What they don't teach you at Harvard Business School
Mumbai corporate honcho stranded in Nepal does some soul searching during downtime
Shivam Misra from Khar, founder and managing partner of Walnut & Co, a strategy and market access consulting firm in Singapore, flew from Budapest to Kathmandu, for business meetings in early March, but due to COVID-19, he found himself locked in Kathmandu.
"When I landed, Nepal had around six novel COVID-19 cases. I had no clue that Nepal or India may move towards a lockdown," said Misra, adding, "Some reports citing official figures say there are approximately 12,000 Indians stranded in Nepal. There are a huge number of labourers stuck here, being looked after by the Indian Embassy." He has been living at the Marriott in Kathmandu with nine other guests.
He said, "The Indian officials at the embassy have been stupendous. They have put forward my case to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). They have always been accessible on email or phone. I do feel a twinge when I think of family back home, but one has to be patient. Gaurav Aggarwal, in charge of this property, has been wonderful too, inviting me to his home, which helps dispel the homesickness a little." The entrepreneur's days in Kathmandu are full of, "reading, writing and exercise. I walk through the hotel property. I am a photographer; portraiture and fashion being my forte." Misra said, "The downtime taught me that we are in a mindless race. This may teach us to value what is true. My lens will now capture human stories differently."
When not behind a business desk, Misra will be thinking of "conscious capitalism. This is not socialism, for without capitalism the economy cannot grow. I will, though, recalibrate a more fair distribution of wages and a more equitable distribution of wealth."
Biz whiz Narayan Murthy spoke about how he changed his philosophy from socialism supporter to 'compassionate capitalist' after an unsavoury incident abroad. Misra's changing mindset too proves that we may come out of this pandemic altered in our hearts and minds.
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