213. Learning from 2012
When I look at the year gone by and think of the various things I have learnt there are few that come to mind that I think are worth sharing. If they inspire some of the readers of this blog so be it. It will also help in being a record of things I experienced in 2012 –
Learning to deal with conflict of interest: Organising the PR fraternity in India together for a weekend of learning and sharing meant wearing two hats. One at work and the other after work while putting together an event that had my company’s India office as a stakeholder. But neither the office in India nor I took advantage of this position
Learning to be fair: Dealing with sponsors and speakers who are big shorts in their own right was not easy. But sitting 7500 miles away it all seemed like a cake walk. And the reason for this was that everything we communicated was genuinely fair. It is easy a choice between doing the right things and doing everything right.
Learning to design and market an event property: I have worked for multiple clients driving events from theater festivals to golf tournaments, from product launches galore to fashion shows. But conceptualising and executing an event that that needed extensive marketing was something I had never done before. But on a shoe string budget it was all possible.
Learning to create a brand from scratch: In 2012 under the aegis of The PRomise Foundation it was possible to create three brands and roll them out- PRAXIS, PRACCASA ans the Foundation itself. Power to a strong belief. There’s more to come…
(the first four learnings pertain to my involvement with PRAXIS 2012 that i helped organise in India in November)
Learning to ‘Make the most of now‘: Be it visiting 5 cities in 12 days during my India trip or volunteering at four high profile international events the trick about grabbing opportunities is not to be forgotten. Each experience is a treasure trove of learning. Glad to be in a city that offers so much.
Learning to work in a foreign country: Having lived for three decades in a developing country it takes courage to throw oneself into the world’s superpower working with the best minds in the business. But all of it has been smooth. Thanks to a lot of reading, knowing and paying attention to detail.
Learning to balance work and life: The luxury that working in America offers is the discipline of working from 9 to 5 literally with ample time to pursue other interests. All these learnings you are reading on this blog would not have been possible in a developing country. They call it this country a superpower for a reason.
Learning to give: As much as we Indians boast of being charitable and generous people our giving is limited to ‘in kind’. When it comes to loosening our purse strings and giving hard cash to causes or to charity we lag behind. I have learnt to be more philanthropic after spending a year in a country that has been built on goodwill and donations.
Learning to do the hustle: Yes – in the midst of all that was happening in my life I managed to learn this awesome dance form called the Hustle. And hoping I can pursue it in the months ahead.
Learning basic mandarin: Just to get my feet wet in a new Asian language I took up Chinese classes which were well worth it. It indeed is an interesting art form.
Learning to ski: In a city and country that has lot of snow in the winter months, there was no way one could avoid learning to ski and trying some of that fun sport on icy slopes. In January I did just that. And what fun it was.
Learning Marketing Strategy at Harvard: Two days well spent at the world’s oldest university brushing my skills after I last did a course in marketing. The Harvard experience was memorable. It sets you back by a couple of thousand dollars but is worth it.