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Man is an entrepreneurial animal: Guiness World Record winning Entrepreneurship Guru Dr. Thomas George

Dr Thomas George, known as ‘Thomman’, is an entrepreneurship and life guru Guru who has trained and mentored more than 3 lakh students over two decades. He won the Guinness World Record, and his passion for mentoring future entrepreneurs has resulted in establishment of a world-class institution in India – the LEAD College of Management. LEAD College has emerged as one of the top institutions through its innovations, hitting national headlines and inspiring various top MBA schools to follow its practices.

We got in touch with Dr Thomas George, who shared how management education can add value to one’s career. Below are a few excerpts:

Dr Thomas, for a layman, how important is management education?

For centuries, we have heard from great philosophers and thinkers that ‘Man is a social animal’; but in the animal kingdom, humans are perhaps the only entrepreneurial animals. Though some primitive signs have been detected in other animal species, only a human being is capable of long term planning, execution, profit-making and reinvesting it for the future. Doing business is perhaps the oldest business in the history of Homo sapiens. People from time immemorial have done this on a trial and error basis. But we have to realize that learning from mistakes without a proper management education can take years of your life. Time, like any resource, is not unlimited. Management education ignites productivity, helps to identify your core area, a USP of sorts for you. There may be some born entrepreneurs, but mainly, entrepreneurship and management are a part of education and a culture that can be developed.

You have been an iconic educationist. How did you evolve into an entrepreneurship guru Guru who even became a Guinness World Record holder?

Since my training organization ‘Turning point’ commenced twenty years ago, as a professional trainer and educator, I have been taking sessions for engineering and management colleges. I have travelled extensively across various universities globally and have understood their best practices in inculcating soft skills. I identified a significant gap in our nation and education system, which was management education with global standards. That’s when I decided to initiate a new MBA system and culture. We need to create an eco-system of entrepreneurship, networking and problem-solving. Having also led various associations, including PMA, NIPM, etc., I could experiment with all the new trends in this arena and learn from experts. When some of my students told me about the Guinness World Record, I wanted to go for it because that proves an ordinary man like me can achieve extraordinary feats with dedication and hard work.

How important is value-based education and ethics in a cut-throat competitive field like business?

There was an era when Indians thought business is bad and only unethical and unscrupulous generally made it big through entrepreneurship. That age has gone. After the 1991 opening up of markets, India experienced a paradigm shift. Still, management education in India is at a growing stage only. We don’t have institutions reaching the top 100 in the world. We should educate our youngsters to collaborate and join hands to make it big. I tell my students that values and ethics are the backbone of any business. For our clients and customers, the core value is trust. A brand is a promise delivered, and for people to accept us, we need to build trust. Without honesty, integrity, values and ethics, this would not be possible. We are moving into a cognitive age where collaboration and community building is more important than competition.

The ‘Free MBA for Entrepreneurs’ has caught people’s attention. Can you elaborate on that?

The coming age is the era of entrepreneurs. Many people are afraid to take the initiative. They procrastinate, shy away and shirk responsibilities. LEAD will be handholding them in funding, mentoring, resource mobilization with mental and moral support, too.

I wanted to do something really bold, advantageous and appealing to help micro, small and medium enterprises recover from the pandemic blow. We have earmarked four crore rupees as a beginning to assist entrepreneurs. Our thrust will be on startups. The hard reality at present is that rate of success of startups is as low as 1%. We are on a mission to bring change and envision higher success rates for startup ventures.