Rajan’s Linkedin posts

Sustainable Success Strategies

Here is the common advice I got from my seniors on joining the Indian Police Service – “You have to extract work from the sub-inspectors.” Like you would extract oil from coconut, squeezing out every drop. In fact, one otherwise well-meaning officer told me, “Don’t...

Simple things that really work

Whatever little goodness I have in my life, I owe it to simple, straightforward habits. All the fancy-sounding self-help formulas, often using terms like ‘energy’, ‘vibrations’, and ‘consciousness’, are mostly nonsense. As an example, when I woke up today I wasn’t...

Pace Yourself for Depth

Many years ago, a fund manager met me to discuss a company I happened to be familiar with. Before the meeting, he told me, “I am a little slow. Could you share a short note on the company that I can read at my own pace, so I come prepared for the meeting? I absorb...

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Rajan shares insights from his own life journey to help you build better habits in yours.

Breaking the limits

On the top floor of my building, lived my friend and junior from IPS and IIT - Sunil Asnani. In the evenings, we would often hang out on the rooftop, talking about his plan to quit the IPS and do an MBA from a US business school. The plan sounded crazy -- nobody we...

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Overcoming language barriers

For most of my life, I went to English-medium schools where nobody spoke English. However, from grades 1-4, I attended a government school in Bangalore where kids used English even for social conversations. That is the only real exposure I had to the language. Yet, it...

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The key to success lies in focus

In the first semester at IIT Kanpur, I noticed this guy whose class notes would just be half a page of tiny scrawl, scribbled with a ball-point refill. In the hostel, he would usually be playing cricket or doing bull sessions with friends. Clearly, not a recipe for...

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Finding meaning beyond luxury

I realized the beauty as well as the futility of luxury during my job at a private equity fund. In that company, every few months, we had offsites at the most exclusive luxury resorts in India, some of which had suites costing a few lacs a night. Undeniably, luxury...

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Start every day as a beginner

At an investors’ conference in Mumbai, I once asked a guy, “So, what do you do?” He was so stunned that for a few seconds he was speechless. Then, he turned to others and said, “You know, once, everyone knew me. Now I am asked what I do!” Realizing that I had...

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Unseen side of human nature

On 31st Oct 2002, a bloody riot on the roads of Trivandrum showed me an unseen side of human nature. That morning, a protest march of 20,000 people was demanding the release of an extremist political leader, arrested in a bomb blast case. As the chief of the...

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Commitment is the key to learning

At the fag end of my MBA, having had enough of finance courses and the hyper-competitive MBA crowd, I wanted a short break from the rat race. So I signed up for ‘History of Western Classical Music’, a course outside Wharton, offered by the music department. The...

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You can’t run away from reality forever

In 2009, when I first joined private equity investing, I found that we MBAs understood finance less than a typical Marwari businessman. Most investors talk only about growth and multiples (usually EV/EBITDA) but rarely does anyone ask: Is this firm REALLY creating...

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Prioritization in life

It was so unfair -- we were all fit, thirty-something guys, pitched against a team that included senior people, including a 70-year old. This friendly football match during a company offsite, in my last job, was going to be a no-contest. And it was. We were crushed,...

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You vs You

I write almost every day, except on Sundays. Some days, the writing flows effortlessly, like water. Ideas just snap-fit into words. Other days, it is like you are dragging a dead body. And yet, the key is to accept both experiences with equanimity. If you are able to...

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Knowledge keeps you relevant

When I left the Civil Services to join an MBA program, I found people looking down on technical knowledge as something low-value, meant for the ‘junior guys.’ The senior folks were the ones supposedly creating real value because they could speed-dial an Ambani or a...

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Prioritizing learning

At Wharton, in Prof Jeremey Siegel’s class, we had no place to sit for the first 10 minutes since people would crowd for his ‘daily market updates’. He was a rockstar professor but had one quirk -- to keep his teaching material exclusive, he would give his course...

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Finding luxury in simplicity

On a hillock in the jungles of Tripura, we were assigned small huts for our stay in the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) camp. This was during the IPS training when we were attached to our paramilitary forces for first-hand exposure to counter-insurgency...

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Building clarity through journaling

Three years ago, my startup was catastrophically burning cash. We only had cash to pay salaries for 3-4 months. To survive, we had to change the business model. But for that, we needed to survive. It was a catch-22, without a way out. Or at least, that is how I felt....

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Rajan shares insights from his own life journey to help you build better habits in yours.