Category Archives: Thought Work

8 priorities that shape your career decision

Backstory: My decision to leave L&T was reactive. While I evaluated it using some criteria, the move itself wasn’t planned. This framework is what I used when starting with Landmark in Dubai, and it also served my move to Babbel.

This is an overwhelming, topic but its important to get started! Here’s how to plan start planning your career:

  • Start with a slightly long-term vision. A 4-6 year horizon intertwining your personal & professional aspiration – fueling the purpose that’ll fuel your passion.
  • Broken down to define short-term milestones (next 2 years). Enhancing your toolkit: skills, business, tech acumen, or just leadership skills – towards mastery.
  • An action plan. E.g. Update your resume

Basing career decisions on intuition is a bad idea ūüĎéūüŹľ Whether you’re kicking off search or accepting an offer, start with figuring what you‚Äôre optimizing for.

Basically kicking yourself out of your comfort zone! In this post, we’ll get started thinking what’s important to you. Everyone has needs. Being honest with yourself and prioritizing what’s important to you will not only help decide but also trade-off between opportunity cost and risk.

Its personal. But steering life is important. Its scary and exciting. Sound boarding this with a mentor is always a good idea.

The list below is how I look at choices – not necessarily in that order. You might need to tweak it for yourself – ‚¨áÔłŹ download or ‚ě°ÔłŹ view the spreadsheet online.

1. Opportunity & Toolkit

  • Enhances your toolkit?
  • Offers challenges, opportunities to learn?
  • Novelty*? A new domain / technology / vertical / market
  • Gives access to good mentors & a network?
  • Opens new avenues in the future**?
  • Offers better title***? Consider position in the organization hierarchy, competition
  • Offers a better role? Influence v/s Authority, Leadership
    * Novelty alone shouldn’t be a driver
    ** Don’t overrate future prospects when starting your career
    *** Opt for a rationalized, industry-wide title

2. Goals & PassionSource: runnersgoal.com

  • Makes best use of your passion?
  • Gets you a step closer to a future goal?
  • Aligns with personal interests – wealth, network, travel?
  • Gives a meaning, purpose to your life?

3. Risks

  • Leaving your comfort zone?
  • Chances of failing in the new role?
  • Relocating to a new country/city?
  • Could this be short-term? Changing jobs too often?
  • Employment contract? Notice period?
  • Is your gut sounding an alarm?
    * Answering No means low risk, high score
    ** Taking no action also has its own risk
Continue reading 8 priorities that shape your career decision

Goodbye Zycus

Unfortunately, it is only through some discomfort that we learn and grow. After 5.5 supercalifragilisticexpialidocious years at Zycus, I’ve decided to move on to explore the B2C side of the product world.

I am thankful to Satish & Nirav for sensing my product acumen, and on-boarding me to product management. A big thanks to Sachin & Bikash for being the fantastic managers they’ve been. They entrusted me to lead one of Zycus’ prodigious¬†product line – in terms of challenge, breadth, depth, team, revenue – from concept-to-revenue, and offered exposure and opportunities like never before.

Some of the best memories with the smartest folks...
Some of the best memories with the smartest folks…

All along, I’ve had the privilege to work with nimble & energetic Zycats¬†– all possessing the right attitude. In 2011, Zycus ushered me¬†to lead product owners; I¬†see them all as my career accelerators. Together with them,¬†my 60-member development team (of teams), lead by Shekhar, has been the top-most reason for my¬†all my¬†success and accolades. I wish to thank all of you,¬†You rock!¬†I am convinced that I’m leaving the product with virtuosos,¬†and¬†wish to see the¬†product line – so dear to my heart – continue to delight users.

My professional toolkit would’ve been soporific without the cross-functional interactions I’ve had with the sharpest minds Continue reading Goodbye Zycus

Recipe: Dahi Sev Puri

I love my sev puri crunchy. The trick I learned from my regular bhaiya was to add a layer of sev right after the potatoes so keep the base crunchy, and avoid sogginess¬†once the chutney’s are added. Hope you enjoy it. Takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • Papdi puri
  • Mashed potatoes (I literally use instant mashed potato)
  • Nylon sev
  • Chopped onions, tomatoes, corriander
  • Chana dal
  • Tamarind¬†chutney
  • Chili chutney (or Maggi Hot & Sweet sauce)
  • Yoghurt (whipped,¬†sweetened)
  • Chat masala, salt

I love it crunchy!
I love it crunchy!

 Procedure:

  • Lay the puris¬†on a flat plate and top up¬†ingredients in the¬†mentioned order
  • Garnish with nylon sev and corriander

Driving consumer passion to “Make In India”

MakeInIndia’s success at the Hannover Messe has been the talk of the town for a while. And truly so, it has made every Indian¬†proud of the country’s¬†vision. While the program¬†is primarily meant to transform¬†India into a manufacturing-driven economy, I do not see why it cannot be extended to everything we make in India – whether for export or domestic use.

