Oh! No, no. Please don’t misunderstand. I am not discussing a Bollywood movie or our honourable Captain Vikram Batra’s famous words.
Actually, now I am thinking why did I choose this title? I believe, talking about Aditya Birla Group’s impact in my life, I couldn’t have described it better. It’s quite astonishing how organically ubiquitous a business can become in a persons' life. Among the thousand ways in which my life is touched by ABG, one of the brands that stand out for me is their former retail chain ‘More Supermarkets’. In my family, like most of the Indian families, my mum while buying the vegetables and fruits would check and recheck every bit in order to bring home the best. For me, this changed when I moved to Pune for my under-graduation. ‘Beta, check the fruits nicely, they inject chemicals these days’ she would tell on call, Well, while I don’t want to take pride in my ‘sabzi’ picking skills, I got better at it with time. My saviour was, of course, the ‘More supermarket’. More made buying easy, with the best quality and low price promised. The wide array of groceries, vegetables, fruit and always smiling staff under one roof indeed was a blessing.
After completing under-grad and coming for an MBA, my first set of suiting were from Louis Philippe and Peter England. In fact, when I think more it was Allen Solly that I wore on my first date. Lucky me, that shirt worked well that day.
I possibly cannot keep a count on the many ways ABG has had an impact on my life, but with conviction, I can say ‘Yeh Dil Maange More from ABG’
‘You must follow your passion and do something that’s close to your heart’ - Kumar Mangalam Birla
Defining passion at the age of 19 was a task for me. Frequent impulses of ideas sometimes would lead me to think that this is what passion might sound like. Of my greatest desires in life, one was to be an entrepreneur and it still is. Businesses always fascinated me. The very thought of a valuable idea that could change the dynamics of a society excited me. Inspired by Mr Birla’s quote, taking one such idea which I believed in I started to work with my friend in the second year of my college. Stepping into the ecosystem was exhilarating. Days would pass from giving shape to the ideation, checking the market, pitching the plan to investors, and trying to convince ourselves that it would all work out. The beginning brought good responses from people to whom we were pitching but with time we started to realise the frailties that we carried in our plan and as individuals. Long story short, after a year and a half’s struggle, the business couldn’t take a flight. The process was tiring and the period quite low. It was not just because of the fact that the business didn’t work but it was more because we saw the real world for the first time. It made us feel small. After some time, rationality kicked in and we realised that the learning nevertheless was priceless. During the journey, I met a lot of people and listening to their stories I can say that ‘Skills are cheap, Passion is the deal’. Mr Birla’s words are indeed true. Blessed I am to be in an institution which teaches us to follow that passion with Humility, Hard work and Honesty