I wanted to be an Air Force pilot: Sachin Pilot
The young minister of State for Communications and Information Technology tells us why politics is a lucrative career option.
Sachin Pilot, the son of the deceased Congress (I) leader, Rajesh Pilot, today represents the Ajmer constituency of Rajasthan and is a member of the Indian National Congress.
Here, he shares his views on how his professional education has helped him shed the stereotypical image of a politician.
As a student what did you aspire to be?
I wanted to follow the footsteps of my father. I too, wanted to be an Air Force pilot but because of my weak eyesight, I couldn't qualify.
At the time I was so passionate about flying that I took a private flying license without telling my father!
Before joining politics, I wanted to be a banker after an MBA at Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania, USA).
Here, I specialised in multinational management and finance.
But politics comes naturally to me as I grew up in this environment for almost two decades.
Did you work somewhere before you joined politics?
After graduating from New Delhi's St Stephens College, I worked at the Delhi Bureau of BBC and subsequently went on to work for the General Motors Corporation.
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Image: Sachin Pilot at the Wharton India Economic Forum
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
'We must learn from every new opportunity that we get'
From Wharton to winning the Lok Sabha elections at the age of 26 -- what was your biggest challenge during these transitions?
All these transitions, changes made me who I am today.
Working at General Motors and studying at Wharton enabled me to grab skills and understanding that are relevant even in politics.
But the biggest lesson that I have learnt is -- we must welcome change, and learn from every new opportunity that we get.
Image: Wharton Business School
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
'Politics is a unique career'
What do you like about politics? Does having a good education help?
Politics is a unique career that offers opportunities to solve some of the most complex problems faced by society.
Whether you are a locally elected official, MLA, MP or Minister, one can make an impact on millions of people with the right, and timely interventions.
It is a must that if you do choose politics as a career, you have to be prepared to serve the people -- one must always remember, you are answerable to the people of India.
And it is very important for young politicians to have professional qualifications and bridge the gap between the computer-savvy generation and the elders.
Image: Sachin Pilot while campaign in Naseerabad, Ajmer, Rajasthan
Photographs: Krishnakumar P/Rediff.com
'I encourage youngsters to become entrepreneurs'
When younger voters ask you about jobs, what do you tell them?
The government is serious about job creation, and is working closely with the industry in many sectors to provide required training and skills to people.
My advice to young people is that they must make all efforts to acquire the right education and skills in order to succeed since the job market is very competitive.
I also encourage them to become entrepreneurs because it creates jobs not just for an individual but for entire communities.
Photographs: Rediff Archives
'My priorities revolve around giving concrete shape to my ideas'
What are your priorities as a Minister of State?
My priorities revolve around giving concrete shape to my ideas, and executing them.
My ministry looks after a sunrise industry.
I am excited about using technology to empower those outside the ambit of the IT revolution.
The ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industry must expand to small towns and cities to tap human resource potential there.
A 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration leads to 1.38 per cent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth.
It is my dream to deliver to India an information and communication infrastructure that is in tune with requirements of the 21st century.
As a key step in that direction our target is to connect all panchayats with broadband by June 2012 to facilitate e-governance.
Photographs: Rediff Archives