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Rahul Kashyap
Rahul Kashyap

Rahul Kashyap

Entrepreneur

StratSol Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd

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My role model
I wish I had one. Mahatma Gandhi is certainly someone I admire along with Karn, the brave character in Mahabharat. But they are not my role models in professional terms. I certainly meet people with a calibre or skill sets I may want to acquire but they are like benchmarks. I am still, genuinely looking for someone who can be my role model. People generally say one must have a godfather to do well in journalism. I never missed it though. As an entrepreneur, however, I think having one would make life a bit easier in terms learning on how they negotiated similar challenges but also getting inspired continually.
Important decision
The first and foremeost that I chose journalism instead of civil services as my first career. Secondly have friends who can critically appreciate me. Becoming an enntrepreneur at perhaps what many would say a high point in my career, was of course a big decision. Solely mine. It was a strange concoction of rationality, overdose impulse and conviction. No regrets so far. Being my own man, is one decision that I always hope never lets me down.
My achievements
I have always been able to reinvent and reinnovate myself. A completely selfmade person, I am proud of every small thing I have done be it getting into JNU, getting my first job, joining Greenpeace and bringing about a sea change qualitatively and quantitatively in an environment like India would be my personal favourites. But nothing to beat founding StratSol Consultancy focusing on conflict mitigation between corporate and NGOs a new, novel and relevant concept for India.
Ensuring success
Remain attached to the family and few friends, thats where the strength and the right criticism comes. Be ready to acquire new skills. Trained as news hound, remain alert to the develeopments that matter and listen more than one speaks. And most importantly prioritise and focus.
Degree that I recommend
There seems to be an overemphasis on MBAs. I want to do one and see if it is actually worth the hype. Not for a role in career but I do wish to finish my Law degree.
My strongest skill
I would rate people management as the first. Strategic thinking with lot of common sense would would follow soon. Political analysis, content management, decision making, editorial leadership and understanding of the corporate and government worlds help develop a 360 degree communication perspective so essential for any business, more so for mine.
More about myself
The way business whether media or corporate function appears to be a cosy club of people. And to do well, inspite of them, needs resilience. A very stron will power, supreme confidence in onself and unwavering faith in conviction and values. It matters very briefly whether one speaks with accent as long as one speaks correctly and with conviction. One should not get flustered by mediocrity doing well, dont even mock them, not worth the time and effort. Have faith in oneself and originality of one's ideas.
Influenced by
While I don't have a role model in professional terms but my parents especially my father has influenced me a lot. This is largely because of his deep faith in family values, his nature of giving instead of asking for anything. I admire his uncomproising attitude despite very many struggles that came his way because of his conviction. A very wellread man and a person of very fine taste, he is very liberal in his thoughts, perhaps decades ahead of his peers. He is very democratic never imposing his views allowing all of his children to decide for themselves in life. I pray his scarifices don't go waste.
My family background
I am the son of a professor father and my mother, a devout homemaker. I have three sisters. We had an amazing bringing up in a typical middle class Indian environment where a great emphasis was given on fortitude, character, courage and conviction in order to surmount challenges without compromising on self respect. I have a loving wife Sweta and a naughty six year old daughter Tanvi. Sweta is an agricultural scientist who currently works as a consultant and devotes her time mainly to Tanvi who shows keen interest in dance and music.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
A leader is head of a team. He must be team player, managing aspirations of the army that he commands. One must trust, delegate and allow an environemnt where each member can think independently and creatively. A problem solving attitude and being a doer, generates respect. Last but most importantly, taking the blame for failure and sharing success is the key for becoming successful leader.
Initiative to develop a country
Never lose hope. Having said that,I suggest constant skill upgradation, not hesitate to exeriment with great ideas, create clusters of business opportunities and be part of the political discourse to bring about a sense of discipline among the political class. The disconnect between the polity and professionals helps no one. Utilize the governnace and other citizens tools to keep a check on the ruling class. Help in wealth creation through technological and other innovations.
Couple of years from now
I see myself recognised as a constant self innovator who brought the idea of resolving conflicts between corporate and NGOs thereby creating environment for harmonious development of India. As someone who helped create wealth more equitably and responsibly. As someone who was fuelled by conviction and took a risk not bothering whether it was the right time or wrong.
Important lesson learned
Firstly, nothing is predicatble. Unless there is self-belief, things can go totally out of control. Very few things happen as planned. Not many who promise, keep them especially while giving business. Having a fall back reserve is a good idea.
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Honestly, the education system in India is a 'neither here nor there' thing. It is in a situation of mess whether it be the top metros, tier I and tier II cities or villages. It is failing to produce students who are employable in the available job market neither ones who can create their own market space. It is a difficult situation where the market complains of non availability of right skills while there are many brilliant students languishing unemployed or doing what they should not or can not do. Unfortunately, the privates are hardly better that the government ones. And those who are doing well are doing so beause of the system but inspite of it. The education system needs a complete overhaul. Urgently.
Brief description about me
I crave for luxuries of a small town and look forward to a day when I can exchange my present for a stay in my idyllic hometown. My staple diet is news. It is another matter that I kept reinventing myself and could not remain a news professional the entire life. Soon after post graduation from Jawaharlal Nehru University, I joined Press Trust of India as a trainee journalist, later becoming Principal Correspondent. My visit to Pakistan where I met Gen Pervez Musharraf, interviewed foreign minister Mahmud Kasuri, my interviews of the then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and off station coverage of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are some high points. At TV Today, I learnt about the visual media while Greenpeace gave a distinctly different vantage point on Media, public policy and strategy at a global level. While happily at the job, I was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug. Currently at StratSol Consultancy, we help companies and NGOs mitigate conflicts,craft CSR
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