Carlos Ghosn On His Life ,Identity And Globalization


The first I heard of Carlos Ghosn was a decade ago. My friend Damien was his head of automotive-train research and boy did he hero-worship the man! Even in those days, I was mostly put off by this man’s philosophy of life though I could hardly have articulated why. But a decade on, I can bluntly state our differences:

1.I’m of the ” work is a part of life” school not the “work-life balance” school. So with me, its find personally meaningful work, work that feels like play and indulge in doing something joyful everyday. Family and friends, according to their capacity and interests, are welcome to join me in my work.

2.I’m cosmopolitan, but at the same time deeply rooted in my primordial identities. I have no interest in changing my stand to pander to either Nationalists or Internationalists.

3.Family is central to my life. The only reason I’m bothered about wealth is for the good life it can secure for family and the larger community, in that order. Sacrificing family and social life to make more money is not a compromise I’m willing to make.

That said, its not to say that it not worthwhile reading what Carlos Ghosn has to say. He is right in saying that where we are born need not limit what we become. And for a person who shares more in common with Carlos, perhaps he is a good role model. Damien has an Algerian father, a French mother, a French citizenship and education and practices Kendo , a Japanese style sword-fighting. He identifies as French because as he says,he believes in French secularism. An approach I can’t really quite wrap my mind round, but obviously it works for some people! Read more of this post

Work-Life Balance


Put yourself and your needs first. This is especially relevant for women, for society trains and expects us to put a lot of things ahead of our own needs. Don’t worry about being selfish. The stark truth is that, if you are not in top condition(physically, mentally and emotionally), you are not going to be able to work well and/or look after anyone else’s needs very well, for any length of time.

My way is to start with point 4 first. Don’t allow anyone to determine what your rightful needs are. You have a right to determine your own. Then go to step one and prioritize your needs. That way you can always be sure that what is important to you is not pushed aside by what someone else determines is important or urgent or that you yourself don’t get so caught up in something that is not so important, that you fail to give your time and attention to doing something that you find adds meaning and happiness to your life.

Then turn to point 3.Learn to politely and firmly excuse yourself, decline and say the words ‘no’, ‘enough’, ‘this much and no more’, ‘later’, ‘please wait’ etc. Teach yourself to be assertive and learn to deal with the negative reactions that come with your establishing your boundaries. Understand at an organic level, that making everyone happy all the time is not essential or even possible. The only way to happiness is striking a balance between what makes you and the people round you happy. Read more of this post

Leave The Crown In The Garage

wealthymatters“This is about 14 years ago. I was working in the office. And I got a call about 9:30 in the night from the existing chairman and CEO at that time.

He said, ‘Indra, we’re going to announce you as president and put you on the board of directors … ‘I was overwhelmed, because look at my background and where I came from -to be president of an iconic American company and to be on the board of directors, I thought something special had happened to me.

So rather than stay and work until midnight which I normally would’ve done because I had so much work to do, I decided to go home and share the good news with my family .

I got home about 10, got into the garage, and my mother was waiting at the top of the stairs. And I said, “Mom, I’ve got great news for you.

She said, “let the news wait.Can you go out and get some milk?”

I looked in the garage and it looked like my husband was home.

I said, “what time did he get home?”

She said “8 o’clock.”

I said, “Why didn’t you ask him to buy the milk?”

“He’s tired.”

“Okay . We have a couple of help at home, why didn’t you ask them to get the milk?” Read more of this post

I Don’t Think Women Can Have It All

wealthymatters“I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have two daughters. And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. And you have to co-opt a lot of people to help you. But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom. I’m not sure. And I try all kinds of coping mechanisms.

I’ll tell you a story that happened when my daughter went to Catholic school. Every Wednesday morning they had class coffee with the mothers. Class coffee for a working woman -how is it going to work? How am I going to take off 9 o’clock on Wednesday mornings? So I missed most class coffees. My daughter would come home and she would list off all the mothers that were there and say , “You were not there, mom.“I developed coping mechanisms. I called the school and I said, “give me a list of mothers that are not there.“So when she came home in the evening she said, “You were not there, you were not there.“And I said, “ah ha, Mrs. Redd wasn’t there, Mrs. So and So wasn’t there. So I’m not the only bad mother.” Read more of this post

DBG-Married To The Boss

As Dipali Balkrishan Goenka (DBG), 44, takes charge as managing director of Welspun India — the original textile company, started by her husband 28 years ago — she finds herself in the news. Indian corporate history has occasionally seen the First Lady of family business houses play a limited behind-the-scenes role in the business, but for the most part they have focused on CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities. Now, for the first time, the spouse of a major industrialist is to be promoted to the top job in a widely held company. Welspun India’s revenues and profits are a third of the group’s 17,000 crore turnover and it employs more people than all the other companies put together. Read more of this post

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