Thursday, July 18, 2013


It's so easy to have a black and white list of the things you're not capable of doing. A hard limit, a boundary that says you just don't have the genes to make art, speak up, write, give a speech, be funny, be charming, be memorable, come through in the clutch, survive an ordeal like this one... it's easy to give up.

In response, we ask, "not even once?" Never once have you been funny or inspired or connected? Not even once have you been trusted, eager or original? Not even once have you written a sentence that someone else was happy to read, or asked a question that needed to be asked?

Now that we know it's possible, the real question is, "how often can you do it again?"

Inspired by Seth Godin

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Successful executives are like pedigree dogs: Mindtree’s Bagchi

Mindtree Ltd executive chairman and co-founderSubroto Bagchi set up his first company in 1985 in Kolkata when he was 30 years old. The company, Project 21 Ltd an information technology (IT) consulting firm, folded up after three years, forcing Bagchi to seek a job in India’s then-nascent IT industry with Wipro Ltd. Years later, in 1999, just before the dot-com bust, Bagchi and nine others, including then Wipro president Ashok Soota, founded Mindtree. In an interview, Bagchi talks about his learnings from the failed start-up and elaborates on the emotional trauma when Soota quit the computer services company. Edited excerpts:

What is it like to start a company now compared with the time when you founded your first company?
When I started my first company Project 21, I was 30 years old. The issues were related to social backwardness.
What has happened is while the stigma (of being an entrepreneur) has gone, if you want to start a business, there are many hindrances. Today, social stigma is replaced by spermicidal social behaviour that preys on new and small businesses.
All of them (the venture capitalists and other investors) want you to have a great business plan, they want a marquee customer, they want the product to be ready, and the patents to be filed.
In India, we don’t want to engineer success, we want to inherit success. We still don’t understand what it takes to build. So, on one hand you have banks, venture capitalists, but the most crucial part for a start-up is the period when it’s born to the time that you are ready to scale. This interim period when you are testing an idea is very difficult because you still need an office, a customer and other resources, and the money does not back it then. We all know that corruption is high. The moment somebody opens a shop, that guy becomes easy prey. If you are opening a restaurant, the food inspector will come, cop will come and the first thing he will do is put up a ‘no parking’ sign in front of your shop. There is a quid pro quo there to remove that sign.
The young entrepreneurs are innocent, they want to succeed, put all their energy to create something good. If half of your time is focused on managing the petty intruders, how will you do it?
It’s distressing because here’s a country that could take on the world with its immense intellectual capital and even that social stigma is gone. Entrepreneurship requires freedom of the mind.
In many ways things have changed from the time I built the first start-up and in many ways, we still have made it much more difficult.

What did you learn from the first start-up, which was a failure?
I think it was a failure because the business folded up and I realized that it could not go any further and came back to join the industry, joined Wipro. There are many lessons learnt from that.
The first lesson was in terms of what makes a start-up fail usually is not market opportunity. Businesses don’t fail because of lack of opportunity; start-ups usually fail in their first year because the founders part ways.
Another critical lesson I learnt from my first start-up was the issue of undercapitalization. It came to a stage where we couldn’t fund growth. An undercapitalized start-up is a very difficult situation.
It can lead to a lot of heartburn; you suddenly realize that the business is not competing with market forces, but with its founders itself.

How can entrepreneurs build a stable founding team?
Even before you start, you need to have a threadbare conversation with fellow founders on what price will you pay, how long do we stick together, what do we really want.

How did you apply these learnings at Mindtree?
So when Mindtree took shape, we applied these learnings. We took a good one year to reach a common vision and values. We actually pooled our resources, drove down to Vizag from Bangalore and holed ourselves in a hotel for seven days. I don’t know why we chose Vizag—entrepreneurs are crazy people... We drove in two cars, took 24 hours to reach there. We spent a lot of time asking who we are, what we want from life, etc. We took it very seriously, wrote everything down.

