Economic Development and Creative leadership

| by Dr. APJ Abdulkalam
Address to the Business Executives, Colombo, 22 January 2012.
Work with integrity and succeed with integrity
( January 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) I am delighted to address the Business Leaders, Management Professional, Academicians and other guests present here in this event being hosted by Post Graduate Institute of Management of the University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Colombo in association with the Chartered Institute of Management. My greetings to all of you.
File Photo by Sri Lanka Guardian
Dear friends, Let me put forth a question to all of you: India, China may become economically developed and G-8 may thus become G-10 or G-11 or G-12. But, would this select group of economically developed nations bring global prosperity, peace and happy societies in the world?
Friends, the sustained prosperity of India, Sri Lanka or any other nation cannot evolve in isolation with the rest of the world. In a globalization world, our problems are shared, our efforts are shared and the prosperity and happiness will hence we shared across nations and societies as well. Hence, I have evolved a new topic for discussion with all of you today after my teaching assignments in Universities across the world. I would like to talk on the topic :
Friends, for the past five years, I have been teaching students from various institutions across the world towards evolving societies in the world which are happy, prosperous and peaceful. I often work with my students and team at towards the realization of a Vision for the Nations of the World in 2030. Let me present to you the visualizations. You may become partner to its realization.
Distinctive profile for the Nations of the World in 2030
1. A world of nations where the divide between rural and urban, rich and the poor, developed and developing has narrowed down.
2. A world of nations where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.
3. A world where core competencies of each nation are identified. Missions synergizing the core competencies of different nations lead to economic advantage and faster development for all the societies.
4. A world of nations where all the students of all societies are imparted education with value system.
5. A world of nations where affordable quality health care is available to all.
6. A world of nations where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.
7. A world of nations where crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.
8. A world in which every nation is able to give a clean green environment to all its citizens.
9. A world that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
10. A world of nations with creative leadership who ensure effective mechanisms to resolve conflicts between nations and societies in a timely manner keeping overall peace and prosperity of the world as a goal.
The realization of this vision will require, above all, creative leaders with the qualities of nobility, compassion, innovation, transparency and benevolence. This world Vision 2030 has been derived out of the Distinctive Profile of India by 2020. Since you are all from the management and business community of Srilanka, let me explain, what sort of business opportunities are awaiting in India, so that India and Srilanka can work together to for improving their bilateral relationship.
Integrated Action for developed India
To achieve the distinctive profile of India before 2020 in the similar lines, we have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Education and Healthcare (3) Information and Communication Technology (4) Infrastructure: Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country and (5) Self reliance in critical technologies. These five areas are closely inter-related and progressing in a coordinated way, leading to food, economic and national security.
National Missions and opportunities
Agriculture and food processing: We are in the mission of generating 340 million tons of food grains with reduced land, with reduced water and with reduced workforce from the present 230 million tonnes. New technology is needed in agricultural area from seeds to cultivation to the grain, food processing and marketing. This entire chain will enable employment particularly in rural areas in a big way.
Infrastructure: India is aspiring to build hundred million homes within next ten years. The infrastructure development in metropolitan and tier-2 cities needs to be enhanced in the form of new bridges, airports, marketing complexes and industrial units. 40% of the rural areas need to be covered with all weather roads; we need to double the present national highways road length. Simultaneously, we are in the process of developing ports, railway systems and airports. For example, the Indian construction industry employs over 31 million people for its asset generating activity of over Rs.310,000 crore which includes expenditure of Rs.200,000 crore incurred by the Government. This will need development of specialized quality human resource in all the spectrum of construction activity. This task will need reorientation of our education system for generating world class skills among the youth.
Energy: Energy independence is our national goal. We are determined to achieve this within the next 25 years i.e by the year 2030. While our population may touch 1.4 billion people, demand from power sector will increase from the existing 145,000 MW to about 400,000 MW. This assumes an energy growth rate of 5% per annum. Electric power generation in India now accesses four basic energy sources: Fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal which have to be replaced by, Hydroelectricity; Nuclear power; and Renewable energy sources such as bio-fuels, solar, biomass, wind and ocean. We need a major thrust in solar energy (55,000 MW) and wind energy (64,000 MW) nuclear energy (50,000 MW) hydro power sources (66,000 MW) and bio-mass and municipal waste (20,000 MW). For the transportation sector, we have to concentrate on bio-diesel, ethanol and emulsified fuel.

