The St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School auditorium was packed with about 400 eager students and teachers who were waiting to hear one of their famous ‘old boys’ George Kurian speak. Kurian was the Chief Guest of the Annual ‘Welcome to the OBA’ ceremony – an event that signals the formal entry of a new group of 10th and 12th standard students into the Alumni Association fondly called the Old Boys Association (OBA). George Kurian is the CEO and President of NetApp - an American multinational storage and data management company, and is a member of the OBA since 1983, when he passed out along with his equally famous twin brother Thomas Kurian who is the President of Product Development at Oracle Corporation.
Kurian may have a long list of accomplishments against his name - one of them being that he is one of the handful of Indian-origin CEOs of a Fortune 500 company, but he still considers himself as a proud old boy of St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School. Addressing the 10th
grade students, Kurian reminisced his ‘scrappy kid’ days in his alma mater and the priceless moments he shared with some of his teachers and the then-school Principal, the late Fr. Frigidian Shenoy. He also vividly recalled the moment when Fr. Shenoy encouraged both Thomas and him to go abroad and study, something that he said he eventually did by going to the US in 1986 to pursue higher studies with just $400 in his pocket and having to do a number of odd jobs to fend for himself while studying.
The global CEO reminded the students about the importance of the values ‘fide’ (faith) and ‘labore’ (labor), that the school taught them just like it did during his school days. He encouraged the students to pursue their passions and dreams and to make it big at a global level.
George Kurian said, “You will undoubtedly make decisions moving forward in life. One thing that I have learnt from the choices that I made is that there isn’t really a good decision upfront. What matters most is what you do after you have made a choice. Learn to embrace the opportunities ahead of you and don’t shy away from taking on new adventures. Make sure that what you choose to do is your path. You have to do extraordinary work to be successful, and that is possible only when you love what you do.”
Following his speech, Kurian handed out mementos to the students as a symbolic gesture to welcome them into the Old Boys’ fraternity.
The event was also attended by key members and officials of the Old Boys’ Association (OBA) including Sanjay Swamy, well-known technologist and angel investor, who also introduced George Kurien during the session, and Shashi Lewis and George Ollapally, its President and Vice President, respectively.