About kushsrivastava

A B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, I went on to do a Masters in Management from ESCP Europe in Paris and an MBA from AIT, Bangkok. With a flair for writing, I decided to pen down a few things. Soon, I realized that it could well be given a shape of a book/novel. I have published a book on Corporate Governance titled Motivation for Good Corporate Governance: A Peep into Thai Companies and a novel titled Three Cheers to Life. I am all set to publish my third one titled "Road to Bureaucracy".

Scaling the Irony!

In the past decade or so, I have seen the start up ecosystem mature big time. The reasons might be different, ranging from jumping on the band wagon to cash in at the right time to really being concerned about something that one might find amiss in the society that they live in, and few for the sheer want of making it big some day.

What has facilitated the above is a transition from a capitalist to a market economy, where instead of few people holding all resources, the money is there to be got from the market if they consider you worthy enough of the same, which more often than not, comes down to the kind of network one has and the profiles of the founders.

Among this buzz, what has remained a constant theme to look for is the numbers, be it the investors who talk nothing but numbers to founders who try to achieve the same as they would want to raise money, which fortunately or unfortunately becomes the goal of many startups.

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In this rush for numbers, at times, the very purpose of establishing a business takes a beating. Any business or organization, both from a fundamental ethical point of view as well as practical sustainable point of view, is supposed to cater to the well being of it’s clientele.

For those who are trying to make bucks and move out in the short term, the above might not be so relevant, but for those who have put their skin in the game, it might make great sense to focus on the well being of their customers, if they want to be in it for a long term and see their venture evolve into what the world today refers to as unicorns. 

So far so good, but as a society, if you notice, all the so called unicorns and other multinationals, the foundations on which they prosper, tend to be human misery, what most seem to encourage is a consumerist mindset, which, in a way, goes against the very fundamentals of well being.

Many would argue that the circumstances are such and that they are only cashing in on the reality, and scaling on the basis of the irony that projects well being but goes against the very nature of the same.

Fair enough as it might sound, just wonder, whether the very parameters of success can be bent to cater to the real well being of the ecosystem that we live in and the kind we belong to.

Source for the Image: http://digestafrica.com/ugandan-startups-know-scaling/

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Conscious Rockstar!

Moving on the circumference of the circle of life, here I take this opportunity to wish everyone a fantastic time ahead :), where years for social use is just a means of making sense out of the rising and setting of the sun and the moon.

As you move on in this short journey referred to as life, from popping on this planet to diffusing in the unknown, from making these short term goals to long term, which by the way is also short in the entire scheme of things, what is it that you would want to leave behind.

Would it be plenty of wealth for your loved ones?

Would it be some family name which will remain prominent in years to come?

Would it be some service that you will be remembered for, by the people who gained out of it?

Or

Would it be something more, something very different, something which people will talk about, and if I were to borrow from the marketing terminologies of our times, for the USP of the thing you achieved?

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To each their own, they say, but

To each there is only one destination, though the paths might be different.

To each the craving is same,

To each the possibilities are same,

To each the opportunities are same or can be made the same.

Another wonderful day in our lives, gives us all that opportunity to make it count,

To make the most out of it,

To utilize each bit of it to the utmost,

To respect and appreciate the fact that we have been provided one,

And

To create a difference in the lives of the people whom we get a chance to interact with.

The burning question though is,

Are we conscious enough to start doing the above?

Are we prepared to come out of the mindless ways of living life to a conscious way of accepting and celebrating the very foundations of life?

Are we set to become a Conscious Rockstar?” Well, as they say, to each their own ;).

Source for the Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/rockstar

From Use Me to Need Me?

My first memory of the phrase “Use Me!” is, when as a kid, I saw this cute little dustbin in the corridors of my school, asking me not to throw the wrapper of the chocolate that I had just eaten, on the ground, instead inside the one and only place it should be thrown into.

Indeed the idea of Utilitarianism caught my imagination, which in itself is a fantastic idea to have around oneself, the only catch being, if the very idea is being utilized in a smart way.

