XX adventuring with Piya Bose. Piya left her career as a corporate lawyer to focus more on living. Now she runs her own venture with a zero cash business model.
What’s your story?
Looking up in awe at the majestic Mount Everest during an impromptu overland trip from India to Nepal and then to Tibet, inspired me to focus more on living than earning a living. I quit my high paying career as a corporate lawyer at the age of 25 to start a travel club for women ‘Girls On The Go’ (GOTG) in 2008 on a zero cash business model. Since inception, GOTG has taken women camping in Mongolia, expedition cruising in Antarctica, Northern Lights chasing in the Arctic, staying with the head hunters of Nagaland and many more wild adventures.
What excites you most about your industry?
The fact that no matter how structured and planned a tour itinerary may be, the play of the X factor and the unpredictable excites me the most. It helps me think out of the box, go off the tangent, come up with innovative solutions and basically keeps me creatively engaged and passionate about my work.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and brought up in India. My mother’s family is from Myanmar and my father’s family is from Bangladesh. I have grown up hearing fascinating stories of life during war in different parts of Asia.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely India. The more I have travelled abroad, the more I have grown to respect my country and the immense entrepreneurial ability and business acumen of Indians.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
He who leads the orchestra must turn his back to the crowd.
Who inspires you?
In India almost every third person on the street is an entrepreneur. From selling street food to cleaning ear wax or selling magazines at traffic lights, the spirit of entrepreneurship I see in everyone around me is absolutely extraordinary. This is what inspires me.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
During a recent trip through the state of Haryana in India, exploring and recreating the ancient history of the famous epic Mahabharata, I discovered that time travel is indeed possible. In fact travelling through many other unknown dimensions are possible if we truly open ourselves up to the invisible forces that govern the universe. Travelling through villages, rediscovering relics forgotten by time, imagining horse carriages and rich palaces where only industries and fields remain today, I felt totally warped in time. It’s been a month, but I am yet to readjust to my modern day surroundings, here in October 2015.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Absolutely nothing. The mistakes I have made and the challenges I have faced have helped me develop into the person I am today.
How do you unwind?
Travelling, travel writing, meeting up with foreigners travelling in my city and playing with cats.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bhutan. The tiny Himalayan kingdom that believes gross national happiness is more important than gross national product is my favourite place to destress. Miles of pristine forests, sitting peacefully in a monastery or by the banks of a milky white stream, followed by a therapeutic hot stone bath is just the antidote I need to battle urban stress.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Chanakya Neeti – Ancient pearls of wisdom on how to be a good leader and do business by Chanakya, a professor of political science and economics at the Taxila University. Known as the ‘maker of kings’, his astute wisdom holds well even today for anyone who wants to start a business and battle all odds.
Shameless plug for your business:
Video link to my TEDx talk : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKZ_JHRM3QU
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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