Friday, January 19, 2018

Career Detox - Why you neet to start all over again?

How do you feel about your current career? Are you facing a mid-life career crisis? Do every day work challenges excite you or give you a sense of boredom? Do you feel that you probably belong somewhere else? Do you feel that you are in a dead end job with no prospects? If so, probably it is time to cleanse your career goals and give your career a spa treatment to rejuvenate your overall life. Hence, the need for a Career Detox.

When we hear the word ’detox,’ we probably think of increasing our vegetable content, eliminating alcohol, and tending our skin. Just like detoxing our body is crucial for our health, detoxing our career can bring us just as many benefits. Just as unhealthy eating habits and poor choices negatively affect our health, being unhappy in our career is just as toxic to our well-being. We need to understand what gives us a sense of fulfilment and enjoyment in our career, as we spend significant portion of our lifetime working in the same. Here are few steps you can take to detox your career:

1)      Start Inwards – Do a career audit. Let all the bad experiences of work and career drain out as you choose to reprogram your life. Understand what has been your career journey so far, list down your strengths and weaknesses and identify your areas of expertise. Identify where your areas of interest lie, identify where your passion rests and can what is it that you may want to focus on for the remaining part of your life. Discover your sweet-spot where your interests, experience and passion converge. Probably that will be a new starting point for the remaining part of your career.

2)      Re-configure your skills and package a completely new career – It is possible that you are good in financial management, however, the idea of working in finance related career roles doesn’t excite you at all.  May be you are good with sports too, however, considering your age, you cannot consider a career as a sportsman. In that case - mix up the two. Mix-up your interest in sports and skills of financial management and probably you can work around a career of managing finances for sport celebrities. Likewise, you can mix-up two or more career fields, skills and create a fresh career avenue – which is totally unique to you.

3)      Keep Learning – Signup new courses, explore deeper into the subjects you are good at or signup into a career stream that is totally new to you. It gives you a fresh perspective, not necessarily in understanding a new field, but also give you a perspective of managing your current career situation better.

4)      Seek Expertise – It may not be a bad idea to meet a career mentor or get counselled by a career transition expert who can offer you direction, guidance and right resources at this stage of your career. However, be sure of your expectations and how you think expert can be of help.  

Indeed, we are living in tumultuous times. Days of people working in a job for decades are long over as we move from a full time economy to skill based economy or gig economy. At one point it is feared that advances in Artificial Intelligence will eliminate most basic jobs to robots and computers and on the other hand we all are constantly in jobs which we could have best avoided. Whatever be your reason to detox, there is always a way out... Hindi Version of this article appeared in Dainik Jagran (India's No#1 Daily News Paper) this Monday. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Unwind - 4 | Musical Motivational Talk - Jan 27, 2018

Happy to share "Unwind 4 - Musical Motivational Talk" will be at M L Bhartia Auditorium, Alliance Francaise, Opposite India International Centre, New Delhi on Jan 27, 2018 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm. 

Unwind is a unique musical motivational talk which will help you make a stronger connect with yourself.  Unwind is a beautiful assortment of: Music, Poetry, Lessons & Experiences from life all of which lead you to an inward journey called YOU.

Tickets are available free of cost at Townscript at the following URL
Seating is on first come first serve. Event timings: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm. Block your tickets now and I look forward to meeting all of you at the event. 

Have a lovely weekend :) 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Striking the Right Chord - Why Performance Management Often Goes Wrong?

My recent article on Performance Management was published in People and Management Magazine.

"Treating Meritocracy and Mediocrity at par, during the annual performance ritual can weed out the confidence of deserving ones.

You may want to read the complete article below...

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Life Lessons from Demonetisation

Demonetisation has caught the frenzy of the nation. Almost everyone (irrespective of the money colour - black or white) has been impacted. While the learned are debating if the government intent of weeding out black money actually worked or not, common man continues to be queuing up in front of banks to withdraw their hard earned money. 

While the economic impact of this would unfold in the months that follow, here are some life lessons which are as universal as the principles outlined long before by Lord Krishna in Bhagwad Gita. Here is a ready reckoner of some of these universal laws: 

1) Change is the only constant: Irrespective of the level of money hoarded or earned, nothing can be saved from the law of change. The money that meant so much, suddenly became a useless piece of paper, in a matter of few hours. 

