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"Clarity of thought, conviction of belief and genuineness of purpose are the three very important aspects of any leader."
- RK Misra

Lead India Winner - RK

The Lead India movement was an initiative by the Times Group on the occasion of the 60th year of Indian Independence. It was launched to identify competent and concerned civilians who could be potential political leaders. Citizens of India aged between 25 and 45 participated in the three-stage contest the winner of which was declared to be a worthy contender for participating in India's next assembly elections, besides bagging a seat on the leadership and politics course at Harvard University, and a corpus of INR 50 lakhs for pursuing a public-welfare project of choice. The show was not only a huge success but a phenomenon in itself.

Out of 5088 applications received by Bangalore, 100 were selected for group discussions and 25 were shortlisted for interviews. After gruelling rounds of discussions and debates, the super 8 were chosen and only three semifinalists were shortlisted after rigorous one-on-one interviews with the jury. The finalist was RK who was chosen to represent Bangalore in the National Finals.

RK began his journey as one of 34,000 valid applications from all over India. It was marked with highs and lows, euphoria and drama, situational problems for the candidates and interrogation about their attitudes to major challenges . The contestants were put through a series of rigorous tasks aimed at testing their leadership skills.

In the national finals (Feb 2008), after 10 rounds of challenging tasks, life came full circle for RK Misra. The combination of his foresight, his ability to think big and his reputation of being a ‘doer’, proved to be unbeatable. As part of his final round, the finalists were asked to make a case in one minute. RK explained his public private partnership model and his dream project of starting a dairy farm in his village Sonari in UP.

Jury votes, audience polls and mounting SMSes ended with RK being the man of the hour.

“RK is a doer, not a talker”, conceded RK’s rival finalist.

As A P J Abdul Kalam presented Rajendra Misra with the award, RK repeated his rival’s words: “This is not the end of Lead India. The actual journey has just begun.”

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