Subroto Bagchi on Pupose of Life

Subroto Bagchi is co-founder of MindTree in 1999 where he started as the Chief Operating Officer. MindTree is among India’s most admired companies across industries. In 2008, Bagchi took on the role of Gardener at MindTree. When asked about queer title of Gardner, he said, it is meant to trivialize the corporate titles. His role at MindTree includes mentoring top 100 people which is similar to a Gardner. A farmer does mass production and does not know every crop of his farm unlike a Gardner who tenders and nurtures every plant in his Garden.

 Just like his title, his talk was something that you don’t expect from Vice Chairman of a leading Technology company.  But at the end of it we realized that it takes a man of his stature to objectively  present the topic “Purpose of Life” in four slides. Here are some excerpts from the talk –

 What makes us who we are? It is the combination of our Education, Experience, Network, Net Worth, Family and Body. All this taken together makes our platform, which is like a spring board from where we can launch ourselves. What we do with our platform is our purpose which is distinct from a platform. It is like a railway platform which helps you reach your destination. Platform is the means for your purpose in life.

When platform and purpose are mapped together, we come up with a 2 by 2 matrix


Low platform, Low purpose is a matter of choice; existence is the driver for such people. A shop owner of a local store can be mapped to such a category. There is nothing wrong with people in this category as long as they don’t compare themselves to people from other categories.

 Low Platform, High Purpose people are path creators and have high altruistic attitude. People in NGOs or start ups can be mapped to this category.  Such people have low opinion about scaling and do not like working in large organizations. If you are in this category, then don’t grudge about skills.

High Platform, Low purpose people are those who are driven by consumption. These are professionally competent people but the purpose is limited to them. They are path dependent people, who when showed the path, walk efficiently and brilliantly on it.


High Platform, High purpose people have a sense of legacy. Narayan Murthy, Azim Premji  and Manmohan Singh are the people who can be mapped to this quadrant. They are responsible for the future in which they will not exist. They have a long view of time since it takes a lifetime to make a difference. Dalai Lama has not been able to make Tibet a reality but that doesn’t deter him from his purpose and his efforts which are for a future Tibet which he may not even live to see. These people are not fazed by failures, they are deeply self aware but they have to pay an emotional price to stay in this quadrant because of its high demand. Their Purpose gives them the Power.

The talk ended with the quote from Upanishads –
“ You are what your deep driving desire is
 As is your desire , so is your will
 As is your will , so is your act
As is your act , so is your destiny “

By the end of the talk, I had mapped Mr Bagchi in high platform , high purpose quadrant.

Aarti Pandey

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