How did it feel to see Ashok Soota quit Mindtree?
First of all, there is never a good time to say goodbye to a good man. The rational way of looking at it is 13 years is a long time. Even under the Indian Penal Code, lifetime (sentence) is 14 years. And I have told you earlier that most start-ups fail in their first year when the founders separate, so in that sense the 13 years we’re together is a long time. And independent of the vision of the founders, a company has its own destiny and it will play itself.
If you take a long view of time, and look at year 2020 when you will look back, you’ll say it’s a good thing that happened because when a certain amount of churn happens, a company comes back in touch with what’s really important. When that happens, it also means making way for the new, it’s able to look ahead and think by shedding the past.
But having said all that, I would say there’s no good time to say goodbye to a good man. In that moment, it hurts a lot, it’s difficult. Emotions get mixed up. The problem with professional organization like ours is different from those family-owned. You can’t suddenly split up like the Reliance group did between the two brothers. We couldn’t split Mindtree up between father and sons. It brings its own complexities, which makes parting difficult.

So, what it’s like being an entrepreneur?
The No. 1 job of an entrepreneur is to keep the faith during difficult times. You can’t have a cynical entrepreneur.
It’s a distressing statistic as to how many of them come out of large companies to start on their own. You become numb in big companies.
When Infosys’s first round of stock options happened, people speculated about the new millionaires and what will they do next. You know what happened—people took vacations, bought expensive watches, bought a second house, a second car, nobody started a company.
In order to be an entrepreneur, you have to burn your past, have to kiss your corporate success goodbye and be OK with living the life of a stray dog. If you look at highly successful corporate executives, they are like pedigree dogs—well groomed, well fed and with a collar around their neck. Who will walk them and at what time is predetermined by management.
When you start a company, you are like a mongrel—not sure about the next meal, life revolves around ducking the municipal dog-catchers, fighting with other street dogs. But when you are an entrepreneur, you know like a street dog that you can get up next morning and go anywhere you want to.

Entrepreneurs are mongrels!

Saturday, March 03, 2012


I have just read an article on the internet that the percentage of viewers watching porn is increasing tremendously day by day. According to a senior executive from the mobile industry, out of 70 million global mobile users who watch adult content, 13 per cent or 9 million are from India. Even there was recent news that three ministers of Karnataka have resigned after they were caught watching porn in the Vidhan Sabha. Over the years adult content has been the most searched on the web, but now mobiles are also witnessing the same phenomenon. The executive further said, "On an average, these 9 million Indians who watch porn or adult content on mobile spend around Rs 5,500 (70 pounds) per annum to get good quality adult videos on their phone."
After reading the article, suddenly a thought got struck in my mind and I asked myself why this is happening? Why are we so fascinated by pornography? Is this something we need to see furtively? Why can’t we accept it as the way it is? Why do we feel so embarrassed in case of getting caught? Why is it considered illegal? Why? Why? Why? Sometimes I really get mad thinking about all these issues. Centuries have passed and we have always been repressed from everything which seems so natural. We have always been distracted from our originality as well as our individuality and this process starts from the very birth. Every possible effort has been made by our societies and our so called religious people to make us nothing less than a slave. And the beauty of the thing is this- they do it so perfectly that nobody would have even an idea of this fraud by the time he\she grows up. Strange but true…
I have read an article by OSHO so I just thought of sharing his views about pornography. See what he says-
There is no need to be interested in pornography. When you are against the real, you start imagining. The day religious upbringing disappears from earth, pornography will die. It cannot die before it. This looks very paradoxical. Magazines like Playboy exist only with the support of the Vatican. Without the Pope, there will be no Playboy magazine; it cannot exist. It will not have any reason to exist. The priest is behind it.
Why should you become interested in pornography when alive people are there? And it is so beautiful to look at alive people. You don’t become interested in the picture of a naked tree, do you? Because all trees are naked! Just do one thing: cover all the trees, and sooner or later you will find magazines circulating underground – naked trees! And people will be reading them, putting them inside their Bibles and looking at them and enjoying. Try it and you will see.
Pornography can disappear only when people accept their nudity naturally. You don’t want to see cats and dogs and lions and tigers naked in pictures – they are naked! In fact, when a dog passes you, you don’t even recognise the fact; you don’t take note of it that he is naked. There are few ladies in England, I have heard, who cover their dogs with clothes. They are afraid that the nudity of the dog may disturb some religious, spiritual soul. I have heard, Bertrand Russell has written in his autobiography that in his childhood days those were the days, Victorian days – that even the legs of the chairs were covered, because they are legs.
Let man be natural and pornography disappears. Let people be nude….not that they have to sit nude in their offices; there is no need to go that far. But on the beaches, on the rivers, or when they are at ease, relaxing in their homes, resting under the sun in their gardens, they should be nude! Let children play around nude, around their nude mother and father. Pornography will disappear! Who will look at the playboy magazine? For what? Something is being deprived, some natural curiosity is being deprived, hence pornography.
Get rid of the priest within you, say goodbye. And then suddenly you will see that pornography has disappeared. Kill the priest in your unconscious and you will see a great change happening in your being. You will be more together.
Priests go on repressing; and there are anti-priests, Hugh Hefners and others- they go on creating more and more pornography. So, on one side, there are priests who go on repressing, and then there are others, anti-priests who go on making sexuality more and more glamorous. They both exist together- aspects of the same coin. When churches disappear, only then Playboy magazines will disappear, not before that. They are partners in the same business. They look enemies, but don’t be deceived by that. They talk against each other, but that’s how things work.
I have heard an anecdote:
There were two men who were out of business, had gone broke, so they decided on a business, a very simple business. They started journeying, touring from one town to another town. First one would enter, and in the night he would throw coal tar’s on people windows and doors. After two or three days, the other would come to clean. He would say that he could clean any coal tar, or anything that had gone wrong, and he would clean the windows. In that time, the other would be doing half of the business in another town. This way, they started earning much money.
This is what is happening between the church and Hugh Hefners and people who are continuously creating pornography.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

