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.

Saving Childhoods

At a typical IITJEE coaching center in Andhra, a student wakes up at 6 am and studies till 10 pm. For 16 hours, 6 days a week, they slog, with a few short breaks to freshen up, eat, etc. And they do this for years. Time for sports = 0 Time for extracurriculars and...

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Persistence Pays

Once I was talking to a friend whose extended family had built a pharma business from scratch to worth tens of thousands of crores. Now, here is the most interesting thing -- In 40 years, they become multi-billionaires. But in the first 30 years, by comparison, they...

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Beyond the Startup Drama

The startup world has today become a circus. Once, ‘startup’ meant innovation. Today it has become this drama of VC funding, valuation, unicorn, week-over-week growth, blitzscaling, and pursuit of the next billion/trillion/quadrillion. Now, there is NOTHING...

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The Power of Daily Meditation

I have been working out regularly for more than a decade but it took years of struggle to make meditation a daily habit. Without guidance, it was really hard - every time, I would try but give up after a few days. But once I started reading some of the Buddhist texts...

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Handling difficult life-situations

In 2003, I was facing a potentially career-ending crisis. A group of tribals from northern Kerala landed in Trivandrum and started agitating. As the City Police chief, I had to ensure that there was no violence or obstruction. Since these were impoverished tribals, we...

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Happiness from Within

In investment banking and Wall Street jobs, the ‘bonus day’ is an interesting one -- everybody gets a cash windfall. Naturally, they should all be thrilled, right? Yet, NOT everyone is happy. Why? Did they not just get more money? Here are the two reasons: 1. Though...

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Life is unpredictable

When I joined the Indian Police Service, I was in for a big disappointment -- I was assigned to serve in the Kerala cadre for the rest of my life. Folklore says that for the Civil Services, the north Indian states are ‘good cadres’ -- good facilities, nice houses, and...

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Grind Leads to Success

Two decades ago, when I was serving as in the police, I saw the current Kerala Chief Minister, Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan, personally lead a protest ‘dharna’ before the Trivandrum Collectorate. At that time, his party was in the opposition. He was sitting on the road,...

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Life Beyond Resumes

Having pretty much wasted my 4 years at IIT without learning much, I was determined to not repeat that mess, ever. So when I joined my MBA, I was focused and doing well academically. But it created another problem -- I became greedy for top grades and felt like only...

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Too Much is Too Much

Two decades ago, during a lunch at some government function, I first met Mr. Karunakaran, former Chief Minister of Kerala. On his plate, there was just one appam (a dosa-like item) with some vegetable stew. Seeing him eat so little, I later asked his aides, ‘He ate so...

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Hard or Easy: It’s All in the Mind

During our Civil Services training in Mussoorie, one day, our physical training (PT) instructor announced the upcoming 9-day trek to the Himalayas. For the hardest trek route that led to Roop Kund (>5,000 m), when he asked for volunteers, so many hands went up that...

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Donkey + Donkey = Horse?

In my days as a private equity investor, I learned some interesting lessons about ‘synergies’, horses, and donkeys -- here they are 🙂 Every fund has the usual mix of investments, some good, others not so much. Most investments that do badly, do so for deep underlying...

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Punctuality is the key

During my early days in the Indian Police Service, I was once accompanying a senior officer to a police station for an inspection. While on the way, in the car, this officer was talking about the importance of discipline and timeliness. But ironically, while we were...

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Real tragedies

In 2008, working in New York, every week I would hear about my friends losing their jobs. In the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, every US bank was dead or tottering. Lakhs of people had lost their jobs, houses, and bulk of their savings. I thought I...

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Hardship as a Training Ground

During my training in the Indian Police Service, we had to do a long route march in scorching sun, with a rifle and backpack. What was the point of that? Similarly, if you go for any hardcore military training such as for commandos, they won’t give you a precision...

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