Best IDEAS for Business in India
N Chandrasekaran speaks of the joys and virtues of running. Excerpted from Runner's World...
I started running quite late — when I was 44 years old. It started with some concerns about my health. After consulting with my doctor, I went home, had a cup of coffee with my wife and reflected on making a change in my life.
Buy a pair of running shoes, Chandra, she said. The next morning at dawn, I exited the front door, as the proud possessor of a pair of brand new running shoes. Puffing and panting, I ran 2k along the sea front, repeating this the next day. I did not have a trainer; my engine ran on will power only. After eight months, I completed my first marathon.
The impact of this was profound in my life. When I go on a business trip anywhere in the world, I go running with employees, friends and business partners. Running gives me the opportunity to reflect; it opens the windows of my mind. Issues become instantly less complex, solutions come to me in a mysterious way. Some of my best business ideas have come during a run.My job is very demanding, I travel 200 days in a year and constantly change between time zones. However, I make room in my diary for running every day. I am miserable if I don't get to run any day.
Apart from running I am also an avid trekker. There is nothing more humbling than seeing the sheer majesty of nature when walking through the Himalayas. Running builds a great sense of camaraderie — when I am in the starting section, together with 45, 000 other runners, there is unique feeling of "oneness" that no other experience can bring. Being a runner has greatly shaped my thinking as a leader.
You may call me a long distance thinker. Running a business is like running a marathon, the similarities are numerous. You have to decide on the length of the engagement, develop endurance to handle setbacks and increase speed when the competition demands it. You have to perform with your heart and your mind; you will not get lost on the way if you have a good road map. You will get nowhere without discipline, this is what I always tell my employees in speeches.
The best advice I can give to novice runners is: prepare well, apply yourself and start moving. Get up early and go for a long distance run, even if you're stressed or tired. You will return more fit than when you left. I feel stronger, healthier and more competitive than ever. Ten years ago, I had never taken part in sports, now have completed some of the world's major marathons.