Win in Endurance If Not Speed


Ever since I remember, my elder brother was school athletic champion. He was great at speed and won almost every race he participated in. On the other hand, I struggled to even get into the semifinals, leave alone competing with the best in finals. I remember when my brother used his influence to put me directly in finals of a 400 meter race with a long lecture on how should I run and how much I try my best to get at least the third position to keep his prestige. I really ran hard. I missed the third spot by whisker. I was devastated not because I lost, but I could not come up to the expectation of my brother. In three years, this was my only race and I missed it. I was aware that lot of students will now rub my brother for taking a wrong decision and favoring me. I was already hearing several comments on how incapable I was and how my brother used his influence to push me in the league where I did not belong.

I met my brother almost two hours after the race. I knew that he might be feeling uneasy to face me and must be feeling angry. My guilt and devastation had no boundaries.

‘Wow, you ran like never before’ my brother called out as soon as he saw me. He was smiling and visibly happy. I thought, he must be feeling good about his own wins and his championship as he stood first in all four races he took part in.

‘Look brother, I am very happy with your performance. Do you know, you competed against the best of the racers this time? Everyone had predicted that you will be the last in the race out of all the eight participants, but everyone was surprised when you almost came third.’ My brother continued with the description.

My mood lifted a bit. I asked him hesitantly ‘ Did I really run well?’

‘Yes, you did. Rather, it was far better than any one expected. Now I know you have the speed in you. Next year, we will crack it together in our annual athletics.’ He laughed and held my hand.

Even thirty-five years later, I still remember the time when someone lifted my mood so well and made me feel wanted.

Over few weeks, I kept on getting training from my elder brother who was already revered as a great sports boy in the school. After a few days and after keen observation of my running, he came back to me and gave me his verdict. ‘Brother, you may not get the best speed as you seem to be slightly flat footed, but you can win on endurance. Try running long distance races and you have a better chance.’

The positive input made a magical change in me. Over next several years, I ran races that needed endurance. As a boy of ten, I used to run for several kilometers every day and won several recognitions at school and even outside school for many years. Every time, I recalled my brother telling me that I can win in endurance if not speed. This running took me places including being the best cadet in NCC and winning several cross-country races. I never could run fast, but I had endurance that only few had.

I could use one positive input to change my life while ignoring several negative one. You should try it yourself. Your life will be far more happy and fulfilling.

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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1 Response

  1. Sunil Kumar says:

    Hey thanks for sharing such a nice story of your life. It gives me positive energy while reading it & pushing me to do something big or better. Thanks again.

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