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Convocation Speech

Vice Chancellor Anoop Swarup, the Faculty of Jagran Lakecity University, Students and Proud Parents

At the outset, I would like to thank the Board of the Jagran Lakecity University for conferring on me this Honorary Doctorate. I am humbled by this recognition and deeply grateful for the honour. It inspires me to pursue my father, Late Shri Rajesh Kumar Wadhawan’s vision of universal financial inclusivity with greater strength and conviction.

I am delighted to share this moment with all the graduating students for whom this is a defining occasion of a lifetime. All of you who entered the gates of this great institution as boys and girls are today leaving it as mature young men and women - better equipped to face the world of work. As you prepare to enter the new world of business where change is the new constant, unpredictable is the new normal, let me share a few thoughts with you.

We live in a world marked by discrimination. The global wealth gap has never been as wide as it is today. Socially, the vulnerability of youth to extremist ideologies has reached a historic peak. Politically, the world is looking more and more inwards – protectionism is the modern mantra for political popularity. I find that, the more technology endeavours to connect us, the more we are regressing to cocoons.

The notion of a borderless world was unthinkable, about two decades ago. For generations, we have believed in the possibility of a more equal and accessible world. Now when the opportunity has presented itself, why are we insisting on putting up borders and curtailing our own limits? We are more afraid than ever before to break the traditional barriers to reach out and create new rules. I find that we are not leveraging the inherent strengths handed down by the past generations wisely. As one generation passes on the baton to the next, it transfers the responsibility of turning the possibilities it foresaw into realities.

I lost my father when I was 27. With his untimely demise, I suddenly found myself holding the responsibility of nurturing his dream. He dreamt of a socio-economically inclusive society long before the parlance found its place in popular culture. Home ownership for every Indian was an idea he was extremely passionate about – a passion he passed on to me. A home is not merely a roof over your head but a place which reflects your aspirations, your achievements and so much more. A place which gives you deep roots and strong wings.

This is the purpose that drives me and my colleagues to work every single day. This vision has enabled us to evolve the WGC group from a monoline housing finance company into the financial conglomerate that it is today. Over the years, we have structured a services platform that partners our customers through the circle of life allying with them to fulfil their most critical financial needs. Over the last three decades, we have empowered millions of Indians to build their ‘homes’.

Today, as I share my thoughts with you, the representatives of the new era, I am overwhelmed with the potential of our group to contribute to the nation’s development by leveraging on the three pillars of education, technology and entrepreneurship. And if this is scale of opportunity for a single organization, the magnitude of prospects for the entire generation are unimaginable.

Friends, as you graduate from this wonderful institution today, let me remind you of your responsibilities as the new-age citizens of the world. The onus lies on you to change the ‘can’ to ‘will’. Your preceding generations have worked hard to create the possibility of a united and more equal world – they have developed the technology, experimented with ideologies and proved that passion and purpose go hand-in-hand. It is now your turn to evolve your beliefs into realities.

Education is your biggest strength and strongest tool to make this happen. By education, I am not merely referring to the academics. I mean the maturity and the tolerance to accept a differentiated viewpoint. Whether you choose to pursue your future as professionals in an organization or become entrepreneurs, always apply your mind to create an environment of equality. The knowledge economy thrives on the tenet of equal access to opportunities and resources. Together, we must safeguard and strengthen this principle in the face of challenges that are working hard to curtail this very notion. Only then, will we able to achieve larger development objectives.

To conclude, allow me to quote a couplet from the Hindi movie, Dor. I believe it perfectly sums up the journey ahead of all of us:

Raah pe kante bikhre agar,
Uspe to phir bhi chalna hi hai,
Shaam chhupale suraj magar,
Raat ko ek din dhalana hi hai,

Good luck and thank you.

Kapil Wadhawan
Wadhawan Global Capital

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