Job Hunting in a Downturn: Being Work & World Ready | Sourav Roy | TEDxChitkara University Punjab | Summary and Q&A

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September 29, 2023
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Job Hunting in a Downturn: Being Work & World Ready | Sourav Roy | TEDxChitkara University Punjab

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Summary

In this video, Saurabh shares his journey from a humble middle-class family to becoming a successful journalist and global citizen. He talks about his experiences working for prestigious news organizations and the United Nations, as well as living in different countries like Singapore and Turkey. Saurabh also discusses his connection to India and how he discovered the impact and influence of Indian culture and heritage worldwide. He shares heartwarming stories of people's admiration and respect for India, which inspired him to make a positive difference in his home country.

Questions & Answers

Q: Can you tell us about your background and how you started your career?

I come from a middle-class family where my parents worked hard to provide for me and my sister. My father used to travel long distances to earn a living, and my mother taught mathematics to support our education. After completing my graduation, I pursued a career in journalism and worked for various news organizations, including BBC and Al Jazeera. I always wanted to explore and make a difference beyond India, which led me to work for the United Nations and in countries like Singapore and Turkey.

Q: How did your experiences abroad shape your perspective on India?

Living and working abroad allowed me to experience different cultures and meet people from diverse backgrounds. Everywhere I went, I realized that people had immense respect and curiosity for India. I became aware of the strong legacy and heritage that India carries, with icons like Raj Kapoor and Gandhi resonating with people from different countries. These experiences made me appreciate and embrace my Indian identity even more.

Q: Can you share an inspiring incident from your time in Istanbul?

In Istanbul, I became the only Indian journalist with my own show on a mainstream European news channel. People in Turkey had immense love and respect for Indians, and they would often reach out to me, expressing their desire to visit India. One memorable incident was when a man approached me on the streets of Serbia and asked his two young kids to kiss my hand because I was Indian. He told his children to "kiss Mother India for me when I die." It was a humbling experience that highlighted the global celebration and care for India.

Q: How did your perspective on India change after returning?

After being away from India for 15 years, I returned and realized that the country had transformed. I encountered unfamiliar terms like Paytm and Google Pay, which showcased India's technological advancements. However, what struck me the most was the warmth and love I received from people. They celebrated my Indian identity and would often associate me with famous Indian personalities or cultural references. This reinforced the significance and impact of India on a global scale.

Q: How did you contribute to the development of Uttarakhand?

During my travels, I discovered that certain villages in Uttarakhand were cultivating marijuana as a means of income. I felt that this did not align with the spiritual and natural beauty of the region. So, I encouraged the villagers to shift their focus to cultivating organic foods like beans, kiwis, potatoes, and tomatoes. Together with some friends, we provided them with seeds and support. This shift not only improved their livelihoods but also enabled them to send their children to school, replacing any guilt or shame they felt from the marijuana trade.

Q: How did your father's illness influence your decision to stay in India?

When my father was diagnosed with cancer, I realized the importance of being present for him during his final stages. I didn't want to be far away in Europe when he passed away. So, I decided to stay in India and spend as much time with him as possible. His passing was painful but also magical, as I held his hand until his last breath. It cemented my connection to India and motivated me to give back to the younger generation.

Q: What are you doing now to support Indian youth?

Currently, I am a professor at a university in India, teaching a module called "Work Ready World Ready." I share my experiences and knowledge on writing effective CVs, beating applicant tracking systems, and presenting oneself coherently. I want to empower Indian students to succeed in the international job market. I believe that this is our time as Indians, and the world is seeking our intellect and skills. I am passionate about sharing everything I have learned globally with the younger generation in India.

Takeaways

Saurabh's journey highlights the impact and admiration for India worldwide. His experiences living and working in different countries made him appreciate and embrace his Indian identity even more. His encounters with people celebrating Indian culture and the positive image of India inspired him to make a difference in his home country. Saurabh's work in Uttarakhand, supporting organic farming and education for children, reflects his commitment to creating a better future for Indian youth. He believes that this is a pivotal moment for Indians, with opportunities for success on a global scale.

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