Unfortunately, as it has turned out, lot of things from:

Doing Networking to making friends, 

Exploiting resources to minting money, 

Consumerism to Materialism, 

Has led to a state of affairs, where the first thought that comes in all our minds is,

How can we make use of something?

Will I benefit from using it in this way, or I need to find an alternate which can make the utilization more efficient, in turn leading to more profits?

What is that key differentiator/ USP when I go about exploiting the resources?

What this has led to is a complete neglect of the destruction and harm that we are causing to not only this planet but also to the minds of individuals.

Especially the next generation kids, whom we are breeding into robots who would want to run after success the moment they gain some control over their mind and body, the very basis of which is to accumulate as many possessions as possible at any cost.

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And then we happily have those table-top conversations about how bad the world is becoming, how difficult it would be for our children to survive and debating about accumulating more and more for the security that we would want to pass on to our next generation.

As it turns out, neither of the table-top conversations nor the accumulation would slow down the tide of destruction,

The only thing which might work, since we still have sometime, is a realization that the very basis of success need not be money; after all:

A mother’s effort and time which she devotes towards bringing up her child, cannot be weighed in terms of money,

So, how about going from a use based thought process towards a need based thought process?

How about slowing down the pace of exploits, giving us time to look at it from a sustainable perspective?

How about giving up a share of profits for a better ecosystem?

How about incorporating other values and parameters as the basis of success with possessions making a very small percentage, as a consequence of what one does and not what one aims to do?

The ball is very much in our court, if we fail to hit the right shot now, doomsday ahead,

But I have full faith in the power of utilitarianism that homo sapiens have got so accustomed to using in their day-to-day life, which would slowly but surely enable all of us to think about the very fundamentals of existence.

Source for the Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/dustbin

Be a Rebel!

One of the most famous songs of our generation, “be a rebel!” from Rang de Basanti! has very deep connotations if you look at it.

Be it the kid in you who only studied subjects because you liked it and not for the love of few marks in some silly exam,

Be it the professional in you that did something because you were doing what Nike was asking you to do, what you love! and not for the want of a hefty pay check,

or

Be it the parent in you, who ignored a boss’ s call just to have those wonderful moments with your kid letting go of the brownie points that you could have gained over someone else, in front of your boss at an odd hour,

If you haven’t done anything which comes under the category of being a rebel, be it big or small, you haven’t really created that much important difference which, courtesy you being born a human, were gifted with the power to do so.

One thing that continues to haunt most of us is looking forward to that day, when we make it big.

The definition of being big might vary from person to person.

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From some, it could mean appearing on air while being covered for establishing a successful start-up,

For few, it could mean getting selected in the civil services exam,

For few, it might mean, leading one of the bigger companies, be it Microsoft or Apple, 

For few, it could mean excelling in the political arena,

and

For few, it could mean becoming an army officer or a pilot.

Whatever it might be, one thing that remains common among all is the will to be something more than what you already are, which gets represented in the form of want, aspiration or the ambition.

And the higher the degree of rebellion and the subsequent path you choose, the higher the chances you would have made it big considering all standards of society and by all stretch of imagination.

So, be a rebel, be fearless not just for the want of it but because you want to do something, which you tend to relate to, the most in your life and witness the difference and subsequent happiness explode right in front of your eyes.

Source for the Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/rebel

Let Go You-Bama!

The moment I hear the phrase, “let go“, I am taken back in time and am reminded of the movie Zindagi na Milegi Dobara where just before the sky dive, Hrithik Roshan tells Farhan Akhtar, let go, Imran, just let it go!

When I think about it, there it was letting go of the fear, yet it has very deep connotations and implications for all of us in our day-to-day lives,

no matter which part of the World we reside in,

no matter what religion we practice and

no matter what field or sector we are working in.

