Talk in VIA Entrepreneurship Forum – Reverse Mentoring
VIA Entrepreneurship Forum recently organised a session on ‘Reverse Mentoring – a tool for the Growth of Business’ by Toronto (Canada) based Entrepreneur and Educationist Mrs Chitralekha Potnis, who has her roots in Nagpur and owns a multi disciplinary college in Ontario Canada.
Mrs Potnis stated in her talk that the concept of reverse mentoring though new to India has earned farfetched significance in the western world, where older generation are open to being mentored by the dynamic younger generation. According to reverse mentoring is much more successful in the west than the South East Asian countries, much of which can be attributed to the cultural differences especially in the SME’ sector. According to Mrs Potnis, reverse mentoring holds tremendous significance due to the dynamic business environment and the fast change in technology which the older generation may not be able to grasp that soon.
According to her, reverse mentoring offers manifold benefits to companies ranging from tightening inter personal relationships, brings down the attrition levels, improves decision making, opens up the gate of confidence between the mentor and the mentee and improves the channels of communication between different levels of hierarchy.
But the concept of reverse mentoring is shrouded in much mistrust, ego issues and dislike because the experienced seniors may not like being mentored by the new comers whom may lack in experience but have the knowledge of the latest technology and modern management. The misunderstanding may arise due to the generation gap and lack of trust between the seniors and juniors, when the seniors may develop mental block against learning anything new.
According to Mrs Potnis, the changing times have amply demonstrated the need for quantum change in the organisation, change in technology and change in mindset too, without which an organisation stands at the danger of running out of steam. It is here that reverse mentoring can salvage the situation and HR department plays vital role in implementing the delicate concept of reverse mentoring. However, it is the success of reverse mentoring to a large extend depends on how the top management of the organisation perceives its significance.
At the outset, Chairman of Entrepreneurship Forum Akash Agrawal in his welcome address, charted out the significance of Reverse Mentoring in business. He accorded the speaker Mrs Chitra Potnis, a warm floral welcome. The program was conducted by the convenor of the forum Anita Rao, who also proposed the vote of thanks.