In sports, business or politics, the common trait of those who make to the top is perseverance, aspiration and vision, pointed out MM Murugappan, Vice-Chairman, Murugappa Group.

Delivering the inaugural address at the 15th MMA All India Management Students’ Convention 2016, during which he continuously interacted with students, Murugappan made the point after he asked the students to name leaders they admired.

MS Dhoni said one, Warren Buffett said another, Angela Merkel responded somebody else.

Great examples all, he said, and “in every case you will find tremendous amount of discipline and commitment,” he said. Leadership is also about the ability to spot talent, integrity, to lead by example and willing to be a lifelong learner, he said.

It is also important to get an international perspective. “In addition to watching your favourite programmes on television, spare sometime for news, views and informative programmes,” he urged. But college life need not always be about drudgery, enjoy yourselves, he said and asked “how many of you cut classes? changing tack. A few hands went up diffidently. “I can assure you, you all will be successful. You are willing to take risks,” he said.

There is an unprecedented opportunity in India for the young generation in entrepreneurship or professional careers. The JAM Stack including the Jan Dhan Yojana, the financial inclusion programme; the Aadhaar, unique identity card scheme; or the mobile phone, the smartphone used for delivery of a range of services, there is a huge opportunity in using IT skills for society, Murugappan said. Moorthy K Uppaluri, MD and CEO, Randstad India, delivering the keynote address on the conference theme “Perspective in Leadership,” said the scenario is changing in business and professional life. It is no longer just about out performing competition but “innovation”.

The event by the Madras Management Association in which BusinessLine is a media partner is an annual event.

The two-day event this year focuses on leadership styles and leadership enablers.