Monday, January 9, 2017

Sorokasoft Turns 19!

Premchand is a most intriguing person. High on ideals, fortitude, honesty and passion. Someone who keeps moving forward to his own beat against a sea of hurdles, someone who wears his vulnerability on his sleeve and someone to whom you can feel an instant connect to simply because you know he is so genuine. A product of the JNTU Engineering College at Hyderabad, Prem started his journey in BEL before moving out on his own and starting his venture Sorokasoft. Dealing with partners, business vagaries, employees, the emerging gap in his vision and market needs was part of the journey and Prem held on through these 19 years. Today he seems a far more happier and content person, more accepting of himself and clearer about what and how he wants to achieve his life goal.

Prem attended one of the first 'Champion's Mindset' program that I had conducted with Amar at the Centre for Organisational Development in 1008-09. He had sought Amar out as his mentor on his journey and as part of that, he attended the program which he says was immensely helpful to him. I am glad he benefited from our program than we did because we kind of slowed down after that and went separate ways. I do far less of the program. Maybe I should do more of those.

Prem always invites me to the company get togethers and I always go. He is not one you would ever refuse. Yesterday being their 19th anniversary, the team got together and Prem invited me to join. After a long conversation with him where he told me his story in detail, we joined the program with Amar and the others. The lamp lighting ceremony done, Amar spoke and I was asked to speak a few words too. I spoke mainly of three things.

Firstly, about work itself. How we are defined by work and how we can create something beautiful in a lifetime of focused work. To do that we must be aware of the purpose of our effort, why we are doing what we are doing. What are we building, what are we part of, what are we contributing to? What can I look back 20 years down the line and say, hey I was part of that. All great companies have been built in 20-30 years time. You can do it too. It will happen one day at a time. It will happen when you bring great focus and concentration to your  work. Remember this, either bring yourself fully to work, or don't. Give it your everything while at work.

Secondly, the Stockdale paradox from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. Be aware of the big vision you want to achieve. Don't be scared of that. Pick some beautiful vision you would like to see after 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years. Something you would like to create. Hold that thought (Som said 100 crore in 5 years). But at the same time be fully aware of the brutal facts of the day. Keep your faith in the outcome but don't disconnect from the brutal facts of the day. You have to deal with this, survive this, find a way out of this and then you will achieve the big vision. Don't hope like the optimists that Jim Stockdale said, were the ones to die first. Daily, focus on the brutal facts, every second, until you find a way out.

Thirdly, that responsibility brings freedom. It's a word that adds burden to our shoulder. But look at it this way. When you take full responsibility you can detach from the story - you can find full freedom. You can do things the way you want to. You can find a million ways to do your work a thousand times better. You will do it with full responsibility, full freedom and add great value to the work you do. Until then, your work will always restrict you, constrain you.

So go ahead Prem and the Sorokasoft team and build what you are all capable of building, this great dream and vision. Build it wholeheartedly, with care and love. It will be a lifetime of work well worth it.

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