Dr. Gururaj Deshpande inducted into the Obama council and more similar headlines took away press columns in 2010. After founding Tejas Networks and being a part of the early Indian venture capital landscape, there was no stopping for his journey.
But, many are not aware of how he made it to some of the most important positions in the world. How did he get there? The xMonks Drive interviewed him and over a conversation with Gaurav Arora, we captured 7 principles that transformed him from a humble child to a world-class leader and billionaire.
In the words of Dr.Gururaj Deshpande, here is how…
“My father’s job made us travel a lot due to job transfers. This provided us an opportunity to meet new people, live in different cultures, and sometimes be homeschooled. This gave us a different perspective on many things of life. So, going through those different experiences, I think, really gets your perspective a little different.
I went to Kannada medium schools that were not so good. I went to English medium schools and sometimes coached by my own siblings and parents. Then, I went on to study in IIT-Madras.
So, you know, it wasn’t like I was always in the most competitive environment. I was in an environment where I was like a superstar. And so, going through those different experiences, I think, really gets your perspective a little different. You know, a lot of the people who go from the best college to MIT to Harvard to, you know, get the Stanford best degrees. They are always in such a competitive environment, they learn to play the game. But those people tend to learn the game of what somebody else has approved. But when you go through a path that someone believes, and you know, it’s off the beaten track, you tend to feel a lot more comfortable in environments where the rules are not set. So you sort of set your own rules to play the game. When I look back, it was a real asset.
I believe that if you get up in the morning, if you’re excited about the day and you spend the day and you go to bed, the end of the day. That’s a beautiful day. And, if you can live every day of your life like that, you have it. There’s nothing more to life than that.
But, to be able to live a life like that, I think you cannot get trapped. You cannot get trapped in your success. You cannot get trapped in your wealth. You can build too many walls around you. So, I think some people look at humility and openness and everything else as a big trait or a merit. But that’s not why I behave the way I do. I do it because that’s what gives me the biggest joy.
I don’t ever remember as a child asking my parents to buy me this toy, or demanding “why don’t you buy me this or that?” because my parents from my very early childhood, somehow, my mother used to manage your finances, and she would give us terms. You know, one month she would ask me to manage the finance, so we knew exactly how much money we had and how much trouble it was just to get through the month.
Because they made us so knowledgeable about what’s going on, and not make it into a big mystery, I don’t remember ever bothering mom or anything like that. They created lots of situations for us in our childhood, where we sort of had the opportunity to take responsibility and do things. Not be treated like little kids.
Every time you get into a difficult situation, it’s a great learning opportunity. You have the strength to get through it. It just broadens your comfort zone. And then you feel that much more comfortable with life. Accepting that life is risky. But, you start living comfortably with it. You no longer panic every time something happens.
For me, family has been a very high priority. In fact number one. My wife and kids always knew that, if they need me, I’m almost always there. I was serious about it, if they really needed me, I would cancel everything and be there. But fortunately, I found that it’s not very often that they actually use the veto card. Also, when I was going through a very busy period of my career, I made sure that I sort of cut out everything else. I didn’t go golfing, no movies, no visual crowd, anything like that. Either it was work or family.
Self discovery and excitement, is the biggest gift you can give to anybody. And, when people are excited about it, they do amazing things. Everything will be done with very little supervision. So in your entrepreneurial journey, whether as an entrepreneur or as an investor, or as an employer, or as a chairman if you want to get the most out of people, you have to make them feel like it belongs to them. Suddenly, you realize that you can actually do a lot more than what you thought you could do.
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