Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Idhar chala main udhar chala... Jaane kahaan main kidhar chala...

'Uncertainty' is the most synonymous word to the word 'life', more so, in case of people like me who are a dilemma for themselves. Ever since 1987, I have been going through such phases in life but this one is an outstanding phase. Simply because I have made a decision which is referred to as 'foolish' by the whole world and when such a majority stands before you, you usually tend to get influenced. Same is the case with me as I have been also made to feel that I took a foolish decision. But, from my heart, from my mind, from my within, I do not have any such regrets. Its only because of the external influences

Oh, by the way, I have not yet shared what the decision is. Nothing big but big enough to make life go crazy. I have quit from my job at ICICI Bank. And surprisingly, I have not been able to understand why I did so even after 45 days of research. I submitted my resignation through the intranet. No one except Priyanka knew it. The moment I submitted the resignation online, it was an instant news on the floor and I could see all kinds of reactions around me. Some were almost in tears while some smiled. Some showed sympathy while some laughed at my foolishness. And yeah, my parents, I told them quite late about this. And I have been unable to judge their reaction till now

But everyone, including me, had a common question, 'What next?'. I had to answer something to keep my dignity before those who laughed at me. I could share the truth that I was clueless to only those people who had some sadness in them for me

The plan had been there ever since I completed the 3 month internship in March 2009. But somehow, I kept delaying for various reasons. Sometimes, I thought that I should find a job before I quit this. Sometimes, I thought I shall do it next month. Sometimes, life got so busy that the thought was erased. Sometimes, life was so tough that I could not afford such a thought. I definitely must say that, sometimes, I felt good too and did not find any meaning in leaving the job. For the kind of person I am, I know that what I think now will never be there the next moment

On 17 Nov 2009, I decided that I must resign and I just did that right away. I knew that, had I delayed for a few minutes, something would make me decide otherwise. It was 11.55 pm on 17 Nov that I submitted my request. It was important that I submit it on that day only as that would relieve me from work on 31 Dec exactly. A single day's delay would make me work in 2010 also, which my superstitious mind did not want me to do. In the process of complying of the notice period of 45 days (17 Nov to 31 Dec), I have been thinking a lot about that question, 'What next?'. And honestly, as on 4.20 pm (I don't know why 420 comes so often in my life while trying to analyze life) on 30 Dec, I am still as blank as a black board having not seen a chalk ever in its lifetime. Alternatively, you may also say that I am black board which has seen only chalk on it and never say a duster and in the process, a whole lot of writing has made it only a garbage. In these days, there have been variety of rumors that spread across the floor at my workplace like I got a job in HSBC, Infosys and many other companies, I am going to London to do an MBA, I got into a PSU Bank as a PO, etc. I, honestly, never initiated any of these

More than finding an answer to this question, what was sounding more important for me was finding the answer for the other question, i.e., 'Why did I resign?'. I felt, its possible for me to decide what's next only when I know what made me leave this. I can take a right decision only when I know my priorities, likings, dislikings, etc appropriately. In fact, off late, I have been able to cope up fine with the job too. The salary too has gone up by 25% considering that I am working in the night. The chances of being sent to branch banking, though I am not interested and consider my current profile far better than branch banking profile, have also gone up considering the large retail expansion plans of the bank

All these reasons did not seem to convince me when I asked one question to myself, 'Where will I be in the next 5 years if I continue?'. Seeing all people around me who are having a work experience of around 4-8 years and have a similar educational qualification as me, I could farely evaluate my position in 5 years and that did not seem convincing to me in any manner. I had to go beyond. I realized that no effort can take me to the position that I desire as my qualification does not permit it. Only being talented and hard working is not sufficient as you need to have the eligibility criteria as well. I have been observing all the newspaper ads in the recruitment space. For all the position that I desire to be, I satisfy all conditions viz age, talent, skill, experience, etc but the door would open up only if I had an MBA from a recognized B School or a ICAI certification as a Chartered Accountant. My performance would be seen only if I were qualified to perform

