22 Feb 2021 19:55 IST

Ambition overrides talent, says Sanjiv Mehta to XLRI graduates

Hindustan Unilever MD receives Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal at B-school’s 64th convocation

Xavier School of Management celebrated its 64th annual convocation through a virtual ceremony for the batch of 2018-20. As many as 527 students virtually received their graduating certificates and medals, including — 182 and 180 students of Postgraduate Programmes in Management - BM, and HRM; 104 students of 15-months PGDM (General Management) Programme; 13 students of Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) and 48 students of the 2017–2020 batch of PGDM-BM Programme (Evening).

The convocation was scheduled to be held on March 21, 2020 nearly a year ago, but had to be cancelled due to the Covid induced lockdown. The institute therefore decided to conduct a virtual convocation. XLRI conferred the prestigious ‘Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Social and Industrial Peace’ on Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. He also delivered the convocation address.



XLRI conferred the Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Social and Industrial Peace on Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Ltd.





Positive lessons

Delivering the convocation speech to the graduating students, Mehta said that the only way to stay ahead was to constantly evolve and stay relevant in the rapidly changing world. It is also important to keep learning and be a student all their life.

“If you don’t keep learning and reinventing yourself, how will you reinvent the businesses you lead? Agility and adaptability are the two important traits of successful leaders, especially during turbulent times. The pandemic taught us that we need to stay alert and responsive and adapt to the changing conditions,” he said.

According to him, ambition is the single most important ingredient for success as it overrides both talent and resources. However, it is also equally important to remain humble and grounded in life.

“Ambition can lead you to try regardless of what life puts in front of you. In life, as you grow and prosper, it is essential to stay rooted to remain humble. While ambition gives you wings to fly, humility gets you grounded, ensuring you never lose touch with yourself. As you grow professionally, you may become vulnerable to play down your roots. Putting yourself out there can be tough, and remaining authentic can be tougher, but don’t back off. I want to urge all of you to remain authentic to stay the real you and remain true to your roots, as each of you is unique, and there is always beauty and strength in originality,” he said.

‘Give back to society’

Congratulating the students on their graduation day, T V Narendran, Chairman, Board of Governors, XLRI & MD - Tata Steel India and South East Asia, said, “As you join the remarkable network of XLRI alumni; let the valuable education that has been imparted to you in the preceding two years, be a guiding force to help enable you to make this world more sustainable and liveable for future generations. I urge you to espouse a professional and ethical attitude in your work-life journey and try to give back to society to the extent possible.”


Fr P Christie S J, Director, XLRI



Congratulating the graduating students, Fr P Christie S J, Director, XLRI, advised them to uphold the values they have imbibed at XLRI — to be responsible leaders who are extraordinary professionals with a sensitive conscience.