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Meet Vishesh.
 
I am the CEO of Grant Thornton India. With more than 53,000 people across 135 countries, Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading professional services firms. A hobby I am pursuing currently - trying to learn Japanese. Being an accountant, learning numbers was an easy place to start - Rei, Ichi, Ni, San, Yon, Go, Roku, Nana, Hachi, Ku, Ju (0-10). Hope nobody from Japan ends up committing hara-kiri after reading this!
Question 1
What experience shaped who you are?
I’m great at copying things I like around me, so I am entirely made up of the experiences I have had. The important thing is to ensure you are conscious of those experiences making you ‘cautious’ but not ‘averse’ to explore new things.

Question 2
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I am lucky perhaps that I don’t really have single moments of joy or sorrow that stand out above all else. Clearly, leading a firm that has covered the journey from being considered a ‘challenger brand to Big firms’ to being a ‘market leader’ is certainly something that gives me both satisfaction, and the fear that we shouldn’t start taking it for granted like other incumbents.

Question 3
Work smart or work hard, what works?
You are as smart as you are, and you can keep working on getting smarter by being open to lifelong learning. It’s only hard work with a combination of luck that eventually distinguishes one person from the other. 
Question 4
What setbacks did you not see coming? How did you deal with these?
I’ve never considered anything a ‘setback’. In the initial years, if anyone chose to part ways with the firm, I used to take that very personally as if s/he was trying to leave me. Over the years, I learnt that it always without fail is an opportunity for others to come up. Nothing grows under trees as they say!

Question 5
Who are the mentors that helped you through this journey?
I have access to many CEO and entrepreneurs forums which have proved invaluable in learning from peers and other leaders. However, for the most important and existential questions, I normally rely on either the Chairman of my firm and my father Vinod C Chandiok or my wife Zainab, who is my main mentor.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
Question 6
What is your go-to interview question? 
What’s the one feedback you have consistently received in your appraisals over the years? You would be surprised how many people go straight to their weaknesses versus highlighting their strengths!

Question 7
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs today?  
 
Think Big! Never consider yourself less than anyone just because you are smaller. Always aim to be best in class in your category, and build your business in 2-3 year phases. Rome cannot be built in one day, but it can definitely be rebuilt.
 
Question 8
If you had a magic-wand what one thing would you change in the world? 
Ensure there is an opportunity for those at the bottom of the pyramid to take care of their basic needs so that their abject poverty becomes the stuff of history books.

Question 9
What inventions do you hope to see in your lifetime?
Perhaps the ability to start expanding humankind to other planets so all the resources put together last longer. Also, I believe Earth has enough if all of us resolve to use its gifts responsibly.
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