In a TV presentation, I learnt that our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi had his Master’s degree in Political Science. Though I couldn’t confirm it from elsewhere, it was mentioned that Mr. Modi wanted to go to the US for further studies. He had his passport ready. But then changed his decision and finally did not go. The reason given was stunning. It wasn’t visa or finance related. Then what was it? Give me a minute; I will get back to it.
As the younger members in my family were growing older, obviously their education and other requirements increased. To cope with the increased need for income, I decided take up a job overseas in 1977, till a majority of my responsibilities were fulfilled.
I was out of India for 9 years. This gave me many advantages. Besides the financial earnings, I got exposure to the world, gained confidence in negotiating international deals and made good friends. This helped me a lot when I started my business later.
As my responsibilities reduced and my wife and I wanted our children to be brought up in the Indian culture, we decided to return to India. As pointed out by our friends there, it was a challenge to come back and settle in India.
While staying abroad, I was completely disconnected and lost touch with my social circles and our community in India. For my fellow Chartered Accountants and professional friends I became an outsider and on my return, I realised I was unaware of the latest changes and developments in India in professional matters. Internet and websites did not exist then.
Given the choices between business, employment and professional practice as a Chartered Accountant, business was my first choice without doubt. I always had a burning desire to run my own business, experiment with business and watch the outcome.
My overseas exposure, no doubt, helped me gain a lot in business. But then I had to pay a price. I lost something important in life; to remain connected with my people.
Who knows, had Mr. Modi gone to the US, he would have lost touch with his people, with us. The reasons Mr. Modi gave for canceling his plans to go overseas was along the following thought, “I decided not to go out as I wanted to be in contact and in touch with my people!”
He had his full attention right from the beginning for His People. That has added to his energy now. We are sure to grow. Admirable foresightedness! What a devotion to His People!
Author: Badri Baldawa
Edited: Meeta Kabra