2) Karma saves you: I have heard many times in my career that to move up fast in live, it's ok to take shortcuts. However, all those who took short cuts or greased their palms over the years are running pillar to post, if they can save their black money into white. While some of them may still find their way, the fact that your karma saves you gets reinforced once again. 

3) Focus on Good Deeds : Help people to succeed in their lives. Do something good. While all the money can go away overnight, the good that you do in your life will come back in someway or the other. Focus on making lives better and not on accumulation of wealth 

4) Everything is Temporary: Even accumulation of wealth, the money we have and the big houses that we may create are all temporary. Anything and everything can change and in the overall scheme of things, we are not even a tiny dot in this cosmic universe. Forget about changing the world, we can't even stand on our own feet, should the laws or forces of universe change even slightly. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Unwind-II - Musical Motivational Talk | Feb 20, 2016

Friends, i am happy to share with you that Unwind - II: Live Unplugged - musical motivational talk session is scheduled on Feb 20, 2016 at Alliance Francaise, Lodhi Road, New Delhi,

Second edition of Unwind II is much more powerful and besides Guitar it will have Cajon, Tabla and Duff to amplify the overall musical motivational experience. The content of the program has been highly customized keeping in mind interests of the varied audience who has attended the event in the past. Musical pieces at the event shall include famous poetry of Kabir, Baba Bulleshah, Mirza Ghalib besides popular songs and bhajans as well. 

Registration for the event is on at:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Unwind: Guitar based motivational talk | Feb 21, 2015

Friends, New year is the time for making new resolutions, exploring new ideas and following new dreams. While you may chase all that you want in life, do take time out to discover your inner-self and Unwind.  

Unwind is a unique guitar based Kirtan + motivational talk that helps people connect with their inner self, live in the moment, relax and unwind.  Here are the event details: 

Timings: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Venue: M L Bhartia Auditorium, Alliance Francaise, 72 Lodhi Estate, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003
Duration: One Hour 
Language: English / Hindi
Artists: Vineet Tandon, Agnim Gaur and Rahul   
Contact Details:  or +91-9711797054
Register for the event on Event Brite:

To dream of the person you want to be is to waste the person you are. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Skilling Santa

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle All the way

Santa Claus is coming to town, distributing jobs away
Dashing through the growth, on a one horse open sleigh
Over the industry we go linking jobs away

The Merry & Not So Merry Dilemma

India will be the largest contributor to the global workforce, with working-age population (15-59) likely to swell from 749 million to 962 million over 2010 to 2030.

By 2020, the average age in India will be only 29 years, compared with 37 in China and the United States, 45 in Western Europe, and 48 in Japan. Moreover, 70 percent of Indians will be of working age in 2025, up from 61 percent now.

Industry sectors across the board are facing shortage of skilled talent. Here’s how the stats look: BFSI (5 million), Manufacturing (10 million), Logistics & Supply Chain Management (10 million), Retail (5 million), Hospitality (1.5 Million) Hair & Beauty (1 Million) etc.

According to a latest report from McKinsey, almost 40% employers say lack of skills is the main reason for entry level vacancies.

Skilling Goodies - The Santa Way

 For government agencies, the need to actively drive, push and pursue skills development agenda for nation building on war footing is much more than a necessity. Santa’s freebies & wish list here include: Increasing budgetary allocation for skill development initiatives, incentivizing vocational education, introducing fiscal incentives and tax exemptions are just the starters – there is a strong need to have a main course skill development menu which will feed into the demand of country’s youth and industry requirements.

 For enablers & regulators like NSDC, AICTE the need of the hour is to create a level playing field where the habitat of skill providers and intended beneficiaries of the skill development programmes can flourish. Santa’s freebies & wish list here include: creating standards & benchmarks of skills training delivery, certification and assessment along with the need to make skills training aspirational are macro level initiatives these agencies need to drive and very proactively to lead from the front.

