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Find your Ikigai to excel in life! Bajaj Capital CMD Rajiv Bajaj tells you how

A select group of students and faculty of the Apeejay School of Management got an opportunity to get life coaching on the Japanese philosophy and art of finding the real reason for your being, from one of the leading lights of India Inc.



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It was an occasion to get up close and personal with one of the biggest names of India Inc. and get to know him in a hitherto unprecedented avatar altogether. A select group of students and faculty of the Apeejay School of Management (ASM) recently got this rare opportunity. Addressing them at a virtual workshop on September 21 was Bajaj Capital Chairman and Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj. And for once, he wasn’t sharing tips on wealth management.

Bajaj was kicking off a programme on the Japanese art and philosophy of Ikigai at a workshop hosted by the Apeejay School of Management and Bajaj Capital on ‘Introduction to Ikigai: Find your reason for being.’

For the uninitiated, Ikigai is a Japanese term that loosely translates into ‘the reason for being’, something that makes us get out of our bed every morning.  The term refers to having a direction or purpose in life that makes one’s life worthwhile.

Here are the key takeaways from the workshop, in the words of Rajiv Bajaj:

·      My real passion is being a life coach: I am the chairman of Bajaj Capital. But that is my Monday to Friday job. On Saturday and Sunday, I have a different job altogether and that is something that I truly love. It is being a life coach, teaching people how to live their lives fully and how to live each day fully. That is the founding principle of Omnilife, a health and wellness online venture inspired by principles of Ayurveda.

·      A little bit on Omnilife: It is a health and wellness online venture inspired by the principles of Ayurveda. The commercial proposition of Omnilife based on personalised nutrition and lifestyle will be launched soon. My younger son Shivam is working on it. Omnilife stands on 10 pillars of life. There are 10 very obvious aspects of life which we must pay attention to. Ikigai is one of the most important of them.

·      How Ikigai can turn a mid-life crisis into an opportunity: There comes a point in life when you become commercially successful. When you are 30-40 years of age, you may reach the pinnacle of your career. You will have a car, a house, a lovely spouse and a few children running around the house. At that time you will wonder, what next? At that time most people hit a mid-life crisis. That is when they start exploring:  What is the real purpose of my life? Why am I alive? What do I want to pursue? Not all of us are as lucky as Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli for whom somebody — our older brother, friend or father — helped them discover our true purpose of life and they became such big celebrities. The rest of us have to work harder. But if you manage to do that even before the age of 99 – discover your purpose in life – you will still have one really purposeful year to live [before you turn 100]. 99% of our colleagues on this planet come and go without finding their purpose in life, what a wasted opportunity it is!

·      Find your real purpose in life: My Ikigai is to help people find their Ikigai. Each one of you – whether you are faculty or student — are explorers. A lot of you love to travel and explore through meeting new people, learning new things and teaching new things.  So, it is your sense of exploration that has got you to enroll for this programme. Our purpose is to get on the highway of finding our purpose in life.  Finding your purpose is a treasure hunt and there are many milestones. What we are doing is simply giving you tools so that you can get on to this beautiful journey.  If you are a little clear about yourself, we will help you go deeper and deeper and deeper into your self-awareness.

·      You possess a unique gift nobody else on the planet has. That will help you shine: You can try and get on the journey of finding your Ikigai. As you get closer, you will discover that one unique gift on this planet of seven billion people which only you possess.  Believe me friends, I say this with a lot of responsibility. Yes, there is one gift which the Almighty has given to you in your personality that only you possess. You have to keep peeling the layers and go into your psyche and find that thing and make it to work.  So whether you are in the corporate sector, an NGO, or an entrepreneur. Whether you launch a start-up or become a teacher, when you begin to apply that in your daily profession, you begin to excel and shine. That is when you become the head of faculty, principal of that institution, and that is when you begin to shine in the company and the department or the entrepreneurial role or whatever role you’ll play in your life.

“There is one gift which the Almighty has given to you in your personality that only you possess. You have to keep peeling the layers and go into your psyche and find that thing and make it to work.  So whether you are in the corporate sector, an NGO, a teacher or an entrepreneur, when you begin to apply that gift in your daily profession, you begin to excel and shine.”

-Rajiv Bajaj, CMD, Bajaj Capital and life coach


“The fruitful interaction with Mr. Bajaj brought me to a conclusion that we should not live for the sake of survival but to enjoy living a life. His thoughts brought a great vision and clarity which has made me introspect my reason for healthy living.”

– Astha Bansal

“Mr. Bajaj’s words brought me out of the envelope to discover the reasons behind my living. The interaction stimulated a sense of responsibility in me, towards my life in all aspects- health, happiness and professionally. He made me realise that life comes with a purpose and we excel once we understand that.”

– Jyotsana Sabharwal

“Interacting with Mr. Bajaj made me realise that our life is stressful and ‘too busy’ until we find our reason for being. His calm and composure while addressing us when in fact he is a busy man, enabled me to re-evaluate my professional life from a different perspective.”

– Rahul Sahni

 “I got a chance to revisit myself after interacting with Mr. Bajaj, who, with his folk wisdom, imbibed in me the reason to live. He has pushed me to focus on longevity arising from a healthy eating and rising professionally.”

– Tushar Agarwal

“Start with changing unhealthy lifestyles with healthy ones and make it a habit”

– Blossom Kaur

Aasheesh Sharma is a seasoned journalist with an experience of more than 25 years spread over newspapers, news agencies, magazines and television. He has worked in leadership positions in media groups such as Hindustan Times, India Today, Times of India, NDTV, UNI and IANS. He is a published author and his essay on the longest train journey in India was included in an anthology of writings on the railways, brought out by Rupa Publications. As the Editor of Apeejay Newsroom, he is responsible for coverage of the latest news and developments in the Apeejay institutions. He can be reached at [email protected]. He tweets @Aasheesh74