I remembered a small incident at a very early professional life of mine. In those days, I had just joined as an Economist with Confederation of Indian Industry. While I was attending the CII World Economic Forum(CII’s flagship event attended by big names from industry), I met this elderly gentleman who has standing alone in one corner of the huge hotel room. I was just two months old in the profession perhaps and I thought I shall start by introducing myself to this man who appeared “not-so-posh”and “not-so-important” (actually many people attend CII meetings by paying huge sums just to come close with CII employees). Thus, I went up to him without any inhibitations and started talking to him about different topics. He was not very impressive while speaking and more than him I was the one who was speaking . I was immature to say the least, and I was very proud within, feeling as if I was telling an ignorant man – what all CII does and what all I generally do! I was foolish not to even remember how he introduced himself. After a while, I gave him my visiting card (the first ever person to whom I gave my first professional card) and told him that if he needs any help from CII he can contact me. He told me, he did not have his card in his pocket but asked me if I can give him a paper so that he can give me his contact details. I gave him another of my visiting card, on which he wrote his name and office phone numbers.
As I thanked him and went away I looked at the card – he was Mr. Narayanmurthy – the then CEO of Infosys whom I could not recognize. I felt really silly but was amazed to see his modesty while listening to literally “stupid chatter” from a young executive like me. The entire day at the event I did not even come near to him. However, during the evening when I accidentally bumped into him he recognized me and told me; he liked listening to me and wishes that I do very well in my career.
I shall forever remember this incident not because he is a wellknown executive but because in my early days in profession after meeting him I realized despite being an achiever one can remain grounded and one’s face can reflect that “Yes, I have toiled hard and have become an achiever”.
I felt enriched after being touched by the sheer genuineness. I wish India has more professionals like him.