Thinking Defines US

Dear Varun

I am writing this as an open communication because I not only intend to address you but also the great number of people you have managed to inspire with your ingenuity and enterprise. It is very evident that you have managed to attract the attention of business professionals who approach PR and Marketing as a means of sustaining their business at your expense. I feel it is extremely important that you are mentored and guided to take the right course of action and realize the enormous potential that you seem to manifest. Success has a thousand fathers and today many or most would like to bask in that success you have created. But as the best have discovered, not all good things last forever. More importantly, businesses and life don’t survive on slogans; they thrive on Creativity, Collaboration and Contribution. You deserve the success you have created today and it would be pitiful if you stopped here. You need to scale higher thresholds of Capability and Contribution to Society and your Success will soar further and farther.

At the very outset, let me state the obvious. You are Creatively Passionate, Visionary in identifying and / or Trending Opportunities, Pragmatic in Capitalizing those Opportunities and a Wonderful Optimist who sees a glass half full rather than half empty. In summary, you are extremely blessed and talented. It is also easy to infer that you come from a family that is supportive and resourceful with the added advantage of affording you the freedom of articulation and expression. Here is where your responsibility starts.

Just look at the number of young people who have been influenced by you and the comments that they have posted in response to your video. Your slogan “Dont Think” is well packaged for the purpose of the presentation that you made under the aegis of InkTalks with the interest sustained through the light hearted digs at our educational system across your allotted time. But the fact of the matter is that, there are hundreds of thousands of talented youngsters like you in India who cannot afford to take the philosophy advocated by you even as a marketing spiel; simply because of they are not blessed with your environmental background and resources. Leaving that aside, you need to realize that it is your Thinking that has brought you success; contrary to what you state or believe in. Please refer to the recent blog I’ve written titled “Are you goofing off at Work?” ( It is very clear that you represent the abstract thinking which few people around you have the ability to exercise and / or are willing to let you know. If you want to succeed further, this is what you need to sustain. Everything else is incidental!!!

I cannot blame you for believing that great business ideas are born when you are drunk. Most people believe that Innovation is born when you are naked in your bath tub like Archimedes did when he made a major scientific discovery that allowed the world to be connected for the first time physically through ships. But I am sorry to burst your bubble, ideas really don’t go a long way without Innovation as a continuous processes. Don’t stop going to the bar or anywhere else you mind find it convenient including the toilet to find your inspiration; but don’t mislead yourself and the others that you need the sweaty, grimy and smelly environment (depending on the place you choose to visit) for your inspiration. Even to be lucky, you need inspiration from a mind that is litter free!

It is great that you recognize your success in your moment of epiphany; when you saw a Cottonian walk past you in a bar (again!) wearing the hoody you designed. But you seriously need to stop romanticizing things like your failed education and success at business. People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates romanticized about their dropout status and business success much later in their lives. Yo have just begun and there is a lot of way to go before you can get there. There is no doubt about the fact that communication is your strong point and you must leverage this. However, any communication that is bereft of sincerity, will show up sooner or later, despite the best media blitz; social or otherwise.

You have actually managed to demonstrate from your success that ingenuity will always succeed. School / College merchandize is not a new discovery. It has been a major business in developed countries such as US, UK and even UAE for the past 40years. With your background, it is possible that you have been able to travel overseas and managed to buy or be gifted these kind of merchandize. However, you did succeed in taking that lead and bringing it to India. It is a huge multi-billion dollar industry that goes way beyond just clothing. The business enterprise in this industry is morphing itself into becoming a central part of a student’s life; edging in from the periphery. Your business model must aim to be a leader here. But that will happen only when you seek the right people to collaborate and help the growth of the foundation you have laid. This growth is not going to happen without thinking. And you will realize with growth that you need to employ all the three levels of thinking; Abstract, Lateral and Smart Thinking.

What you have managed so far is to think abstract and act smart. Don’t stop here. Go and conquer the world. Build a Mission and Vision of Alexander the Great. Create wealth in society. Dhirubhai Ambani could have been a lot greater than he is made out to be if he did not use the loopholes in the system to promote only his business. He could perhaps have been greater than Mahatma Gandhi if he did not stop at manipulating the Stock Exchange for the benefit of Reliance Shareholders alone and worked his ideas to create wealth in the Indian economy through a reformed stock exchange. In his defense, he was at a time in the Indian Society, where monopoly was so rampant that what he did was herculean in itself. Yet, history cannot be an excuse for what you have the potential to create. Be inspired by Jamshedji Tata who had the courage of conviction of founding the aviation industry in India and yet staying away from the entity that he created when it was nationalized. Ethics and Character can never be after thoughts and an epilogue in your business story.

About Subbu Iyer

Subbu Iyer is an Innovation & Transformation Leader as with 28 years of serving customers globally. He is currently the Chief Designer & Transformer at Energizing Innovation, an enterprise that is being founded to facilitate continuous growth in enterprises and as a consequence create societal wealth. The Radical Shift that this enterprise intends to employ is focusing on the Potential rather than the Performance of a business. He has been a serial entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in his past life, having founded Nihilent Technologies and Nandaki Systems besides being associated in senior leadership roles with firms such as Coopers & Lybrand, Cambridge Technology Partners, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and Steria.
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