I understood the bitter fact that I have destroyed my life by ignoring my CA studies. And all through the past 1 year, each time I saw an ad asking for a CA, I have hated myself beyond anything for the wrong decisions that I made. Seeing practically, I can, to some extent, say that I made decisions as per the situations' demand and continuing CA was never an option to execute. I joined IFBI after my degree to ensure that I will get a job in 3 months flat and start earning. The process took 6 months. I have been working from the past one year and have earned about Rs 1.5 lacs. But, I never felt this as an achievement as I had to pay Rs 66000 to IFBI and spent Rs 30000 to survive in Bangalore and Rs 50000 to survive in Hyderabad and Rs 20000 for miscellaneous reasons (I spent more than I earned and I still owe Rs 16000 to Vivek. The loan taken to finance IFBI education is still outstanding for Rs 32000. The same amount has been used to buy my laptop. Perfect tally) and thus, as per the terms of accounting standards, all I did was merely a mistake. I spent an amount to earn to earn the same amount and in the process, lost 1 and half years of precious time that just went off giving no results to me. Add to it those 2 years during BCom when I could have joined articleship and completed PE-II as well. I could have easily been a chartered accountant in July 2009. And my income till now would have been positive as CA course would cost me some Rs 50000 and I would have earned it back and also some few thousands (can dare to say lacs) more too. This is when I realized the importance of dreaming big and doing big. Never settle for a small aim. It only makes you smaller. Set a big aim. It makes you bigger

The current condition of my life is too critical. Even a slightest financial mismatch can create big blunders. But, I can not hold myself anymore in this meek life. Even if I start today, I would reach my goal by 2013. Thats fair. I deserve this punishment for all hasty decisions that I made rather than accepting all adversities and moving towards the goal

Its going to be very tough to stick to this decision. I have not seen educational books from over a year (in fact, about 3 years as the college books were more like a novel which I never read too. Moreover, my choice of subjects was so magical that I did not have books for them. That's perhaps the biggest reason why I scored very high marks in these subjects as I would write my own content rather than trying to write something that has already been written by someone. In fact, I believe, there should be no standard books. We must be asked to express our views on each topic in the exams rather than the definitions that have been told by someone). I have not sat in serious classrooms for over decades. The classes in my school were more fun as I was a child. The classes during higher secondary education were mostly missed by me as I carried a lot of other responsibilities. The classes in degree... Should I say? The classes did run. I either would be busy doing something else in the class or out of the class or we would be roaming across the city or busy in some other activity and thus classrooms never took an important perspective in our lives. Further, its been ages since I stopped writing. Ever since computers have come, writing with a pen has become a rare act

Above all these physical aspects, the biggest issue that I have to deal with is the mental set up. Once a person starts earning, a totally new lifestyle begins. And once you adapt to such a life, its very difficult to come back to a life that involves serious struggles on the ground. Battling with the mind that has become a slave at work for the wage and the hand that irks for not having cash on hand to be spent at its own will and wish is a real big challenge. Money is no less than drugs. It addicts you. You feel lifeless without it on the planet earth. So, continuing education is one option that I can not again, practically, think of. I have been with the same mindset from years. I have to somehow change it

Going for a job is one thought that I would not consider. I have understood that, for the qualification that I possess (though my score is superior), I can get ground floor labor jobs only. I want to some intellectual job which has certain value. I want to do something which can bring out the best in me. Working in a bank and creating accounts and deposits is something anyone can do. Even if I be a topper and record holder in this, it is in no way going to add any value (it only increases quantity). I want to do something in which the brain has a larger role to play creatively rather than following a set process through which the work is done. And this level of job is called as senior management job. To go for this, you either need 20-25 years of experience or qualification and I do not have both

Another thought is that of beginning the business that I always intended to start up, i.e., stock broking. The task would be quite difficult and it would need certain investment too which is the biggest barrier

There are many other think inks that are thrown on my sheet which also includes doing something creative (I would reveal more when the work nears completion). All I can say is that I have thrown my life once again into the world of challenges. At least, from now, life would be lively again and the monotony would not exist. I would definitely miss my workplace and people and more importantly, my bank balance on the last day of every month. There has been a lot that I have learnt over the past year. I'll miss you ICICI

For the moment, in my life, only one thing is decided. I am going to Bangalore. When? How? And most importantly, Why? No clear idea

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Arindham Chaudhari... Hats off to a Superguru... Discover the Diamond in you...

