Author, Coach, TEDx Speaker, Master Trainer & Managing Director of WOW factors India Pvt. Ltd.
“The Key to success in life is to be ORIGINAL and not ARTIFICIAL”
- Mr. Shankar Goenka.
This Month's edition of MarkInterview brings to you an Author, Coach, TEDx Speaker, Master Trainer & Managing Director of WOW factors India Pvt Ltd - Dr. Shankar Goenka. Get a wonderful insight into a person who belongs to a renowned and well-established business family, and learn how he chose the path of passion to become what he is currently.
Read through the interview to know the story of the one Dr. Shankar Goenka.
Mr. Goenka, can you give us a glimpse of your school and college life back in those days? How was it to be a part of Birla School, Rajasthan, and your days during your graduation at Sydenham College, Bombay?
I was a boy who was at 50% at school grades and would take a lot of effort to even clear my assessments. During my school days, we had a simple formula for selecting subjects like students who were extremely good at their studies would take up science, who are not so good would end up taking commerce, & arts? That’s where I fall, I come in. Apart from my studies, I was into sports too. I was a National hockey player representing my school, I was the head-boy of the school. Not just sports, I was in music, theatre and much more. The last time, when I visited my school as a chief guest, there was a feeling of nostalgia. It’s a worth-while experience.
Having said this, now I remember, had I only been confined to studying, I don’t think I would have been able to achieve or be at this position where I am today. They are a lot of students and interns who meet me and speak to me on various occasions, I tell all of them to develop their extra-curricular activities and there is a reason why I say this. It is because one might have knowledge of various subjects, but the ability to present/showcase that knowledge is what matters. Today’s youth face this immense pressure/inability, where they are unable to present themselves in spite of having the knowledge and that’s what today’s young generation needs to learn.
You have been associated with various government and non-government organizations, not to forget about the NPOs either. What is your experience like, with all these organizations?
I have had a great experience being associated with these organizations and I still continue my association. And why do I mention great is because, if one is performing his duties sincerely, they will be respected no matter what. Irrespective of the nature of the organization, my job is to bring happiness to people’s lives and that’s what I am doing. I get the respect and love from all my associations because I am good at bringing happiness wherever I go. (SSROY’s reminiscences of how SG have had the appreciation and applaud of the students during the school orientation session and shares a light moment). Today’s young minds do not need Gyan(knowledge)/Preaching. Knowledge is found by the touch of a screen, what they need is Hand-Holding. Practical experience matters a lot more than mere knowledge.
How does your day begin? Do you have a routine in place, or, do you prioritize your tasks as the day progresses?
100%. I Prioritize my tasks ahead of my day. We all must have traveled by train/bus/flight. Can we travel if we are not aware of the destination? In the same way, it is important that we prioritize and set our goals. I wake up at 5:30 AM (I wake up and not get up – there is a difference), I offer prayers in my bed and thank God for a beautiful day. I do a self-check by greeting myself and remembering my parents. My day starts with two glasses of warm water, followed by pranayams and meditation. From 7 to 8 AM, I visit the garden right opposite my house where I am nurturing a few plants and check their progress with the gardener’s help. I attend to each and every plant.
Once I get back, my wife serves tea and we both have a conversation for about half an hour. This time is only dedicated to my wife as we discuss all the activities. At 9:30 AM, I reach my office and take forward all the correspondence. I meet my team and plan the day. I read books and start working on the content, I write content and answer to the queries that I receive. Whenever I have to travel to the outstation, I make sure I reach ahead of my schedule, finish my session, and come back to my place so that I can take up my dinner at home.
What are your future plans post-retirement?
I am 52 now and I plan to retire at 65 from my current role. Currently, I am planning to set up a Hermitage (Ashram) by Manila – Uttarakhand, where I plan to start treatment and course for a period of one month. The course would be on Health, Spiritual Upliftment, and retreat aspects. My intention or purpose behind setting up of the Hermitage is... “We all believe after death, we would have a place in heaven. I wish to show people Heaven while we are alive”.
What is your story regarding quitting a well-established family business and starting WOW Factors? How did the idea of WOW Factors come into play?
My father is a well-known industrialist in our country. After completion of my studies, my father asked, "Do you want to be successful?" I said, Yes. His response was, "if you have to be successful, you have to be meaningful" and I chose to be meaningful. Then, I started taking care of our family business, our factories, traveling across countries on work assignments. The reason for me to come into teaching and being an orator was because of my children. I have a daughter and a son. As a father, my love was more towards my daughter than my son. So was my daughter. She was ardent, obedient, well-organized, disciplined and my son completely opposite of her. One evening on 10th September 2006 which was a turning point in my life, I came to know that it's good to earn money, maintain business, but all these don’t matter if we are not good with our children. It took me a month to gather all my courage and I approached my father, stating that I wish to be a teacher instead of an industrialist. His response was shocking, as he has asked me to leave home, to which I obliged. The next morning, I left home, came to Delhi, started a new journey and rest is all history!
Through Markeligion, what message do you wish to give our front-liners who have been working tirelessly and serving our country during these tough times?
GREAT PEOPLE and GOOD LUCK! My experiences say that life throws challenges at you in various forms and times, whenever there is a challenge, we are required to be at our best and that’s what our warriors are doing. I give my “Biggest Salute and Respect” to these brave hearts who are serving selflessly. At one point I think, I wish I had attained those specialized studies where I get a chance to serve and make our country proud.
What will be your advice/success hacks/success mantras for our readers?
Have a Goal in life, Learn as much as you can, Earn as much as you can, return to society as much as you can. Discover your dreams, desires, and passions. If you have realized your passion, I am sure your job has become easy. Passion becomes the motivation for the road ahead. I live with this mantra and God has been grateful to me always.
On a lighter note, can you share your lockdown stories with us?
During the lockdown, I have realized that most of us are staying indoors. Then how would animals that are around us, the cows, the dogs, survive? Who would give food to these mute beings? That’s when I came up with a plan to serve them. It is not possible that my family alone could serve these beings. In the society where I reside, we have a group and I have requested each one of them to prepare a little extra food so that we could serve these animals. I, my daughter, and my son every day would go to each and every house, to collect food from society by following all the precautions like wearing masks, social distancing, and give away the collected food to these beings. We have also made arrangements for water sources so that they can quench their thirst. That gave me immense satisfaction. My society supported my initiative in a long way.
By Kamlesh Singh, Shambashib Narayan Roy & Uday Kanth