Friday, February 27, 2009

Run Man Run....

I am a typical IT Person, who has like many others spent countless Night-Outs for System Administration / Implementation projects.

This definitely had taken a toll on the health. April 08 was the Inflection Point..
My Back said That's it.. I am not with u, do what u want...
Having a Back-Pain just like any other ailments is depressing.

Action Plan. Get Healthy before it is too late.. Took a leave of 2 months. Did intensive personal training in a Gym. Having recovered, decided lets test the levels of recovery..

August 08. Registered for Mumbai Marathon 21 KM (The Distance from Andheri to Churchgate One Way) .

As usual many people laughed, some smirked...That's when most of us get the kick in proving people wrong..

That's when I read "The Secret". Wanted to try something really new in my life.
Decided i will not practice Physically for a single Day...! ! ! ! !

Every Day I practiced in My Mind...Run Man Run...

Visualised myself Finish the Marathon along with the Average Runners.
On the Day of Marathon, told myself, that's it..This will be one of the Toughest Experiments i would have ever done..Lets do it.....Just do it...

Race starts at 6.45...Gate opens..i run for 250 meters...That's tired...slowed down...After all what do u expect if u do not practice for a marathon.

No issues...Plan-B..follow the fastest Walker.....Keep reminding self...Have to do it...Keep listening to music...don't think....Simple...

About 6 Km...Joints start burning...That's when i see Some Old Person with a Label "Dr Roy. Born 1932". Mind begins to start calculating his took almost 10 minutes to calculate ......

Wanted to rest...Mind in 2 modes...Rest....What the hell Man..U are even worse off than this Old Gentleman....Ridiculous.

Decide ..have to walk at least as fast this Gentleman....

Nevertheless he is faster....

Then decide to walk at same speed of a nearby old Lady , even she is faster........

Decide not to compare with any one else...I am Me...That's it...Just keep listening to the ipod..and keep walking at the fastest speed.. Reached 12 km...

that's it.No more thoughts..just keep walking...keep smiling....
Completed the Marathon Finally.....

Don't ask what happened after Marathon....

It was only on Monday that Ajoy Called and said he saw me near the Churchgate station and i was walking at the speed of 0.001 Km / Day...

All the Joints suddenly contracted post the marathon..I did finish it in 3.45 hrs..but almost in an instant the body reacted.. and all limbs became jammed..u really cannot move the feet ahead...the pain is unbearable....

Nevertheless. i did got what i had wanted and Literally Dreamt of...

Moral of the Story...
1. Any one can achieve what ever he can visualize in Mind.
2. Do enough Practice and Homework before starting a task..Else there might be a price to Pay.

Parallely my Wife completed the marathon in 3.30 hrs.
she definitely is an inspiration..a perfect Manager..Disciplined and punctual.
Practices At the Gym daily...

I am now more sure than ever that i will finish 21 Km in 3 Hrs ..( that's the distance of Andheri to Churchgate - One Way..)..This time i will practice in Gym for 3 months...

Wish me luck for Jan 2010.

This is our Hall of Fame. My Son Aman, with his First "First Rank" Chess Trophy. My Wife Punam.
And Me.. 21 Kms in 3 Hours, 45 Minutes.

Update. Jan 2010. SCMM
Results. 21 KM in 3 Hours & 15 Minutes.


---Target for SCMM 2011. 2 Hours, 30 Minutes.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Certifications :- My Views ..

Only the Paranoid Survive. is a Book by Andrew Grove - CEO - Intel.

Though i have not read the Book, the title by Itself has been a Highly Motivating force for my drive.

Constant upgradation is the Key to remain Fit in today's times.
I believe in constant Upgradation of
1. Self - Mind & Spirit
2. Professional Skills
3. People-Relations
4. Health

On Professional Skills, below are the Key Certifications achieved.

