It is not surprising to hear the familiar story of achieving one’s dreams through dedication and hard work. It is surprising, however, to hear that dedication in someone’s voice like we heard from Raj Ganesh, a former consultant turned executive VP at GDI. Raj now lives in India as the founder and CEO of Arise ‘n’ Shine, one of the Top 20 Best Early Learning Companies in Chennai city, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, five years in a row. This company also provides emotional intelligence solutions for K-12 students.
Raj’s story with GDI began back in 1996, when he had a profound conversation with GDI’s CEO, Bhushan. “When I came on board, Bhushan shared his story with me and then asked me, ‘what is it that you want to do, Raj?’,” he recalls. “I told him that I’d like to experience entrepreneurship and its challenges.” Bhushan stared at me and I was worried he was going to fire me on the spot, but he asked me, ‘are you willing to do that with me at GDI?”
GDI continues to influence Raj’s thriving career, in prosperity and in conflict.
Raj took that offer and the opportunities that unfolded changed his life. As GDI began to expand rapidly in the late 1990’s, Raj shifted his career gears from software team leader to manager of the newly formed HR department, then another switch to head business development, and again to serve as executive VP for sales and marketing. Throughout this journey, he remembers his driving force was Bhushan’s belief in his potential. “I started as a dreamer” he says earnestly, “Bhushan helped me realize my own potential – by showing me that I can be effective in HR, sales, executive decision making – he showed me that I can be a good entrepreneur; that was the seed he sowed.”
Even today, Raj is deeply grounded by Bhushan’s early confidence in his ability. GDI continues to influence Raj’s thriving career, in prosperity and in conflict. “When I face business roadblocks here in India, I ask myself, ‘what would bhushan do?’ Even during the recession, Bhushan kept a smile on his face….now, it has become my second nature to do so”. Raj’s story, while it may seem a common story of career success, glows brighter for the message it provides: when someone believes in your potential for greatness, and provides encouragement and right environment, an entire path to fulfillment can be paved.