Redefining Impact
Vaibhav Gupta
January 29, 2019

Town Halls at Samagra are an opportunity for teams across engagements and states to share their work, interesting insights, achievements, challenges, and best practices. Town Halls also act as forums where the organization discusses its growth plan, impact assessment, its current state and evolution in the near future. At my first Town Hall, I was introduced to Samagra’s mission statement – to become a preeminent, impact-driven, top-tier, Indian governance consulting firm.

Having  worked for around 4 years prior to joining Samagra, I was of the opinion that vision and mission statements are only meant to be displayed on the company website and reception walls. I did not imagine them to be topics of discussion among the employees of the organization. Additionally, based on my experience with consultants before, I viewed them as professionals who synthesised information and presented PowerPoint-based solutions.  Consequently, this coloured my perception of impact as these PowerPoints only. At the end of that first Town Hall, I assumed the same about Samagra. As I complete 9 months at Samagra, I have never been happier to admit that I was wrong!

These 9 months have gone by in the blink of an eye. On my way home after another eventful day at the Department, I pondered upon my journey over  these last few months with one word on my mind – Impact. I’m marvelling at how its definition has changed for me over these months! From a clichéd oft-repeated term, it has evolved to become a drive, a mission, and a sense of responsibility. A responsibility that every individual at Samagra feels. A responsibility to improve quality of life of people and to not stop at anything before that.

In my time at Samagra, I have worked to diagnose and design multiple solutions for a new sector that Samagra ventured into, Skilling. I would probably take another 200 words to touch upon a very important instance that has helped me understand my responsibility.

As part of the engagement diagnosis, I visited numerous districts. and interacted with many vocational education instructors and students. During one such interaction, a student exclaimed that the questions I was posing would have to wait to be solved. At that moment, those students didn’t even have access to basic sanitation and drinking water facilities. Another student informed me the institute didn’t have sufficient instructors. As a result, students frequently spent an entire day sitting without instruction. However, at the same time, one of them sitting in a corner stood up to tell me that this was the first time someone had even  visited their institute to ask these questions and that he hoped that, this visit might lead to a change.

It was this faith entrusted upon me – that I am here to bring change – which helped  me identify my responsibilities to create impact. It was this trust that pushed me realize that the situation has to change and I  can’t wait for someone else to do it. It is this belief that drives me every day and it is those faces that ensure I try until I succeed and that it can never be a one-off thought but has to be the part and parcel of my  day-to-day work and life, at large. It dawned on me that it is not about those PowerPoint presentations or Excel files that we make every day; it is about those students who saw some hope in me. This now defines impact for me.

Working in governance is about this responsibility. The responsibility of impacting and improving the lives of millions of people, being an active contributor to this impact journey that each of us has embarked upon. It is about identifying challenges and converting them into opportunities. To be the creator, leader, and writer of your impact history. And this is what I do. There is a long way to go and a lot of ground to cover, however, those faces would always keep me going.