Oranges and Farewells
(This was my farewell speech to the 2008-10 Batch at IMT Nagpur..found it in the archives)
An orange is to my mind, a more interesting fruit than an apple. Though delicious, an apple’s taste is uni-dimensional- sweet. An orange, especially the one from Nagpur, is tangy, and combines a little sweet with a little sour, giving us a real glimpse into life. Duality makes you appreciate the good part- without seeing the other side, you may not fully appreciate it.
Obviously, farewells bring up a lot of memories, of a time spent doing things together which we may have to do alone. Learning in the conventional sense is of course one reason why all of you came to IMT Nagpur, but I am sure the learnings went far beyond. I still recollect what we learnt- and what we did not, during our days at IIMB. But most of us who graduated then did very well at things we did not necessarily learn directly from our coursework. The courses are like a peg to hang your future learning on- it gives you a fulcrum, or maybe a starting point. If the world needs changing, the learning of yesterday is not enough. A tomorrow is always different from yesterday, and we all play a part in building it. A Sabeer Bhatia may have invented Hotmail, but it was the ordinary users like you and me who made it a big hit, and now the idea continues to benefit all humanity, connecting us in ways we never would have imagined.
A career is an important part of our lives, and one must pay a lot of attention to nurture it for three or four decades after we start. I would also suggest that you pay attention to self development, in any way that you can. Work hard, but also smell the roses along the way, or take long walks (on a golf course if you like to play the game). Life has a lot to offer, if we can take the time to figure it out.
Despite hectic activity, contemplation is actually easier in the two years during the MBA, if my memory serves me right, than in the years after that. I am sure that many of you would have dreamt a lot when you were here. And if you continue to do that after you start on new endeavors in the coming months, these dreams will be realized. I would like to wish each one of the 2008-2010 batch a great future ahead in life. You are now going to be an IMT Nagpur alumnus, and we are sure you will keep in touch.