Ram and Smita, Rang De’s co-founder, recently had the chance to meet with Ms Pervin Verma- Trustee, Child Rights and You. Here Smita writes about some of her impressions following that meeting.
A founder’s relationship with the organization he/she starts is not very different from a relationship between parents and their children. The founder and the parent both want to let go of their children at the appropriate time, but in both cases, they end up handholding for a lot longer than is needed.
In a founder’s case, this is referred to as The Founder’s Syndrome. The founder’s syndrome is a lot more evident in the case of non-profit organizations where passion is the key driver and is expected to be the driving force through out. The founder believes that no one else can have this passion or relate to the cause the way he/she does. Often, in the non-profit world, the personalities of the founders have an overbearing influence on the organization they started. So much so that the founder and the organization become one with each other.
We recently had the opportunity to meet Ms. Pervin Varma who had the rare privilege of working closely with Mr Rippan Kapur — the founder of CRY. Rippan, according to Pervin had always maintained a low key while ensuring that CRY remained in the forefront. He did this so consciously that even after his passing away, CRY continued to work and grew from strength to strength. In fact many donors and patrons only knew of CRY and not the fact that Rippan was the founder of this amazing organization. Even though we were in awe of Rippan Kapur long before our rendezvous with Pervin, our admiration for the man grew many times after meeting her and listening to her. Rippan was clearly well ahead of his times and had thought through some of these important challenges — many of them that could be detrimental to an organization’s growth.
Both the parent and the founder are never convinced of when is the right time to let go. But letting go at the right time is perhaps the best thing that one can do — be it for the organization or for a child.