The current generation of Indians is on their way to see the “high noon” of a new India, said Madhabi Puri Buch, chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), said at the 59th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on Saturday evening.

“My generation was a very fortunate generation. We participated in the dawn of a new India. Your generation, in my view, is even more fortunate.,” she told the graduating students of the country’s premier B-school. 

“Everywhere there is opportunity for growth, for inclusion, for entrepreneurship, for breaking the mould and leading the world,” she added.

Talking about her career spanning 35 years, Buch said she has a long list of bosses and colleagues, who would testify that she is a “difficult boss and impossible subordinate to work with”.

“Until a problem has been dissected to the last degree I will not give up. My colleagues often tell me that problem solving with me is like peeling an onion. It makes everybody cry in the process. But by the time you are done you suddenly realise there is no problem left. So, when India became the first large market in the world to move to T+1 settlement and just two days ago when we went live with optional T+0 settlement, the process felt pretty much the same. Lots of onion peeling happened, to make for a global first,” she told the gathering.

The SEBI chairperson, who is also an IIM-A alumni, narrated her experience of being a student at the B-school.

“The strongest memory I have of my alma mater is that of feeling like I was inside a pressure cooker for two years. In hindsight, how to deal with being inside a pressure cooker was perhaps one of the most valuable learnings I took away from IIMA,” she said.

Pointing out that she enjoyed the 35 years of her career, Buch said, “The sheer variety of stuff I got to do: creating and building new businesses; being an entrepreneur within the safe harbour of a large organisation, enjoying every ounce of empowerment that we were given. Now, since the last 6.5 years, bringing to bear all that I learnt, to being a regulator, and having the amazing opportunity to create impact -- not just at an organisational level, but at ecosystem level. In my wildest dreams, I could not have asked for more.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Chairperson of IIM-A Pankaj Patel said that in the current scenario there was a pressing need for leaders to possess multifaceted skill-sets, far-sightedness and flexibility to navigate through disruptions.

“Today, leaders need to be technically sound and proficient in various facets of business to anticipate disruptions and device predictive business models that can withstand the test of times,” Patel said.