Passion – Dreaming & creating a vision


I have spoken a lot about passion in my blogs, but whatever I say about passion is always less. I hear a lot of successful people talking about their dream of becoming what they are today, but in my opinion, it is not always exactly the way it is portrayed. The truth about dreams and passion is almost always in small packets and keeps changing with time when the previous dream is fulfilled.

When I was a boy of ten, I saw some of the well-to-do students of my class having their own bicycle. Those days, when there were hardly any cars on the road and having a cycle was an envious thing for lesser privileged ones like me.

“This dream was so intense that any opportunity I had I would utilize“

I always dreamt of having my own bicycle. This dream was so intense that any opportunity I had to lay my hands on my friend’s cycle and try learning to ride the cycle was never missed. I remember that I bargained doing the homework for them in return of sharing their cycle.

I learned riding the cycle very fast. I had no problems sporting few cuts and bruises in the bargain when I fell multiple times trying to keep the balance. Within few weeks, after crashing friend’s cycles and damaging a couple of them, I was a great rider. Remember, I did not spend a single penny in the process, but my passion helped me find ways to get what I wanted.

When I told my father that I know how to ride a cycle, he did not believe me. Unfortunately, right from my childhood I had the habit of indulging in the habit of “positive assertion”, which in common language we know as “bragging”.

I was normally scared of my father, typical of the father, children relationship in North India 35 years back. Talking to him would mean that I would think and prepare myself well before I spoke to him on any subject involving him. I desperately wanted a cycle of my own and my dream of riding my “Own” cycle was the end of all my vision. I remember preparing the whole script of what I will tell my father about buying me a cycle. My elder brother used my father’s cycle whenever he wanted to.

Things were not the same as we normally see today. My father earned enough to just give us a dignified living and good education. Any other expense was simply not possible without cutting down on other essential need. When, our new dress only came once in a year during Diwali, getting a new cycle was a tall order.

When I told my father that I know how to ride a cycle, he simply said “Good” and went on with his work. It was only when I told that I need my own cycle that he looked at me seriously. I had already convinced my mother and even traded that I am fine to manage with old dresses this year and will manage with used books of my brother for my school.

My father was equally passionate person and his dream was to make us successful in life. We teamed up to find a solution to fulfill my dream. One day, my father brought home a bicycle for me.
This cycle had two wheels without wheel cover. The pedals were missing and a bar was welded in place of pedal. The seat cover was missing and the stump in place showed a great promise that something like a seat could be fixed there. The black paint was almost gone and the bare metal frame had patches of brown rust. Handle had break bars, but break pads were missing. The ringer on the handle was the only thing, which did not make any sound in the cycle.

Had it been today, I vouch, the two wheeled structure I was overjoyed that time to have as “My own bicycle” would have been thrown off without a second thought in junk.

I took that cycle and got it in a working condition over next two days spending the minimum I could. I brought some repair kit myself and spend hours grooming my cycle every day.

When I rode the cycle that day, it was one of my proudest moments ever.

Now that I had achieved a dream and pursued a passion, Did I stop there?

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Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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