Master the 9 powerful principles inside and Discover the Diamond in You. You may or may not discover the diamond (for that matter, even a nickel coin) but the author, publisher, foreward writer and the upcoming movie collaborators definitely did. They have sold their dreams to you to make their dreams come true

What began as a marvellous ad campaign across newspapers nationwide is now the nation's best sold book. Hats off to the great mangement economist, Mr. Arindham Chaudhuri, who has proved it time and again that the economics of this nation are going to be the same, i.e., 'The rich will become richer and the poor will get poorer'. I was impressed by the publicity and decided to buy that book. In a couple of days, the courier arrived and I had a tussle with the courier guy. He delivered the book and started his bike and I shouted at him to stop. I asked him, where is the book? He said that he doesn't know. I reconfirmed and he said that he doesn't know what is contained in the courier packet. I opened the packet assuming that flipkart might have forgotten keeping the book inside. But, to my amazement, the book was there. The courier guy went and I came back in. I quickly opened the dazzling book which had almost ZERO weight. I started reading the book and here is what I got to learn from it. I believe, I have learnt to succeed. The only difference is that I am not going to do what Arindham has told but what he has done. Arindam's passion for India has made him learn India and Indians by heart and he has hit the nail on the head perfectly, each time and every time

In India, 2 things sell like hotcakes. Sex and Shahrukh. And this book had the latter in it. The frontpage highlighted more about the success icon of billion hearts motivating all the fans of Shahrukh (99.9% who openly agree they are and 0.1% who deny but can't help being his fan) to go and snatch a copy of the book. Shahrukh has always come as a big business buck to companies. Be it ICICI Bank which rocked the NRI (as well as domestic) market with his photographs and signatures on the website, be it Bharti Airtel for which Shahrukh was a direct soul speaker, be it Dish TV calling of 'Santusht mat raho' or be it IIPM's re-branding campaign after all the information (should I use the word 'fraud') that has been openly written by the students on the internet, his has been a one name which has turned around businesses. Making use of his name in the book promotion, Arindham has proved to us that he is the greatest marketing guru who can easily sell a comb to the balds

Amitabh Bachchan is one name that Indian households respect so much that people stand up immediately on hearing his name as if the national anthem is playing (Sorry to say but most don't even stand up when the national anthem plays). Putting one line in his name has again worked splendid wonders. Remember 'Slumdog Millionaire'? When the movie was rocking and won oscars and put India on a rolls in the Oscar awards ceremony, our dear Amitabh and Arindham criticized it and asked people not to watch it. Read their blogs
Had the book not had these 2 names along with that of Arindam, I would not pay more than Rs 30 for the 10 pages (Rs 5 for the papers, Rs 5 for the publisher, Rs 5 for the author, Rs 5 for the courier and Rs 10 for the value derived). YES, 10 pages is all it is. Convert the font to regular, ie, arial/times roman 10, the content will not be more than 10 pages. There are many pictures that the author has failed to describe correctly in a way that can add meaning to the content. Not the forget that 25% of the book is again advertising. 10 initial pages are just there for no reason. The preface is written to sell more and more books. And what a stunt? If you have not purchased Arindam's previos books, you will buy them as well because the preface speaks more about the success of those books

Arindam keeps calling you diamond and puts you on cloud 9. The feeling of appreciation is one which can make a human being go crazy. Call a girl beautiful and she will be ready to help you. The management guru has learnt this concept very well. As he says, he makes everyone in IIPM feel like diamonds irrespective of what they are. Thus, when a person is on a heightened sense, he makes decisions which, most times, turn out to be foolish. You might have heard enough stories where people have looted kingdoms by offering gifts (Britishers did it the same way) and this is one modern example for the same management concept. Do I call it buttering or in more local language 'maskafying'? And then praising all people (who are going to share the profits of the book) as very good people, very successful people, knowledgeable and real diamonds. Arindam openly says that there are only 59 written pages in the book which can be read in just 59 minutes. Arindam also knows that a person will not feel like paying Rs 150 for the book and so, he clearly mentions that the sale proceeds will go to social service. Guru, you are a real guru. You have left greatest people like Peter Drucker, Dhirubhai Ambani, etc way far beyond. You are a real diamond

