April 3, 2011

In conversation with my mentor....

There are few people who influence,impact and inspire your life as a student and continue to do so in your formative period as a professional. Rajesh Kamath is one such mentor I found during my final year in MSSW. He not only enriched my learning curve as a student but provided me various oppurtunities during my association with SHRM India and MTHR Global which I deeply value till date.
My conversations with him has always been scintillating and invaluable. Please read on as I capture one of my recent conversation with him:

Saikat: Since the time I have known you, you have been very passionate about the student community. What fascinates you the most about 'Youngistan'?

Rajesh: Too many things fascinate me about Youngistan but I am most excited at how different they are from the earlier generation, in terms of lifestyle, work style and interpersonal characteristics. I feel that it is extremely complimentary and creates opportunity to learn and enjoy.

Saikat:What is going to be the New Age HR ethos which will be fostered by upcoming young HR leaders?

Rajesh:You’ll know better Saikat. Yet, my observation is that young HR leaders (mostly) are characterised by more openness to ideas and transparency in communication. I also find them more energetic.

Saikat:The first few years of any professionals life is very eventful? What is your advice to young professionals so that they can fully leverage their early years with greater clarity?

Rajesh:I am sure that young professionals have more advice to offer me than me to them. The principle I follow is what comes to Youngistan rather easily: “Question every Answer” (this was prominently displayed in Northpoint Learning Center years back). One advice I can offer is respect age and experience.

Saikat:You are one of the founding members of MTHRG. MTHRG has been associated with very engaging and knowledge intensive seminars where the members are not even charged a penny. How do you and your team manage it?

Rajesh:Its rather simple: It has no business or even a basic not-for-profit commercial model because its powered by passion for learning. Partners who are equally passionate about knowledge and community fund the Events. The partner benefits by way of visibility and the community and facilitators, by way of unbridled learning.

Saikat:What has been your most defining moment in professional and personal life?

Rajesh: This is an impossible question since I truly have many such moments each year. I can share that they have one common factor: the moments are always caused by great men and women, from day to day life.

Saikat:You recently went for a brief spiritual journey What were your key learning from this spiritual journey?

Rajesh:I took a short 4 day break to Rishikesh, Dehradun and Haridwar. I do this every alternate year though I wish I could do it more frequently. These are with a Spiritual (neutral to religion) Group called Ananda Sangha. Learnings were too many but I would pick two:

1. Certain places and people carry a phenomenal energy about them which rubs on you.

2. As one Swamiji at Doon shared – “There is unrest, strife and disharmony around because everyone is right”

Saikat:Please share a few quickies:

  • Your life philosophy: Respect every person for what each one is, something to learn from everyone
  • Blog or Twitter: Twitter
  • An evening with Dalai Lama or an evening with Jack Welch: Morning with Dalai Lama
  • I Phone or Blackberry: I’m a Blackberry Boy
  • All rounder or specialist (Who is a more promising future talent?): Specialist