So, my 2019 started with a Hospital ambulance picking me up from the Aircraft,which brought me from JFK/Dubai and me somehow managing to get into the ambulance from my wheel-chair and drove straight to the speciality Hospital,where arrangements were already made and ready.I was back home,few days later,after an all round checkup to confirm that it was only my Femur fracture and nothing else.But,that was not a small thing.That too multiple fractures.My inability to walk,gave rise to the thought,that life may never be the same again for me.I didn't believe it.So, focused on my Physiotherapy,which was done at my residence by two specialists from the hospital twice a day.Today,16 months later,when I look back,I am still on physiotherapy,but can walk,move around,on my own and almost back to where I was. What an amazing recovery.
These 16 months were life changing.I spent a lot of time with myself on the Hospital bed in USA and in India,and kept thinking,where do I go from here.Luckily for me,given this huge responsibility,in all areas,and with no day to day boss above them,my sons,Rahul and Romit,responded with huge commitment and focus.Businesses started doing well.The cash flow got streamlined and a method though incremental was brought into my madness,and with base being strong,there was no looking back. Both our AI business and Notiva in Banks,started moving with good operational performances.Our Business School was always steady.The American client responded very well,and the numbers grew,while I was watching it from the sidelines.
I had a serious chat with my sons,and both of them were ready to grow.They just wanted to come back to me,once a day,for any eventuality,maybe for an hour only. So, that was the time,I started looking inwards into myself.Deep inside me, after what I have been through in 2018 and not to speak of my ByPass surgery in 2010,I was coming to terms with myself that as long as my brain is intact,which I thought,was very much in shape,I can do things,which gives me inner call,and all what I learnt,when I started looking at myself,during those Bhutan trips,came into fore,and I started seeing myself within me.Quite frankly, though I had started Kalyani,as my first Foundation Project,it was,I realised, perhaps to show my MBA students the value of "giving",than anything else.So, being an NGO or doing a CSR Project,were a bit far away from me,and more Institutional,I thought, than the urge I was feeling now.Strong,Focussed,and genuinely making a difference to that part of Society,which needed huge support.
It was altruistic,no doubt,but also touching deep within me,and making me feel,if we have to "touch human lives" our credo, it has to first and foremost touch ours. A very "personal" deep down act.
I looked up at the evening sky,with Aircrafts flying thru,and told myself, is this what people call PHILANTHROPY ? I was hugely touched. I had recovered from my injury,and started my first post surgery venture,based on my core internal thinking of Philanthropy,and started looking at a subject very close to my heart,the INFORMAL SECTOR. Which loosely said, that, you are paid for your skills,only when you perform,not otherwise.So, talent,skills,might not be in sync with getting a "job",and thereby a salary,which middle class people are so so used to,and thus your salary cheque doesnt get into your Bank,work or no work, every month. You have to earn it. Tough call,isnt it Young,semi-urban middleclass,felt the tussle between the Heart and the Head. ?So, it is completely market driven,though you are paid only on your talent. I told myself,I want to look at this segment closely. I wanted to give economic stabiity to the youth of this performing sector,without disturbing the eco system.
2019 was midway already. Somethings had to done fast and now.