Friday, August 02, 2013

My tryst with awe inspiring Personalities

As a correspondent of a business website, my job enables me to interview personalities across several forums. Be it authors or corporate honchos, meeting each one of them ends up as an inspiring lesson by itself.
As I recollect my first tryst with this job profile, it was on October 11th 2012 in the prestigious  Bombay House which housed the whos who of the Tata group. 

 R.Gopalakrishnan was coming out with a new book 'What a CEO really wants' and I was to base my questions around the upcoming best seller. Being my first interview with such a renowned person, it was natural to feel the spell of nervousness finding its way into my system. However being the person that he was, I was put to an  instant ease as the question and answer session began. That 1 hour proved to be a wonderful learning experience about the intricacies of leadership, corporate world, picking up analogies from the animal kingdom and the common man's life. No wonder,I already felt like a wiser person post that rendezvous with RG. A humble yet enlightened and charismatic personality whom one can learn a lot from.

Harish Bhatt, Managing Director of Tata Global Beverages: His book Tata Log was an interesting read which gave a detailed description of different Tata companies, their journey across several tribulations which ultimately became the stepping stone to success. It described how the several challenges were met and further helped in building the Brand Equity of this towering Business house. It was enriching to hear about his personal experiences with a few of the companies, his views on business and the initiatives undertaken for the betterment of the society. A revered person who offered a lot of ideas and interesting concepts.

Amit Sheth, Ultra marathon runner: I remember writing to him on the eve of the Mumbai marathon where I learnt that he was the pacer for the full marathon, 42 km run. I received a warm and encouraging response which lifted my spirits even before I finished my first full marathon on Jan 20th 2013. Being a runner myself, it was enthralling to meet an accomplished and seasoned runner, who started from scratch to become the runner he is today. His book 'Dare to run' would inspire any common man to put on his running shoes and conquer the road. It was a read, one could relate to and learn that if you cant run with your legs, run with your heart. Meeting him makes one feel awed and realization dawns that there is no short cut to success. Perseverance, dedication along with a few sacrifices makes the journey of the marathons worthwhile.

Ashwin Sanghi, Author of Chanakya's Chant and The Krishna Key: Had met him couple of times at Crossword Bookstore at a few book launches. Found him to be very approachable, amicable and down to earth. He immediately agreed to an interview. He possessed immense knowledge on History and Mythology. It was fascinating to learn about his in-depth research  about historical facts before weaving them into a  thriller.

Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys foundation: Had read all her books and was an ardent fan of her writings. It was a dream come true when she agreed to give me an appointment at her officeon June 11th 2013 in Bengaluru. When I met her, her simplicity enamored me and in a few minutes I felt at complete ease. She was evolved, humble and meaningful which personified her writings. The conversation took a philosophical turn about life, expectations and doing your duty. It was an enriching 40 mins, which left me awe struck and mesmerized. Learnt a lot about the significance of giving back to society and making a difference to others' lives.

Mittu Chandilya, CEO AirAsia India: Being a Tata venture, I keenly followed the news for a while. It was announced in May that Mittu was appointed as the CEO. What fascinated many was the fact that he was from a non airline background, young and dynamic. It was interesting to meet and interview someone who appeared to be ambitious, confident yet humble. Someone who wanted to make a difference to the common man and who was driven with a sound goal. One hopes that this airlines reaches great heights and enables the common folk to spread their wings and globe trot.

Prakash Iyer, Managing Director of Kimberly Clark Lever: Having authored 2 books namely 'The habit of winning' and 'The secret of leadership', it was intriguing to hear him speak about the same. One gathers the intricacies of what it takes to be a leader, and whether age plays a role in becoming an effective leader. He draws analogies from sports and animal kingdom. It was overall very inspiring to learn about his ideals which helps you change your perspective about the people and society. Interviewing him helped me change my outlook and look at life with more positivity.

 Life is such a journey that one comes across so many people and each manage to leave their imprint in their own profound manner. Hoping that this journey continues its interesting course...