The ABG Story
February 22, 2018 – What would have otherwise been a normal business day had soon turned out be a monumental one in the Indian Banking sector. Aditya Birla Group with its payments bank (Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd) had commenced operations. For me, I still remember vividly, it was a day of jubilation, as the one brand that I had always associated with integrity and good character had now forayed into the banking space. With brands in the carbon black, cement, fashion, financial services, metals, textiles, and chemicals, Aditya Birla Group has been one of the backbones of the Indian economy since independence, and unlike many others, the Aditya Birla Group has always stayed true to the values it identifies as the “Power of 5”.
What makes the Aditya Birla Group special is not the fact that it is one of India’s largest and most successful conglomerates, but the fact that it has served the community in a way that only a few others can boast of. With multiple CSR initiatives in the healthcare, education and infrastructure sectors, it has indeed made a difference and been a part of many-a-stories of hope. Only recently, it was announced that a Euro 15 Million scholarship program was created by ABG to support education of 10 full-time MBA candidates (five recipients would be Indian, and the other 5 from different countries) at the London Business School, and with that announcement, the Group reaffirmed its place in the heart of millions. As an Indian, I am immensely proud and I can only hope that Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla can hear all of us, as through this campaign we say “Thank you ABG”.
Have I made an impact?
A Chartered Accountant, and a Professional Athlete – two varying personalities, and two career paths that are more demanding than many others. 8 years ago, when I was asked to make a decision and chose one of the two, I faced, what I can today say is, a question that has defined my life. Choosing to then give both of them an equal chance, I set out on a path that had no directions, one that involved multiple sacrifices, one that had more failures than successes, but one that taught me lessons that I am going to cherish forever. I would often end up sleeping less than 5 hours a day, often end up canceling on my friends and family, as I tried to juggle my CA classes, Articleship, College, Gym and Cricket Practice. What initially seemed to be an overwhelming challenge, soon turned out to be a way of life, and humility and perseverance were now values that I ran after. I ended up clearing my CA in the first attempt across all levels and managed to make it to the top 60 cricketers of Mumbai at the Under 14, Under 16, Under 19 and Under 23 levels. While these achievements made me proud, they also gave me perspective. Along my journey, I met people who faced challenges bigger than mine, stretched limits that I often thought were not possible, and inspired me and many by always doing so with a smile on their face. Post qualification, as a consultant with one of the big 4 accounting firms, I continued to strive to be a professional cricketer, albeit not as successfully as I would have hoped for. Today, as a business management student at SDA Bocconi Asia Center, I may not play cricket professionally anymore, but I still continue to live my passion with occasional cricket matches for my club, giving it my best every time I step on to the field.