Saturday, 28 August 2010

Simply Fly with Capt G R Gopinath... An evening to live for a lifetime..


I heard someone say, 'There are a set of architects who are running the relay race to build the Modern India and Capt G R Gopinath is amongst the lead runner with the batton'. What an honour these words indicate...!!! And what a pleasure to listen such words about someone who is known to you. Capt Gopinath is an alumni of Sainik School, Bijapur and thus a part of the Ajeets Family. He is one of the most accomplished Ajeets. I would not want to write about his life, his business, his growth, his success, etc. as the world is aware of it. Off late, he has been in news for his book 'SimplyFly - A Deccan Odyssey'. The book, obviously, is the No. 1 bestseller now. His entrepreneurial journey from one business to another is not just simply amazing but an indication of the guts & belief he carries

The Ajeets OBA Chapter of Bengaluru arranged for a get together to facilitate interaction and gain knowledge from one of our own heroes. Things were scheduled to begin at 6 pm on 28 August 2010 and they did. Capt Gopinath arrived in his palatial Mercedes S320 and I kept looking at the glory. It was not the first time I was meeting him. Each time I met him, it was his humble attitude that never made me feel like he is a business tycoon and I am a small guy. His dressing was, as usual, very simple and he jumped into the occassion with so much of energy with his trademark gesture 'Hi Folks' to everyone and shaking his hands. The entire audience rose with happiness and there was a thunderous clapping that was going on. After a brief introduction and formal addressing by Mr Shashi Alabur & Col Ravindranath, the stage was handed over to Mr Gopinath

He spoke for a few minutes and in these few minutes, I, like everyone, was totally awed by his words. He spoke about his life, his work, his plans, his dreams and so on. What was most important was the lesson that we all had to learn from his experience. I understood that he is legend of entrepreneurship. He had the best of the best entrepreneurial characters developed in him through sheer hard work. Listening to all the kinds of entrepreneurial activities that he took up before making it big with Air Deccan, I was kind of amazed to see his determination and will power. It was beyond belief for me to listen to all the ventures that he took up in life. And even after facing so many failures, he never thought of stopping. There was no point of time in his life when he thought that it was too much and he should find a job to live life. That was one point that impressed me a lot. I have come across a great number of people trying their hands at entrepreneurship. They have everything with them. They have all the talent, focus, abilities, resources, plan, etc. But, the moment they face a failure, the immediate thought that comes on their mind is to get back to work/job. The entrepreneurial spirit does not die but does get suppressed. But, in case of Mr Gopinath, there has never been such an incident. There was absolutely zero thought of a job. Each time he faced failure and things turned difficult to impossible, he only thought of beginning a new venture. And this is what he terms as Continued Enthusiasm - One of the key component for growth as an entrepreneur

His talk covered interesting areas that even included answers to some in-person questions that were posed by us. He shared his principles of life which were of great help. A very important point that he bought out is about our routine activities. We all do the same things everyday and feel bored. Getting up at the same time, going to work, doing the same work, getting back home, having the same food and going to sleep. We all look for a change all the time. However, the strength lies in doing the same things again and again. With more experience, you gain expertise and become an expert in the field. Soon, people shall start coming to you for information and then, there shall be nothing stopping you. So, even doing the same things over and again calls for a lot of energy, dedication and effort. This could again be termed as 'Continued Enthusiasm'

In all, he conveyed the message that one needs to make efforts continuously. There is no other way that takes you to success. You need to consistently keep doing the required acts that are essentially elements of growth & development. This, perhaps, is the only recipe that guarantees you success

After the speech, we all spent some time speaking to him. I had my 2 minutes with him as usual. I am sure, for the number of people he meets, he would not remember everyone. I, for one, have been a part of that everyone crowd every time. But then, this thought didn't deter me my saying, "Sir, I'm glad to see you. I am Puneet. ADL/3210. 1997-2004 batch". He smiled and asked me what I did. "I work in HDFC Bank", I said. I don't know why but he seemed impressed. Its only later I learnt that HDFC Bank is his official banker. I got my copy of SimplyFly autographed by him. With a smile, I thanked him and made a move



Soon, I was a part, a very core part, of the mini Ajeet meet that was happening. Considering I was the youngest at the meet, I certainly had some eyeballs rolling over me. After food, we bid good bye to each other, exchanged cell numbers/cards and drove back