Gurgaon, INDIA - Business Manager
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in September 2017
Rajeev owns a textile factory out of New Delhi and produces clothes for many well-known brands. He recently featured in a French Newspaper which perfectly sums up his situation: “In two generations, millions of Indian households exit poverty and to reach the middle-class driven by the economic growth of their country. Illustration with the story of Rajeev and his family”.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Actually, and to be very honest, living in India and coming from a medium-class family, there was no plan. It all goes with time and opportunities you have… So, there was no planning! Otherwise, if you ask anybody, they all will say they want to be a doctor or an engineer and never a bus driver or something else … personally, I didn’t have any plan.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
It could be a celebrity … maybe Shahrukh Khan!
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
Basic education should be taught at school. Common sense of Mathematics or Science.
To you, what’s the main characteristic that all human beings have in common?
I think that it should be humanity so that everybody starts respecting each other.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
I think everybody is happy and if things go wrong, then everybody is upset or sad. For me, it’s all about situations.
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
If I had that power, I would try to make the whole world happy. I would provide more facilities to everyone and raise their living standards so that everybody can enjoy their lives and move further.
What do you need?
I don’t expect too much you know. To be very honest, looking from where I started and where I am today, a good family life and whatever I am getting makes me happy. I don’t think of having always more. I just want to make the people working for me happy too.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
I would invest into business growth and make my people happier …
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
I am not a travelling person so when I go to the US and sit in a plane for 22 or 23 hours it’s horrible. So there should be something that moves you there in a few minutes like teleportation.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
You know, India is a country having a lot of religions. When I see people having fights or becoming violent over it, it affects me. When you live in a country like India, every religion should be respected.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
Definitely easier. At my parents’ time living conditions were very tough, they didn’t have all the facilities that we have now. Plus when our parents started working, they had to take care of their parents at the same time. Today we don’t have to take care directly of our parents. Our parents worked hard so that we don’t have to support them which means that we are more relaxed and we can take care of ourselves.
If you had to create a company, what would it be?
I love what I am doing today. I’m not a professional person trained at a design school for accessories but as I put myself, I really enjoyed it and I am quite happy so I don’t want to switch into something else.
Can you draw something beautiful?
I am drawing like I was drawing during my childhood… I never draw something special afterwards ... this is what I was always drawing. It is something like a village in nature. I don’t know where I’ve seen this, but I’ve always drawn this. This is very close to me.
Can you sing something beautiful?
I’m very bad into it …
What are you afraid of?
I used to be afraid of things but as I grew older and had kids and family, I never get afraid of anything else than providing a good life for my kids. To be very honest, I’m not afraid of anything, I work hard and try to be as normal as possible!
What is your dream?
More or less, I have achieved what I should be achieving. When I was a kid, I was always thinking of travelling all over the world which I am already doing, and I wanted to have my own business which I have started for twelve years now. I am also quite happy because people are happy with me and I am growing with them so I don’t feel like I should be having anything more than that.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
I’m not able to see anything new… To be very honest, I am only able to see the drawing I have made earlier!
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
It all goes with status … You know when you’re a teenager and you have your first crush that’s the most beautiful thing! And when you’ve passed this period and you are more in a professional life and you struggle for 14 or 15 years and then you are able to sustain your business that’s the happiest thing you can think of. From the family side, when you have your first kid that’s the most beautiful thing. So those are different moments when you feel happiness and it all goes with situations
If you had to write a book about the current world, what would be the title?
Humanity and Peace because that is something very demanding all over the world. Today, the kind of situations and violence we have all over the world, I would rather write a book for Peace and Love
What does religion mean to you?
Being a Hindu, I don’t want to be rigid about the rules made for Hinduism or any religion.
I feel whatever is good in a religion, where all the people are being respected, I prefer to have that.
That’s why, I don’t go into the rigidness of the religion but I take those parts that are respected by everyone, where it’s not affecting anybody else’s life or any other religion’s life so for me, what I am following is giving me strength.
We have a line in Sanskrit in our religion which I repeat 5 times each morning and It means basically “God, give me that strength to not harm anybody, I respect everyone and I grow my life and go further” and this is the way I proceed in my life, that’s the thing!
Which of your country's cultural specificities are you the proudest of?
I come from Rajasthan and I feel very proud of that because that’s the part of India where the Rajas and Maharajas culture was developed
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?
You know, I really love animals so if things go well and if I get retired, I would spend more time to take care of street dogs and street animals.
Dogs are being hit in the streets. I really like them. In my street, I have 12 to 15 dogs and every evening when I go back or on Sundays when I have free time, I spend at least 2 or 3 hours with them. So that is something I would love to do when I’m retired.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien what would you say?
They should come and live on earth, it’s a good place to live!
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
That would not be a question but rather a thing I would like the world to be doing … to respect everyone, you need to respect others the way you want yourself to be respected.