Professor Mohanbir Sawhney is not just the McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology at the Kellogg School of Management, a well-renowned author and consultant, serving on the Board of Directors at Reliance Jio Infocomm, and a figure with many more titles and accolades…he is also a published poet and most importantly, a recognised leading thinker of the world! Despite of all his achievements, he remains humble, calm, and even humorous throughout the meeting.
One of his opening statements is, “The world is your Lego set.” He goes on to name the four building blocks of digital infrastructure that build the world today more than any others—devices, wired/wireless networks, cloud computing, and AI/machine learning. He cites various examples to support his teachings, some of which include – Uber, Ola, Byju’s, etc. Prof. Sawhney continually emphasises to always start with a problem, and never the solution because, “A fool with a tool is still a fool.” He focuses on the opportunities for India – education with reference to cultural and vocational contexts, health which is, “a massive industry and leaves a lot to be desired,” and finance with respect to financial inclusion. Sir ends by joking that he has an acronym of his own, just like those in Bollywood movies; the acronym being ‘KKH’ or ‘Karna Kya Hai (What to do)’, but even something said jokingly holds deep meaning and leaves us with a lot to think about.
We are grateful for to the professor for taking time out of his surely busy schedule and gracing us with his presence—what we learnt will influence us in our lives positively and forever stay with us.