Arindam has typed the content of the book by SMS. Great. So, the effort has gone, not much to write the book, but to market it

The content of the book is the regular 'do this, do that, think like this, don't think like that, live your dreams, be passionate, set goals, have dreams, work properly, be patient, have good relationships, have a vision, set principles and live by them' and all that regular management blah blah blah. The book is very poorly typed. The illustrations are not appropriate. The examples come nowhere near to the principles explained

I would suggest people interested in such content to buy 'You Can Win' by Mr. Shiv Khera or the Robin Sharma or Stephen Covey series

For those people who love to read for fun, better buy Chetan Bhagat series. By Chetan Bhagat, I remember the amount of effort he makes in writing a book, getting it through, attending seminars, flying from one place to another and working so hard to sell a superb book at a low price of Rs 95. Chetan, why don't you try Shahrukh the next time and break Arindam's record? But, for me, authors like you hold the record. A book must sell by its content and not by its name. Tomorrow, if I publish the same book on someone else's names, it must sell. Thats true success. As I said, I would not pay a dime more than Rs 30 if this book was published without the 3 big brand names. Oh, I missed another, Priyanka Chopra. She is doing Arindam's next film

By writing all this, I neither want to say that someone is bad or something is wrong. I only want to highlight how our economy runs. The rich do all the gimmick and get richer. The poor fall prey and get poorer. This is not the only sector. Take examples of education, industry, finance, etc. IIPM would definitely one school that I wish to highlight for the hefty fees and near to zero results. I never understood the need of so many ad campaigns by a B-school which claims itself to be beyond IIMs. Google for 'IIPM fraud' and you understand the agony of the IIPM alumni. Take the examples of share markets. Have you ever heard of a big stock broker/operator losing money in the worst of criris? Its only the retail that falls prey

Unfortunately, we cannot do anything to fight such adversities that the community of rich people put on the poor except falling for them

Arindam commands Rs 5 lacs per hour for a training session which speaks volumes about his success. The same has been written openly in the book (as I told, the book is more an advertising campaign). I would want to ask this great person on what contribution he has made to this world. I know that every celebrity runs a social organization to answer such questions. So, don't answer me. Answer yourself. Ask yourself some questions like, 'How many IIPM students love you and how many hate you?', 'How many lives have you positively influenced (exclusing friends and families)?', 'How many people have come above poverty line because of you? (you speak so much about India and poverty but have you ever tried to understand that India has the largest number of rich people who have hoarded all money with them and thus created the poor). Give a thought

The whole world knows the truth but still we can't help being your fans just like Shahrukh. Irrespective of whatever celebrities and icons do, we do worship them as idols for they have been our role models. The day I read your essay on world food and financial crisis, I instantly became your fan and for me, economics was equal to Arindam. That was only till I purchased this book. I still honor you for the amount of knowledge you have, the amount of success you have but with book, you have misused the tremendous goodwill that you had gained. I doubt if your next book would sell. Get Shahrukh or get Amitabh or get any superstar, it would be really difficult. But, I am 100% sure that you will do something else and again break your record. Thats your potential of which I and the world are a fan of. Good going Arindam! You are a gem of diamonds. I only wish you would use some part of this shine to help the needy in reality

Wishing all rich people the very best for your next venture to convert the savings of poor people into your investments. I, like all being, just love it because this is what is taught to us to be the definition of SUCCESS

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Marriages in Hyderabad... A sound affair...

