---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Radhakrishnan Nerur Ramanathan <>
Date: Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 2:55 PM
Subject: Fwd: Stand up and Make It Count
Stand up and Make It Count

What makes great nations - Great? This question had troubled me for almost
over 2 decades now. A careful analysis points to many factors but the one
that actually stands out, is its people. People, who simply stand up and
make it count.

Towards the end of the year 1997, many countries in South East Asia
suffered from a massive financial crisis. Amongst those, South Korea was
perhaps the most affected, where the Korean currency “Won" depreciated so
much so rapidly, that it left a huge USD 50 Billion hole in the country’s
economy. This rapid downfall collapsed and crushed the very backbone of
South Korean economy, prompting the International Monetary Fund to extend
billions of dollars of a tough bailout package.

Many banks and industrial houses had to close down and thousands of
citizens lost jobs. And yet the way these very citizens responded to the
national calling is probably a unique example in history. I distinctly
remember watching this news on TV, sometime in the early part of 1998. The
question that I ask myself is why do I remember it after almost 18 years?

In January 1998, South Korea started a campaign called “Collect Gold for
Love of Korea” with the help of Samsung, Hyundai and Daewoo corporation.
The government simply appealed to citizens to donate their gold
voluntarily. And to the surprise of the entire world people gave away
almost everything that was dear to them or had worked hard their entire
life for. Housewives donated wedding rings, athletes donated medals, lucky
keys, charms etc., and all this was done on the streets on Seoul where
officials from these 3 companies would just roam the streets with huge
bags, simply asking people to donate gold and people would simply reach out
to their rings and put them in the bags, with eyes full of tears. No
written accounts of who donated what, no promise or commitment that someday
the country will repay it back to you. Nothing. And the outcome?

South Koreans collected almost USD 200 Million worth gold from its
Citizens. Simply given away to the country. Obviously given the magnitude
of the debt, this amount hardly made any dent but considering the
population in 1997 was just over 45 Million, it was a “Herculean" effort.

During the same period the world was taken by storm by the movie, Titanic.
But in entire South Korea, not one ticket was sold for the first two weeks.
When international reporters interviewed people on the street, the answer
was simple. “If we buy tickets in Won*, it would get converted to US
Dollars and would leave South Korea. We cannot afford Dollars.”

The above two events have left a very deep and indelible impression on my
mind. South Korea came out of the financial crisis quickly (by end of 1999)
and today ranks amongst top 10 economies in the world. Years later, when we
opened our office in Seoul, I asked Minh-Su (Our country Manager, South
Korea) about this and she verified it for me with a sense of national pride
and moist eyes. Her face just said, “We made it Count”.

Today, we stand at a cusp of what can transform India into a great nation,
and no one is asking for gold nor asking to give up all that we have
legitimately accumulated through diligence and hard work. All that is
expected from us is patience, faith, bit of hardship too; for about 3
months and additionally if we can manage, then some love for the country.
That's all, and we will have an opportunity to carry that sense of pride on
our chest and sleeves for generations to come and look in the eyes of our
children and grandchildren and say to them, “We made it Count”.

Selflessness motivates me.
Immense national pride motivates me.
Optimism motivates me.

Let us stand up and be counted………

Vasudeo Ginde
Managing Director DiagnoSearch Life Sciences Pvt Ltd
November 20, 2016

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