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Why Hero Vired's Akshay Munjal is Passionate About Clay Sculptures

Why Hero Vired's Akshay Munjal is Passionate About Clay Sculptures

Edtech firm Hero Vired's Founder Akshay Munjal is passionate about creating sculptures out of clay

Akshay Munjal is an entrepreneur with a difference. Akshay Munjal is an entrepreneur with a difference.

Akshay Munjal is an entrepreneur with a difference. The third-generation business tycoon who hails from the prominent Munjal family, the driving force behind the Hero Group, can, in many ways, be called the architect of the group’s BML Munjal University. Last year, he forayed into the burgeoning edtech space by launching his venture, Hero Vired. However, above and beyond the confines of corporate life, the very soft-spoken Munjal is an artist at heart—when not overseeing operations at Hero Vired, he loves to immerse himself into sculpting. The 42-year-old entrepreneur has a special fondness for clay.

“If you look at sculpture per se, it is one of the oldest art forms known to mankind. If you look at clay, it is devoid of form. But in the hands of an artist, it can be sculpted into some of the most beautiful objects you can see. It is just you and the sculpture. There are no external environments, no intermediaries,” says Munjal.

According to him, working with clay is a different experience altogether over other materials like wood. “Clay is a very temperamental medium. It needs to be handled with care. If you put too much water into it, it will become soft and soggy. If you don’t put adequate water, it will harden and crack. So there is a beautiful sense of balance that is needed in handling clay,” he explains.

Munjal always had a soft corner for art and the crafts, going back to his early days in school. This was also the time when he first encountered clay. “I used to love painting, then I discovered oil painting. But you know, when I encountered clay for the first time, all my interest in other forms of art fell by the wayside. Clay sculpture, or any kind of sculpture for that matter, is a very three-dimensional pursuit. I love that very much,” he says. However, his real love affair with clay began only when he was in his early 30s, about a decade ago. “I loved clay in school. But, as it often happens, I stopped working with it for a long time. Then, when I was in my early 30s, I returned to clay and have not stopped since.”

Munjal says one of the key things to remember about clay is that given its very temperamental nature, it can be both rewarding and frustrating. “[It’s the] same thing with a company. There are a thousand things that can go wrong. Working with clay teaches you balance, [and also] the need to constantly calibrate,” he says. To give an example, he adds, if an early-stage start-up behaves like a very mature and legacy organisation, there will be a problem. Similarly, the reverse is also true: a very mature and old organisation cannot behave like an early-stage start-up.

“The bottom line is to calibrate. Everything has a natural rhythm. To build something from clay, you need enormous patience. And you cannot build a company without having patience either. As someone rightly said, to build a company is like planting a seed at the edge of a cliff. You exert too much pressure [and] it will break. It is the same with clay,” explains Munjal.

 

@arnav_d

 

Published on: Aug 04, 2022, 11:09 AM IST
Posted by: Arnav Das Sharma, Aug 04, 2022, 11:05 AM IST