Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From fortune hunting to institution building!

Happy is the Founder & CEO of 

NEMCO - New Era Manufacturing Company.

Happy had to drop out of school to start a business of his own. 
Unlike most of us, he could not go to college, graduate and take up a comfortable and steady paying job. 
He had to learn to survive the hard way. 
Everyday was an adventure in survival and he learned some very difficult lessons that were served up to him by  the school of hard knocks. 
Everyday was an examination he had to pass or face the prospect of failing with merciless consistency.

He grew up admiring the several companies that started around the same time as he did, but went on from being an ordinary, small and medium enterprise to becoming big and extraordinary. 

He wondered to himself, ‘After all, we all of us are in it to make money and hunt for our fortunes. All of us are braving the same battles of daily shortages, perpetual scarcity, endless queues for basic amenities, limited allowances for capital investment at painfully high rates of interest that discouraged enterprise.’
To cap it all, there was the  plethora of quotas, permits and licenses that were monopolized by the wealthy few and sold off at a premium to the underprivileged many. 

Curiously, while many fell by the wayside, a few not only managed to survive but went on to grow and become enviably everlasting. Could he also build NEMCO into an everlasting company?

Happy knew that great leaders were doing something differently to make their companies everlasting. 
When he asked his friends around, nobody would tell him. 
May be they did not know or want to find out.

Happy was undeterred. 
He simply had to know.
So, he resolved to find it out for himself. 
After all, ‘If they could, why can't he.’ he wondered to himself.
He wanted to crack the mystery and the magic underlying these everlasting entities.

Are we ready to graduate from being a mere fortune hunter to becoming an institution builder?  

Monday, April 14, 2014


Happy’s dilemma.
How to put the fun back into managing his business? 

Until sometime back, business was sheer fun for Happy. 
Not so now.
And therein lay the problem. 
Quite like owning a BMW, his misery or happiness originated from the choices he made.  He realized that unless he understood the consequences of his choices, he may never be able to make it worthwhile. 

First, he discovered that there was a dilemma to be dealt with: 
If he were to assume his business to be like the BMW he owned, it was no fun owning an expensive possession that gave him no joy. It simply made no sense owning something for the sake of owning and losing whatever we had. So,one choice would be to  suffer it and live with it. He could hold on to it! 
On the other hand, he wondered it it was wise to continue when misery was the only guarantee. 
Was he so powerless that he could not find a way out of a boring routine? 

Second, he chose to think differently.
‘Imagine. What if I could break free from that dilemma? What if I could restore the pride of ownership without losing the joy of enterprise?’ he wondered to himself!

Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? 

Yes it is, indeed!
Business Twenty20 helped Happy make that mind shift. 
It can help us think differently and productively.

It may be challenging at first but can get seductively simpler and more enjoyable if we persist with the tough minded thinking it calls for. It encourages everyone, more particularly the owners of the business, to explore their options with an altered  perspective. 

From an either-or perspective, to a both-and perspective.  

Why should we be so concerned? 
Because it is our life and we owe it all to ourselves.
Because we are in competition with tough minded stakeholders. 
If we don’t think tough, we will merely work to our own disadvantage and help our competitors choke us out of our own existence. Our mindset dictates not only our own destiny but the fortunes of all those who look up to us to lead them. 
They trust us. 
The privilege of leading them comes with an obligation to out-think ourselves and vindicate the faith they have reposed in us.

Business Twenty20 is an illustrated business novel. 
But the subject is no fiction. 
It is real and, concerns all of us.
The novel is based on day to day dilemmas and offers insights on how to resolve them gainfully. 

Who may the owners be? 
Founder business owners, Solopreneures, Profit center managers and country heads and Subject Matter Experts who offer techno-managerial expertise or provide professional advice to their clients. 

We may think we are not the owners. 
Think again! 
We all are, and it concerns all of us.

Let Harpreet ‘Happy’ Singh guide us through the journey of life and light up a joyous future!

Get ready to watch this space tomorrow!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sharpen your business acumen

Why do it, if it is not for fun?

Imagine ourselves on our way to work, riding a nice BMW.
Everyone looks at us with envy while we try to hide our misery. 
Why should we feel so miserable inside?
Because, the traffic is thick and our journey is a series of stop-start-stop-start. 
We own the car no doubt, but everybody outside of us, controls the traffic.
We are on a journey we don’t enjoy performing any more! 
It is not what the highway cruise we dreamt about when we took delivery at the show room!
What plays on our minds at such moments?

That is the MIND GAME.

The game that goes on all the time in our minds.
Unless we rule the game in our minds, we will be thoughtlessly persistent and short change our own selves, at the cost of our own self respect.

Welcome to Business Twenty 20.

On the one hand, we cannot let go of the BMW. Out goes our asset, taking our self pride along with it.
Yet, we can’t suffer the BMW any longer because we feel cheated, unable to have the fun we were promised.
What to do? 
Would we continue doing anything if it is no longer fun? 
Probably not.
Still, how many of us continue to play on unwillingly, even when we feel bored, depressed and denied our legitimate dues.

Harpreet HAPPY Singh, the hero and the CEO of New Era Manufacturing Company was exactly in such a predicament.
He wondered to himself, "Why do I do and continue to do the things  that leave me powerless to do anything about it. 
Unable to think of a better way, he resigned himself to fate. 
He felt stuck. Trapped. Exploited and vulnerable.
He realized very soon that that was no way to live. 
He had always known himself to be capable of innovating himself under the extremes of pressure, to out-think his reality and reinvent himself.

Prisoners of war, illegal immigrants, jail breakers, terminally ill patients and revolutionaries managed to successfully break out of their mind barriers and broke free into a brave and bright new world!
If only he could think like them, he wondered, he could change the prospects of his bleak future.

It is my pleasure to welcome the readers of Thought Catalyst to a sneak preview into my maiden effort to publish a book on transformational thinking for breakthrough management!

BUSINESS TWENTY20: How to build an Everlasting Company

Happy is still celebrating BAISHAKI with his friends.

Happy will be delighted to connect with you as he returns to work tomorrow!