T V Narendran, CEO and managing director of Tata Steel Limited
T V Narendran, CEO and managing director of Tata Steel Limited

Faced with unprecedented challenges - a life threatening pandemic, climate weirding and economic downturn, it is up to the aspiring business leaders of tomorrow to build their resilience quotient and turn these into opportunities, said Tata Steel Managing Director (India and South East Asia) T V Narendran on Saturday.

Narendran, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Governors, XLRI Xavier School of Management, one of India's premier B-Schools, was addressing its 65th annual convocation of 2019-21 batch held virtually.

Narendran said: "It is rare that we come across multiple large challenges in such a short period - a life- threatening pandemic, climate weirding as a consequence of climate change and an economic downturn.

"As aspiring business leaders of tomorrow, these unprecedented challenges offer valuable learnings as we have all suddenly moved into a scenario where the managerial acronym VUCA (short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) has acquired totally different meanings.

"The new VUCA world challenges you to build your resilience quotient, take care of your own health and those of your loved ones and friends and also beckons you to support to the extent possible, all the marginalised people who live life on a day-to-day basis".

He said XLRI established in 1949 has consistently striven to uphold its mission to help shape competent business leaders yet upholding high personal values and societal concerns.

The industrial township of Jamshedpur is indeed fortunate to have such a progressive management school that offers much more than management-centric education programmes, he said.

"In these trying times, I wish each of you all the very best in all your future endeavors, and I urge you to remember ''these times shall also pass'' and we shall overcome these challenges as a business school, as a nation, and as a global family," he added.

XLRI conferred 'Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Social and Industrial Peace' on Sandeep Kataria, Global CEO, Bata Corporation who graced the convocation ceremony as the chief guest.

As many as 506 XLRI students virtually received their graduating certificates and medals, including 178 and 181 students of Postgraduate Programmes in Management - BM, and HRM; 101 students of 15-months PGDM (General Management) Program; 06 students of Fellow Program in Management (FPM) and 40 students of the 20182021 batch of PGDM-BM Programme (Evening).

Director XLRI Fr Paul Fernandes congratulated the graduating students and advised them to uphold the values they have imbibed at XLRI to be responsible leaders who are extraordinary professionals with a sensitive conscience.

"This is the second time the convocation is being held virtually due to COVID restrictions... We had a successful year in 2020-21, and it is the result of our teamwork and our determination to take this institution forward and make it globally renowned and a top-ranked Business School in the country," he said.

He said XLRI felt proud to present the Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Industrial and Social Peace to Sandeep Kataria, first Indian to be the Global CEO of Bata Corporation.

Delivering the convocation speech Kataria said, "You are graduating at an amazing moment in time for the global economy and especially India. I am not referring just to the pandemic, which has impacted almost everything over the last 15 months.

"There are worries about the pandemic, probably the most significant world event of our lifetime. It has managed to touch everyone in a most personal way and unarguably pushed back the world economy and people 5 to 10 years." Kataria added: "When I look at the future with optimism, I refer to the inevitable rise of the new order, a new normal, an opportunity to recast many of the notions that we have taken for granted over the last 50 years and provide an opportunity like never before.

"Combined with the continuing changes in the geopolitical map of the world and the triple disruption of technology, global warming, and markets that have been gathering pace over the last decade, we will see significant changes in the workplace within your career spans".

Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Industrial and Social Peace, instituted by XLRI in 1966, in honor of the Late Sir Jehangir Ghandy, former Chairman of the Board of Governors- XLRI is awarded to heroic leaders who have contributed towards the growth of their respective organizations and also impacted the growth of our nation in a significant way.

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