No dream is big, if you really chase it purposefully and passionately – Three Inspiring stories from India’s hinterland!

While the whole world is enjoying the summer vacations in the months of May and June, it is usually a testing time for the youth passing out of class XII – the tension of admissions – which college, which course? It certainly happens to all those that have not yet zeroed on what they want to do in life!

When I look at the chaos the DU admissions are in, I feel even worse for these youngsters and their families! But there are a few from this class of 2014, who by now have created headlines and have grabbed their coveted badge for life. One such badge, in Indian context is an entry into IIT!

Purpose, Passion, Perseverance

Purpose, Passion, Perseverance

In the last one week I came across three inspiring stories about youngsters, who despite all odds, are on the path to glory; Incidentally there are two sets of twins and also a boy who is considered too young to even know what IIT is all about. Yes, they have made it to the hallooed portals!


Jalandhar : Sumit and Amit, had secured 809th and 2014th All India ranks respectively this year in IIT-JEE, and they had secured 1800 and 1600 ranks last year, but could not join the prestigious institution as they failed to arrange the Rs. 80,000 deposit required towards admission.

Several readers have come forward to help the twin brothers who cracked the prestigious IIT-JEE exam twice in a row but failed to finance their college education.

Read the full story here –


Mumbai : With a collective income of around Rs 17,000 per month and a cramped 150 square foot room in Bhiwandi’s slums for their home, life for the Yadav family has been tough. But it looks all set to change. Their 18-year-old twins — Ram and Shyam Yadav — have cleared the coveted IIT-JEE exam with 267 and 1,816 ranks respectively in the OBC section. With a brother who earns Rs 9,000/- supporting his father to help these youngsters realize their dreams, they chose to make it happen with the dint of their hard work in the last two years!

The full story here –


Patna: A 14-year-old from Bihar’s Rohtas district has cracked this year’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).

Shivanand, the son of a farmer, passed his class 12 exam this year with 93.4 percent, and got special permission to sit for the IIT-JEE, the results of which were declared last week. He secured 2,587 rank.

The full story :

Each of these youngsters prove that – No dream is big, if you really chase it purposefully and passionately.


Setting B-HAG Goals – How they can drive : From the diary of a focussed FMS aspirant

As part of ‘Dream It, Do It’ motivational tour, I have been taking intense sessions for CAT aspirants across the country. After every session, many an inspired youngster do have long chats sharing their aims and fears, trials, tribulations and challenges, Seeking my insights, inputs and wisdom to succeed.

At the end of one such session this year, a young man sought to travel with me across the city saying that ‘I just want to be with you for some more time, to get greater clarity in life’. Just before he departed he shared his appreciation about the whole session and also the time he spent with me and how it is going to impact his journey. Also he pulled out his diary and shared a list of his goals that is motivating him and driving him…

I had a glance at it and felt really inspired by the B-HAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) set by the youngster. I promised myself and the youngster that I will share his goals in an article to inspire more youngsters…

Big Hairy Audacious Goals. (graphic courtesy WEB)

Big Hairy Audacious Goals. (graphic courtesy WEB)

1. I will have a net worth of 200 million dollars by 30 June 2025.
2. I will own a 5000 sq ft penthouse in Delhi.
3. I would have sold 1 million copies of my books by 30 March 2017.
4. I would have trained 10,000 people to become people enablers by 30 March 2017.
5. I would have completed my MBA from FMS, Delhi or better by 7 July 2016.
6. I would have trained under Robin Sharma and Jack Canfield by 1 March 2020.
7. I will travel to 7 wonders of the world by 1 January 2020.
8. I will throw 12 parties in the year 2016.
9. I would have run a half marathon by 1 September 2016.
10. I will spend at least 12 weeks with my friends and family in 2016.
11. I will find and marry my soul-mate by 1 March 2019.
12. I will read 20 “good” books in 2014.
13. I will learn to play guitar and to dance by 1 March 2017.
14. I will help 100 million people to improve their quality of life significantly by 1 March 2025.

Revisiting this goal once a day has been good enough for this youngster to be on the track to head into his chosen B-School. He also shared his schedule and his passion to write stories. Needless to say, such inspiring and demanding goals can motivate everyone who goes through the list. I am no exception, hence the article.

Last year too I had come across one youngster who shared his goals. Finally he landed at IIMA and he sent a mail. I will share that mail in another posting.

Wishing you all the very best.


Everything Happens For The Good – From the world of Akbar and Birbal

When I was going through the email that Rakesh, a friend, sent across, I thought of blogging it.

In every motivational session of mine – Dream It Do It! – I keep saying ‘Look ahead, leap ahead; Do not live in the past”. Most of us want to run ahead, but live in the past. We are full of all those negative thoughts that prevented us from achieving our goals. How can you run ahead, looking behind! Have you learnt the lessons from those incidents to be better in the future? We can change the future, and not the past.

