Posts Categorized: Personal

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday DadMany people like to think of their dads as heroes. I don’t. I don’t think it would be fair for me to even try to compare any superhero with my dad. You see, even superheroes have weaknesses. Superman has kryptonite and the red sun, Batman is only human and things like that. My dad on the other hand is invincible. He is the perfect balance of love and restraint that cannot be compared to anyone. I see my dad as a goal. He is the ultimate aim of my life and anything that I do or do not do is a desperate attempt at being like him. I know that if I succeed in becoming anything like him I will be happy in life. I will be able to have a happy family and provide my kids with the best of opportunities under the sun. I realize that it is a tough route and it is going to take a lot of effort but looking at him I know it would be worth it.

Happy Birthday Dad

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And we turn three today

Happy Bday Green Apple SolutionsNo matter how neatly it has been segregated into seconds, minutes, hours, days; time is still a relative phenomenon. It flies fast if you are doing something you like and crawls if the company is not right. Today we have completed three years of our existence as Green Apple Solutions. To start with a cliché, it seems like yesterday that I had quit my job to prepare for CAT (yeah). But maybe MBA was not meant to be. Even before appearing for the test I had formed a special bond with my colleagues from my first and last job- Naveen and Lakshdeep which was based on a single common factor – that we will never be able to realize our full potential if we keep working under someone else. We were all rebellious, in a way and wanted to be recognized for the awesome work that we did (anonymously till then). And this is how Green Apple Solutions was born. How we reached the name is a story for some other time. Maybe the universe wanted this as well. We quickly gained our initial clients (btw they still are working with us. Yes we are that good). Since then we have grown a lot, moved 2 offices, worked with many amazing clients. Every day is a challenge and every challenge is worth the effort. The journey has been made even more enjoyable by my hardcore awesome partners. Naveen is like a sea of calm and a superman of sorts. There is nothing under the sun which, in my opinion, he cannot do. He is super hardworking and he never says no. Lakshdeep is super energetic and a crazy go-getter. He is always up for almost all shenanigans I want to pull. He is a great conversationalist and an awesome speaker. At this point I am really not sure what I bring to the table but there 2 gentlemen bring enough metal to the fights. Simply stating you cannot find better partners. I am also very happy that we have been lucky enough to have worked with some very talented people. We are more of an extended family than a usual company. We would not have been where we are today without the hard work of all these extraordinary colleagues.

I am sincerely grateful to our parents who not only approved of our crazy ideas but have been with us in the thick and thin of it. No problem was ever a major problem as there were so many people to bear the burden. Thank you mom and dad (also uncle and aunty) for all your love and support. We are nothing but dirt without you.

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Letter to 35 year old self

Hi Akhil,
I hope know you are doing awesome. You must be happily married with the love of your life and maybe have a kid or two. Work must be good too. Being an entrepreneur suits you after all!! Now enough with niceties and let me come straight to the point. The reason I am writing this letter to you is to make sure that you have acquired / retained some good qualities that I wish to have when I turn 35. If everything went well then I am sure I you will have a positive answer to all the points. But if not, I am sure you must have your reasons. Still it’s never too late to realize and work for your goals.

