The Land of Car Horns and Promise

Latoya FrancisLSE

When I walk into a room heads turn, literally. However, this was not the core reason for deciding to spend my first summer of grad school in India. Curry, a rich culture, sages, social entrepreneurship and Jamsetji Tata are some of the real reasons I chose India. My aspirations to become a successful entrepreneur surfaced in early primary school. My products ranged from illegal chocolate to even cutting in on the sneaker company my parents were trying to start. The Tata Group seemed like a dream once I learned all the company was involved with and its founder, Jamsetji Tata instantly became my role model for the empire I desire to build. I am still trying to decide if it’s his amazing beard or amazing business model I am in love with. “In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business, but is, in fact, the very purpose of its existence” – Jamsetji Tata (1839-1904) Studying business and accounting made me realize that I don’t want to be a part of anything where the main goal is making a financial gain; I want to play a role in empowering the poor and disadvantaged individuals in any community I find life in. Those closest to me know me as a dreamer; I always have a dream to make the things and people around me to be their very best. I believe wholeheartedly that interning with Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS) will give me the first hand experience to do just that and more. I have learned in the few weeks being here that true leadership is not about how much power one has to make an influence in the here and now, true leadership is being able to inspire those around you to a vision that lasts for decades after you are gone. The experience so far has been more than I could have ever imagined. It has highlighted flaws in my character and for that I am grateful. Many times in life we are in a hurry to get to our destination that we forget to enjoy the journey there. I am learning that being a “make it happen” person does not mean you need to get things done in a hurry, rather the true blessing of having this trait is being able to understand and rise to the level of those who “make it happen” differently. My task here is not the end result of some goals given at the start of this internship, my task is to get the most out of the journey on the way to completing those objectives. It maybe too soon to say, but I can definitely see myself returning to this oasis of stares of curiosity, car horns, curry and promise.