Let us give our best, without compromising on the effort; Whatever happens, it happens for the good..


“I have heard this statement couple of months ago. This statement got struck in my head. I started to think about it a lot. I analyse every situation to see whether this statement holds some truth. I found mixed answers when I analyse all my past and current situations. But as time goes by, I realise that yes, this statement is correct. My senior colleague Mr. Sunil Tiku made ​​me understand the worth of this statement via the world famous Akbar Birbal story.” – Rakesh

Whatever happens, Happens for good

Whatever happens, Happens for good

Here is a ‘story’ from the times of Emperor “Akbar” who had a wise Advisor “Birbal”. Birbal followed Akbar everywhere, and his favorite advice was, “Everything happens for the good”.

One day Akbar went hunting and had a little accident. He shot an arrow at his own foot and was injured. He asked Birbal what he thought about the accident, to which Birbal replied, “Everything happens for the good”. This time Akbar was really upset and ordered for Birbal to be put in a well. Akbar asked Birbal, “Now, what do you think?” The Birbal again replied, “Everything happens for the good”. So Birbal remained in prison.

The emperor Akbar went on a hunting trip yet again, this time without Birbal. Akbar was captured by the Tribes, who decided to offer him as a sacrifice to “Goddess Kali”. Just before chopping his head off, one of them saw the wound on the Akbar’s foot and decided to throw him back into the jungle, as per their customs they cannot offer an imperfect body to Goddess Kali as “Bali”.

Akbar realized Birbal’s words and repented for leaving him in the well and went back to get him. When Akbar explains what happened and apologizes to Birbal for his act, Birbal says “Jahapana, good that you left me, else they would have killed and offered me to kali instead of you”.

Success Principles

It is true that everything in life happens for a purpose, and always for our own good. If you think about it, all our past experiences actually happened to bring us to where we are today, and it is always for the good. All the past experiences make us a better person. So, whatever challenges that we may face today, consider it happening to bring us to the next level.

“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
When you feel you cant bear even one minute,
Fight the urge to give up
Have faith in self and keep forging
You are about to turn the corner,
Your course is about to change the plane,
New summit is within your reach….keep going!”

Believe in Self, the world will be at your feet – Swami Vivekananda
Karmanye-vadhikaraste Maa phaleshu kadachana – Bhagavadgita

Do not think about the results, just give your best! Wishing you the very best for all your endeavours. Go and hoist your flag!

Dream It, Do It! A whirlwind tour to Bangalore and Ahmedabad/Gandhinagar

Continuing my pursuit of pushing the youth to realize their dreams, the DREAM IT, DO IT! motivational tour had stoppages at Bangalore and Ahmedabad last week. The two stoppages had youth as different as chalk and cheese. At Bangalore’s venue of Jyoti Niwas college, the audience was experienced IT professionals with a few years under their belt, all eager to take off to an IIM. Most of them want to make a quick exit from the boredom of software industry and are eagerly waiting to explore the business world with an IIM feather in their cap.

As the session progressed, I could see the movement in the audience towards optimism and self-belief. A few shared that their drive to chase their dreams have got a boost, and a few shared that it has reminded them of their gutsiness to chase their goals. It is all about the desire to excel, the gritty determination to work hard relentlessly to get what you really want. If a human being purposefully chases a goal that he badly wants to achieve, at any cost, no body can stop him. And that is the bottom line. I am sure almost every one from the crowd in Bangalore can make it to any of the IIM he or she wishes to, since they have very good profiles. I have no doubt they will.

I took a flight to Ahmedabad, enroute to Gandhinagar. Hardik and Paridhi, the Career Launcher warriors at Gandhinagar were championing this leg of my visit. Gandhinagar is proving to be the new education hub of Gujarat and western India with a bunch of institutions of national repute – IIT, NIFT, National Law School, NID new campus…along with a few more institutions promoted by industrial enterprises.

I had sessions addressing the final year students at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), an endeavor supported by Gujarat Government with active participation of the oil majors and Dhirubhai Ambani institute of information and communication technology (DA-IICT). Unlike, the Bangalore audience, the final year and the pre-final year students are still groping in the dark, except for a few. As the economy has slowed down, the placement is a serious concern. It accentuates if the students are not serious, and each one has not set a goal for oneself, forget about being purposeful. So, the focus of the sessions at both these places was to make them set goals and plan their action purposefully to achieve those goals, apart from orienting them to work on themselves for placements.

