5 Sep 2019, 10:16 — 13 min read
5 September every year is celebrated as Teacher’s Day throughout the nation. This day commemorates the birth anniversary of one of the greatest teachers of India - Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second president of a free India. Students across schools celebrate the efforts and dedication of their teachers on this day. Truly, a teacher is someone who has the maximum impact on a child’s growing years other than their parents. A teacher’s commitment is far more than what words can express. So, to celebrate the spirit of this day we asked our members to share with us who their greatest mentor in life was and how have they shaped their entrepreneurial journey. We got some interesting responses.
As Piyush Nagar, Director of Sixth Sense Marketing Pvt.ltd puts it, the word teacher translates to Terrific Energetic Able Cheerful Hardworking Enthusiastic and Remarkable. A teacher is someone who doesn't only teach subjects but is someone who imparts knowledge and morality to their students, and also guides, inspires and encourages them to be the best and to do extraordinary things in life.
For Firdaus Kapadia, the founder of Effenkay Corporation, his greatest mentor was a Japanese gentleman from whom he learnt the biggest lesson of his life.
He shares, “I started my career under Mr I. Matsuura. His advice was to understand the client's process, whether in manufacturing or services, so thoroughly, that you could replace any absent employee in the organisation. Another learning was that, one should always consider the worst case scenario for all possible events because then whatever happens would always be better than that."
For Anirudh Gupta, CEO of Ashiana Financial Services, his mother has been his greatest strength and mentor.
He says, “I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. When I became one, like most concerned parents my parents were worried whether it will work. At that time my mother told me to have faith and work very hard towards the venture. We reworked the business plan and things started to move after a few months. Recently at a seminar, one of the speakers said "You are better than before, but are you world-class? That is what I am working towards now.”
"For me, teaching didn't begin until after school everyday. It began by reading aloud the Hindi newspaper to my grandfather. It's not that he could not read, but more so that I not lose my Hindi roots." - Akriti Garg, the Bump Crew
For Vertika Kedia, founder and CEO of Tax2Win, believes that her father played the biggest role of a teacher in her life.
She shares, "Well in my life my father has played the role of the best teacher, guide and supporter. From the beginning, he inspired me to do something different, to choose a path not very often chosen by others. Whenever I feel low or face any difficulty in the business, he is the one who shows me the direction. On this Teacher's Day, I would like to thank all my teachers and mentors for teaching me the best lessons of life."
Akriti Garg is the CEO and founder of The Bump Crew. and for her her biggest mentor was her grandfather.
She says, "For me, teaching didn't begin until after school everyday. It began by reading aloud the Hindi newspaper to my grandfather. It's not that he could not read, but more so that I not lose my Hindi roots. But it was so much more than just reading. We had a similar routine in the evening where history lessons became storytelling and life lessons rolled into one. I have learnt the most from him in my life, how to approach, respond and perceive. He was my first teacher who mentored me from the very beginning and made me the person I am."
She says, "Well who I am, I think, got defined by a teacher during my graduation. She taught us Economic theory and she taught me to ask questions. My entrepreneurial journey was an extension of that. You see what you learn; the matter is all there in the books. There are some subjects you enjoy and some you don't. Irrespective of the teacher, English was always the subject that caught my fancy. But it was my Economics teacher who moulded my perspective and that is what has been the USP of my work - finding answers to work problems whether as an author, trainer or a performance consultant."
He shares, “My teacher in secondary school always encouraged me to do something that can help one become a job giver and not a job seeker. These words echoed in my life constantly and led me to where I am today. I have always tried to work on these lines."
He says, “Though I cannot single out a particular teacher as there are many of them who have shaped me into what I am today, but an instance stands out. I have always been good at math, our teacher, Ms Pooja Bansal, on an occasion, when I couldn’t score well, asked me to promise her that I won’t repeat my dismal performance. I did so. She then said, and it has stuck since, “Promises often break but efforts often yield results. So don’t promise, try harder”. This is one thing that I can’t get out of my head since then and has been one of my mantras for success.”