Safe Drinking Water and Water Management: We are in the process of embarking on the major mission of “Interlinking of Rivers” in the nation and the statewide creation of “Waterways” which will act as a reservoir to accommodate floodwater and enhance the irrigation, navigation and tourism.

Healthcare: India is in the mission of “Health for all” programme and “Vision 2020” for eye care. It provides tremendous opportunity in the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. We are also in the mission of establishing tele-medicine centers in the Primary Health Centre of 2 lakh panchayats through connectivity mission via Satellite, Terrestrial and wireless links. We have to enhance the nutrition aspects of all citizens, particularly women and children and also provide 100% sanitary facilities in homes, schools and other public places.

Pharma Vision: The global production of pharmaceuticals, branded and generics put together is of the order of $550 billion. The Indian Pharma industry at present has a turnover of US $12.5 billion of generics for domestic and export markets against the production of US $ 78 billion worth of generics in the world. Pharma Council has evolved the Pharma Vision 2020 with a view to make India the leader in drug production. We have to set a target of producing 40% of world generics production. Indian pharmaceutical companies have got the core competence for producing cost effective and quality Pharma products. Our Pharma companies are working towards molecule to drug and have embarked on number of research programmes in developing medicines using our traditional knowledge.
Information and Communication Technology: India has to become “Knowledge System Powerhouse” instead of software powerhouse. Also to achieve global operations, we have to consider introduction of virtual platforms for development of knowledge products based on national experience in engineering design of multiple systems leading to a business volume of US $ 200 billion by 2012 from the present business volume of US $ 60 billion.

Aerospace : In the area of space, India has to work for Low cost access to space bringing the cost per kg from the present US $ 20,000 per orbital kg to $ 2,000. This will eventually lead India to take part in many mass missions for earth applications and interplanetary exploration for industrial base and second habitat. India has to work for 70 -100 seater aircraft which is viable to be produced before 2020 and with enormous potential for air transportation in our country.
Automobile: The automobile industry in India accounts for a business volume of US $ 45 billion. Definitely, it has a potential to grow much faster both through Indian manufacturers and many well-known international manufacturers who have established huge facilities in the country. We are poised to increase business volume to US $ 200 billion by 2016 with an export component of at least US $ 50 billion.