Dream It, Do It! @ Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University

Dream It, Do It! @ Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University

The PDPU campus, that came up in 2007,  is world class. I was delighted to have my lunch at the campus cafeteria and headed towards the auditorium. It took sometime for the crowd to come in. I felt the purpose of the session did not reach to the students in a compelling manner. It was more like a session that you have to attend. I could sense the diffidence in the students walking in. I could see the reluctance. It took enormous energy from within, to push the crowd to participate and be proactive. For a speaker, it is a challenge to help the audience to be serious about the session and then deliver it to push them to participate and be purposeful. Though, significant section of the crowd started to move as the session progressed, there were quite a few who still were holding their ‘ego’ forts. But, I was delighted to meet a few who stayed back after the session to ask very incisive questions about their careers and entrepreneurial plans. I felt that the students at this campus need an intensive, participatory workshop to keep them engaged intensively, instead of the ‘lecture mode’, though my sessions are very participatory and interactive.

Dream It, Do It! @ Dhirubhai Ambani Institute for Information and communication technology

Dream It, Do It! @ Dhirubhai Ambani Institute for Information and communication technology

I rushed to DA-IICT from PDPU. That place was a contrast to PDPU. I am usually well ahead of time for my sessions, so that I can set up and check the technology paraphernalia. The campus is verdant green, with all blocks/buildings nestled between the green canopies. I really loved the campus for its upkeep and green cover. I walked into the lecture hall well ahead of time to find the hall full to my utter surprise. The students were there well ahead of time occupying their seats. The school leadership was purposeful. I was delighted to experience this contrast. Except for a few, the audience remained till much after my session got over. A few of them went on discussing even after the session and came all the way to drop us to the parking bay. The discussions were very enriching. Met a couple of youngsters who are working on their enterprises. All in all the sessions were a great learning experience for me, that I always look forward to.

I will add the feedback of the students, as soon as I receive from Hardik.



Dream It, Do It! Think Big, Start Small! – Arif Hussain’s (a Vet from Kishtwar, J&K) remarkable plunge

Arif Hussain, a veterinarian from Kishtwar; an MBA from GIM selected through XLRI entrance

It was in early 2011, when I was in Jammu to address the youth of J&K motivating to chase their dreams and not be afraid of failure, I met a young man, Arif Hussain. At the end of the session he wanted to share how a similar session a year ago made an impact on him.

Arif finished his degree in veterinary sciences and was at crossroads. Like most of the youth of J&K, all his friends were looking for government jobs, as they feel that gives security. Even in the volatile times of Kashmir, those in the government jobs continued to get their salaries, where as those working in private sector were impacted! So none would want to venture into the private enterprise space. Though government jobs were hard to come by, government, to make their ends meet, was recruiting for temporary assignments. Arif wanted to do something different and not succumb to these possibilities.

Arif chanced upon an advertisement for a short term programme by J&K government on creating a SME (Small and Medium enterprises). He applied for it and got selected to be part of the programme. He got a lot of ideas that stoked his desire to do something ‘different’

Being a Vet, he probed a little more on one of the ideas that struck him. A predominantly non-vegetarian state, J&K imports over 1000cr worth of poultry! Why not create poultry farm? He does significant ground work to launch his poultry farm in Kishtwar with an investment of Rs.1.5 Lakh. His sessions on SME helped him to understand how to apply and get the project funded by the government that is encouraging entrepreneurs. So ninety percent of his project costs were funded by govt.

He started procuring broilers from Punjab, that become fully grown FOWL n 45 days. The economies work to something of this sort –

– Broilers cost about Rs 18 when they land in Kishtwar
– It takes another 20-30 Rupees for feed & maintenance for every broiler in those 45 days
– The fully grown FOWL is picked up by the butchers at Rs. 200/- a piece

So, in no time, Arif started clocking revenues of 3-4 Lakhs a month, with at least 40-50% margin.

Arif soon realized that this is going to be a very profitable venture and would love to grow the business across J&K and not limit to Kishtwar.

When Arif met me, he had a call from XLRI. He was a worried man, in the sense, what should he do to convert the call. We had a long discussion on how he can present his vision and the execution plan to the panel etc. Soon, I got a good news that he has received the final call and that he would join XLRI/GIM.

In 2013, Arif would have graduated with an MBA from XLRI/GIM and on his way to realizing his bigger dreams. Looking forward to meeting him soon. Arif, where are you?

If you have a dream, chase it. Do not be afraid of failure. I always found many mentors, well wishers and facilitators coming my way the moment I was determined to make any of my dreams happen. I often remember Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist, when I embark on realizing my next dream – “that the world will conjure to make your dreams come true”

God of creativity and imagination of our era…. Steve, have a wonderful journey!

God of imagination and creativity of this era, Steve Jobs, an epitome of the human potential! Always taken rapid strides on the path of INFINITY – knowing thyself (belief of infinite potential that a human has). Leaving a lasting legacy… what a contribution to the humanity!