Day-in-day-out, we try to do best for ourselves and our loved ones whom we refer to as family or friends,

we try to be successful in whatever we do, be it personal or professional,

we try to have fun, which by the way was supposed to be a natural way of living, though we have found a way to make it hard enough to explore and practice,

we try to use our time to the best of our skills and capabilities, intending to get a better house, a better car, at times even the best breed of dog to be bred at home;

yet we see the life drifting away at a mindless pace, where we don’t even get the time to contemplate and realize that we are not gonna take everything that we are accumulating at this point in time, with us.

So, difficult it is to let go, be it our identities (religious, caste, creed etc.),

be it our set of possessions (a pair of trousers, gadgets etc.),

be it our so called loved ones, to the extent, that at times we tend to suffocate them supposedly for their own good, not realizing that we are in fact doing more harm than good, by imposing all the societal stuff,

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Not realizing that not letting go, on the contrary, is

making us fret more,

get frustrated more,

get angry on a frequent basis,

become comparative and in turn jealous more often than not,

making us go through the consequences of bad health;

Yet we continue to do so, without stopping for a moment to give it a thought, whether it’s all worth it.

After all, the beautiful time that we have been bestowed with, in the form of human, do you think, it was supposed to do all the above?

Well even if you were to argue really hard in its favour, few might say, to some extent,

Yet you know, deep down in your hearts and minds, that it’s all a game that you have been taught to play by the society, which giving up right now is more of a challenge and fear, arising out of the conditioned insecurities.

The only question that you need to ask yourself is, do you consider yourself important enough (to the likes of Obama, Bill Gates etc.)  to not let go?

For if it was not that, you would have by now, actually decided to let go. I guess, even they have, to some extent, that is! 😉

Source for the Image: http://www.lovethispic.com/image/20870/let-go

Data: Mera Cell Tera Cell!

On one hand where data is a fantastic thing to have for anything and everything in the world,

Be it looking at the gender diversity ratio in a company/parliament etc.,

Be it the percentage of people for whom a certain drug might have worked in terms of the cure it offered, and in turn the effectiveness of the very drug,

Be it evaluating the state of economy, and the possibilities of getting returns on prospective investments,

Be it deriving insights from the experiments, scientists perform day-in-day out, concerning matters which we tend to deal with; with or without the realization of the same,

On the other hand, data tends to divide people, putting them into different groups and attributing the same with certain characteristics, in turn resulting in the biases that we all have, and in turn questioning the very fundamentals of a being, the very cells that make us all who we call as oneself.

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Many a times, I have had heard phrases like vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which means world is one family, unity in diversity etc. all suggesting that all are supposed to be treated equally,

No matter what our colour of the skin is,

No matter what religion we were bound to follow because we choose to be born in a particular family residing in a particular place in time,

No matter what gender we got associated to and were categorized in, based upon the reproductive credentials that we possess,

Yet, for the want of it, and at times for the need of it, the who’s who of the society, tends to divide and rule on the basis of the power of this very data, which surprisingly tends to find some kind of an acceptance, knowingly or unknowingly across all variety of people.

After all, if mera cell=tera cell (my cell=your cell), would there be a need to refer to people as being part of a group or a religion?

The reality is more often than not stranger than the fiction, and that’s why it’s easy to accept and adapt to the fictitious ways in which we have all got accustomed to living our lives.

The fact is that we are going to be bombarded with plethora of data along with its interpretation, day-in-day-out,

The question all need to ask themselves is whether they are prepared to make that all important choice of not succumbing to the fiction and rise above to realize reality.

Source for the Image: http://www.3dprinter.in/we-may-soon-have-3d-cell-printed-tissues/

Trusting the Trust!

Trust, somehow, has always been and will continue to remain the basis on which every transaction or interaction takes place in our society.

Be it the coming together of two individuals in the form of a marriage,

Be it a patient going to a doctor for treatment,

Be it buying something online,

Be it the very communication between individuals where the parties accept what the other party has to offer in terms of advice, suggestions etc.,

Be it the evidence that is presented in the court of law,

or

Be it the advice that parents give to their kids which they follow,

I can go on and on with the examples of the very application of this 5 letter word Trust, which has had its etymology which mean protection, comfort, solace etc.

