The graduating students have learnt several lessons on management during their two-year stay at IIM-Lucknow (IIM-L). But on Saturday, they learnt something which perhaps no one else could have told them better than veteran Jamshed J Irani, chairman, board of governors, IIM-L.
Irani advised the graduating students to stay away from politics. “Do not get involved in politics. There is life beyond politics,” he told them during the convocation programme.
The students listened to Irani patiently as he advised the young managers to maintain a distance from politicians and not let their careers revolve around politics.
Taking a dig at politicians, Irani pointed out some “advantages of politics” as well. “Politics has certain advantages, like there is no retirement age. In fact in politics, career begins after 60. And for politicians, retirement comes only on the banks of some holy river like Ganga when they breathe their last,” he said.
Irani rued that politics has invaded every sphere of life. “In fact politics has invaded every sphere of life. Today, it consumes 75% space in newspapers. There is politics in sports too. Thankfully now the apex court has made some observations that will help in freeing sports from politics.”
The chairman repeatedly took potshots on politics and held the system responsible for keeping the institute without a regular director for 19 months till Dr Ajit Prasad was appointed in October last year.
“Many other institutes are still without a regular director,” he said.
During the last year’s convocation at IIM-L, Irani had said that the premier management institute was waiting for ‘achche din’ (good days).
“There is no full time director at the B-School for a year now and in the absence of a regular head, even the best of institutions suffer,” he had said, adding, “In the absence of a regular director, the institute is not able to take long term decisions.”
Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi, who was the chief guest on the occasion, advised the students not to measure their success in terms of neighbours’ ratings. “Just do what you love,” said Tewari, an IIT-Kanpur alumnus.
The IIM-L director told the students that their success would be the success of the institute and each small step taken by them would be an accomplishment for the institute.