Management lessons from governance – Session with Mr. Tejasvi Surya by Parth Rajan

The Public Policy Club (PPC) of IIM Bangalore recently had the privilege to host Mr. Tejasvi Surya, for an interactive webinar on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The topic for the day being- “Management lessons from governance and Role of youth in nation-building”. For the uninitiated, he holds the distinction of being the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) in Lok Sabha from BJP at the age of 28 years. He is the current MP from Bangalore South constituency since 2019, which he had won with an unprecedented margin of 3.31 lakh votes. A significance of his constituency for us being that IIM Bangalore comes under it. With respect to his educational background, before entering politics, he completed his graduation from ‘Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies’ with a Bachelor of Academic Law and an LLB. 

We could sense a lot of excitement regarding the session amongst the IIMB community in the preceding days. And this was evident from the fact that we received more than 200 responses and questions in the interest form that we had circulated regarding the session. We received some interesting and insightful questions that we eventually posed to Mr. Surya during the session.

The session began with Mr. Surya explaining about what ‘politics’ and ‘governance’ actually stand for, thus trying to dispel the wrong notions that one usually holds. He very succinctly articulated his various ideas through the ‘10 lessons’ that he considers as his very own guiding light. He presented a lot of real-life examples to drive home the point, be it referring to Gandhiji, Dr. Ambedkar or our very own Prime Minister. His structuring of the talk in this way helped the students to understand the larger picture in a relatable manner. Given that the audience that he was catering to was full of future managers, he drew a lot of parallels between the domains of ‘management’ and ‘governance’, by highlighting the importance of stakeholder management, leadership and initiative-laden approach. He stressed on staying true to one’s principles, ideals and not straying away from the path, however difficult be the extraneous factors or circumstances. That is the real test of one’s character and integrity!  

The Q&A session consisted of wide-ranging set of questions, covering all the major aspects. It started with asking about his journey into ‘public service’ till now and how he feels about achieving so much at such a young age. Next question probed him on the aspect of why we usually witness a low voter turnout in the urban areas compared to the rural and what steps are needed to rectify the same. The most-asked question from the participants that we had received was why are there lesser number of younger people on the very top in the field of politics and governance. And how can the youth, especially management students bring about a difference by being a part of policy-making. He talked at length as to why the role of youth is even more important in today’s times, given the scale of work that is required for the nation’s development, be it smart cities, aspirational districts, water & electricity for all initiatives. There is a need to critically examine the effectiveness and measure the efficiency of these very initiatives, by evaluating the real impact that it is bringing at the grass-roots level. And it is precisely here that the youth can contribute and bring about a valuable change into the lives of others. He concluded the session by citing the importance of his closely-knit team that has helped him reach the heights and become the person that he is today.   

Through its speaker sessions, PPC aims to foster learning and inspiration on a wide range of topics within the public policy domain – and encourage thought-provoking conversations on public policy issues. We believe that as managers, entrepreneurs and policy-makers of tomorrow, it is much more important that each one of us is exposed to different perspectives and thought-processes, so that ultimately we are well-equipped to make informed decisions.

– Parth Ranjan
PGP 2020-22