In Jan 2009, as the economy slowed, my company was not doing that great. I had started the process of making some changes within the company, but they would take time to play out. I was not disheartened – the life of an entrepreneur is about long periods of struggles punctuated with some moments of delightful successes.
Even though I had a privileged education, my upbringing was as modest as one could imagine in the India of the 1970s. My early days were spent in Chinchpokli in Mumbai in a 100 sq ft room, shared by my parents, along with my father’s four siblings and mother. Travel was in buses with my mother – where every 5 paise saved was valuable. My father worked hard through multiple ventures as an entrepreneur and tasted success in some of them. By the time I was 7, we had moved to Nepean Sea Road, and I joined St. Xavier’s High School.
I mention this because we so often forget our past. (As a collective, we have indeed forgotten our national past.) It is only from the crucible of our experiences that we can mold the future. I am a product of Middle-class India, of parents who worked hard to ensure good education for my sister and me, and then gave us the freedom to chart our own course. Luck obviously plays a role in what we become, but its foundation is built on Hard Work.