When we talk of protection, comfort or solace, on most occasions, we are referring to a 2nd or a 3rd party who is there to look after the very aspect, and possibly the need for an outside intervention not concerning the parties involved.

Which makes me somehow wonder, that trusting the trust in itself has become an act which is let’s say, has become more difficult than trusting an outsider/3rd party unknown to the very parties, assuming that the 3rd party will have all the sense to derive comprehensive conclusions, on the basis of presentation of few facts and evidence.

The very basis of justice has gone into the hands of the 3rd parties, who, at times, are completely oblivious of the situation at hand, yet have to depend on a drama that somehow unfolds in front of their eyes in a court of law. shutterstock_250176199

As a consequence, we are seeing, increase in the number of cases being filed, decrease in the level of patience and adjustment that also seems to reflect one stabilizing factor in every society and most important of all, leading to mental instability and deterioration of mental health coefficient of a society as a whole.

Be it the greed,

Be it the jealousy,

Be it the hatred,

or

Be it the fear,

All the above lead to reduction in our ability to trust and leads to disintegration of the fundamental reason why we all exist together.

Don’t you think, it’s high time, we start to trust again, if not for the very act of it, than surely for maintaining the much required stability of our societies?

For, if trusting the trust becomes an act beyond our reach, then we are headed in just one direction, which we all refer to as destruction, first of self and of course of the society.

Source for the Image: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/trust-business-relationship-marketing-space-michael-cherry

Wondering_Importance!

You get up, more often than not, you check your phone these days to see how many Whatsapp messages you might have received, or how many likes on your pic which you uploaded last night on Fb you have got, get happy seeing the likes or get depressed seeing no likes ;).

Reality strikes and you are made aware of the meeting that you have early morning, you start to rush around, trying to get ready asap, and grabbing a sandwich or so in your hand, you leave your house.

Sit in your car/cab, cursing the traffic which is bound to make you get late for the all important meeting which was supposed to get you a raise/promotion or whatever you value most in your professional life.

You reach the meeting, a little startled and unprepared, though you end up performing well, considering the hard work that you might have put in the night before, and only then are you able to bring your BP down to so called normal levels.

Assignment after assignment you try to somehow deal with all the frustration of sitting in the office day-in-day-out, until you are brought back to the horrible traffic in your car/cab, which at times takes an hour or so more for you to reach the place we all refer to as our home.

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Probably, the above is a reflection of the very life 90-95% of the folks are leading today.

Somehow, all the things that were inherently important, be it good health, fresh food, time spent with family, healthy conversation at work place, the famous Nike tagline of doing what you love, feeling joyful and happy when you accomplish a wonderful feat have gone into a background,

Being overtaken and haunted by the thought of how much I made this month, whether my bank balance increased by a certain X amount, whether I was able to buy my favorite car this quarter, what if I don’t buy my dream house in the next one year, what if my boss gives promotion to my enemy no. 1 in office, what if my wife doesn’t get that all important diamond ring from me which I promised to her like a year before.

As a consequence, you end up feeling tired, restless at the things you are trying to match the pace with on a daily basis, and more importantly begin to get affected by diseases or conditions, courtesy the degradation in your immune system, considering the kind of thought process and physical activity that you might have pushed yourself into in the past decade or so.

Don’t you think, it’s high time, you start to give importance to what really matters when it comes to leading a fulfilling life?

Don’t you think, it’s high time, you start to take it easy and give yourself the much needed relief from the fast pace of day-night match you seem to be playing with your life?

If not now, then when, if not today, then there might not be any tomorrow,

So stop wondering about how you might be able to become the who’s who, and start to wonder what if you couldn’t become the who and act accordingly! 🙂

Source for the Image: https://phys.org/news/2017-09-important-physics-gender-bias.html

F.A.T. Syndrome!

