- Giri Balasubramaniam
Over the last couple of years, we at Greycaps, have had the privilege of interacting with Dr. Raghuram Rajan while hosting the National Inter-School RBI Quiz (RBIQ) for the Reserve Bank of India. My team and I always felt we interfaced with a teacher and not really with the Governor of a central bank. He did a few things akin to what an ideal teacher would do. It sure made us realise why he was so popular beyond the mastery of his craft.
Be ahead of time to class: Each year when he joined us for the national finale, he was ahead of the stated time. He was never rushed, never stressed and brought life to the ‘class’ with his mere presence.
Be prepared for your class: He was never ever in doubt of what the quiz was about, or about the number of teams that took part across India. He sure would have been briefed, but to pay attention to that brief and recall those facts flawlessly while on national television reflected on a well prepared teacher.
Be relevant to your audience: Being the Governor of the central bank can make one think of words and jargon that few comprehend (recall the speeches of Alan Greenspan!). Dr. Rajan would strike a chord with young high school students within seconds. He would talk to them at their level while making very pertinent observations and points.
Show them the future: Great teachers do not just teach. They show you a vision of the future. Dr. Rajan was impeccable in the way he described the India they would be a part of while, clearly underlining the effort and dedication that would be required to leverage that opportunity.
Sense of Timing: Great leaders often know what to speak. More importantly, they know when to stop. He was always crisp and to the point.
The world has its own ways of drawing out the timelines of people. It is perhaps fitting that a great teacher like Dr. Raghuram Rajan moves from his office as Governor of RBI as the nation observes Teachers’ Day.