Rajendra Kumar Misra is a leader recognized as a ‘doer’ whose agenda for the nation is to improve governance through a transformational change in the political system of India.
It was a journey that began in Sonari, a small farming village in UP’s Sitapur district. He grew up in a joint farming family of modest means and in the company of friends, farms and fields. His mother and father, a village development officer, believed in him and instilled in him values of hard work & discipline.
Rajendra Kumar Misra fondly known as ‘RK’ is a graduate from IIT Kanpur and a post-graduate from Tokyo University. He is a Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Global Leadership Fellow of Aspen Institute, USA. After graduating from IIT Kanpur (India) in 1989, he was one of the 25 students chosen from 18 countries to pursue a postgraduate program at Tokyo University, an internationalization initiative by the Government of Japan.
RRK spent early years of his professional career in Tokyo and was inspired by Japanese commitment to quality and work ethics. However, he was disheartened with the unfavorable image that the Japanese had of doing business with India in early 1990s – dismal infrastructure, red tape & poor work ethics. His country wasn’t delivering on it’s potential, his pride was hurt.
He realized that our nation was suffering due to unimaginative polity and dysfunctional bureaucracy. ”I felt the need to return to India & try to make a difference” he recalls.
He returned to India in 1995 and over a period of 10 years, he founded Tenet Technologies, Tenet Telecom & Tenet Retail with businesses spanning US, Europe & Japan. He also founded one of India’s first Travel Portal, Traveljini.com.
Giving Back to The Society
In 2005, on turning 40, he decided to leave the corporate world to engage with the issues of Public Policy & Governance to fulfill his long held desire to make a difference through ‘Good Governance & Inclusive Development’.
In 2006, he founded SAHYOG – Indian Council for Public Private Partnership to work on “Public Infrastructure in Urban India” and “Livelihood Opportunities for the Rural Poor”.
He focused on Rural Livelihood initiatives in Uttar Pradesh by developing a Model Dairy Farm to augment the agricultural income of the farmers, known as Agri Plus program. He also established a Rural BPO in his village to train and provide employment to of semi-educated rural youth.
These initiatives have been well received and emulated in various parts of India. He was awarded, “Transformational Leadership Award” by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. His PPP projects and urban governance initiatives in Bangalore, Karnataka have been well reported and appreciated.
He has been an advisor to successive governments on matters of public policy related to good governance, livelihood initiatives and infrastructure development over past decade.
For his public policy work & developmental initiatives, he was adjudged the WINNER of “LEAD INDIA”, a nationally televised initiative to identify new generation political leaders of India.
As Charter President of Rotary Bangalore (IT Corridor) he organized the world’s first & only ‘Midnight Marathon’ as an annual charity fund-raiser for social causes. He is now the Chief Patron of this International Marathon event, which is being held every year in the month of December.
Bringing Change through Politics
RK held a firm belief that lasting change in a democracy can only be brought about by reforming the political system.
In 2008, RK started the “Change India Initiative” to engage educated youth, middle class and working professionals in the matters of public policy and electoral polity. He was invited by the young scion of a national political party to strengthen their youth organization.
However, he quickly realized that people, who had not succeeded in any profession or vocation, were being lured to enter the politics to fulfill their economic needs or personal agendas. The party cadre was an army of unemployed youth looking for livelihood opportunities through politics. There was very little for him to do there.
In 2009 he was invited by the patriarch of the other national political party to motivate the youth and working professionals to engage with the party. During 2009 Lok Sabha electoral campaign of the party, RK was involved in youth engagement and voter mobilization programs in several states.
Later he became the founder member of the “Good Governance Cell” of the party and started Public Policy & Good Governance initiatives for party’s elected representatives and the office bearers across the country.
Having experienced from the close quarters, he came to the conclusion that established political parties have strayed from their principles & ideologies and are now run by self serving professional politicians with little regard for the country or it’s people.
He said to himself – “No wonder, politics has become a dirty word and a politician is associated with everything wrong in our society. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Good politics is the foundation for a transparent & functional democracy and a must to ensure the future of our next generations.”
That is how he along with Mr. Shekhar Tiwari, a respected humanist and nationalist, conceived the idea of Nav Bharat – A Party for Every Indian – to elect the leaders we can trust and build a nation we could be proud of! - More on Nav Bharat at - www.nav-bharat.org
Website – www.rkmisra.in
RK shares his views on contemporary issues of public policy &
governance at -http://rajendramisra.