The “Doglapan book” author says as a child, I remember pestering my grandmother to tell me stories of their lives back in Multan. I loved to see the twinkle in her eye as she reminisced about the past and spoke at length about their fields or khet, as she referred to them. The one story that she would always tell me was about how, if the entire khet had to be covered on foot, one would need to leave early in the morning, and even then one would only be back the next day.
DOGLAPAN : THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT LIFE AND STARTUP BY ASHNEER GROVER
Book : Doglapan By Ashneer Grover
Summary of Book Doglapan By Ashneer Grover
The Author says a defining point in my life during my schooldays has to be a trip that I took with my mom, sister and my nanaji to meet my uncle (mama) who lived in Canada. This was much before the time when travelling abroad had become fashionable and flooding your social media posts with pictures from exotic countries, even more so. To say that I was charmed by the life I saw would be an understatement.
The Tale of the Pandavas
The Author says any account of the life of my grandparents wouldn’t be complete without this rather curious story. Legend has it that a Peer baba read my grandmother’s face and made a prophecy. ‘Tumhare yahaan paanch Paandav paida honge (You will be blessed with five sons),’ he had said. With the birth of her first son, the prophesy seemed to be coming true. So my uncle was named Yudhisthira, after the eldest of the Pandavas. Only their next child happened to be a girl, leading everyone to dismiss the Peer baba’s prophecy as hogwash.
The author says i was during the last two years of my school life that I made my first and only girlfriend. ‘Bhai ab cool dude ban gaya hai (Our friend is a cool dude now)’ was the reaction I would get from my gang of friends as I entered the couples club. But the euphoria was short-lived, as one fine day the girl declared that I was becoming too possessive about her and drifted away.
Mads: The Love of My Life
The Author says if my choice of joining the coaching institute Career Launcher, for cracking the CAT exam, was strategic, choosing its centre was even more so. Ditching the one that was opposite IIT in SDA Market in Delhi, I decided to opt for the slightly distant Kailash Colony centre, on account of a very important fact: the girls there were more happening!
I have to say that the place lived up to my expectations, as this was where I met the love of my life: my wife, Madhuri. Turns out that destiny had a big role to play in getting us together.
My Naukri Days : Years at Kotak
A one-BHK apartment in a slum rehabilitation society with a rent of Rs 16,000! That was where Madhuri and I began our married life. Having moved to Mumbai by myself in May 2006, I had to quickly look for a place in time for our wedding. And this seemed like the best option, given the Rs 48,000 salary (post tax) that I drew at the time.
The Kotak office was at Nariman Point, and it felt almost glamorous to drive through the Queen’s Necklace every morning to get to work. It helped greatly that these early years marked a boomtime for investment banking. I had joined Kotak as a part of their mergers and acquisitions team.
As a young investment banker, I was keen on digging my teeth into various industries, and I soon got a chance to work in a new sector. The second year at Kotak saw me raise money for the real estate client Rustomjee. I spent over a year with the client, learning the nuances of the industry and eventually raising $60 million for them through SUN-Apollo, a real estate fund.
Paytm and the Rebound MobiKwik Deal
The Author says as a part of my investment mandate, I had evaluated Paytm and the possibility of AmEx investing in it. This was before their famous Alibaba round. I had a long meeting with Vijay Shekhar Sharma. VSS was clearly a maverick founder and came across as a force of nature even in those early times. I simply loved the guy and the vision he had. We spent three long hours at the One97 Noida office, where he took me through the wallet story and explained how his ultimate vision was to build a digital currency.
We were clear that the future indeed lay in the wallet ecosystem. This, then, led us to move to the second-largest player, MobiKwik. AmEx eventually participated in the Series B round of MobiKwik. Technically, we were the lead investors in the round, having committed US$2.5 million.
A DARK PHASE
The Author says there are two buses. One reaches your bus stop first but thereafter, reaches your destination late; the other reaches your bus stop later but makes you reach your destination earlier than the first bus. If you belong to the service class, you will end up taking the first bus, as you would rather be on the path, i.e., doing something all the time.’