Becoming a
beginner, again

“…getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” Steve Jobs


On a cold sunny October morning of 2001, I am waiting at our Bristol, UK, office to be called. Called to be told that my Senior Digital Art Director role no longer exists. Strange title, stranger times. In the post 9/11 dot-com bubble burst and the slide to deep economic recession, our entire company closed down, like many others. I had just 30 days to find work or return home, back to India. Just 30 days. We had no idea what we’ll do with all those carefully collected things, the many memories, that made up our beautiful home and stay of over 2 years.


Little did I know then that in the years to come I would go on to co-found my Studio in Manchester, UK, help Adobe seed and scale it’s Experience Design practice in India ground-up, lead the Design team at India’s biggest startup success story – Flipkart, become a Senior Vice President at India’s largest Online Travel Aggregator (OTA) – MakeMyTrip & GoIbibo. Or lose our beautiful studio at Old Trafford, once again, to another recession.


But surprises came in many forms. I had absolutely no idea that day that I would go on to work for a VC firm – advise some of the many rising stars, founding teams and unicorns in India and SE Asia. Or that I would help co-create what eventually would become SE Asia’s largest Design-in-tech conference and community – DesignUp.

That day, none of my colleagues from around the world, could have ever imagined that in 2 decades an invisible virus would shut down the world. Never imagined I would be part of a voluntary team working with the Prime Minister’s Office to roll out a tech response downloaded to over 600 million phones, and carried around in as many pockets, purses and bags. Or that DesignUp would raise Rs7,000,000 for charities.

the dots

Looking back, connecting the dots – we all realise how those little choices we make, even in midst of the most trying times, define our long trajectories. Over the years and decades. Then there was my choice to get on to the Ontological coaching journey. To create the space for you, and your teams, to make meaningful choices, thoughtful decisions.

As my coaching guru (and former Commander & Naval Aviator) Dreyvan puts it – “the choice to show up as who we are and who we want to be.”

to begin, again

For me, coaching is about providing a space to reimagine and restart. For individuals or teams.
What Steve Jobs describes as the lightness of being a beginner.

The space to explore without baggage or fear. Unlike mentoring, coaching isn’t about ready made answers based on my past journey. It’s about helping you find your own compass and keys. For you, or your team, to unlock, unblock, navigate and lead with confidence.

Interested? Curious about leadership coaching, performance coaching,
seeding a culture of creativity, or unblocking cross-disciplinary collaboration?

“When one door closes, another opens,
but we look regretfully at the closed door
and don’t see the open one.”

Alexander Graham Bell