My name is Har Kishanlal Agrawal – my friends usually call me HK. I am 1947 born (73 years).
At this age, I thought of creating a Blog to share some of the learnings of life based on my experiences.
I was born in a small sleepy town, Jodhpur, in Rajasthan in a well to do family. My schooling was in Hindi medium in ordinary Government aided schools. Then I did my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from MBM Engineering College in Jodhpur in 1969. Till completing Engineering, I was staying at home only and had very little exposure to the world beyond my comfort zone of Home, Friends, College.
After Engineering, I decided to go for MBA at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad. Even in 1969, getting admission in IIM was not very easy. It involved a written test, Group Discussion and Interview. While I was confident of a good performance in Written test, Group Discussion and Interview were slightly awkward. I was shy, my spoken English was not very well polished, vocabulory rather limited. As a result I do not think I did so well in Group Discussion. Interview, as it involved one on one interaction, was reasonably good. End result that my name was placed in the wait list for admission. But finally I got selected.
Joining the course at Ahmedabad was a huge change in my life. Most of my classfellows were from large Metros, came from elite English medium schools, studied in reputed institutes like IITs, came from different parts of the country, spoke different languages and were much more worldly wise. Moreover, many of them knew each other well having studied together in colleges like IITs. I felt like a frog which was tranported overnight from a small well into a vast ocean.
After the initial jolt, I quickly learnt to adapt to my new situation. I played from the area of my strength – strong CPU – and soon made myself known in subjects like Quantitative methods, Finance and Accounting, Economics. I also made many friends (friendships which continue till date) and polished my social skills.
I think I learnt a lot during those 2 years, both inside and outside the classroom. I discovered that God has given me a strong input device (anything I observed, read, heard would immediately get stored in my mind). And one of the biggest strengths was a powerful search engine (like Google) whereby whenever I heard a few key words, my search engine would bring up data on that subject from my Hard Disk :). This way, I got much more traction from my limited knowledge.
Over the years I have honed these skills. Going through many organisations as an employee and later as a consultant, I developed a portfolio of some jokes, some real life incidents and tried to derive management principles and simple truths of life from these.
Empathy and building relationships (friends, colleagues, larger family, neighbours, organisations) has been a passion with me. Often I would prioritize nurturing relationships even at the cost of losing an arguement or at times losing money. I always delegated to myself the role of a glue which binds things together.
For a long time I have been using my learnings with friends, family and organisations I work with. Many of them (not the least my own children) have been insisting that I put together all this learning in writing so that it can reach a wider audience. Hence this blog where I share whatever I have learnt and observed both in relation to business situations and also in relation to personal life.