Stating that it was “India’s time in the sun,” Shikha Sharma, CEO and MD of Axis Bank Ltd told students at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) Saturday that it was an opportune moment for the country to regain its fair share of global economic production.
Addressing the 52nd annual convocation at IIMA, Sharma said, “It is always hard to notice history as it is being made… As a nation, were are all living through such a period right now. This is India’s time in the sun. It is our time as a nation to regain our fair share of global economic production, of trade, or arts, culture, innovation.”
Sharma, about whom there has been intense speculation about her exiting Axis Bank during the last few days, said, “Remember, everything you do today is, for better or for worse, in the public gaze. And the public’s interpretation of it, their retelling of it, even their memory of it, is very likely to be imperfect, even unfair… .”
Sharing her professional and personal experiences with 554 graduating students and their parents who were present at the ceremony, Shikha, who was visiting her alma mater after 37 years, said, “We live in a world where the rate of change is constantly increasing, the effectiveness of our response strategies is increasingly uncertain, the number of variables at play are every higher, and there are vanishingly few situations where there is a clear right answer.”
Kumar Mangalam Birla, the chairman of Board of Governors at IIMA, had something similar to say to the students. “You are stepping into a world where change is more ferocious than it has ever been. And so, let me not sugar-coat things for you. The real world is a tough place where, often times, the light at the end of the tunnel is turned off due to budget cuts. There is intense competition out there. There is failure out there and you will encounter challenges and hurdles that you never even imagined in your wildest dreams.”