Rapid Fire with Farhan Pettiwala, President, Enactus India (Enactus India provide a platform for teams of outstanding university students to create community development projects, guided by educators and supported by business leaders)
Belong to place: Grew up partly in Mumbai and Dubai, as such roots are in Gujarat (probably Sanjan)
Studied at: Harvard Business School, Indian School of Business and University of Pune (gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering
Company: Enactus (erstwhile SIFE), Former MD of Norfolk Group, Australia
What is your ideal day: morning walk, heavy breakfast, drive to work/office, visit clients during the day, evening drive back home, sometimes walk in the evening, prayers, and dinner (a little bit of TV, if my wife is watching)
What inspires you? Life story of people who have been successful even when all odds were against them – leaders like Anand Mahindra (who started with Film Making and explored their life journey with various success and failures, inspire me the most)
What’s your favorite place on earth? I like places where there is no noise, at times I like to sit by the sea beach (near my home) or visit the graveyard (to remember the ultimate journey of life and purpose)
What’s your favorite meal? Fruits and Musli in breakfast, South Indian Dosa and Filter coffee
What’s the one thing you can’t live without? I cannot live without thanking God/Almighty (every moment) for the life (and the opportunity) he has given to all of us (especially with good health) to LIVE with a HIGHER Purpose
What are things I like to do alone: I like to sit in office alone (early morning and late evening hours) and do some thinking (and focus on my breathing) alone
Last book I read: There are a lot of self-help dollar books we get at airport, but they are peddled and written by people with a profit motive, hence it is difficult to trust these authors. My mentor (Anand Mahindra) recently suggested/recommended me and I read the book “BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End” teaches us about the End of Life Syndrome (the author has not tried to tell us what we should
do, he has shared his own life story, the moral dilemma and how to cope with Life)
Which letter of the alphabet describes me best, how: it is the word “P”, which is for “Passion” and LIVING LIFE with a sense of HIGHER “PURPOSE” I never get tired of : Taking risks and failing. Never get tired of doing little things for others.
What’s your motto in life: Sometimes, in my life, those little bits of good that I do (like mentoring students to create a business/income for transgenders by skilling them, or creating a business to generate income for women by re-using e-waste), it is those little bits of good put together that make me feel overwhelm to contribute back to the world.
How would you rate your memory? From my childhood, I have a photographic memory. I remember people’s face and many a times their cell numbers, especially with those with whom I come in contact, I guess this is more of a God gift to me, that I use my sub-conscious mind more than my conscious mind to grasp and retain things in my memory
Advice to budding Entrepreneurs: I have 3 words of advice,
• l Have no FEAR, as I feel FEAR is = False Evidence Appearing Real
• l Be willing to take risks, experiment and it is perfectly okay to FAIL. No
failure is permanent, until you/we give us trying-to-fight for something
different (so long it is worth making an effort for)
• l Stay Hungry and Stay Passionate, be willing to remain “inquisitive”
to learn from everyone (does not matter what level the person is) with
whom you/we come in contact.