Ramesh Ramanathan — Bangalorean Ramesh Ramanathan followed his heart from NY to Bangalore. He left a successful career heading a $100 million business at Citibank in New York and later in London as Managing Director and European Head of Corporate Derivatives, returned to his hometown and started an NGO, Janaagraha.
Never give up on hard work
I live by the adage ‘I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the luckier I get’. When I was working in the corporate sector, I missed my target at times, but never gave up on hard work. This saying always lifted my spirits and made me try harder to meet the next target.
Stand by beliefs
In an hour of crisis, I always ask myself – does my stand reflect my beliefs? My belief in learning grew when, four years ago, we started a water supply project with no idea of what to do. We made mistakes and faced criticisms, but stood by our beliefs. We heeded suggestions, corrected our flaws and saw the project through. But never, ever did we doubt our beliefs.
One of our board members always says, ‘God give me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.’ When we came back to our hometown and started Janaagraha, convincing people was a challenge. At that time, I kept this saying to myself and kept going.
There is no end to personal growth
To grow and evolve as a person, you need to live on the edge of your comfort zone and be on the lookout for new frontiers. This realization came when I left my job and returned to Bangalore. We weren’t sure of what lay ahead, but today when I look back, I am a far more balanced person.
Take your job, not yourself seriously
Once, a friend of mine gave me a piece of advice, ‘Always take your job seriously, but never yourself.’ Those who work in public life sometimes get carried away by their passion to do something new. I am no exception, but at such times, I remind myself of what my friend told me and it helps add humour to the situation and put things in perspective.