Marriage is an official bond between 2 persons to live life together. And when they don't want to live together, they need to sign another bond called divorce. So, what's the big deal in marriage. Just the bond paper that the registrar of marriage issues? I truly belive, YES

In my personal opinion, marriages are an activity to show to the world that these 2 persons are a couple from now and if they are seen together anywhere, do not hit them. The moral policing in our nation is quite high. The moment you see a guy with a girl, things might go awkward. So, do carry your marriage certificate when you go out with your spouse. More so, if you newly married. I guess, for others, you can ignore this idea for the fact that you might not go out with your spouse and if you do, you might keep away from each other with a big sad face. This is more than sufficient evidence for the moral police to note that you are a married couple. The more big faces are, the longer has been the tenure of being together. We Indians, sorry to say, are very sad people. We always tend to keep a boring profile of ourselves. You would hardly see people enjoying life to the fullest. There is so much that can be done in each moment. We don't even do simple things like giving a smile. Sometimes, we feel guilty of smiling in front of people. Sometimes, we feel guilty to speak to someone. I have been thinking always about the reason behind this. To some extent, I feel, its because of the way our brain has been engineered by the environment

Marriage is in some sense switching from a open source software like linux to a licensed version of Windows, of course, single user version. Before marriage, you interacted with all people around you. A guy could see a girl and feel, 'She's hot' and a gal could see a boy and feel, 'He's cool'. But once you are married, your wife/husband is the only person who is everything from hot to cold to warm to cool. Now, this is not a teaser for marriages. Because, I have a point, a serious one, to make. When you are expected to do everything and feel everything with the same person, how far can that person make you feel them. The person must be a blend of Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan, Bill Gates, Local hottie guy/gal, caring, loving, warm, friendly, sexy, rich, leader, understanding and so on. The moment there is a lacking, as a natural human tendency, a person looks out. Didn't we all do it before marriage? So, how big difference can a ceremony make? Yes, it activates the moral police and does not allow you to reach out other people as you did earlier. And when this happens, the person never shows out what he/she has inside. 2 people start living in the same body. What is inside the real person and what is shown out is a polished version

The biggest of all evils is COMPARISION. The day we are born, comparisions begin. Its the nurse who would compare before your mom that you were fairer or darker than the other children delivered on the same day. You father and grandparents steps in to compare whether are a male or a female. Your relatives step in to compare if you were fairer than their children and instantly start feeling jealous of you. They just can't express themselves. Seeing this, your mom feels that they are not happy seeing you. And your mom gets upset. Confusions begin. A kind of insecurity peeps in. You grow and start going to school and each day is a new comparision. He is better than you, she is neatly dressed, he is strong, she is beautiful and so on. And the moment you are compared, you start feeling insecure and do not speak to those people who are better than you in a given skill. And you say that they have a ego problem. Slowly, the matter deepens so much that you start comparing yourself with every other person and you neither are able to cope up with people nor are you able to make use of time. You would want to be friends with only such people who are equal or a little low than you in each and every respect. How many such people can we find? I honestly do not find anyone who is like me in all manners. Differences ought to be there. Else, what on this would we call to be beautiful

This is not the case with westerners. They lead their own lives in their own way. From day one, they are asked to look after themselves and do whatever they want. They do not have this habit of comparing themselves or feeling low, etc. This makes people flexible and hence, lively and charming. They build a good rapport instantly by being nice and polite. Politeness is something that is out of scene for us, specially the males. There are people who do try being polite but that is misread by the world as flirt and so, people do not attempt politeness. Women shy away as if they have just landed on to mother earth and men behave like beasts and thus avoid people to save themselves from moral police which many a times includes own friends, relatives and the spouse himself/herself

Stopping to comparing and starting to live is the best way to live life. Because, if you compare, there are 2 things that happen. Either you feel you are better or the other person is better. If you feel that you are better, you develop a superiority complex immediately and you don't communicate. The other persons feel you are egoistic and you feel they are egoistic. And if you feel that the other person is better, you instantly get into an inferiority complex mode and feel depressed & sad. You might start feeling insulted when you are approached by such persons

I don't understand why and how our minds think so much so deeply and so quickly on these issues. I put the blame on the environment completely. Its the kind of life that we have lead in the past that determines our current thinking. So, before you marry, you need to know how big responsibility you are going to take up in life. Specially, if you are marrying in India. Westerners easily go in for a divorce and carry on with life. Marriage is a very big and serious issue which needs to be addressed with lot of sensinbility & responsibility. You are going to influence the life of another person directly alongwith yours. Are you ready for this challenge and believe that you can make a positive difference to someone's life and can meet all his/her needs? Give a serious thought before you get in