OSHO - Awareness in Sleep in Awareness

The moment when you are dropping into sleep is the moment to encounter the unconsciousness. If you can remain out of sleep, then the unconscious will be real, because that is the line. The very line from where you drop into sleep is the line where you can encounter the unconscious.

You have been sleeping everyday, but you have not encountered sleep yet. You have not seen it: what it is, how it comes, how to drop into it. You have not known anything about it. You have been dropping daily, coming out of it, but you have not felt the moment when sleep comes to the mind and what happens.

So try this, and with three months effort, suddenly one day you will enter sleep knowingly: drop on your bed, close your eyes, and then remember, remember that sleep is coming and "I am to remain awake when the sleep comes".

It is very arduous, but it helps. One day it will not happen, another day it will not happen. Persist every day, constantly remembering that sleep is coming, and "I am not to allow it without nowing. I must be aware when sleep enters. I must go on feeling how sleep takes over, what it is."

One day sleep is there, and you are still awake. That very moment you become aware of your unconsciousness. And once you become aware of your unconsciousness you will never be asleep again during the day. Sleep will be there, but you will be awake simultaneously. A center in you will go on knowing; all around will be sleep, and the center will go on knowing. When this center is knowing, dreams become impossible. Then you are asleep in a different sense, and you will be awake in the morning in a different sense. A different quality comes by the encounter.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

OSHO on Ecstacy.....

I just love this pic as well as the article. Read another amazing article by none other than the great spiritual master OSHO....

ECSTASY IS A LANGUAGE that man has completely forgotten. He has been forced to forget it; he has been compelled to forget it. The society is against it, the civilization is against it. The society has a tremendous investment in misery. It depends on misery, it feeds on misery, it survives on misery. The society is not for human beings. The society is using human beings as a means for itself. The society has become more important than humanity. The culture, the civilization, the church, they all have become more important. They were meant to be for man, but now they are not for man. They have almost reversed the whole process; now man exists for them.
Every child is born ecstatic. Ecstasy is natural. It is not something that happens only to great sages. It is something that everybody brings with him into the world; everybody comes with it. It is life's innermost core. It is part of being alive. Life is ecstasy. Every child brings it into the world, but then the society jumps on the child, starts destroying the possibility of ecstasy, starts making the child miserable, starts conditioning the child.
The society is neurotic, and it cannot allow ecstatic people to be here. They are dangerous for it. Try to understand the mechanism; then things will be easier.

