Saturday, June 13, 2015

Same Places, Same Mission, New Avatar (Part 1): Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

I’ve found that in life there are times when existence puts you back into a similar situation or physical environment to remind of you of the purpose of your journey.  Many of us require this cosmic kick in the butt because, in this world of immediate results and progress, it is just too easy to stop believing in yourself or get distracted by what others are doing in their lives.  While I do fall victim to this every once in awhile, I’m fortunate to have the awareness and luck to recognize when a sign is being held up right in front of my face.

The other week I experienced one of these signs.  My colleague and I travelled to Ahmedabad, Gujarat to meet with the Director of Nirma University Institute of Management. The objective of our meeting was to discuss a football project we want to launch with their next batch of MBA students in order to give them an on ground opportunity to build their sports management experience and skills.
While I always enjoy being back on any academic campus, what makes this particular campus so special is that it is located directly across the street from SGVP International, the extraordinary school that I’ve been associated with since the year 2000.  Thanks to my Uncle who is one of SGVP’s founders, I’ve not only visited the school over a dozen times since my first visit to India in 2006, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with all of the students and share my thoughts on pursuing a career of your dreams regardless of family and societal pressures – a topic which is dear to my heart.

Incredibly, there I was 8 years later right across the street discussing the same topic with the Director of Nirma’s Business School with the same passion and belief in what I was saying, however this time with 6 years of India experience under my belt.  Even more incredible, was that Nirma’s progressive program Director agreed and communicated his intention to now begin exploring the establishment of a sports management workshop and eventually curriculum within their MBA program.

The University visit and meeting only lasted 2 hours, however in that time, I re-connected with my 26 year old self, the naïve, passionate and excitable young boy who only wanted to contribute to youth by educating and empowering them to live a life they are proud of through creativity, belief, courage and hard work.  Now, at 35, I still have the same passion, energy and commitment and, through my deeper understanding of this country, I’m confident that my team and I will create more opportunities for Indian youth to follow their dreams and pursue careers in sports management. 

Addressing students at SGVP in 20016 to kick off their annual sports day function

Awards ceremony at an SGVP football tournament in 2006

Being greeted by some of the SGVP students

I'd like to do a couple of these presentations a week if possible

My new favorite Gujarati snack which we had in Ahmedabad - called Dabeli

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