02 Sep 2020 20:47 IST

Sanyal’s lessons on leadership through uncertainty

Talking at the Flame University webinar, economist Sanjeev Sanyal discusses the power of decisive action

Leadership is precisely about making judgements when you really don’t know what is going to happen in the future,” said Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance, at the webinar conducted by Flame University, on the topic of ‘Decision-making for an uncertain world.’ Flame University recently concluded the third webinar session of the leadership talk series ‘Vimarsha,’ an initiative of the student-led VAJR group.


Sanjeev Sanyal




The third session of ‘Vimarsha’ witnessed an enthusiastic response and tremendous participation from industry leaders, innovators, educators, entrepreneurs, professionals and students across the country. Post Covid-19, as individuals, organisations, and nations enter a new and uncertain normal, navigating these previously uncharted paths can be tricky. In such situations, decision making becomes crucial, and the art of thinking critically and logically even more so.


Engage early

Delivering the keynote address, Sanyal said, “In this Covid-19 situation, the Government of India opted to hedge against the virus and imposed a full lockdown in early March. It is not because we were exactly sure what this virus was going to do. But, we were hedging for the possibility that this was literally going to kill millions of people.”


Live life as it comes

As his final piece of advice, Sanyal said, “Once you begin to think about the world in a non-deterministic, complex way where everything is evolving all the time, then one thing strikes you immediately, which is that you cannot think in silos. You have to take into account the fact that the world is made of all kinds of different things. I am of the view that you should live life as it comes and embrace it and be adaptable, rather than have a view that I have to go down a particular path. Accepting life as it is and doing different things along the way is what makes the journey enjoyable.”


Building future cities

Discussing the aspect of walkability, he said that a combination of real-time technology and adaptable infrastructure can transform the designing models of footpaths, bridges, and so on, which in turn can transform a city to a smart city. Dr Kamdar, Vice-Chancellor, Flame University, related this aspect to Flame’s infrastructure and said the campus is a perfect example of working in close coordination with nature.