I believe pursuing one’s passion requires a certain determination and strength of character. My life is riddled with successes, failures and surprises. With time, I’ve developed a flair to appreciate and learn from every situations that I come across – be it good or bad. I’ve scored pretty good numbers in my Xth and XIIth board exams but scored a low GPA in my under graduation. This break in momentum, as far as academic consistency is concerned, is glaringly visible when I stand in the face of the competition. But, this never let me down. I never stopped dreaming and nor do I intend to, in future.
I recollect winning several awards in Painting competitions in school/state levels. Adding to this, I also had been a skilled violin player, having played it right since my 4th standard right until graduating out of secondary high school. However, I never pursued and furthered these skills during my under graduation. I guess I was lost then. Staying 2000 KMs away from dear parents, my well-wishers – I was lost. I was homesick. Quite honestly the four years seemed fun filled and may I add also an (sic) arduous journey in the same breath . Even to this day as I write, I’m still exploring and experimenting with ideas, and yet to stick to some!
I’m however uniquely fortunate, to have worked with some amazing business leaders in my profession later on. I’d the opportunity to work with Mr. Ambur Iyyappa, one of the earliest founding members of Flipkart.com, in successfully developing a team from scratch. This person was an epitome of honesty, humility and hard work. His leadership was not just transactional but it was transformational. He motivated and inspired many to do things rightly, identify business problems and be able to articulate solutions to challenges posed in an organized manner. The team of 25 executives that I subsequently led under his guidance, closely monitored the health of the supply chain, worked towards understanding customers’ pain points, identifying its root causes and eliminating them. This opportunity not only taught me to understand people management skills but also view business problems objectively from an eagle’s perspective.
After my stint at Flipkart, I worked under Mr. Avinash Deepak, VP, Sales at Bharti Airtel as a business analyst. He has put a great impact on me. The aura that he carried won people, clients and other business stakeholders. To be able to proactively identify business problems, to be able to tame the challenge to your benefit and not letting the problem shadow the circumstances while beaming with full of energy – are just few things I can consider as key takeaways. His presence elicit energetic environment in the office and no wonder, it was this charm that enable him to clinch big business deals away from the competitors.
Today, I look ahead to start new beginnings yet again. On introspection, pursuing MBA was probably a life changing decision for me. Not only did I experience amazing pedagogy, concepts, theories or business simulations from some of the best professors the country has, but also I could make some lifelong friends. The 11 months of jam packed class schedules, assignments, guest lectures, group tasks, etc have helped me grow as a person.
Here are some life lessons I learnt over years:
Lesson number 1. Life is not a Bollywood movie. Nothing comes free. One needs to earn it. Be it love, respect, friendship, or all the things that we really take for granted – food, water and shelter. It is my actions which reveals who I am. I’m what I eat. I’m what I say. On occasions, when I feel really low, I take consolation in the fact that I’m really fortunate enough for all things I’ve around me – especially my parents and family members, and all the love bestowed upon me.
Lesson number 2. Every single person out there is unique in his or her own way. Under estimating anyone or making spot judgements is never really helpful. Some people are full of surprises and could blow the mind away. I try not to keep any preconceived notion about anyone and let time take its own course.
Lesson number 3. Loving oneself. Self-esteem and ego should not be confused with each other. This quite acts as a yardstick to treat others with dignity and respect. It is equally important to listen to others’ feedback and bring in the desired changes in attitude or behavior in oneself.
These lessons are my own perceptions on reality about life and have been a source of guidance for me. Of course, no one is perfect. To err is to human. I may have hurt many in the past knowingly or unknowingly. And may likely do so in future too. So please maaf karna 🙂
It’s very late now and I should be off to bed.
EDIT: I’m glad to share an inspiring story published by Times of India on Mr. Ambur Iyyappa, my boss in my previous job @ Flipkart. Click here to read.