Business Today

Best advice I ever got: Alok Mittal

     Print Edition: Sep 16, 2012

I can see that you have figured out what you want to do, and you should just go ahead and do it." This advice came to me multiple times from the same person - the late Arun Kumar, then Managing Director of Aricent. The first time was in 1999 - I had barely completed three years at the company, and wanted to jump into the dotcom boom. The risks and my own inexperience were obvious. Arun encouraged me to follow my heart, and effectively took risk out of the equation by telling me that, if I failed, he would hire me back anyway, because he valued start-up failure experience.

A few years later, after we had successfully sold JobsAhead, I went back to Arun to solicit his advice on my next gig, as I weighed my options of another start-up versus a corporate role. Arun again displayed his style of mentoring to the hilt - uncovering what I wanted to do, and then providing support and clarity around the same. In his mind, any of the options themselves were not right or wrong - what made them work was the desire of an individual to pursue them. I have realised the value of this advice the most when the chips are down and when the only thing that keeps one going is that emotional commitment to the path one is on.

 WORDS OF WISDOM: Personal accounts by 50 of India's corporate leaders
 Schauna ChauhanDhruv Shringi
 Deep Kalra
Sachin Bansal


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