Dr. Vikram Sarabhai
The Scientific leader with whom I was fortunate to work with was Dr Vikram Sarabhai. He had a special ability of spotting prospective dynamic leaders and entrusting them with challenging tasks in science and technology. He always used to give them task which has not been accomplished before and gave them limited resource and time. This made the scientists to strive hard and achieve unusually high performance. Once the task has been done he used to review the task personally along with renowned specialists in the field. This not only motivated the scientists but also ensured that the quality of the scientific achievement was excellent. Once achieved he used to give higher and more complex targets. This continuous higher-level demand on the scientists created an excellent work culture among them. Having tasted extraordinary success they would never be satisfied with moderate performance. Thus through the process of rigorous selection, fixing of challenging objectives to be achieved and a transparent evaluation system he created extraordinary scientific leaders in many fields.
His unique way of creating leaders is that he had generated a healthy competitive environment. He gave a very important development mission to build cost effective meteorological rockets for three of us. I was given Menaka Rocket, Muthunayagam was given RH-125 and Y.J. Rao was given RH-100. Finally, based on the experience of all three developmental programmes, a new meteorological rocket emerged, called RH-200. Like that many technology tasks were accomplished in record time by his inspirational leadership. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai was a great scientific thinker in the post independent India and shaped the scientific rhythm and destiny of our nation. He was a multi-faceted personality – great visionary, distinguished cosmic-ray and space scientist, institution builder, industrialist, management expert, educationist, great lover of arts and above all an enlightened citizen. It was the vision of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, which gave shape to India?s Space Programme, provided a strong foundation and led India to a very strong position in launch vehicle, satellite and space technologies and their applications. It was he who enunciated the need for space application to the society and gave a space profile for ten years.