Convince me or get convinced.
In conversation with Sumer Datta - Founder Aamoksh One Eighty
Ahead of his times
Sumer describes himself as the rebellious kind, always at the forefront, trying to educate people about the potential and opportunities that lie ahead. He wants people to think out-of-the-box and see things from various perspectives. To develop this way of thinking, where they are ready for a change, which is the only constant. He believes there is always, another, better, efficient way of doing something. But to think like that, and act in accordance one must have a vision. Sumer's belief in what the future holds keeps him going and he tries to educate people and the market for the benefit of everybody involved.
Aamoksh One Eighty
Sumer tells us he always wanted to do something for the elderly. His dream got materialized, when he started the project 'Aamoksh One Eighty' a chain of luxury retirement homes for the elderly in India. He believes that retirement should be fun, however to convince the Indian market about this concept was no easy task. It took a lot of effort backed by two years of market research. Now, two retirement homes are being built in Kasauli and Kodaikanal. In his experience, change is all about educating people and redefining space and society. The concept of retirement homes with a basic luxury standard is known and accepted in the west, but in India one will still meet people who cannot fathom this future for India.
HR and India
Having a financial background and experience in setting up new businesses, Sumer is now a HR maven. With all the technology pouring in, he finds the current developments in the field of HR exciting. HR in India is no longer afraid of big projects, or the unknown. They are eager to understand the entire business cycle from the beginning till the end. Two decades ago, no one in India took HR seriously. Nowadays, HR is a serious business partner and you find more and more administrative work being outsourced. He feels that the West is still a decade ahead of India from an HR perspective, being far more creative and innovative in their solutions. However, that is not a difficult gap to bridge. The problem he feels lies in pricing. How can services be made affordable without losing quality? India, he feels is still not ready. Time is required to globalize Indian products. Besides India as a country is still too diverse with only 10-15% of India having conglomerates, the rest being scattered subject matter experts (SMEs). This is why he feels India needs time, but will undoubtedly get there.
Learning is giving
Sumer tries to create his own definition of humility. He reminds himself daily that he does not know it all. But he is very clear about his maverick vision. His motto is 'Convince me or get convinced' and this can require tremendous amounts of patience, something he believes he has lots of. He feels he probably takes a lot more time absorbing what he learns, aligning it with his vision and then giving back to society more meaningfully. For him, in his own words 'Life is learning, learning is giving, the intrinsic essence of my existence'.
May 2015