Shipbuilding: India today builds ships for oil exploration, service vessels, port operations, self-propelled barges for river transports and cargo ships upto 92,000 DWT. In addition, we have facility for building combat ships for the Indian Navy. By 2008, we will have three shipyards for building vessels of capacity 100,000 to 150,000 DWT. We have to create facilities for vessel ranging from 150,000 DWT to 300,000 DWT. Simultaneously, there is a need for setting up of shipyards. The technology has under gone a sea change. Many of the shipbuilders in the world are building for India.
Rail Vision 2030: I have suggested increasing the railway route length from the existing 63,000 kilometer to 90,000 kilometer, increasing average speed of trains to 200 kilometer per hour, establishment of number of metros, integrating Indian Railways with inland smart waterways with 15,000 kilometers waterways, construction of multilevel railways platforms to reduce platform crowding and overall increase in the passenger and freight throughput.
PURA Mission: One major aspect of development is the mission for bringing rural prosperity. This is through Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) through creation of three connectivities namely physical, electronic, knowledge leading to economic connectivity. The number of PURA for the whole country is estimated to be 7000 covering 600,000 villages where 700 million people live. This will need an investment of around 175 billion dollars. Government is planning to implement 2 PURA’s per district across 600 districts in the nation. There are a number of operational PURA in the country initiated by many educational, healthcare institutions, industry and NGO’s.
All these programmes which I have mentioned above have social, research and technological content with substantial amount of opportunities for techno-managerial experts. Students can carve out their own niche areas and prepare themselves for contributing quality techno-managerial support which will enable execution of the economic programmes in time and at internationally competitive costs.
The knowledge society in 21st century
The world in the 21st century will be a knowledge based society with multiple opportunities. I was studying a book, “Empires of the Mind” by Denis Waitley. This book gives what type of the new world which we are facing now? What was yesterday and what is today. I have modified certain points of the author to suit our conditions. I have also added a third line which is pertinent to the action required by the management institutions.
It specially says that “what worked yesterday, won?t work today”.
1. Yesterday – natural resources defined power
Today – knowledge is power
Institutions will be the powerhouse for knowledge
2. Yesterday – Hierarchy was the model
Today- synergy is the mandate
Institutions will be enabler of intersection of multiple faculties towards mission goals
3. Yesterday – leaders commanded and controlled
Today – leaders empower and coach
Potential Leaders will be empowered through exposure to the needs of sustainable development
4. Yesterday – shareholders came first
Today – ustomers come first
Education should inculcate sensitivity to “customer” needs
5. Yesterday – employees took order
Today – eams make decision
Institutions can inject team spirit
6. Yesterday – seniority signified status
Today – reativity drive status
Institutions is the breeding environment for creativity
7. Yesterday – roduction determined availability
Today – ompetitiveness is the key
Competitiveness is powered by research and university has to have the motto of “eaching-research-teaching”
8. Yesterday – value was extra
Today – value is everything
Value based education has to be introduced as a part of the curriculum, at least for one hour every week
9. Yesterday – everyone was a competitor
Today – everyone is a customer
During education industrial and entrepreneurship training is essential
10. Yesterday – profits were earned through expediency
Today – Work with integrity and succeed with integrity.
Home, organizations and educational places should become learning places
I am sure, all the members present here will keep these aspects of 21st century in mind which will facilitate the Youth of Sri Lanka to evolve the learning process for meeting the demands of the 10 components of knowledge society. For that what is needed is the creative leadership. I am sure, the Management, professional and other education system in Sri Lanka has to be geared up for the generation of large number of creative leaders needed in different disciplines required for national economic development.
Since I am in the midst of business community, I would like to give the linkage between national economic development and creative leadership.
Economic development and prosperity
1. Nations Economic development is powered by competitiveness.
2. The competitiveness is powered by knowledge power.
3. The knowledge power is powered by Technology and innovation.
4. The Technology and innovation is powered by resource investment.
5. The Resource investment is powered by revenue and return on Investment.
6. The Revenue is powered by Volume and repeat sales through customer loyalty.
7. The customer loyalty is powered by Quality and value of products.
8. Quality and value of products is powered by Employee Productivity and innovation.
9. The Employee Productivity is powered by Employee Loyalty, employee satisfaction and working environment.
10. The Working Environment is powered by management stewardship.
11. Management stewardship is powered by Creative leadership.
For success in all missions we need creative leaders. Creative leadership means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self-respect. The higher the proportion of creative leaders in an organization, the higher the potential of success and the growth of organization and thereby leading to accelerated national economic growth.
Dear friends, I have seen three dreams which have taken shape as vision, mission and realization. Space programme of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), AGNI programme of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) and PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) becoming the National Mission. Of course these three programmes succeeded in the midst of many challenges and problems. I have worked in all these three areas. I would like to convey to you what I have learnt on leadership from these three programmes and the personalities whom I have discussed.
a. Leader must have a vision.
b. Leader must have a passion to transform the vision into action.
c. Leader must be able to travel into an unexplored path.
d. Leader must know how to manage a success and failure.
e. Leader must have courage to take decision.
f. Leader should have Nobility in management.
g. Every action of the leader should be transparent.
h. Leader must work with integrity and succeed with integrity.
For a vibrant business, the important thrust will be on the generation of a number of creative leaders who will create, nurture and grow the business to its full potential by combating all the challenges faced in the process.
My greetings and best wishes to all the participants success in the mission of creating new opportunities of growth through creative leadership.
May God Bless you.


Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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