Ex: What is one truth you believe in that most people disagree with you on?
Anupam: I believe there are a lot of truths out there waiting to be discovered. Even if most people deny this, there are indeed many things that we are yet to know and yet to figure out. The truths that we believe to be true, aren’t necessarily true. Historically speaking, we always have a perspective of many historical events. But as they say, history is a narrative of the victorious. So it is quite possible that the historical events we know today could simply be propaganda.
Ex: What is the one subject you think aspiring leaders should learn?
Anupam: The most important one is, you have to lead by example. Surprisingly, I have seen this more in India than abroad. A lot of times we start assuming that the rules that apply to us may not apply to others. I feel that is a big shortcoming. For
youngsters, it is important to understand that the rules that apply to others, apply to them as well. Secondly, leadership has to be about learning. It should not be about dictating. Leadership is about being humble and vulnerable and accepting that just because you are in a leadership position, you are not invulnerable.
Ex: One book you keep coming back to?
Anupam: There was a book that I read in 1995 called 2020 Vision by Stanley Davis and Bill Davidson. If you read through that book, it gives you a systematic approach to the way things happen in the contemporary world. Everything written in that book has unfolded verbatim. So I find that quite fascinating and I keep revisiting it frequently.
Ex: Leadership quotes that you live by?
Anupam: There are many quotes that I follow since all of them point out to a different aspect of life. While it is difficult to pinpoint a single one that I adore the most, there is one by Roosevelt that goes, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of
deeds could have done them better.” I also draw a lot of lessons from the Gita.
Ex: What has been your biggest learning in the pandemic especially, with dependency on apps and the digital medium increasing drastically?
Anupam: The biggest thing that I am most amazed by, is our adaptability. The way we have adapted to the new way of life, new technologies and whatnot have really surprised me. To me, it is a deeper statement about the human spirit and our need to conquer everything that is thrown our way. So I think that is the biggest lesson for me in the pandemic.
Ex: Shaadi.com must have seen an influx of activity on the platform in the lockdown, what was the key trend that you noticed during this phase?
Anupam: Unfortunately, finding a life partner in India is seen as a very high-pressure situation. The way matchmaking or marriage works in India is completely different from how it works in the West. All our intent is to take away the pressure that is created by Indians during this phase. We saw a huge upsurge in engagements and marriages during this lockdown period. When people logged on to shaadi.com, they realised it is not just a matrimonial site, but a platform for planned marriages and lifetime commitments. So that worked significantly in our favour.