Monday, January 24, 2011

TEDxVIT 2011 – Miles to go before I sleep....

Thanks to Archana Raghuram who spread the word about TEDx events (

I made it this time by attending the TEDxVIT yesterday at Chettinad Health city, Kelambakkam and it was worth all the drive!

In this blog I talk about the TEDxVIT speakers who shared with us life lessons from their own personal experiences which ideally is the essence of TED events.

It was Sukumar Rajagopal's (SVP, CIO & Head of Innovation at Cognizant)first TEDx talk and he spoke on the topic “Microsuccess – Success for the rest of us”. The topic not only applied for the student community but for all of us who aspire to become successful.

  • He attributes his success to being at the right time at the right place, his team mates and colleagues, friends and wife. As is his trademark next was a video with the message “If you do not fail you do not live.” (Life = Risk)
  • From the Black Swan book he quoted that only about 1 – 5 % of people are extremis tans who take high risk while the mediocristans are the rest with lesser risk quotient. Based on his own experience he derives that” Success = Risk factor * func(talent or nature + training or nurturing)”
  • Also consoled us (!) with the fact that the concept of A/B/C players (A being a player like Bill Gates or Sachin) is not really to be believed and anyone can really become successful if we put in our efforts and do it with passion.
  • He traced his life path from how being a 15th rank holder in class in 10th board exams, he put in more efforts based on his father’s words in 12th standard and got a seat for Engineering, learnt on passion for doing the job from one of his friends in college, at work learnt the art of empowering people keeping in mind their growth and now in a position of powerlessness (in his words!) gets it done through influence and change management. Hope we get to see his presentation online which describes it best.

His parting thoughts were

  • Can you spot mediocristan parts of extremistan careers
  • For the entrepreneurs on how to evolve a model for the microentrepreneurs like Farmers, Mechanics, Kiranas etc and make them profitable and lead a decent living.

The other speaker of the day who spoke on life lessons was Kirubshankar(CEO of business blogging( Again it was his first TEDx talk. It was just after lunch and he gave a warm up for the crowd of atleast 300 with SriSri Ravishankar’s yoga mixed with slapping the person to the extreme that the right hand can go to ! followed with a chikubukku train of students from the last rows to fill up the front rows. Real Innovative and that was enough to get everyone awake and attentive. He correlated this TEDx talk of his to the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.(Do not miss this in you tube).

His life lessons

  • Whatever is our expertise knowledge we should give it away for free
  • One must have a mentor. Mentors make one feel comfortable and make us do what we should and not just what we like.
  • Before doing a task to think of 3 reasons why we want to do something. He correlated this to a stool which can stand only if it has three legs.
  • He quoted the “Power of taking time off” by Stefan Sagmeister ( Upon a google this article describes the essence of it -
  • Meet people from other fields and you will see that you evolve better in your own field.
  • To go beyond and not be a well frog.

At a TEDx conference I imagined there will be more white hairs from whom we can derive knowledge but it was actually the millennial presenters who were more!

If you want to laugh your heart out do not miss Nitin Gupta’s talks. He was the last speaker and all you could hear from the crowd was a nonstop “HA HA HA “

To get the complete list of speakers please visit

Overall I felt there was “Miles to go before I sleep”