For some it could mean a distorted Body Mass Index (BMI), for some it might mean a big fat wedding, but for the gentleman whom I happened to meet yesterday simply out of no where and who seemed to have mastered the Art of Living (not the one founded by Mr. Ravi Shankar) but the one which we seemed to live in as a society on a day-to-day basis, wants to define it as, F.A.T.=For All Time, and seems to suggest that we as a society have got affected by the ever so pervading For All Time sake Syndrome.

Wondering what it could mean, well, to start with, it means a fancy intuition about everything’s gonna last for ever and ever, and living your life according to the same belief.

Which might translate into:

Filling up our bank accounts like never before for your generations to follow,

Accumulating loads of assets which gives you so called materialistic happiness,

Loading up your bellies with more than required calories, which in a way also is suggestive of the fact that you are creating an imbalance between what your body demands and what you and your heart supplies to the same, leading to different kind of complications when it comes to your health and well being, 

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Working 20 hours a day for someone or something that you wouldn’t otherwise care about, if it was not offering you the kind of remuneration it does and as a consequence creating a whiff of negativity and chaos wherever you go to, just because you are kind of not happy with the life that you might be leading, 

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On the contrary, one could have a not so negative connotation of F.A.T. as well. It could mean for all time sake:

Taking a cue from the ancient past and looking at what we as a society used to value at some point of time in our histories, 

Looking at the role models of the previous as well as our own era, who have lived their lives with values and ethics which one would want to emulate, 

Getting inspired by those who are dedicating their lives to making this planet a better place to live in, 

Emulating the sustainable manner of living, which not only brings happiness and prosperity to our planet but would also allow our future generations to derive benefits from the same. 

After all, for all time sake, isn’t it a good idea to leave this place a much better one than what you were given by your prior generation?

Source for the Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF7TqzPP38A

“I Listen”!

In a colloquial conversation, in a public gathering, a teacher was once asked, “what do you do for a living?” 

He answered, “I listen!

Funny to the core as it might sound, it had a very deep trans formative meaning to the same.

Most of the teachers by any set of imagination, would go on talking on how well they teach, how well they are able to bring out the curiosity in the kid, how well they are able to communicate their learning, and so on.

But here, this gentleman was standing amidst the who’s who of education sector, answering the very fundamental of what you need to do in order to make sure that every kid on this planet gets an opportunity to learn, as per his/her needs, convenience and adaptability.

For if one doesn’t listen to what the kid has to say, how would one know, what he/she wants, what are the kind of challenges the kid might be going through in his/her life be it getting bullied by a set of rogues or failing to understand that one concept in science on which he was made to believe that his entire future would depend on.

This fantastic habit, which we all refer to as listening, goes well beyond what I have spoken above and is a mool mantra of sorts when it comes to our day-to-day life.

Be it professional, or personal, though everything is personal (another thought for another time ;)), yet for clarity and for discussion purposes, lets keep it separate.

Professionally, an organization is one big family, where in the father/mother or the so called CEO tries to make sure that each kid performs to the best of his/her ability, reaping proportionate awards for the same, at the same time, making this family a prosperous unit.

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Personally, father and mother, try to do everything possible for their kids, trying to make sure that every need is met with a suitable material/emotional support for the child to grow and become a productive and healthy individual.

But if the above forget to listen to what their kid has to offer in terms of advice, in terms of feedback, in terms of sharing his/her concern, in terms of discussing his/her problems, then no matter how good the HR policy is

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The home conduct rules and values are, the kid will end up suffering, because of the chaotic environment around him/her which doesn’t seem to offer that much needed ear, leading to multitude of problems, both physical and psychological, that our society needs to be caught in big time, at this very moment in our lives.

So, if you want to become a good father, a good mother, a good CEO, a good leader or whatever category of good, you need to imbibe this art of listening.

I wonder, how many are indeed listening ;)!

Source for the Image: http://www.clipartpanda.com/categories/free-clip-art-children-listening