  1. Stanford Advanced Project Management ( 3 Exams of 6. Target completion by 2009) (3) (This is was completely Inspired by My Life Long Mentor Sanjay Shah. Though i do not listen to his advice at times, but he has been definitely a key Role Model for my success)
  2. TOGAF (1) (Thanks to My Mentor Saji for inducing me to this field)
  3. PMP (1) (Credit for Motivation goes to Vivek Mehta, who was the first in SI West to attempt it, and our Friendly Race, for which i had to do it.)
  4. PRINCE2–Practitioner (2)
  5. CISA (1) ( Tons of thanks to Mitesh Sanghai, who is also one of my Inspirations. Who being from Sales attempted the Exam.)
  6. Sun SCFE (5) (This was THE Tipping Point in my Career. Having become "The Expert" in Domino, i actually started to think like a "Frog-in-the-Well", and never looked beyond Lotus Domino. Sanjay Shah actually made me Stop Doing any more projects on Domino (Which i resisted with all my might at that time, but thankfully i lost). Then he gave the toughest Task of Making me learn Solaris to Anshuman Rai, Santosh Shukla and Nassar R. Thanks to these good peoples Patience, i finally managed to learn some decent bit of Sun-Solaris OS.
  7. Hitachi Modular Storage (1)
  8. Brocade BCFP -2g, BCFP-4g, BCSD-4g (3) (Remember the Men in Black-III, Our key SI Consultants slogged it on Saturdays, to Prepare each other for the BCSD 4g Exam. Ali, Ashish, Kiran, Prasant and Me)
  9. ITIL–Foundation (1) (This one was literally forced upon me, because my Boss did not wanted to attend the training ;-)
  10. Veritas Foundation Suite (1) (At this point i wanted to Give up any more Certifications. But my Friend Henry Solomon, who was a Program Manager, decided to take up a full fledged IT course at Karrox. He started to study Cisco, Sun, Microsoft - All by His own Funds. That was the Deciding point, i thought this Man must have great Guts, spending his own Time and money on Things he may never use Directly in his Life. That's when i decided no matter what, i will constantly keep upgrading myself by own atleast. Thanks Henry..)
  11. IBM – AIX – System Admin-V5 (1)
  12. IBM – AS/400 – System Operator (1) ( Operator !!! . My then boss Anshuman Rai did not like the Title of the exam, and made good fun of me..)
  13. Lotus Domino (Was in the Worlds top 52 People at that time to have a Dual PCLP-R5 Title. (R5-PCLP-SA, R5-PCLP-AD, R6-PCLP-SA, R6-PCLP-AD (11). I was really on top of the World after the exams, and literally Mass-Mailed Tons of People to Proclaim the Achievement. Hope they forgive me for the Spams...(Ajit Sankaran, was the key motivator, who never had a doubt that i will clear the first 4 exams. He never thought that it is a difficult feat to achieve, which made me feel if he thinks i can do it, then i should be able to)
  14. MCSE (Windows NT – 6 Exams. Many Thanks to My Mentor & Friend Ashok Pandey for being an inspiration) (6)
  15. CBCP & BCM – Business Continuity (2)
  16. ISO 9001-2000 Internal Auditor (1)
  17. Brain Bench (2 Exams–Domino SA) (2) ( I remember one of the Exam i completed at Night on Internet at Exactly 0100 hrs, on 1st Jan, 2001. Yes it was waiting for One of the Night Out Activity on Domino which was to happen at 0300 hrs - HBL)

In all the Number of Exams given to achieve the above Professional titles is 43 Exams. Target number of Professional Exams till 2012 is 56 (56 because Sachin Sawant feels i can do it.).


  1. Toyota Lean. TPS.
  2. IIM Ahmedabad. Strategic Outsourcing.
  3. Key Workshops(Training & Certificates) – (Dale Carnegie – Human Interaction, Presentation Skills, Sales Advantage. Covey 7 Habits.)
  4. EMBA from SPJain
  5. GMAT – 690 (In fact my Wife Punam will not let me sit in peace till i get atleast 740). I would strongly suggest every one to attempt GMAT Once in Life. Not for the MBA Entrance, but to polish the skills for Reading & Analysing Long RFP's, CR: Critical Reasoning & QT : Sharpening of Mind to solve life Problems via alternate efficient means.
  6. IELTS 7.5/9 (Oye Ajit....Beat you by 0.5) . This Exam was done on the Same Day i had to leave for UK Thames Water Project. The Objective was to ensure that i am able to communicate well with the British Team.

On the Health part, i have been highly Inspired by my Wife, who Exercises Daily, and takes Part in Stanchart Mumbai Marathon.

