Celebrating Diversity: Embracing the Weak to Build a Strong India

DQI Bureau
New Update

Impressive in its very professional handling as usual, the highpoint of

this year's href="">

Nasscom Diversity and Inclusion Summit was

the interesting ensemble of panelists and the fact that the discussion

went beyond its focus on gender diversity and inclusion to highlight

all shades of diversity – some we don't even consider in the

context of our everyday work life.

There was the 16 year old CEO, Suhas Gopinath who regaled the audience
with tales of his daring and amazed them with his grit and

determination. Sunitha Krishnan, chief functionary and co-founder,

Prajwala, who has saved over 3,000 girls, victims of sexual abuse,

living a life of complete disrepute and humiliation, shared her

perspective. Vishal Talreja, co-founder and director, Dream A Dream,

always a meritorious student with a high-profile investment banking job

on his mind, now educates and empowers slum children.Other speakers

included Shukla Bose, CEO, Parikrama Foundation, who once won the title

of 'the highest paid employee in India' now works with under privileged

children, href="">Revathi

Kasturi, founder and CEO

Laksh,  href="">Mythili

Ramesh, CEO, Next Wealth

– both having held very high profile positions at Wipro - and

now train youth from tier-2, -3 and rural areas to make them employable.

Suhas Gopinath was one of the panelists in the session on 'Generational
Diversity', a subject of immense interest to the industry considering

the growing number of young people entering the workforce. Gopinath

started working when he was 12, but wasn't taken seriously by his

clients who were extremely apprehensive of his minor status. By 14 he

had tapped into the US and European markets, had got together a global

team, speaking whichever language the customers demanded. But age was

always a factor. Not to be deterred, he simply opened his own company:

“that was the only thing to do. If I am the CEO, I am not

answerable to anyone right?” Each rejection he faced made him

more and more determined to succeed – he found innovative

ways of reaching his goals, the most important thing that this form of

diversity brings to the table.

Shergill, human resources lead,

Accenture India, spoke on how 'Generational Diversity' works within an

organization In a nutshell: Pay is directly related to prestige; they

need entertainment at work so you'd better have gyms and music and

other forms of relaxation – they will use it unlike the baby

boomers; they have a very strong value system, despite what we may

think, so only say what you mean – going back on your

promises is something that is unacceptable to this generation, you have

to demonstrate a culture of integrity; they believe in freedom and more

choices so it's a bad idea to throw rules and policies at them; they

are full of innovative ideas and work completely out of the box; it's a

always connected generation so barring the Internet for increasing

output will be a very bad idea; and it is essential that they feel

valued as individuals. How to handle this generation is giving Human

Resources sleepless nights – so this session was very well


The keynote from Sunitha Krishnan shook the audience, to say the least.
A victim of gangrape herself and the following social rejection she

made it very clear that she knows what she's talking about. Having

saved thousands of girls from their heinous lives, what she's doing is

nurturing them by instilling in them self respect and confidence so

instead of being a burden on society they can become educated,

employable women. Krishnan's plea was to accept these girls and employ

these girls.

Vishal Talreja is only twenty some years old, who fought his family's
and friends' outrage at leaving the chance for an extremely fulfilling

and money-making career to work with slum children. Same with Shukla

Bose who has studied in some of the best universities in the world and

has had a very high profile career, but this was a cause she was

“willing to compromise her lifestyle” for. They are

educating these under privileged

children and youth, giving them skill-sets that will enable them to

work shoulder-to-shoulder with other employees in any industry. Some of

the IT services companies we spoke to said they would positively be

looking at embracing this diversity also in the near future.

While Mythili Ramesh is working with the rural youth, and Revathi
Kasturi with the tier-2 and -3, they are both running for profit

organizations training these youth to make them employable. The IT

industry will be happy at the prospect of this huge talent pool that is

in the making – especially because the women creating this

pool know the requirement better than anyone. So it's a win-win for

all. As is diversity.