Rajesh Kaul can be easily defined as a “go-getter” just because of his approach towards his career. An Engineer by profession, Rajesh over last few decades has worked for Companies like Philips, Samsung, Lucent, Tekelec at various senior positions till he decided to Co-found and head Tri-O-Tech. With “never say die spirit” Rajesh is a dreamer and at heart he is a Kashmiri.
Excerpts from an interaction with Rajesh Prothi.
Childhood memories are essentially of Kashmir and its many flavours. Talking about those right now also infuse such warmth in me. Festivities, close knit relations and a strong cultural bond. I will not hesitate to state that it was a happy childhood through and through.
I grew up in a society where I actually didn’t perceive gaps in terms of our culture. A good part of my growing was at the Residency Road quarters which housed most of the media community. It was like one big family. During my times playing cricket on the street and a very strong community living was part of my DNA as of any Kashmiri who was growing up during those times.
How time flies by… but those memories are still cherished and it is a matter of pride to see your pals settled. I feel so proud and happy to see that one of my cricket buddy Aamir Bashir is now an actor in Bollywood.
Life was very simple then and very small things used to be a source of abundant joy.
Schooling & College
My schooling at Woodlands has been the founding stone of my formal education. I can’t forget the umpteen school bus rides from Residency Road to Gupkar Road. I have fond memories of my school and more so of schoolmates who have stayed connected till date. My next destination was DAV and Gandhi Memorial College where I finished my 12th Standard. The thrill of cycling from Indra Nagar to College would give run for money to even a Mercedes drive.
The road to Chennai from Kashmir was a difficult decision at that point of time but I am so glad that I took it. It provided me an excellent learning ground and broadened my horizon. Living amidst an entirely new culture, food habits, an incomprehensible language, all honed my adaptability, which is an essential ingredient of globalization. This head on collision with cosmopolitan outlook and holistic learning prepared me for the corporate world. I made some excellent friends at college who still continue to be a source of inspiration.
Studious to a point but very shy and introvert, that is how many of acquaintances would describe me from my school days. But I have had my share of pranks and a close circle who knew my contribution to the crazy fun loving simple tricks that we would play. I have always realized the importance of nurturing relationships and it has stood me in good stead till date.
I joined the professional world at the age of 22 and have had my share of struggle and frustrations. More than that, it led to an entirely new path of learning, aggression and sheer hard work. Again my mantra of following my dreams ensured all the milestones that I achieved. Leading by example and taking the team along the growth curve was my biggest learning from the Corporate world. My career spanned over companies like AVL. Philips, Samsung, Lucent and culminated with my position as the Managing Director (South Asia) in a US Multinational Tekelec.
The next phase in my professional life started a couple of years back when I decided to plunge into the domain of being an entrepreneur. It is a new leaf which I am writing with great determination, hard work and innovation (In the area of Software Application Development and Mobile Wallet Service Delivery) . It is a new challenge entirely but then that is what makes it exciting and I am very positive about making it worthwhile for my colleagues and myself.
How connected with Kashmir
Kashmir is in my blood and hence never got disconnected. More so we have family friends with whom we have stayed in touch and ever since the abatement of violence we have visited the valley almost every year. Though it cannot be denied that there is a change in the ethos especially with the younger generation being unaware of growing up in co-existence. However, being positive again I look forward to lasting peace and tranquility in the valley.
On my part, I want to contribute to the growth of industrial base in my home State. At the moment the key areas identified by me are education, skill development and ultimately generation of jobs locally (Door step Model). As Robert Frost has very aptly coined that there are promises to make and miles to go before I sleep.
Message for the young Kashmiris looking .
The dark chapter has to be seen as a bad dream and we have to move on with a conscious effort to see a progressive, peaceful Kashmir, which is receptive to the age-old tradition of peace, harmony and warm co existence.
How culture of Kashmir has been kept alive
This is the sphere which has taken a beating and keeping your traditions and customs alive is actually an effort. To keep the culture evolving and growing on its roots has been addressed to some extent by creating forum which are doing their bit in the field of literature, music etc. But a conscious effort at the basic unit i.e., family has to ensure to at least keep the language alive.
Generation growing up
It is the collective will of the Government, Corporates and individuals that will see a thriving State. But the mental borders have to be crossed to make any beginning. The politics has to take a backstage and one has to learn from the trying times that each one of us has faced. Prosperity has to percolate to the ground level and everything is possible if there is a right intention.
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