Lets come back to the purpose of writing this post. I attended two marriages at Hyderabad till date. The first one was of Mr. Yajini Babu Sata, my former reporting authority. It was in this place called Kukatpally. The hall was a huge one to accomodate enough number of people. The food was fantastic. The celebrations were grand. The amount of expense was definitely quite high compared to the marriages that I have attended (though the number is so less that I can count them)

The second one was of my colleague, Deepti. She got married to a big wealthy businessman and it was a blast. I just loved the food. From badam milk to 20-30 kinds of sweets to 3-4 kinds of sandwiches to idli vada dosa stuff to pani puri sev puri bhel puri to 3-4 kinds of noodles, salads to different kinds of rotis, chappatis, nan, kulcha to variety of ice creams to what not. It was like a great achievement to even browse through what all was available. The people, I believe, had come down from Rajasthan and it did not appear any less than a palatial wedding. And the expense, well, I can't make even a wild guess

Marriages are definitely a day to remember but what is more important is how memorable will be those days after the marriage. You can buy a million houses but you cannot buy even one home. Homes need to built with limitless effort each day and the process of building homes is an endless task

Wishing you a very happy and blissful married life that build beautiful homes for the coming generation to experience the gift of life happily than ever

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Entrepreneurship in every Indian's blood... I am an Indian too...

As I plan to step out of the regular respected white collared job of a banker, I am absolutely undecided about the next step I would take in this life. Over the past 22 years, I have been doing whatever I wish to do. And suddenly, this idea of working as per someone else's rules and requirements is something I am unable to adapt to. Jobs are a plenty. I do keep getting offers to join other companies that would pay me sufficiently to lead life and contribute to my family as well. But happiness and satisfaction are two elements that I can never get. If I have a fantastic family, I could be happy. But no family can be so fantastic as life is not a decided journey. You never know what can happen when. And thus, amidst all uncertainties, no one can certify you of a happy or successful life. Life is full of twists and turns. If there is something certain in life, its change and death. A meaningful life would mean an adaptation to these changes by tackling them effectively till death. On thinking almost all the time to do something in life that can add value to self, family and the world at large, I have been getting numerous ideas. But the most important requirement for every plan to be executed is money. I dont understand how and why this element has got so much importance on the earth that every matter ultimately takes us to it. Every effort to simplify this life only adds more complications to it. I don't really understand why life is such a painful journey. Perhaps, the ISKCON preaches the right point that we are all sinners thrown on earth to be punished for not following God's orders. And I have been thinking all the time as to what is God's order to me. Why has he sent me here? Whats the purpose of my existence? They say, every person has an objective to achieve in this world. And once the objective is achieved, the person is taken back to God's world. People on earth never learn quick. That's perhaps one reason why we live for 70-80 years till we realize our objective. Thanks to education and literacy initiatives that has made us more understanding and made achieving our objectives much quickly and thereby reducing the average life span to 50-60 years these days. I believe, this would keep decreasing the same way till it reaches 0-10 and one fine day, humans would become extinct. Oh, sorry, I am out of topic yet again. This, in fact, is the biggest advantage of blog (rather than essay writing) that you dont need to use the backspace button to delete the unwanted things written. You could just keep saying blah blah and blah. Lets get back to some sense

Entrepreneur is a french word that refers to someone who takes up an endeavor. The world is full of entrepreneurs. In fact, I believe, we might have more entrepreneurs than job going persons. An entrepreneur takes risks directly to earn income to lead life. The commonest example that Mr. Narayan Murthy of Infosys refers to is of the Kiranawallahs or Panwallahs. They buy goods and place them in their shops. They face huge uncertainty on whether these goods would be sold or not. Their life depends on the sale. More the sale, more the income. The sale is dependent on demand. Demand is dependent on need/desire. No income is assured anywhere. Yet, life moves on

