Henry Kravis interviews and presents the 2010 Kravis Prize to Dr. Rukmini Banerji.
Dr. Rukmini Banerji: In 1930, Gandhi walked for 23 days. At the end of it, he picked up a fist of salt. That changed India's history forever. Today, we don't need to walk. But if you pick up a book, and work with kids, India's history can change again.
In March of 2010, Pratham was awarded the Henry Kravis Prize for Leadership
Dr. Rukmini Banerji: My name is Rukmini Banerji. I work with Pratham, which is the name of my organization. And the original idea of Pratham was to bring together a whole cross section of people in Bombay. As citizens of Bombay, to really build one of the most basic things that any city needs, which is the Foundation with Education of it's Children.
Henry Kravis: The one thing that I found, quite interesting as I was looking at the information, is your willingness as an organization to learn from critique.
Dr. Rukmini Banerji: We've been very open to measurement. We really want to know, are we reaching where we thought we ought to be going?
Henry Kravis: This is a really interesting approach because, no, most organizations do not use metrics. And I'm going to tell you, most companies by the way don't use metrics.
Dr. Rukmini Banerji: We've done a lot of work with this group from MIT, the poverty action lab. We ask parents, okay here's my tool. So your kid, where do you think he's at? And so parents told you where they're at. And so systematically, both parents and teachers overestimated where their kids were at. They all thought the kid was doing better, and that's partly because I think we're a big country with many children, we love our children. But we don't actually pay very close attention to each child.
Henry Kravis: Right, but that's human nature. You know, it's no different in business. We all overestimate our affects, let's put it that way. And so it's fascinating that you say that. So, here we are today, and tonight Protham will receive the Kravis Prize.
Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
Marie-Josee Kravis: I think as long as the world is in existence, some people have tried to focus on altruism and on giving others a hand. A hand up, not a push down. And so I think that that is the eternal challenge for our society.
Dr. Rukmini Banerji: We feel that for the next couple of years really looking at how we can think about leadership in a more concrete way might be the best way we can use this. We have to have a lot of discussion, both with you and perhaps others at Claremont McKenna and elsewhere about what would be the best way to use this.
Henry Kravis: Well to me, a leader has to have a vision first of all. He's got to start with that: what is the vision? And then from that they have to be able to communicate exceptionally well that vision. They have to, obviously in order to be a good leader they have to have followers. They have to be able to convince people that their vision, their idea makes sense for people to follow behind them.
Henry Kravis: It gives me great pleasure, Dr. Banerji, and you are just a superb representative of this fine organization, and we hope we see you often in New York, and we hope we see you often when we're in India. Congratulations to you and thank you for all you're doing for mankind and for India.