From a background which taught him to be humble and grounded, Rakesh Misri has not only retained these values, but he also propagate these values to those he comes in contact with for personal or professional reasons. Maybe this is one reason which makes him what he is today – a focused person who is a Kashmiri at heart, humble, god fearing and helpful. But for sure, even in a crowd, one can make it that he is from Kashmir.
Excerpts from an interaction with Rajesh Prothi.
You have come a long way since you left Kashmir. Tell us about your background.
R. Misri: It’s been over two decades since I left Kashmir. Basically, I come from Srinagar. Most of my childhood was spent with friends playing cricket at Chandmari , Pologround. I did my schooling from National High School and went on to join SP College.
My childhood memories are part of my being. Maybe these memories are the reason that I am still connected with my roots and go back to the Valley whenever I get an opportunity.
How has been your learning since you left the valley?
R. Misri: Life has taught me a lot and I think that it has been the best learning institution for me. However, when we speak about academics, I joined the MBA course here. I did well and this helped me shape my career in this part of the country. But if you were to ask if my learning curve has bottomed or flattened-out, my answer would be a big no. My learning curve continues to show spikes. Each day, I add value to my thought process, each day my approach towards my work enhances. Each day, my approach towards others become more cconsiderate.
What was the difference between the life in Kashmir and the life you had to adopt away from your comfort zone?
R. Misri: Every Kashmiri who left Kashmir in the 1990s is faced with this question, even today. There have been various answers with lots of undercurrents. But let me confess that my answer to such a question is simple and straight. One major difference is the climate of Kashmir, which is the most obvious fact. There is no alternate to the climate of Kashmir, the Dal Lake, the Zabarwan range, the Chinar tree and of course the wazwan. The second factor, which despite what has happened, basically is that Kashmiris as human beings are warm and have a very high EQ factor which cuts across religions.
These two factors make Kashmir a very attractive place to live in. But does that make Kashmir a comfort zone as far as I am concerned,I don’t think so. Much has changed, and those who have left Kashmir in the 1990s do not have any future in the State. A place like Kashmir has its own limitations, there are many more career opportunities beyond the Valley.
A drastic change in the cultural environments – what were the challenges you had to face to accommodate yourself professionally in this part of the country
R. Misri: Here I can say, that away from our comfort zone, this part of the country threw at me and people like me face many challenges, ranging from the weather to a multicultural environment. But I had some advantages since I had studied outside the State of Jammu and Kashmir for a couple of years before settling here in Delhi. I was in a way slightly better conditioned and better accustomed to such an environment.
You have catapulted the Jovees brand at an international level. How did you manage this?
R. Misri: Jovees is the result of a great team, which is bubbling with passion and enthusiasm. And when the leadership is able to induce a clear vision and focus into such an environment, the results are obvious. With this in the air, all the time I made sure we do not at any point of time dilute the fact that we are a customer-centric company, where we focus on delivering what we promise. “Delivering on our promises is one of the many reasons for us to be progressing and today we are present in the international market and growing.
What message do you have to say to generation which is setting foot in the professional world,
R. Misri: Constantly keep on enhancing your skills and knowledge. Read as much as possible. Have tons of patience. Remember, good professionals for ego short term profits for long term goals.
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