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‘Trusteeship is a pragmatic model of development; aims to attain economic equality in society’

Addressing the Global Business Meet at House of Lords- UK Parliament, Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia, Co-Promoter & President, Apeejay Stya & Svran Group, highlights how training of minds beyond knowledge is important



The sudden onset of COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges  to the global economy. Challenges like the global financial crisis, income inequality, the pressures of immigration, technological advancement, to name a few. The question even rose as to how can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change as well as beating the obstacles posed by this global health crisis. As a result, educational institutions, organisations, research centers, etc., identified several strategies and innovative techniques to cope with the challenges in the post pandemic era.  

To further discuss the existing challenges and brainstorm ways to fight these, educationists, industry experts, researchers from across the world gathered at the recently concluded 2022 London Global Convention on Corporate Governance & Sustainability Global Business Meet & Presentation of Golden Peacock Awards organised by Institute of Directors, India. The theme for this annual conference was ‘Building an Effective Board that Works & Top Global Trends’. A unique platform to discuss and deliberate upon various critical global corporate issues, connected with boardroom, in which experts explored new business partnerships, collaborations and supply chains.

Addressing the Global Business Meet at House of Lords –  UK Parliament, Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia, Co-Promoter & President, Apeejay Stya & Svran Group Co-Founder and Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University, India, began her special address in the words of Swami Vivekananda: “My dear Brothers and Sisters, this manifested the warmth – to have compassion and being able to take good care of others is a remarkable quality. It is the law of nature that the more selfless you are, the more you will receive. Today however, this form of address has become even more significant as we are going through this unprecedented pandemic situation, which more than at any other time has brought home to all of us as to what really matters in life. And at the same time, it has created unprecedented situations which the current generation at least could not have imagined in their wildest dreams.”    

She further highlighted, “While the challenges continue in terms of disruption like war, the worldwide economic crises that we all are going through and in that context where inflation combined with squeezing the real income and falling living standards of the people across the world.”  

She further stated, “What India needs is young men and women with muscles of iron and nerves of steel i.e. ability to stay calm at all times, even during pressure. I strongly believe, start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia is a leading woman entrepreneur and industrialist of the country who has made outstanding contributions to the cause of industry, woman empowerment and education. She mentioned, “It’s perfectly okay to pursue sustainability, environment, climate change, etc., but for sustainable growth it cannot happen in the absence of people not being able to make even two ends meet. The pandemic has made us understand that an enterprise runs on its people not on money, and therefore, for tomorrow’s organisation what is important is the quality of people that we employ and the training  that we provide to them along with the spirit of collaboration, cooperation, working together in what I would term as ONE CONSCIOUSNESS; being aligned for a common purpose that goes just beyond vision and mission.” 

Apeejay Education was founded under the aegis of Dr Stya Paul  in 1967. At present, it comprises 26 not-for-profit educational institutions including schools and colleges. It is Dr Paul’s legacy of providing holistic education and nation-building that is being carried forward by his daughter and only child Mrs Berlia.

While addressing the esteemed guests at House of Lords, Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia spoke on ‘Trusteeship’ — a pragmatic model of development that aims to attain economic equality in society. She opined, “In order to build this, what is required is inculcation of human values in our young ones through education and through the examples we set in front of them,” while further adding, “Also, good governance and sustainability does not come up by forcing adherence to rules and regulations. It actually comes through innate desire and a sense of purpose in making it happen, and understanding how these lead to maximum benefit for all.” 

Moreover, the technicalities of the topic she stated is that the vision of a company should be creation of wealth and there are certain human values which become important in that context. “What is also important is the training of minds beyond knowledge, and it can be achieved by looking at their education within.”

Sharing an example, she stated, “Nothing could put us down as we moved ahead with resilience during the Covid. However, we must not lose the tremendous learning from the pandemic. Let us take forward all that we have learnt during this period. During the pandemic, we were able to overcome all challenges by working together as a cohesive team.”

Mrs. Berlia was also one of the speakers at the plenary keynote session that dealt with the theme: Boardroom Challenges in a New World Order. The esteemed speakers discussed on trending topics including Emerging Challenges for Board Leadership in the New Economy,  Building high performance Boards in uncertain times: Balancing Strategy, Operations & Compliance,  Board’s oversight for fundamental Seismic Shifts in Global Geopolitics & guide to a disrupted world,  Board’s Human Capital Strategy – Rising to the Challenges of the Future Workplace and  Board Leadership and Strategy for leveraging corporate culture and value chain.