You cannot control an ecstatic man; it is impossible. You can only control a miserable man. An ecstatic man is bound to be free. Ecstasy is freedom. He cannot be reduced to being a slave. You cannot destroy him so easily; you cannot persuade him to live in a prison. He would like to dance under the stars and he would like to walk with the wind and he would like to talk with the sun and the moon. He will need the vast, the infinite, the huge, the enormous. He cannot be seduced into living in a dark cell. You cannot make a slave out of him. He will live his own life and he will do his thing. This is very difficult for the society. If there are many ecstatic people, the society will feel it is falling apart, its structure will not hold anymore.

Those ecstatic people will be the rebels. Remember, I don't call an ecstatic person "revolutionary"; I call him a "rebel." A revolutionary is one who wants to change the society, but he wants to replace it with another society. A rebel is one who wants to live as an individual and would like there to exist no rigid social structure in the world. A rebel is one who does not want to replace this society with another society -- because all the societies have proved the same The capitalist and the communist and the fascist and the socialist, they are all cousin-brothers; it doesn't make much difference. The society is society. All the churches have proved the same -- the Hindu, the Christian, the Mohammedan.

Once a structure becomes powerful, it does not want anybody to be ecstatic, because ecstasy is against structure. Listen to it and meditate over it: ecstasy is against structure Ecstasy is rebellious. It is not revolutionary.

A revolutionary is a political man; a rebel is a religious man. A revolutionary wants another structure, of his own desire, of his own utopia, but a structure all the same. He wants to be in power. He wants to be the oppressor and not the oppressed; he wants to be the exploiter and not the exploited,he wants to rule and not be ruled. A rebel is one who neither wants to be ruled nor wants to rule. A rebel is one who wants no rule in the world. A rebel is anarchic. A rebel is one who trusts nature, not man-made structures, who trusts that if nature is left alone, everything will be beautiful. It is! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I love human beings but not humanity. Humanity does not exist, only concrete human beings exists, someone here someone there but it is always someone.

Humanity is a empty word and just like that is Christ. Jesus exists sometimes in Gautam the buddha, sometimes in Mohammed the prophet, sometimes in Krishna the flute player, somewhere here, somehwere there ... but it is always a concrete phenomenon.

Christ is abstract, it only exists in the books of philosophy and theology. Christ has never walked on earth or we can say it in another way Christ is the son of God, Jesus the son of man. Let me talk about Jesus the son of man, because only the son of man is real and only the son of man can grow and become the son of God. Only man can grow and become God. Because man is the seed, the source. God is the flowering.

God does not exists anywhere. When you flower God comes in existance. It comes into existence and disappears, comes into existence and disappears. When Buddha was here God existed. When Jesus was here God existed. When Jesus disappears God disappears, just when a flower disappears it disappears.

God is not somewhere.. always existing. Whenever a man realizes his essence, whenever a man really exists, whenever a man exists in totality, God exists in those rare moments.

So when you come and ask me "Where is God?", I can not show you. Unless you prove him into your own being, he will not be there. Untill you become him he is not. Everybody has to realize him in his own inner most shrine, in his own being. You carry him as a seed. It is up to you to allow it to grow and become a great tree."


A beautiful saying by Abu Yazeed Bastami-

I made four mistakes in my preliminary steps in this way:

I thought that I remember Him,
that I know Him,
that I love Him,
and that I seek Him;

but when I reached Him,

I saw that His remembering of me preceded my remembrance of Him,

that His knowledge about me preceded my knowledge of Him,

that His love towards me was more ancient than my love towards Him,

and that He sought me in order that I would begin to seek Him.”

OSHO: Strange Consequences