I will miss you steve… you have been a great source of inspiration for scores of youth the world over…

I will strive to stay hungry and stay foolish…

Have a great journey..


One the greatest motivational speeches of all time. An example of what a human being can really strive for and achieve…

Mission CAT 2011 – It all boils down to, “How badly you want it.” Dig deeper, you will find more reserves.

Hi Sreeni,

Got your email id and hope you might help.

Sreeni, Just to give you a brief insight, I appeared for CAT-2009 and got 98.1%ile. Since I scored low in Verbal, I did not get calls from any of the top 10 colleges. Finally, I was offered admission in NMIMS-Mumbai, but I gave it a miss so as to give another shot for IIMs and FMS.

I appeared in CAT 2010 also but scored a mere 93%ile. Ambitious very much though, I do not know what to do and how to go with this exam. I am very much ambitious, start really well for things, but in the middle, I drop the enthusiasm and the will to take it to the end. Had been trying to tackle it all the way till now, but nothing seems to work.
Finally, on this day, I am a 24-year guy who is working with Tech firm @ Rs 3 lpa. Don’t know what to do and how to go for CAT this year with hardly 2 months left for preparation.

Please guide me how is it possible to crack this one exam so that my whole life could change. I hate technical job. I have always dreamt of making my career in Business world.

I aim to fly high but cannot see the horizon. Please help…!!

A CAT 2011 aspirant
Dear friend,

To help you, let me narrate my story.

I gave CAT in 1990, prepared along with my brother. I was then doing my M.Tech from JNU. I did all the hard work; he did the smart one – built on my hard work! He focused on the end, while I am very focused on the means. He made it and I could not make it. I then joined TCS in 1991. I loved creative work and my work in systems programming at TCS was very interesting. Yet, while into my second year at TCS, I observed the seniors there in, and I figured out that, as you grow in the organization, it ends up being managing.

In 1992, I was charged again for getting into IIM – Babri Masjid incident happened a couple of days before CAT, and it was deferred by over two months. I lost steam, as I was neck deep in my project as the head. I worked in TCS for three years. I fought tooth and nail with TCS, not to go abroad, as I wanted to get into IIM. I continued my preparation with vigor to again go after it in 1993, and made it to IIMB.

Hailing from a humble, economically low-middle class family, with a father working in central government, who used to get a salary of 3-4K a month even a couple of years before his retirement, we realized that education is the panacea for our future. Though this realization dawned only after class 12. Parents helped all the way, by supporting whatever we chased.

I immersed headlong into making my career and life only after class 12. Being the eldest at home, I was always trying to figure out what next by myself. Unlike today, then only means of information was a newspaper, if you are able to afford one. Whether it is IIT or IIM, I got to know about it only when I entered a better institution at the next level. And I tried to catch up with what I missed, a couple of years down the line.

So, whenever I chose to do something, I was very focused and adamant at getting in. Whether JNU or IIM, I was very determined. I am very tenacious and go-getting once I set my eyes on anything. Perhaps the struggle I went through during the growing years and the outlook I got due to it, makes me a fighter. Mind you, inherently I am a lazy fellow. But set a goal, I will go after it like mad.

Preparation for CAT has been a grinding one. Single minded pursuit. Only aim was to be in IIM. For those three years of my pursuit, I did not lose my steam. Kept myself hanging there with immense drive from with in.

People used to ask me why I was so hell bent. Why not go abroad through TCS and enjoy life. Most of my friends from those days who took that path are doing well in life. I wanted to do something on my own and I was not wired to be in that programming and consulting space forever.

From June – December, I knew nothing but CAT and Office. Got to know Diwali only when I heard crackers being burst outside. Home being a one-bedroom government apartment that accommodated six people including four children who are into studies, I had to find a peaceful place to prepare. I prepared either at my office staying overnight or I requested the ‘chowkidar’ in the neighborhood school to open a classroom for me. I used to crash on the office carpet or on the bench of the classroom by 10pm. Got up at 2am every night to prepare till 7am, then got going for the day. This continued the whole of 5-6 months, every day. IIM happened and I learnt a lot about how I can succeed in life.

The journey as an entrepreneur / edupreneur for the last 16 years has been no different. It is a challenging day, every day. If we want to do things that we have never done before, we will go through the same emotions and grind.

It all boils down to, “How badly I need it”.
You need to ask, how badly you need it. I am sure you will find the drive and ideas to schedule your next three months to crack it.

I am sure you will. Attend my webinar – “Dream It! Do It!” I share all my learning from my journey that keeps me going, into this session that helps people push their own boundaries.

I hope, you are now determined to go after it with all your might in the next three months.

Dig deeper, you will find more reserves.

Best wishes and love,


%d bloggers like this: