society is just not conducive for the comfortable survival of excelling individuals. There are many disconnect in the caliber of the intelligentsia of this country. They pose knowledge in part and try to communicate frustrations, deprivation and outdated ideas. The growing individual remains confused amidst lack of correct information.

Understanding Misinformation

Is growing individual a superpower to be able to handle this misinformation? I say, no individual is superpower himself. Individual needs support, information and system to grow and become powerful. However, in the prevailing society structure, growing youth is at risk. These situations result in slow death of excellence. It has happened in last few decades quietly and comfortably in Indian society. Will it continue in this century too? This is a big challenge but like others challenge, the situation provides opportunities too.

Examples: In the recent editorial note of The Times of India, editor writes, ‘Individual Indians excel not the country’. This statement is completely wrong. If editor of most favorite Indian daily writes wrong, what impression will the countrymen make for future? How can you visualize present? Is this the reason that life in this country becomes failure? Excellence remains illusive.

Detailed Justifications: The fact is entirely different from what our editors feels, India is a shining example in the world today. Stock exchange index (Sensex) at peak reveals the faith of foreigners on India. India as a brand is on peak in the eye of the world today except few people (editors, journalists, publishers, reporters etc included) who have misinformation like editor of Times of India. India as a brand is famous, successful and proven. However, the challenge in this country is to have access of right information because all khandani thinkers have poor perception of present and almost negligible appreciation of future. They generally talk with herd instincts, which might have worked few decades ago. Today, you need knowledge. You need information. Editors must spend some time in acquiring correct information before they write editorial on famous new paper.

How Misinformation damages Systems

I do not know if editor of Times of India is aware about the front page article of the same news paper in the section of Delhi Times, which reads, ‘Does writing run in the blood?’ I have one simple point. If excellence runs in blood then developing countries have no chance to become developed. Poor people can never become rich. RP Singh a famous Cricketer could have never become the fastest bowler of India. Harbhajan Singh could have never spun the ball to the tune of Indian skipper. Abdul Kalam could have never become President of India. Dhirubhai could have had the gene of Tata or Birla. On one side when editor writes about excellence, how can he say that excellence runs in blood? Editors are communicating disconnected wisdom. News paper must not communicate misinformation. The lack of authentic statement damages the fabric of growing system.

India is a country where most of the people still believe in copying. People follow herd instincts to even excel. I live near tennis academy at Delhi and I find surprising when I see small children of the age of 4-5 years old come from distance of more than 26-30 Kms to take a training of tennis. If Sania in third generation could achieve something remarkable, it does not mean that other will also achieve excellence. If you visit sometime to British Council, there are many small children with their mothers or servants, being forced to read books so that they can become writer. Does herd instinct take to excellence? Herd instincts will never take anybody anywhere. We can never achieve excellence.

India still has 70% population relying on farming. It means that if India has to keep up with the growing economy at more than 8-10%, around 400 million people have to be shifted to different professional activities in urban or semi-urban areas. This means that the large number of future caliber has to evolve from those 400 millions. They will be able to shine only when sufficient opportunities are given to them to excel.

Searching Sources for Excellence

Editors when they compile the paper, they must ensure that they are not pursuing age old conservative ideas to frustrate the today’s youth. If people have to excel how and why society keep concentrating on Khandani individuals. What is the fun in keeping on writing about Shahrukh or Amitabh Bachchan? Why should we show bearded Rahul Gandhi? Why do we waste time and energy in reading and remembering frustrating history? Can they ever inspire our youth? They frustrate them.

What is the fun in showing and writing details about Lata Mangeskar? If we have to produce next Lata for 2020, our media people should search and concentrate on new caliber and fresh faces. Why can’t media concentrate little more on Shibani Kashyap or Jyotsana Chinappa and others? Excellence comes from individual with total backing of social systems. However, Indian media abhors talking or showing excellence in their reporting except at editorial level. If such situation continues, excellence will remain illusive to the people of this country.

Recently, in an award ceremony in Mumbai, Prime Minister said, “Just few weeks back, at a similar business award ceremony in Delhi, I found that more than two-third of the nominees were not even in business in 1991! They were all children of reform, not necessarily children of businessmen.” (The Economics Times, Monday October 9, 2006). Alas, the editor could have read this speech from his own paper and understood the meaning of blood? Excellence will emerge from information and vision.

Difficult but Compulsive Path

Indians have a long way to go. Almost in every field, we are at rock bottom in the world statistics. Infosys might have become a 2 billion company in last 24 years, but just think of any global company. Google is $1,465 Billion p.a., Yahoo is $1,896 billion p.a. and so on. That too, Infosys does 90% business with Western world. We should be thankful to USA and other European countries, which helped Narayana Murthy CEO of M/S Infosys to build a dream for Indians. The minor study of on going success stories in society reveals five simple steps to achieve excellence.

1. Unlearning Conservative Ideas towards Innovation: Indians are still very-very conservative to use new ideas. Indians are very-very emotional to forget old traditional concepts. Because few people talk about new ideas and innovation, it has become a trend to talk about them without believing on them or without having courage to accept them. First of all, our editors or educated class will have to be strong to accept new ideas. Herd instinct will keep Indians away from achievement. Only new innovative ideas may lead to excellence.

2. Selecting Sources of Wisdom: Indian editors, journalists, thinkers, reporters and other professionals all are too busy in enjoying their present glory. It is not very difficult to find them in every party in Delhi five star hotels. You can always check them in any discussions, lectures or meetings irrespective of their interest of subjects. You always find them giving interviews and talks on television. Where do they have time to gain information?

Therefore, is it surprising when all these people talk history only? Similarly our film actors and actresses hardly have time to do some creative work? They remain busy in selling pen, shirt, banyan and so on. Why can not they leave less creative jobs to beginners so that they can concentrate to excel in their own creation? Why should senior achievers remain busy in doing advertisements, receiving awards or doing menial interviews? Where is the time to excel? Individual has to be very selective to decide for a source of wisdom.

3. Ensuring Encouraging Environment (EEE): A normal person needs just few grams of food, clean environment, good society and encouraging company. But above all, we need excellent environment to excel. We need world level competitions to excel. We need support and system to grow. The society must provide these basic amenities. The developments after 1991 have shown many Indians this brutal fact in reality. They are very simple and plain. Excellence will emerge from this simple situation.

4. Excellence is a Necessity: Human beings have reached to almost perfection. A small child can do wonders. A young entrepreneur can defeat matured and professional companies. The success of Google can always be taken a s example. Globalization has not been restricted to western world. Even the communist countries like China have grabbed the concept and progressing leaps and bound. The conscious people all across world are trying to attain excellence irrespective of caste, creed, region and religion. I termed the situation as excellence is a necessity for all human beings.

5. Excellence is achievable: The development of technology has taken the sources to achieve excellence at the door step of every individual. The knowledge is not limited to few selected and fortunate individuals. People are connected with modern technology to the sources of wisdom of entire world. Any person willing to devote some time with open heart and conscious mind can access those information to enhance wisdom. Excellence is not restricted to few privileged class. Excellence can be achieved by any one at any time.


The five steps enumerated above can ensure a surge of excellence in any society. There is a need of openness and availability of resources. The government and institutions need to ensure the availability of resources to all citizens. The other inventions of last few centuries have given the luxuries to every individual while the recent technological inventions have given wisdom at the hand of every child born on this earth in 21st century. The time is not far when excellence will be the common phenomena of a rising society.