 For skill providers, there is a strong need to believe in skill development as an instrument of social transformation. Santa’s freebies & wish list here include a change in mindset of the Skill providers that they are not just skill delivery centers – they are doors of youths’ aspirations and their future well being. They therefore need to establish scalable & sustainable business models, develop best practices in content development & delivery, establish skill development centers in the remotest of locations (to provide skill access), develop relevant industry linkages to create employment opportunities and above all have a heart for social transformation.

 For youth, Santa’s freebies includes the need to look at vocational education with a positive bent of mind and not just consider it as a step cousin to mainstream education. Skills are the currency of future and ability to do a task will keep one relevant and therefore employed – which no degree or certificate can ensure.

 For Industry, Santa’s freebies include rethinking job descriptions, rethinking hiring process and include provisions for hiring vocationally qualified people. It is time, industry come forward with a performance management system for the blue collar workforce, just like we have for white collar workforce. It’s time, industry come forward and commits to pay people on performance and not just restrict itself to payment of basic minimum wages. Active collaboration with sector skill councils and skill development centers will be a starting point for this.

 Finally, the biggest gift Santa can provide is that all these initiatives must lead to employment generation or creation of new jobs. All skills and no jobs will defeat the whole purpose of skill development and vocational education. Industry, government and skill providers must enable an ecosystem where new jobs are created, vacancies so created are deployed with relevant skilled people and where there is a mismatch – migration of skilled people at the location of jobs and vice versa should be considered. No job should remain vacant and no one who is skilled should remain unemployed is the mantra which shall be the driving force for promoting employment!

Wishing everyone a Merry &  Happy Christmas!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Can we make skill training aspirational?

Yesterday I entered into a chance conversation with one of the security guards who have been in my housing society for a few years now. As we discussed few routine items, I could clearly see how unhappy he was with his job and how keen he was that his children should get educated and get higher paying jobs. He is one of the senior security guards, earns around 7K per month and has four members to support in his family that lives in a village near Uttrakhand. While there continue to be a debate on the definition of what’s above poverty line (Rs 28.65 in urban areas per day) – that fact that higher cost of living, education and medical facilities (the basic necessities of life) makes it difficult for people to make their ends meet. And that’s one of the important reasons why people working as skilled labor want to send their children for higher education and not just skills training – because skills training programmes are perceived to provide low end jobs, don’t command hefty packages and are far from aspirational. Can we make skills training aspirational as higher education?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Appu Ghar in UP

With the mandate out in favor of Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh elections, its more like a Appu Ghar kind of situation - the elephants giving way to the bicycles ! Whether the bicycles can dance or not, we all have to wait and watch. Over the next few days we all will see how the promises made by SP in the election manifesto are actually delivered, with just the freebies component of the manifesto costing the exchequer over 11,000 crores annually and another 11,000 crores as a one time cost. Amidst other things, UP needs to get its act together as far as skill development & generating employment is concerned. As rightly mentioned in the party's election manifesto - "Independent India has got many of its prime ministers from UP, however what the state has got in return is unemployment, illiteracy and poverty". The manifesto does talks about education and povery but remains more or less silent on employment generation plans for the youth of Uttar Pradesh. (Except for the unemployment allowance of Rs 12,000 annually to unemployed youth above 35 years of age). UP accounts for over 16% of the country's population and youth clearly prefer jobs over freebies. The quantum of skill development task needed, the number of jobs to be generated is what will determine the collective fate of the state of over the next few years. As David Bloom quoted in an article in WSJ"India has to stay the course on investing in people. There's really a lot at stake. If it misses this opportunity it should still do those things in the future but there won't be as big a payoff."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why this Skills Di?

Just like the song 'why this kolaveri di' became an overnight success.. i think it's time India would need something like 'Why this skills di'? India does need a viral or an awareness building campaign on skill development - that's being talked about in almost every forum these days. So many lakhs to be skilled, so many crores allocated by the government for skill development and so on. However as the Prime Minster Manmohan Singh said recently - we cannot continue with the business as usual approach towards skill building. Rightly so. Considering the size and leviathan task - what's required is a war footing effort that will give the skill development agenda a quantum leap creating opportunities to grow geometrically and not just flat linear growth. 

What has happened so far in the skill development space is more like a first few overs of a test match and SPEED (like a T20 match) is what will address the huge skilling numbers we as a nation are trying to accomplish. 

Time for the skills di...