Take an example of an auto driver. My observation on these people has been very huge. Specially, from the day I have moved in to Hyderabad, they have caught my attention. The road from Jubilee Hills to Kondapur is around 8 kms and you need to pay just Rs 8 to travel in the auto. Of course, its a shared auto which would be occupied by another 4-5 companions. Assuming that all the 5 passengers move from Jubilee Hills to Kondapur, the auto driver earns Rs 40 which might be loss making figure for him. However, there are passengers who get down in between and passengers who get into the auto on the way. The charges are all predefined. The minimum charge is Rs 5. Suppose I board from Jubilee Hills to my home, I pay Rs 6. Another passenger boards it up to HiTec city, he pays Rs 5. Mind you, the number of people boarding auto on this road is quite high. There should be no difficulty for the auto driver to get passenger. And further, another passenger gets in at HiTec City to go up to Kondapur. He pays Rs 5 and thus, the total income for this seat would be Rs 6 + Rs 5 + Rs 5, ie, Rs 16. His profitability has shot up by 100%. Thus, he makes profit. Now, lets come to a typical situation where he either does not get sufficient passengers or he gets 5 passengers who will directly go to Kondapur. He suffers a loss. The auto driver does around 10-15 rounds on this route each day and each round gives him a totally different level of income. While he might earn ZERO on one round, he could easily make Rs 100 on another round. All income earned throughout the day less the cost of petrol would be his income for the day. If the cost of petrol itself is higher, he has made a loss. Imagine the amount of risk involved. The total family is dependent on this income. How will he pay his home rent? How will he pay his son's school fee? How will he manage for the ration? Theoretically, positive thinking says, it might be possible and practically, it is NOT possible. But, the answer that the auto drivers have given me is YES. He does. He even goes for a 'Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai' with his wife. This was about this one route. The similar is the case with drivers across the country. They just take their vehicle and move on the road. They are blessed if someone boards their vehicle for a fee. If not, good luck for tomorrow. Yet, these thousands of people DO survive. They do live at least a near to comfortable life where they can take care of their needs as well as their families'. Some people who have received sound financial advise also have good savings for the future. I always keep chit chatting to these people when I travel. I have seen people who have been driving for 20 years, people who have purchased more autos and rent them and now, live on the rent, people who have not earned well and are into debts, people who are well educated and due to unemployment, have started driving autos. The auto industry has given life to a very good number of people and is certainly praiseworthy. One can learn a lot about business and entrepreneurship from these people. I definitely did learn risk taking

Risk taking is so true in case of the pan beedi wallahs. They sell something which has words written on it in bold (Injurious to health) which makes it unsuitable for selling. Yet, they do survive. They also have families and they do meet their needs

Take a look at a book vendor. Be it the smallest neighborhood shop that sells pencils and rubbers (for that matter, lets call it erasers because rubber mean something else in some cultures) or be it a biggie like Landmark, whats the assurance that books will be written and most importantly, whats the assurance that they will be purchased. How big risks do these people take by buying items worth more than they could ever afford, pay sky high rents for the premises, pay salaries to the workers without any assurance that this would yield them a sale or a profit. If you go to a market, there would be a lane of sweet shops. Whats the assurance that people will buy sweets and most importantly, whats the guarantee that they will buy it from your shop only? Yet, all these sweet shops survive. They have been in business from years and have been expanding their reach by opening new branches. Simplest examples like Mishra sweets, Bhagwan sweets, Keshav Reddy sweets are a live case to study and learn. The book sellers too survive. The purchases do happen and they do get profits. An author sacrifices such a long time and devotes himself to writing. Whats the guarantee that he will be read? Is there something that can assure him an income by writing books? If so, I would be the world's largest book writer (Kidding)

All shopkeepers face the same case. And count them. One-Ten in every locality multiplied by the number of localities multiplied by the number of cities multiplied by the number of states multiplied by the number of nations. That would give you a figure that can make you stand still for a good number of minutes