  • Keep Learning – I evaluate the success / worth of a day based on the sole factor – Did I learn anything new today? Or to rephrase it – Have I added any value to myself by doing whatever I did to spend the day. If the answer is yes, I feel worthy of a good nights sleep otherwise not. I have been doing it for quite some time and am pretty happy with this idea. I just want you to have retained this habit. It does not have to be ground breaking or cutting edge, just make sure every day you acquire some new knowledge.
  • Try to find stability – I am sure you are doing well financially as well as with your family. What I am talking about is my habit of constantly running after new things. This might be stemming from the point mentioned above. I like to learn anything new that is available and the moment something new comes up that becomes the center of my attraction. I am sure that you have let this fickleness of your mind go and have learned to train your head to not be distracted by new shiny things until you have mastered whatever is in your hand.
  • Don’t let success get to your head - I love what I do and take a lot of pride in doing that. Unless something extremely bad happens I will be successful in my endeavors. I just don’t want this success to get to my head. I want to stay the polite and friendly person I am. So if you have become successful and that success has changed you please try to get back to being the good person that you were 9 years ago. If you are not successful yet, just hang on. It will come to you.
  • Wear a suit, don’t be one – I am working really hard to get to a position where I get to wear a suit to work every day. I would assume that has happened with you and you have a great collection of suits. Just don’t be a suit. Remember how you reached there, your humble beginning and stay down to earth.
  • Keep enjoying smaller things in life – This is absolutely important for me. I love the small things in life. I love driving miles to eat a specific dish. I like to get tea at a roadside tea stall and have late night chats with friends and family. These are the things that bring happiness in my otherwise hectic life. Never let them go.
  • Give back to the world – The world does not become a better place until you give back to it. And by that I don’t mean a donation to some random charity about which you know nothing just for the heck of doing it. As of date I have adopted and am responsible for the education of two underprivileged kids. I am sure you can afford to do the same for 20. Still even if you are doing it for only 5, I will be happy as long as it is done properly.
  • Keep Writing – I love to write. It makes me happy to pen down my experiences even if I don’t share it with many people. I am sure you have experienced a lot of things in the past 9 years and the people around you could greatly benefit from your experience. I know you must be busy but still try to find some time to write, if you already aren’t.
    These are more or less the ideas/aims I wanted to share with you. I will try to make sure that I stay on the correct path and achieve/retain all the qualities I just mentioned. In case I miss one or two, I trust you that you will start working towards acquiring them as well
    Best of luck
    26 yrs old Akhil
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Why I like to google my name

[caption id=”attachment_367” align=”alignleft” width=”300”]Google Search Akhil Gupta Google Search Akhil Gupta[/caption]

I am sure all of us have at one point or the other googled ourselves. Most of them are just curious as to see what they will find. I for one do it very frequently. And no i am not in love with myself. Well I am but that is not the point. The whole reason of doing this is do a reality check of where I stand in this world. Some might call it unfortunate but there are some very successful “Akhil Gupta”s in this world. Real life leader of men. Whenever I do a check it makes me realize that there is a long way to go before I make a mark on this world. Let me just point out a few Akhil Guptas that have really made their name and I consider my real competition

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I refuse to write about the rape

The section leading to this part has been intentionally left blank as I do not want refuse to write about the Delhi rape. A lot has been written by almost everyone. Bloggers wrote heartfelt posts about it and others filled the social media networks with their views. Some blamed the system, while others blamed the police. Many shed lights on the gaping holes in the law. A lot has been written really. Everyone has someone to blame and they write to transfer this blame. They write “it’s the society’s fault”. Some call the society orthodox while others call it insensitive. What noone writes is “we are the society”. We are the ones to be blamed. Police can not prevent rapes. Laws cannot prevent crimes. All police can do is catch the criminals and laws can get them prosecuted. It is not the governments failure. It is ours. We let such incidents happen. It is our fault that we only wait for such events to wake up. We light out candles and hold our signs and then we go back to sleep. Waiting for the next rape, the next terror attack, the next blast.
I don’t have a solution. I wish I had. I too am angry and sad. More angry than sad. I just know one thing that something needs to be done. And I will have to do it. At my level. We all will have to change ourselves, individually for a change to come. We need to stop looking up to authorities for things we can do. As a man I pledge that I will never let myself be a participant in violence towards women. Not the perpetrator not a witness. I need to make sure that even the smallest of incidents are reported and dealt with. I will never pass by a woman being harassed. I will no longer take “this is our personal issue” as an answer. I need to stop letting “police harassment” as a deterrent. I need to stop this from happening again.
We need to stop writing about it bring a change in our lives. Only we, not the police, not the govt, not the law can prevent such incidents from happening. A lot has been written really. A lot needs to be done.

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Religion of a Word

Bhagat SinghToday we posted a Happy Birthday Shaheed Bhagat Singh creative on the Facebook wall of one of the brands that we manage. The general response was extremely great and the post was liked and shared a lot. There were a few comments as well, one of which made me think and has led to me writing this post. The comment was “Plz don’t mind shaheed only muslim hote hai”. (Translation: Only Muslims become “Shaheed”). Shaheed is an Urdu word which means Martyr. If you are not aware of who Bhagat Singh was, I have linked his name to the relevant Wikipedia article. I request you that you must read about this great son of India who gave his life so that I am free today to write, say, do anything I want in free India.