She shares, "I was always told that business is not for the weak. It takes a lot of strength and resilience to be an entrepreneur. My greatest teacher has been Mr Upendra Joshi, who was my basketball coach. Throughout my teenage years, I looked up to him as my mentor. While many think it's just a game that requires physical attributes, my mentor taught me skills that have been very helpful in creating and managing a business too. Being a team player, patience, owning success but also accepting and learning from failures. All these lessons have shaped me into the person I am today and I believe he has been my biggest inspiration in this entrepreneurial journey!"
He shares, “Though I am way past my prime, if one were to talk about nostalgia, my school days come to the fore almost always. Those were the days that have left their imprint on my life. What I am today is definitely due to the foundation laid by my school - the Madrasi Education Association Hr. Secondary School, Lodi Estate, New Delhi (now known as Delhi Tamil Education Association – DTEA – Higher Secondary School). My teachers were selfless and all of them had, without exception, only one objective – turn out good citizens for the country."
He continues, “It is very tough to single out any specific name as everyone was equally talented and duty-bound.I do not know how many of my teachers will be around now, to read this message but most definitely one person who turned 91 recently as I will share my message with him. His name is Janakiraman Sir. He was one teacher, who had his own jovial approach to teaching. I remember him cracking jokes all the time but also ensuring, that the lessons go into our heads. I can mention several other names as well, such as M/S Ganju, Suryanarayanan, Padma, Lakshmanan , Santhosh, Kohli , Rajaraman and so on. I thank all of them for the teaching they imparted, that made me a software expert and now an entrepreneur and to contribute something for my country."
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She shares, “Do you remember the strictest teacher in school? Attending their class was nnothing less than a terror. I felt the same towards the Chartered Accountancy (CA) course, till I started building my business. Ten years hence, I consider the greatest mentor in my life is the CA course. Strict to the core, with little or no margin for error and demanding a discipline tougher than the toughest hostel warden. It taught me resilience. In an entrepreneurial journey, there is no predefined path. In the process of finding your way, you fall many times. The CA course has taught me to get up no matter how many times I fall, to have my eyes on the goal and work towards crossing one milestone at a time. It is the mentor that has taught me discipline and given me the foundation tools required to build a business.”
My teacher once said, “Promises often break but efforts often yield results. So don’t promise, try harder". This is one thing that I can’t get out of my head since then and has been one of my mantras for success.”- Pradyut Mathur, Sunniva Energy Pvt Ltd
He shares, “As my life moves on, there has been many people who have taught me a lot. My family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even complete strangers have been my teachers. However I consider ‘time’ as my constant and most important teacher. Good or bad times both have been relevant and have contributed towards my growth. Every reflection has taught me a valuable lesson."
She shares, "It was way back in 2010. I was completing my entrepreneurship course from ISB, Hyderabad. I was confident and ready with my business plan (which an important part of the course) on Safety & Surveillance used for automation of Mines. Three days to go, and Prof Kavil Ramchandran, (who headed business plan division) tells me to submit a business plan on skin care products ( which I used to make for my personal healing; and freely distributed among my fellow batch mates). I was exasperated as I had no idea about skin care and beauty as I was a network engineer by profession. He made it clear that no other business plans would be accepted, unless it is on skin care and said this is your transition from "IT to Beauty"! Having had no options, I had to submit my business plan on Natural Skin Care, and behold... MrilQ was born with its innovative, 1005 natural patent applied for products. My humble respect to Prof Kavil Ramchandran on this Teacher’s Day."
Wishing all teachers a very Happy Teacher’s Day!
Network with SMEs mentioned in this article by clicking on the 'Connect' button on their profile. Firdaus Kapadia,Geet Jalota, Harish Manek,Sridhar Naryanaswamy,Anirudh Gupta,Yuktie Verma, Krishi Dutt, Pradyut Mathur, Maushumi Nag,Vertika Kedia , Akriti Garg
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