Then, why do we get afraid of taking up entrepreneurial options? Aren't we born entrepreneurs? We take risks from the day one of life but as we move on towards the latter years, fear starts gripping in and we tend to avoid risks and responsibilities. Saving Face becomes one of the most essential aspect of life. Many people turn down ideas, thoughts, leadership plans, initiatives, etc just to ensure that the society doesn't mock them in case of failure. I am one amongst thousands of such Indians. My grandfather was a doctor. A doctor gets income from patients. If the world is hale and healthy, the doctors will be the poorest class of people. It will be like a blue collared labor job like that of a mechanic. However, doctors make millions and thus, are treated like successful persons. Of course, education difference is always there but historically, its income that has laid a line of difference. Assume that all bachelors of engineering students in Mechanical or Automobile Engineering start up their own garages and charge us a bang for repairs and servicing. For example, Rs 100 for a tyre puncture (Oops, the word 'tyre puncture' has been the most confusing word I have ever heard in the automobile industry. It leaves me guessing whether these shops which title themselves as 'tyre puncture' shops heal the punctures or cause it. The title at least says that they are experts in puncturing tyre). Their incomes would shoot up. They would own a bungalow, car and of course, a pretty wife. If a generation of people does this, I bet, the next generation would call this as a lucrative career and these mechanics would move up the ladder calling themselves as 'Professionals' rather than 'Self employed'. That's perhaps how doctors have made it to a white collared career

I find auto driving in Madhapur or jalebi selling in Madhapur more lucrative than my current job. But if I express this before anyone and plan to take up this, I would lose my face. Will I be ever able to answer those people who ask me 'what are you doing?'. My parents too would not have a face. I would cut the nose of everyone related to me. If I say that I wish to take up insurance sales as a career, people would comment that I am a good for nothing fellow and finally doing this to earn daily bread and butter. Why do we Indians think so much about people? Why do we have to save our faces before the whole world? Why has it become an order to be answerable to large kith and kin that was reproduced by our forefathers (and foremothers, of course). Just let us do what we want to and do not poke your noses in our business. We never did

Coming to another big reason why I want to take up entrepreneurship. TIME. Yes, that's what I need. I need time to do a lot of things that I plan to do in my life. Being in a job, I would be struck to wash someone's ass for a good 10 hours, wash mine for 2-3 hours and spend the remaining time to give rest to the heavily stressed body and mind (Of course, heart. These days, the heart has been on the receiving end more than the brain or the body). Ever imagined how many hotels are in this world, how many vacation packages do all these and the tourism sector gives, how many nations are there on the earth, how many places are titled as 'a must see' in lifetime, how many movies have we produced in the past century and so on. When will I see all this? There are so many books to read, places to see, movies to watch, arts to learn, hobbies to enjoy, skills to incorporate and so on. I have a deep desire to do all that I can possibly do in the rest of my life. How much can be done considering that I am almost through with half of my living days? The biggest hurdle that stands in between me and these goals is money. Yes, you are right. Everything in this world takes us one single problem with the mankind, ie, money. Only God knows who did this mistake of creating money and made man greedy. All sufferings of man began with the discovery of this thing called money. Ever since then, life has been a misery. Plus, more than this all, I have many social obligations. I tend to have a sense of belonging to this place and I seriously want to do my bit to the nation and the world at large. Education is one option that I would love to consider as my social responsibility

The dream to being an entrepreneur seems quite big. And for people like me who do more talking than doing (Of course I do, but I talk as well). Have you seen a chaiwallah who is more than 30 years of age? Possibly yes but the number is quite less. Is it that people aged more than 30 do not like the career of selling tea. Or is it that they have made enough profits in the age of 20-30, selling tea worth 80 ps for Rs 4, which can easily help them sustain their future existence

Think over it, I will be back with more on that (when my mind scrolls on that topic again)

Social entrepreneurship is one area that I have been keenly interested in over the past few years. I will be giving this too a serious consideration

For the moment, I believe, my wings can stretch over the existing areas of my expertise, namely the fields of insurance, mutual funds, stocks and broking. I can also review the area of general insurance if need be. Life insurance must be one serious area of action in the coming days. Of course, to balance this huge risk that I might be facing, I need to continue education. Professional study might again appear as the option here but the difficulty involved is quite high and it would remain more a dream than a possibility

Its said, for pisceans, God has planned everything. Irrespective of whatever we plan, its only God's plan that is in execution. Even now, if I am writing this post, I am sure that the God has some plan behind this. We only need to wait and watch the plan. How far will I go ahead as an entrepreneur or will I ever be one is all something to watch in the coming days

Would something happen or these dreams of an Indian entrepreneur end as dreams just like the thousands of people like me