This March, Babson alumni, students, parents, faculty, and friends gathered in Bangkok for our third annual Babson Connect: Worldwide. BCW is a unique opportunity for the Babson community to connect with one another; hear from leading regional entrepreneurs, family businesses, and young alumni; and discuss the future of global enterprise. This year, we were thrilled to have a sold-out event, with attendees from 30 countries and five continents. The weekend was a joyous celebration of the transformative power of entrepreneurship (see “Connections” for photos).
Many of the discussions at BCW focused on priorities identified in our Centennial strategy: family enterprise, women-led entrepreneurship, and social impact. Ramon Mendiola ’86, P’20, CEO of Florida Ice and Farm Co. and a newly appointed Babson trustee, led a lively discussion on the triple bottom line—people, planet, and profits. At Babson, social, economic, and environmental responsibility and sustainability are central to our curriculum. Ramon’s reflections reinforced the importance of preparing entrepreneurs to lead in a new way, creating social and economic value simultaneously.
We also were honored to induct Harry Susilo, P’96, chairman of Sekar Group, into Babson’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs. We heard from Harry and his daughter, Finna Huang ’96, about the extraordinary 50-year journey of the Sekar Group, which began as a small fishing operation in a poor rural village and has transformed into an international enterprise employing 20,000 people. Their insights into the opportunities and challenges associated with a large family enterprise further emphasized the critical role of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action in shaping successful family businesses.
The weekend ended with a beautiful reception and awards gala, during which Roshni Nadar Malhotra, executive director and CEO of HCL Corp., was presented with the 2017 Lewis Institute Community Changemaker Award. Both Roshni and her husband, Shikhar Malhotra ’04, are accomplished business leaders, passionate philanthropists, and trustees of the Shiv Nadar Foundation. They have been instrumental in the foundation’s mission to create educational opportunities and empower individuals to bridge socioeconomic divides. Roshni is the driving force behind VidyaGyan, a leadership academy for exemplary, underprivileged students from rural India. VidyaGyan nurtures future leaders who can act as catalysts for change, setting in motion a ripple effect of transformative social impact.
Babson Connect: Worldwide is one of the many ways in which we celebrate our global community and bring Babson to the world. Planning is already underway for our 2018 event. I hope you will join us next year in Madrid as we continue to innovate, collaborate, and explore the potential of entrepreneurs to change the world for the better.