09 Sep 2018 19:17 IST

ISB Leadership Summit concludes on a high note

Actor Rahul Bose, politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, and restaurateur Pankaj Bhadouria were among the speakers

The 16th edition of the ISB Leadership Summit (ILS) concluded on a high note recently at the Indian School of Business’ (ISB) Mohali campus. The two-day summit hosted over 500 participants and 30 eminent leaders, including 13 women, from different domains of business, academia, sports, public policy, entertainment and politics.

Some of the eminent leaders that took part in the summit were:

•Navjot Singh Sidhu - Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and Local Government, Government of Punjab

•Rahul Bose - actor, director, social activist

•INS Tarini All-Women Crew - India’s first all-women team to circumnavigate the globe

•Lt Gen Deependra Singh Hooda (Retd) - former Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army’s northern command

•Harish Bijoor - brand expert and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc

•Nandu Nandkishore - former global CEO, Nestle Nutrition

•Anita Punj - IPS - Director, Punjab Police Academy

•Arti Ahuja - IAS, Joint Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration

•Pankaj Bhadouria - restaurateur, winner of Masterchef India

•Debashis Chatterjee - President, Global Delivery and Global Leader, Cognizant

•Subrata Bagchi - President, TCG-Digital

•Sultan Ahmed Ismail - Director, Ecoscience Research Foundation

•Deeptha Vivekanand - storyteller, Ever After.


Theme of change

The theme for this year’s summit was ‘Catalysts of change.’ The summit focused on factors that have driven change in the past, drive change today and will continue to drive change in the future. This year, ILS aspired to holistically explore emerging trends, breakthrough ideas and strong leadership that fosters a spirit of constant change. The discussions at the summit touched upon how one can continue to remain vigilant and continue to exercise leadership in a world that is always on the cusp of the next disruption.

The event started with an inaugural speech and lighting of the lamp by Dean, ISB, Rajendra Srivastava. During the opening address, Srivastava said, “You have to learn from the future; you should have the courage to do things differently even if it’s at the cost of your comfort zone. In today’s world, you have to learn to collaborate, to share if you want to be a successful leader and work towards change. Today’s it’s not about just doing the right things but also doing them correctly. As a leader, you inspire people by what you do. Asking the students to challenge the rules that make no sense today. For you to create the change, you have to be the change.”

Actor Rahul Bose


Speakers on day one

Nandu Nandkishore spoke about how leaders should prepare their organisations for change. He highlighted that the driving force for India’s development is the entire entrepreneurial force of the country.

Navjot Singh Sidhu captivated the audience, weaving magic using his experiences. He said, “It’s not just the goal in life which is important; what matters most is the means that you take to reach that goal. Champions think differently and approach fear differently. Conquering your fear is your greatest asset, and a champion does that. Positive anything is always better than negative nothing.”

This was followed by a session on economic sustainability through ecological stability by Sultan Ahmed Ismail. He discussed the concrete steps that need to be taken to achieve sustainable ecological practices for agriculture, solid waste management and environmental awareness. Next in the line was the most-awaited, all-women panel titled ‘Breaking through the glass ceiling’, moderated by Deeptha Vivekanand, storyteller, Ever After.

The panel started with an exciting story about a woman who could transform herself into a leopard, symbolising her courage and power to be what she wants to be. There were insightful discussions regarding gender stereotyping, shape-shifting, Section 377 and what could be done to the attitude of people. The panel consisted of Pankaj Bhadouria, Amy Kazmin, Anita Punj, Arti Ahuja, and Purnima Devi Barman.

The closing keynote speaker on day one was actor, director and social activist,Rahul Bose who spoke about the difference between being the change and being the catalyst of change. He elaborated with examples of driving the change through his films, NGOs and his career in rugby. He left everyone with a basic but difficult question to answer: “Who I am and what do I want to change?”

The panel on Indo-Pak ties.

Day two

Day two of the summit saw a powerful presentation by the first Indian all-women crew to successfully attempt the circumnavigation of the globe, the INSV Tarini. The crew spoke about their inspiring and adventurous 254-days journey where they battled the forces of nature and how they came out trumps, covering a distance of 25,000 NM.

The concluding session touched upon the most relevant topics of the time — ‘In search of new horizons: catalysing change in Indo-Pak ties’. Moderated by the senior journalist Nirupama Subramanian, the panel had Lt Gen Deependra Singh Hooda (Retd), Lt Gen Kamal Dawar (Retd), and Ravinder Kumar Kaushik. The group discussed about what can be done to make the relationship between India and Pakistan better and why it has not been done so far.