The year 2020 will always be remembered as the year that completely changed the way we live and we work. With a threat that was larger than anything else that this generation had seen, the year 2020 impacted billions around the world – irrespective of race, gender and region. There were however some people who have inspired millions through their enthralling and vivacious speeches. These leaders have shown the light when everything else seemed to have lost in the dark.
On the impact of these leaders, Deepshikha Kumar, Founder, SpeakIn comments, “2020 was not a year for business, travel or even formalized education. It was a year to re-think. It was a year to understand oneself and the world around us better. We were to learn the importance of so many things that we just take for granted. These leaders have helped us understand this idea and have given us hope throughout. SpeakIn has itself had the support of many leaders during these times. It is natural that we are now making the finest of the leadership accessible to the world over various forums for their learning.”.
SpeakIn honours these men and women who are a living definition of “Leadership” in this 2020 Top Ten Speakers Round-Up.
Popularly referred to as the “female Obama”, Senator Kamala Devi Harris is the first Black and Indian-American women vice president of the United States. On the historical moment of her winning the office, she said in her victory speech, “But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Dr. Muhammad Yunus
Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a civil society leader, an economist and founder of the Grameen Bank. He is known for making the concepts like microcredit and microfinance known to common man. He has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work to create economic and social development from below. He quotes “Corona suddenly let us have a look at our own society, we never felt that before and one other thing we saw was that how horrible life is at the bottom”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
A name of mnemonic fame among Indians across the world, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the former captain of the Indian National Cricket Team. He recently announced his retirement after a dream run of fifteen years which saw India lifting all the coveted trophies including the World Cup. In a result-oriented world, he prescribes, “The process is more important than the result. If you take care of the process, you will get the results.”
Jairam Ramesh is a well-known economist-politician. As a member of the INC, Ramesh has held several Ministerial portfolios during the UPA government. During the lockdown, Mr. Ramesh has been actively involved in forwarding suggestions to the Centre. On parliamentary committees not meeting virtually, he quoted, “How is it that even Pakistani Parliament can convene, but India, the world’s largest democracy and a tech-savvy nation can’t even meet virtually?
T V Mohandas Pai
A Padma Shri awardee, T.V. Mohandas Pai is the current Chairman of Manipal University. He has been a former director of Infosys. He talks about his vision for the country as, “A dream in which, by 2031, India becomes a 10 trillion dollar economy and a country where everybody has the necessities of life and each and every young person can realize his or her dreams by working hard and being smart.”
Bear Grylls OBE has become known worldwide as one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure. He trended throughout the month for the upcoming episode on his real-life survival show Man vs. Wild with the superstar Rajnikanth. He is a phenomenal motivational speaker and in one of his talks he says, “It’s actually about the simple things that keep us moving through the dark nights that we all face from time to time, and about the things that keep us moving and smiling in the brighter days. So remember you are made amazing, stand tall and N.G.U. – Never Give Up.”
Fondly named as “Mr. Dependable” by the telecom czar Sunil Mittal, Manoj Kohli has come a long way from expanding Airtel’s network across the country to becoming a rainmaker for one of the world’s most popular conglomerates. He shares his timeless wisdom in the backdrop of the ongoing COVID19 crisis, “The world is ready for a huge transformation. We had lost sense of some lessons over the years and now we’re getting back those lessons. That includes caring for nature and environment. There is suffering also. Overall, there are many lessons that can be learnt for the people, nations and businesses to reset our lives and reset our future”.
One of the founders of ISB, where SpeakIn was conceptualized, Rajat Gupta is a name synonymous with innovation and success, having worked with PnG, Goldman Sachs, and American Airlines. The former CEO of McKinsey & Company advises businessmen: “First, you are serving as professionals; Your clients come first no matter what. Second, If you ensure others become successful, they’ll want to have a role in your success too.”
Dr. Naresh Trehan
Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri Dr Naresh Trehan is an eminent cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeon. With more than 50000 surgeries performed by him and over 41 years of professional experience, he is the most sought-after medical professional for advice. In a recent interview he explains, ”While SARS was recognised early and hence could be controlled, COVID-19 was recognised late and the rapidity and magnitude of this virus is unprecedented. Every effort must be made now to curb the spread of the virus and urge people to act responsibly.”
Indian business magnate Sanjeev Bhikchandani was recently in the news for being announced as the recipient of the Padma Shri Award. The founder of Naukri.com, he has also funded various internet-based startups including Jeevansathi.com, 99acres.com, Shiksha.com, Zomato, and Policybazaar. Notably, Sanjeev was also honored with SpeakIn’s Icon of Excellence in Speech #Entrepreneur last year for inspiring many budding entrepreneurs across the world. A popular investor himself, on Zomato’s acquisition of Uber Eats, Sanjeev comments, “It helps in terms of synergies regarding customers and regarding rider network regarding the restaurant supply chain”.