Host Nishtha Mehta explores, uncovers and brings to light ‘In the making’ backstories of Asian Leaders – from startup entrepreneurs to corporate intrapreneurs and visionaries. What they have built is not a done job, it is very much ‘in the making’ – it has exclamation marks, commas, question marks, spaces and celebratory full stops – but it continues – still ‘in the making’. #NishHosts series
[08:05] Let's talk about what this podcast is going to be about? -- That's the concern I have with the word 'start-up'. People think it's this independent entity but essentially 'starting-up' is in any context. In a new job or a new situation. Even though I've been in China for 13 years, every couple of months I feel I am 'starting-up', starting all over.
[09:53] You have to step up. Don't you? This is an important part of it. One thing inspiring about your story Nishtha and am sure people who know you know how you step up. It's a powerful skill to have. Does it come naturally to Asians? -- I believe it is part upbringing, part DNA, part also how you build that mindset. It's like muscle memory. Practice and build that muscle of not giving up, that muscle of resilience.
[09:53] And what about failures? I do believe our industry is talking too much about successes and get inspired by success stories but who doesn't fail or who doesn't fall? That's an important part of in the making which people need to hear.
[21:45] What qualities are you looking for in people you want to bring on the show? -- One thing is very close to my heart, my passion and I believe many people with starting-up mind set have. It's about committing to the uncomfortable. People with that mindset are more open to accepting that things might not go exactly the way it is, they are in the making. On a mission to create things for the benefit of others.
[27:40] Isn't it the case so many of these people don't always recognize how what they're doing is amazing? -- Yes, very much so. Everybody has different strengths. It's not just about inspiring others, it's about being able to help. I am on a mission to re-look at the way we are learning in our industry. To help people up their skills and up their game. That's what we're going to do here on In the Making. Like this one exercise I do - 'burst the balloon' - it works
[01:43] Tell us about your journey. What happened when you moved to Shanghai? -- I wanted to do something new and get out of my comfort zone. I was so confident that i'll leave one job in India and land another here when i come. But soon that confidence was shattered! I had a "reality check" within the first few months. A failure let's say.
[04:10] Going through the process of moving to China, what was that like while you were doing it? -- I used to cry every single day for three weeks. Simple things like finding vegetarian food was a nightmare. I spoke zero Chinese. It was truly starting from scratch...but that was the opportunity!
[12:23] "You have to learn how to fall, you have to learn how to do a safety roll too. How to slide on your knees, how to protect yourself, so you can get up and try again"
[08:05] What do you want to do here with 'In the Making' in the coming episodes? -- In the Making NishHosts series hopes to cover Asian Leaders, entrepreneurs, not just in start-ups but also from the Corporate world, tech companies. Untold stories. What they built is not a job done, it's very much In the Making. We often talk about what they've built. But it continues. The person is in the making, the product is in the making, the service is in the making. What were the infliction points in this journey, how they made decisions and what's coming up next from them. Give people a voice and mobilize the community to support one another.
[15:03] Do people in large corporate environments get this idea of still being in the making? Or do they just see a bunch of check-boxes with items accomplished and they're on to the next one? -- Things are changing fast. Especially in China, the speed is unprecedented. Corporate-types are quite nimble. Atleast the people i work with - change is happening. There are many many different approaches in the making.
[16:27] One of the things I do with CollabCentral, the consulting I run. It's not a company as such. It's a mindset. It's a way of working. Just because you are in marketing department, doesn't mean you can't be part of R&D new product development. Or if you are working with X Company, you can't lend your ideas to Y company. I am on a mission to gather more people in the network to work in an open source manner. Plug & Play.
[17:47] What is it like when you bring people together from across a value chain? Many times these people have never worked together. -- On the inside, people often may not know each other but they are working in broadly similar ways. The challenge is when you bring in external actors. The key is to make your partners think the ideas are their own.
[28:24] What exercise do you do to to stay in the game and committing to the uncomfortable? -- I can share one example. I call it 'Burst the Balloon' exercise. It sounds philosophical but it works! You should start with bursting the full blown balloon. Don't let it fizzle out. Burst the balloon. Realise that things are perfect but it shouldn't stay perfect. Don't stay in comfort zone. We are here on a mission to help others up their game, up their skills.
[29:28] -- Another exercise I do by committing to the uncomfortable - is something called as 'Buddying up with the Uncomfortable'. What I've learnt is that don't just go and talk to experts. Find someone who's also uncomfortable with that one thing you are but wants to learn or do or up the skills in that area.
[30:29] -- Another one important which I highly recommend - 'Volunteer your time with a value exchange'. we go and spend time, offering my skills of helping a startup with their marketing etc, helping pro bono; but in exchange we ask them to let us be part of their journey, let's say a new tech. That exercise is an important part of up skilling and staying fresh.
[33:28] -- Wrapping up. Calling out to the network here. What In the Making will cover in the future -- The utter pains. The delicious gains. The smart decision making choices - from some very interesting entrepreneurs, Corporate Intrapreneurs, Hustlers. How they are helping other people up their game, up their skills. And how they are also coming out of failures - which will be an important part of In the Making. Committing to the uncomfortable. And what's coming up next - In the making from them. Stay tuned! Or write to Nishtha with anyone to recco.