Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hooked to books

The Economic Times
2 December, 2007

Books by far have been the constant passion of my life; they have the amazing quality to transit you to a different realm of thinking, imagination and of possibilities. Without books, history would be silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.

After a long and hectic work schedule, reading a book proves to be a rejuvenating experience. My all time favourite book is You Can Win by Shiv Khera, a book which I keep going back to. Some other great reads that I always recommend as must read are Alchemist, Five Wishes, Fish, and Oh! The places you will go and others.

My work brings me “Real Joy” in life. Having spent the initial years on digital exchanges, I moved to the GSM arena when it was first introduced in India. I have been part of the VAS industry right since its nascent stage and have worked here for over 13 years now. I look back to these years with great pride and happiness; I need to admit that being an integral part of the telecommunications industry and its growth has been a very exhilarating experience.

To succeed in this industry, there is no substitute to hands-on-experience. It helps you with the kind of orientation that is required to make a difference in the long run. The success mantra that I have great belief in and have followed religiously is “Commit what you can deliver and deliver what you have committed!”

Right people in the right job role is another asset that any successful organisation should look for and I have always tried to develop an environment rich with creativity, truth, integrity, right values, openness and teamwork. It’s important to give individuals the ambiance conducive for them to innovate and scale new heights in there are of expertise. As its attitude and not aptitude which determines the attitude in life.

Another key area is to strike the right balance between professional and personal life. For me, my family is my world. I enjoy the sense of togetherness and calmness that engulfs me every time I spend quality time with my family. Everything that we do together as a family becomes a passion. I ensure that I spend much of quality time with my entire family. Talking and sharing the mundane or the extraordinary with my wife is a must, as she understands me like no one else can. She is my strength and copes with my erratic work hours and travelling with a smile that keeps encourages me to pursue all my passions with an open mind.

Exploring new places, history of that particular nation and their myriad cultures have always fascinated me (I make it a point to read up on the country, its customs, etc. before travel). I feel blessed that my current work profile demands of me to travel frequently (across the world). Travelling all by yourself — proves to be a great stress reliever. You are at peace with yourself and have time to ponder over the significant things.

However travelling takes a completely diverse dimension when you have your loved ones accompanying you. Sharing the excitement of exploring a new place, culture, etc, with your family only adds to your joy.

Music is another passion that adds spice to my life. I’m very open to all kinds of music. I enjoy music while relaxing, meditating, as a stress reducer or for that matter connecting with one’s inner self. The diversity of music today is such that you can actually pick up music that caters to your every mood. It has a way of stirring our innermost feelings and also all our senses.

Finally, life is wonderful; passions are a plenty. Hebbel, the famous German poet and dramatist, had once said, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion”.
So passion for me is my life.

(Saket Agarwal, COO Spice Mobile VAS)