The person who posted this comment belonged to the Muslim community. But that is irrelevant. For us he was a troll. Since as a policy we monitor all our pages for comments and activities very actively so that we can respond to queries and grievances timely we were able mark the comment as spam and hide it from others and avoid any kind of religion based debate / trolling from starting.

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Why I dont listen to Stairway to Heaven

Let me start b saying that I love “Stairway to Heaven”. It is hard to not love it. I love it so much that I avoid listening to it. It might sound strange and I have a perfectly good explanation for that. Stairway to Heaven is an 8 min long song which I am perfectly OK with. I don’t even dislike the fact that it starts of slow, because the gradual change in tempo is a major part of its greatness. The only issue I have is that if I listen to it, I have to listen to it 6 times (or more). I am physically incapable of listening to this song less than 6 times in one go. Why? Here it goes.

First time I listen to the song because, well, I wanted to listen to it

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Between a friend and a boss

I love my employees. Every single one of them. The relationship I share with them is more than a common employee – employer relationship. We take lunches together and talk about almost everything outside of work. We are friends. And yet there are times when I am reminded that being a boss is hard. In the previous post I had provided a section about being friendly with your colleagues (I dislike the word employees) and what should be the extent of the friendship. But like most of the aspects of human nature, things are easier said than done. When working in a small team where you get to have a lot of interaction with each of your colleague objectivity is bound to take a hit when it comes to playing the role of the boss. Your personal relationship with them sometimes stops you from reprimanding them for a mistake or confronting them for a delay. You are cautious that you don’t act too harsh in the fear that it might change their behavior towards you and they might stop considering you a friend. Though you are correct to be afraid of this but sometimes it leads to over extending yourself. These are the tough times when you are sitting with them to discuss an issue and yet you are constantly weighing your words just because you can’t be objective and that clouds your judgment. As I mentioned in the earlier post as well, the best way to avoid this is to have clarity in your own mind about what the extent of your friendship with your colleagues is going to be. From what experience I have these are a few pointers that help me in making such decisions and bring clarity.

Always remember that your professional engagement is the core of this relationship. You might have become best friends but it started with you hiring them some time in the past. At the time of hiring both the parties entered into an agreement about their duties and responsibilities. Are those duties and responsibilities still honored? Are your colleagues working up to your expectations that were set when signing the employment/appraisal/increment contract. If not it is seriously time to keep the friendship aside and take a look at it with complete objectivity.

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Lessons of the 26th year of life

I turned 26 last Thursday. I am usually not fan of big celebrations but what I do do is assess the last year and the lessons it gave. In the past these assessments were usually mental notes or notes on rough paper but this time I decided to document them properly so that I have a reference point for the next year. Obviously this idea of documenting is derived from my entrepreneurial experience. :)

Never Drink and Drive: This is shameful. I usually pride myself on the fact that I learn from the mistakes made by others and yet it took a personal experience for me to truly realize this. It happened early last year and at the risk of sounding dramatic – it was a life changer. Maybe it was just not my time to go or my parents’ good karma the only damage that came out of the experience was a totalled car. I am just happy that no one was hurt. Experiences like this are completely avoidable and I strongly ask you to learn from my lesson and never mix drinking and driving. Ever.

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I just wanna be OK

You are young. You are restless. You are full of ideas. Each one of them seems better than the last and you just want to make all of them. You are hungry for much more and this hunger becomes stronger with every day. Every action is a step forward and every moment is an opportunity. you work the weekends and pull late nights. You live to brainstorm and brainstorm to survive. You are a young executive.

I am one of you. A young entrepreneur. A young guy. And I love this life. The rush of new ideas and the thrill of brainstorming. There is nothing better than a well executed idea or even an attempt and failure is just another experience. We don’t want to slow down no matter what for we fear that the momentum is critical. Working gives us a kind of a high and this is a buzz we don’t wanna lose. But what most of us do not realise that we are pushing us towards an inevitable burnout. For most of us it is short, temporary and fixable by a decent break but it can come to stay. The thirst to move forward and constantly perform sometime changes our perception and a less eventful day starts to seem as a loss. We stop counting the smaller accomplishments and only aim high. We forget that that bigger goals take time and the unit of life is a day. Today loses its value for us and this is where things go astray. Today is always the most important day of ones life. And it’s necessary that today goes great. Great should always be the aim and one should be happy with OK. For an OK today means a day well spent and that you can make tomorrow great. Your OK might be different from mine but please learn to accommodate OK.

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