All through my travels in Australia, I couldn’t ignore the promotion of products made in¬†Australia, by Australian owned businesses – right down to bread and water.

Promotion of products made in Australia
Promotion of products made in Australia

Population is a double-edged sword. While population¬†shrivels available¬†resources, it itself is an important resource in industrialization. And¬†India can use this abundant resource to its¬†advantage, to¬†make #MakeInIndia a reality. For this, I think it is key Continue reading Driving consumer passion to “Make In India”

Staying healthy onboard

2 years of reckless travel had a big impact on my eating habits. I realized that I had to reduce my intake of carbs, protein & fat. Long flights serving 3 meals seemed like a low-hanging fruit. Without wasting time, I started experimenting with the various dietary meal options that most airlines offer – provided the request is placed 24 hours before the flight.

At first I switched to a fat free meal, which avoided gluten in the preparation and served fruits in lieu of an unhealthy dessert option. Together with this, I consciously reduced cola & soda intake and switched to juices or just plain water Рlots of it. I refrained from all snacks, peanuts especially. But the meal still served a chunk Continue reading Staying healthy onboard

Living in a metaconscious state

Each one of us keeps waxing and waning in the cyclic pattern called life. How we deal with extremes – the high and low points of life as we call them – is¬†crucial to how well we get on to the¬†next wave.¬†The high points risk of making us rude, while the lows can be depressing. I’m not against¬†emotions or letting them flow; but trouble is when emotions take over logic and lowers consciousness down to the individualist level.

I must’ve developed logical reasoning pretty early on. But I do remember becoming emotionally aware as I connected with more and more people over teenhood. More recently, I began training my mind to be self-aware – basically keeping a¬†constant check on emotions to¬†alarm the brain of a possible shift in the emotional equilibrium. Experts call this cognitive monitoring or being in¬†the state of integral consciousness.

With this, my goal is to be fully conscious to count lemons as they come,¬†and make my best attempt to make¬†lemonade. I’m continually adding recipes of wisdom to improve the conversion rate. But at least, whenever a situation excites, perplexes, or angers me, I remind myself that the time has come! To Continue reading Living in a metaconscious state

How our Maghi Ganesh Utsav binds us together

I only have one planned vacation each year – a trip to my native place Murud-Janjira. It is a coastal town in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, about 160km from Mumbai. My grandfather left Murud to attend law school in Mumbai. 3 generations later, there is still one thing that keeps the extended family together and coming back to our native place – our temple.

Janjira Fort, Murud-Janjira
Janjira Fort, Murud-Janjira

A couple of centuries back, one Mr.Joshi had a dream about an idol of Lord Ganesha under a tree. They dug it up and indeed found a stone resembling in shape with a Ganesha idol. It was then handed over to our family to be worshiped. What must’ve started as a small shade in Nandgaon (10 kms short of Murud), is today a popular destination for devotees & tourists alike.

SiddhiVinayak Temple, Nandgaon
SiddhiVinayak Temple, Nandgaon

The Ganesh Chathurthi festival in the month of Bhaadrapada was¬† popularized by Lokmanya Tilak as a social event. But Ganesh Jayanti, Ganesha’s birthday if you will, is actually celebrated in the lunar month of Maagh Continue reading How our Maghi Ganesh Utsav binds us together

Recipe: Baked chapatti rolls with chicken & veggies

Love is.. when food choices are diametrically opposite
Love is.. when food choices are diametrically opposite

Every relation demands trade-off & adjustment. It is nearly impossible to find harmony¬†in all choices.¬†Aditi & I also took a hit on compatibility in some areas – food was one. I am a complete foodie, and she’s a great cook. I love chicken & chapattis, while she loves fish & rice. But when I cook, I try to make things that will go past her¬†choices. Like all kids who hate plain chapattis, she loved the variation of baked rolls with chicken, cheese & veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Chilli powder
  • Oregano
  • Chat masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • Butter
  • 6 Chicken tandoori kebabs (or shredded chicken) – or replace with cottage cheese (paneer) for a veggie version
  • 4 chapattis
  • Cheese – grated mozzarella & slices for topping

Procedure:

Vegetable stuffing

  • Heat some¬†butter in a pan, ¬†and place garlic cloves
  • Add¬†all vegetables, tomato ketchup and salt to taste
  • Saute vegetables until cooked

Key ingredients
Key ingredients

Assembling the rolls

  • Butter both sides of each chapatti
  • Place the vegetable stuffing at the center, and top with chicken or paneer
  • Grate mozzarella cheese, sprinkle oregano/chat masala to taste
  • Roll ’em up, and place cheese slices on top¬†for an extra cheesy taste

Continue reading Recipe: Baked chapatti rolls with chicken & veggies