Monday, April 21, 2008

A Day with the IIM Alumnus

“The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process.”
-- Barbara Colorose

Today we have a guest with us who has with himself an abundant of experience and worldly knowledge. An Alumnus of IIM-A, and is an avid writer. He has written many articles and poems which have appeared in Times of India. Its indeed a pleasure and a honour to have such an experienced person in the PERFECT show.


Host: Prashant Sree : ME
Guest: Kishore Astana : KA

ME: Kishore, Welcome to the show.
KA: Thank You Prashant.

ME: So, What are you passionate about in Life?
KA: I am passionate about credibility. This includes saying what you mean, being honest with yourself and others, not cheating anyone even in petty matters such as jumping the queue, being non-punctual, etc.

ME: Ideal values... What have you learnt in your life which you would like to share with others ?
KA:I have learnt that we are only taking part in a drama on this earth. We have the freedom to define our roles to a certain extent but, in the end, it is all an act. Unfortunately many amongst us who have taken over the roles of rich or powerful people tend to believe that this is their actual persona and they become arrogant. Many others who have taken the roles of poor and underprivileged, take this as their real self and get demoralised.

ME: Thats right. The part of people realizing their original role and living accordingly will make world a much happier place.. If you are given a wish to change one thing in world, what would you change ?
KA: This is a difficult one. There are so many things I would like to change. However, if it was one thing, it would be this – I would like to see everyone treating everyone else with genuine, from-the-heart, unconditional politeness and courtesy, whether it is on the road, in work situations or in any other place or occasion.

A very close second would be this - I would like all men to realise that women are their betters in most things and deserve to be treated with respect owed to those who are wiser, more compassionate and more considerate. However, as I said, there are so many things I would like to change.

Eradication of caste-ism, inculcating greater honesty and work ethic amongst Indians etc. would be close third.There are some things which are critical to our spiritual existence which I would like to change. One is bringing in greater spirituality in religion, along with the conviction that religious rituals must be targeted towards spiritual enlightenment and not just wish-fulfilment.

ME: I do wish that becomes true. Since you have mentioned Spirituality, i feel you will like this Question. Who is your Favourite Mythological Hero and why ?
KA:My favourite mythological hero is Karn:. He was the noblest of the Pandavs and was never recognised as such and yet, he carried himself with a dignity, wisdom and élan which few of the others in Mahabharat did.

ME: Hmmm. What would you like to stand for in your life ?
KA:I would like to stand for an India which had leaders with humble egos, vision, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and the ability to work hard, whose wealth did not increase after they came to power. I would like to stand for an India which had leaders who carried the masses up with them and who united India instead of dividing it along fault-lines defined by caste, religion, language, region and so on. There was a time we had leaders such as Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Regrettably, we do not have their like any more.

ME: And what you feel is your charm ?
KA:When I am with someone, I try to give that person my whole attention and to address the issues raised to the best of my ability. I also try to treat people at all socio-economic levels with the same degree of courtesy.

ME: Thats really good. Giving your 100% concentration to someone, makes them feel special. I think i need to inculcate that in myself completely ;) Ok, now your Thumb Rule for Life ?
KA:Do unto others what you would wish to be done to you, if the positions were interchanged.

ME: Since you are an avid writer, Iam sure you would have had good influences.Which books have been your Favorite Influences till now ?
KA:I am That, (teachings of Nisargadutta Maharaj), Be as You Are (teachings of Ramana Maharshi), Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramhansa Yogananda), Seth Speaks (Jane Roberts), The Nature of Personal Reality (Jane Roberts).

ME:And Who have been your Role Models and why ?
KA:I have tried to be my own role model, keeping in mind an ‘ideal’ to which I would like to conform. Thus, when I do something which is not in line with this ideal, I review it and take corrective action so as not to repeat it. The closest ‘other’ which I can think of as a role model has been Nirja, my wife of 36 years, from whom I have learnt wisdom, self-control, organisation, consideration for others, hard-headed realism and the ability to shun laziness.

ME: Thank You Kishore for sharing your insights and for enlightening us about the things which you have learnt in your life. Thank You and Wish you all the Best.
KA: Its my pleasure.

“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.”
-- Wayne Dyer


augursmiles said...

Impressive interview !! A question to
Kishore. When did you finish IIM-A ?
Have a lot to ask about IIM's. Can you share some of your experience ?

P.S said...

@ augur: Thanks buddy... Will wait for Kishore to answer your question. Iam equally interested in knowing about that as well ;)

Sundar Rajan G S said...

Hey.. Nice work..

P.S said...

@ Sundar: Thanks Buddy !!

Kishore said...

I completed the PGP program at IIMA in 1972.

My experience at IIMA was great. As an engineer, I learnt about Finance and Accounting, Report Writing (We had a course called WAC) and Marketing, all of which stood me in good stead throughout my career and do so even now in my work with civil society.

I realised that IIMs should make it compulsory for people to have at least two years work experience before applying, something which most good U.S. Colleges insist upon. The perspective changes when you consider it as a preparation for work in a company, rather than an extension of your college years.

augursmiles said...

Thanks Kishore !! By the way,Why is the work experience so important for an MBA ?

P.S said...

@ kishore: Thank You for the reply..:)

P.S said...

@ augur: We will have a separate discussion on the importance of work experience later... Wait and watch out :)