We both Completed the 21 KM in Jan 09. (i did it in 3Hr 45 Min, She clocked 3.30 Hrs. My Target next year is for 3 Hrs.)

---Updated April 2010..

Have decided to shift focus from IT to Technology. Will work on Self Certifications in the filed of Human Relations, Microfinance, Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprises. More on that in upcoming Blogs.

Corporate Life Lessons from Chess

Last year, i got introduced to Chess at my Son's School. The Chess Sir (Mr. Sahu) was explaining the children the basic moves of chess, and my child (aged 5) was able to pick up all the concepts.

I was impressed by the simplicity of chess principles and striking correlation of chess with Corporate Life Principles. Couple of things i have learnt and ingrained from Chess are.

Couple of Chess concepts before we start
1. Material : In chess each Piece has a Notional Value to it. The Sum total of all the Pieces with a Player is called his Material (Or Resources) (Pawn =1, Knight/Bishop = 3, Rook = 5, Queen = 9)
2. Development : You must develop pieces early, Castle Early as a best practice.
3. Structure : The pieces must not block each other. Pieces should support each other. You should not have Bad-Pieces i.e. Immovable Pieces in and after the Middle Game.

Chess Principle : Time, Development & Space are very Important Aspects of a Strong Player.

Corporate Life : You need to focus on all the Aspects of your personality.


Chess Principle : You need to develop your Limited Resources (Material) fast.

Corporate Life : This is a Competitive World, we must move faster than the others to stay ahead.


Chess Principle : Focus on overall structural development, than on Gaining Easy Material.

Corporate Life : This is a mistake which many freshers make. They focus on easy gains and get engaged with High Paying Jobs. The focus should be on developing a Career.


Chess Principle : Don't take Free Pieces without thinking. Opponent might be setting a Trap for you.

Corporate Life : Never underestimate any situation. Don't fall for Free-Lunch. There is no Free Lunch in Real Life, every Free Lunch has Strings and Fine Print Attached.

Chess Principle : Don't Underestimate the Strengths of Pawns. Any of the Pawn can become Queen. Almost always with a good Strategy, you turn a Pawn to Queen.
Corporate Life: Importance of Mentoring. The Lowest ranked employees can rise to the Topmost positions, we should imbibe a culture of constant Mentoring. Never underestimate the potential of any person, Right grooming will definitely show results.

Chess Principle : Plan and be mentally ready for Loss of the Queen. You can win the Game even after losing the Queen.
Corporate Life : Always keep planning for attrition in Real Life and Corporate environment. Ensure you have sufficient Structure in place to handle all contingencies of Life. Even if the Top Performing Player in the Team leaves, the others can still complete the Ongoing Assignment.

Chess Principle : Its not the Knowledge of Moves that matters, it is how you use them that matters.
Corporate Life : It is not the Operational and Tactical Expertise we should keep focusing on. Strategy is equally important. In today's world. Every competitor knows what you know in terms of "Operations" and "Tactics". They have similar people who had been to Similar Business and Specialization schools as your employees. Their knowledge about a product is equal to yours. It is the Strategy which will help to win in the Long Run.

Chess Principle : Every Piece moves differently. Different Pieces provide cover to each other, align to each others line of Attack and Defense to setup an effective overall structure.
Corporate Life : Accept people as they are for their Skills. Understand each persons strengths in a Team, and leverage on each others strength to form a stronger Alliance. A Team leader must understand that all people will not behave in similar fashion for a given situation, also they will have unique strengths. A Successful team leader will be able to place the right people at right place to get the Work done effectively.

Chess Principle : Good Positions (Skewer, Fork, Pin, Mate) don't happen automatically, you must constantly Plan to achieve a good Positional Advantage.
Corporate Life : Life does not serve you Opportunities on a Plate. You must constantly strive to create a good position for yourself. You have to fight it out.

Chess Principle : One Queen cannot win the Game. All the pieces must work together to win.
Corporate Life : In today's world more than ever.. It is Collaboration that helps you to succeed. Invest in people skills and help other people succeed along with you.

My Son Aman (Age 6) plays regularly at the District Level Chess Tournaments, and has won many a Prize. He has been teaching me some of the Life principles mentioned above.