Tuesday 22 December 2015


Dr R A Mashelkar Says that we have Talent, Technology and Tolerance.

What is tolerance? Tolerance for failure, tolerance for risk taking, tolerance for ambiguity Today we talk about Silicon Valleys success with great admiration, but this success is not just because of the talent and technology that they have but because of the tolerance that they have. Venture capital flourished there, risk taking comes naturally there.  Venture capital has assumed the meaning of "adventure" capital there.


Somehow, we have become an intolerant  society as far as risk taking and as far as the failure is concerned. Is there a success without failure? Have you a seen a small child walking without falling? No. But somehow or the other, we are not tolerant to failure.


I keep on going back to cricket.  When Ajit Wadekar won the test series in early seventies against England, the streets in Bombay had lined up but just a few years later,  when he came back after losing the series, there was stone throwing!  Is it fair? Tolerance, I think is going to be an essential part, -tolerance for all the religions, castes, creeds, socially deprived, economically deprived. So, I believe that the new India that you have to build is on this  solid fulcrum of talent, technology and tolerance.


Tolerance for ambiguity is very critical by the way. If you see the real story behind Microsoft, somewhere there is a romantic story about the tolerance for ambiguity. Bill Gates recently got an honorary doctorate from Harvard and he narrated an experience. He declared himself as the most successful dropout from Harvard University. Then he said, in his early days, when the hardware manufacturing was started by a company in Albuquerque, he phoned them up and offered to supply them the software, half expecting that they would keep the phone down because he was just a student, who was calling. But they did not. They asked him to come after a month. Bill Gates says. 'Thank God! They said come back after a month because I had not actually developed the software', when I had called them.  So, you see plenty of  ambiguity here.  It is in terms of what Bill Gates did because he offered the software which he was yet to develop. And ambiguity in terms of the company in Albuquerane in accepting the offer by an undergraduate student -  they did not keep the phone down because he was a student. The rest is history, the rest is Microsoft, the greatest software company, which made Bill Gates the richest man in the world. So, I believe that talent, technology and tolerance are the key to success.  

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