GOPIO Youth Conference 2021
SICCI Chairman, Dr. T Chandroo was the Guest of Honor for the Opening Ceremony of the GOPIO Youth Conference 2021 on 3rd July 2021.
Here is the extract of his speech during the event:
I would like to first and foremost congratulate GOPIO Singapore Chapter for hosting GOPIO International Youth Conference 2021, a landmark event that we are truly privileged to have in Singapore. As we prepare for a post-COVID world, the theme “Leaders of New Tomorrow” is timely and apt. In all industries, there is a global reboot/reset underway, and I believe that tomorrow’s leaders won’t necessarily succeed with yesterday’s ideas. Therefore, we must prepare our youth for a different tomorrow. Three main challenges I call NEW, NOW, and NEXT will be discussed, as well as three main questions:
- a) How can youth develop and assume leadership roles?
- b) How can they gain a foothold in the business world?
- c)How can they advance in education, business, and vocational training?
The NEW- I believe the world has entered a new phase of recovery, but the impact of COVID 19 must not be underestimated. Our daily lives are impacted by the realities of new diseases, and we must be vaccinated regularly in order to stay healthy. ZOOM has become an integral part of our daily communications, and masks have been adopted as fashion accessories. Even as we move toward hybrid work environments, working from home will remain a constant feature. Digitalization has become a necessity, not an option. Travelling entrepreneurs have been grounded at home as the idea of digital nomads, which started pre-COVID19, has completely collapsed.
Mobile workers who travel frequently are commonly referred to as digital nomads.
How can youth take a leadership role and thrive in this new environment?
In the new world order, “green” is here to stay. Leaders of the future must be technology savvy and share their knowledge about environmental protection. You may think that as a young person you are not ready for a leadership role, but those companies of yesterday aren’t familiar with technology or the values of the “green movement.” Today’s young people are more acquainted with technology, especially digital technology that is driving the economy. IOT, apps, and devices are too complex for older businesses, requiring the leadership of the young to help them leap into the future. The new environment has also led to startups with young people taking the lead. People like Ojas Batra of Hive Group (16years old), Ishan Kapur, the Diana Award social action winner (15years old) and Tilak Mehta, founder of Papers N Parcels (13years old).
In addition, youngsters like Sharavan and Sanjay Kumaran (16 and 18 years old), founders of GoDimensions, are shaping tomorrow’s technological world. In fact, they serve as inspirations for the global diaspora youth. However, today’s youth can play a significant role in protecting the environment, promoting human diversity and cultural diversity, and establishing a corruption-free bureaucracy in the world of tomorrow. I am confident that you will become leaders of tomorrow if you can provide reverse mentoring to companies that want to reinvent themselves in this way.
I now want to talk about the immediacy of the NEW and, therefore, of the NOW. NOW is the time for the youth to get involved in business and entrepreneurship. To gain a sense of the business world, you should take part in internships, mentorships, or other active engagement opportunities. When it comes to entrepreneurship, you should not wait until you have completed your education. Entrepreneurship should be part of your learning process, and you have to learn as you go. If you are a student, you should be interning with companies during the holidays or doing unpaid work in web content development, marketing, or social media monitoring for companies on the weekends. You would be in great demand in these areas during and after the COVID period. Moreover, you may be able to acquire skills in data management and soft skills that you may not be able to learn at school.
Singapore University of Technology and Design offers CAPSTONE projects where students are asked to solve a problem given to them by a company or group of companies. During the process, they develop innovative solutions that can result in breakthroughs or new business concepts. Games have been developed for solving corporate problems or developing corporate organizations. Likewise, they can get involved in Chambers of Commerce (TACs) such as GOPIO and SICCI. It will open up many opportunities for fruitful interactions and help build your confidence to handle higher management. This is the NOW that you need to pay attention to as time and tide wait for no man.
Finally, NEXT. A man never steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man. The famous Greek philosopher Heraclitus said this. You need to keep learning in a constantly changing world. In order to get better, you must be willing to learn more every day. Singapore has launched Skills Future, which offers resources for people to enhance their education, careers, and businesses. Knowing the skills frameworks for the different industries could help you prepare. Having the ability to learn independently is essential. Learning as much as possible by yourself is more beneficial than relying on a teacher’s instruction. People who adapt quickly to changing circumstances survive even under the most adverse circumstances. It is only possible to be resilient if you are able to learn on your own. You need more than just “WHAT” to succeed in the workplace. Knowing “WHO” and knowing “WHY” is also vital. In the school of life, you will learn not so much “what” as much as “who” and “why”. Vocational training will allow you to acquire deep technical skills, but they can only be applied well if people work together as a team and understand the context (who and why) in which they can be applied.