Here is an inspiring story for Demplates readers. The story talks about how I had to struggle and start over through a new life. If you are thinking of bringing radical change to your life, this story might be of some help to show that it is never too late to start over.
I started my career as a field data collection executive where the work would involve collecting market research data from field which includes people, businesses & government offices. For nearly two years, I travelled across south India to collect data and never thought about anything else. But an empty feeling started to grow when I approached the end of second year of my career. The job which I felt very exciting to do in the beginning started to become a mind-numbing one. As days grew, I was very sure that the job is not leading me anywhere and I have to face the world to make radical changes to my career if I need to improve. Since I was close to my business head, I had expressed my thoughts about my career decision to him and I was expecting to quit the job and search a different one in due course. Right then my boss told me that he has an exciting opportunity, but it would be a very difficult choice for me.
The office I worked had only branches across South India. They were always trying to expand to east and northern part of India. However, majority of people who worked in the office had very little knowledge about market in north. And I only can speak in English & Tamil during that time. My boss told me that he got a very big project from a client from abroad which requires pan India operation. Since I executed so many projects successfully in South India, he wanted me to go ahead and setup a new office in Delhi and start operating the business with employee ownership model. This would mean, I can no longer be a field executive, rather I can become a business owner (partly) and move to the top management at one go. Though it offered an exciting opportunity, I had two hurdles to face: language & responsibility for profit and loss. All through the two years of work, I have never bothered about profit and loss. All I have to do is to execute the projects. Now I have to take responsibility of numbers that I am making and I have to face the new area, new language and new people to start the office.
Change & Way Forward
The decision was very tough to make. I have never done any work in North as we always used to outsource such projects. It was a challenge. I had always feared to face such a situation. But that was like a once in a life time opportunity to change my life and leap to a new level. After serious thoughts, I accepted the challenge and moved to Delhi by the end of 2007 December. The first 3 months were cruel to me as people treated me differently as I could not communicate with them in Hindi. Nevertheless, I started to pick up few sentences just enough to manage with field executives and local workers. Since we never had a strong network to execute such a big project in North, I had to start everything from scratch. The first and bold step I took was to contact rural NGOs and LIC agents from villages. These NGO representatives and LIC agents often had manageable English speaking skills which is good enough for me to communicate with them. I managed to convince these NGO representatives and LIC agents to help me to execute the field operations in return I would help them either monetarily or through helping those who are in need. When this model succeeded in 2 villages, I have expanded it to other villages. By the end of 2008, I had connections with 13 NGOs and close to 25+ LIC reps from different villages and tier B& C class cities. The first project was a great success. During this period, my Hindi speaking skills were improved drastically as I always used to travel with field executives to understand the ground reality. Being started as a field executive, I can very well relate to the real time problems faced by data collection guys. I helped them by working with them. This helped me to gain trust among the employees. We started working as one big family. During the start of second year in Delhi, I started to pitch for new clients with confidence. We had managed to bag 7 big projects that year in addition to what are being sourced from Head office in Chennai. Since I worked with ground people, I was able to reduce the working cost drastically which improved our profit margin level. That year, I made more than 10 times of my actual salary that I earned the year before. Had I not accepted the challenge and started a new life in Delhi, this would not have been possible. I would have never learned how to spend my life with exciting days ahead. This change in my life made me to learn two things: change is ultimate and it is never too late to start a new life. Accept the change and life your life to the fullest.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu
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