Four entrepreneurs spoke their hearts out today, each with the mission of transferring the compassion from their souls into that of their new IBM CSC consultants in the audience. Truly it was a moving spectacle, a slow and measured catharsis so that we understood the mission and its historical and emotional context. The first speaker was a dynamic woman CEO and founder who’s life mission is to rescue and rehabilitate the poorest of India’s kids. Her hit list: child protection, youth training, HIV and women’s rights. Next up was another woman at the helm of her corporation and at the top of her game. An entrepreneur, a mother, an activist and the primary caregiver to a developmentally disabled adult child. She’s built a framework of services that didn’t exist for her child but now services the needs of many others like her son. She wants the organization to become self sufficient, to be allowed to live on without donations and fundraisers. Period. Third was an analytical mind, a technical man, one who used numbers and reasons and the promise of better lives to make his case. His goal: to improve the lives of millions of Indians by efficiently collecting and mining data and using its stories to help build infrastructure and much needed services for the urban-poor. Last to speak was a businessman. A successful businessman. A businessman with the means and the acumen to successfully start, run and expand a supply-chain business and make the lives and livelihoods of thousands of farmers better in its wake! He needs the best IT. IT that will scale with the progressive applications of successful pilot models and IT that will enable him to reach the poorest of the poor in rural India.
To say I was impressed is an understatement. The missions are worthy, the need undeniable, the possible impact incredible…but most of all I was blown away by the commitment, the proverbial sweat, blood and tears that marks the journey that these folks have taken to advance their causes. Their calling is now our job. Wow!