Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch



also learned about setting ambition and being patient with your ambition. It’s very easy to not be ambitious, or if you are, to be too impatient. Then, there’s our fashion and retail company, where things are so dynamic, one must be nimble-footed and constantly take decisions. It has all been an incredible learning experience, not only from my dad, but also from the many great leaders in our group. Just silently observing them, seeing the different leadership styles they exhibit… I continue to learn every day.”

It’s pretty unusual for a traditiona­l business family to allow its children to take up singing, like Aryaman’s sister Ananya did, or launch a club, or play cricket. Do Aryaman and his siblings acknowledg­e the freedom their mum and dad have given them?

“Yes, absolutely,” says Aryaman in an instant, “our parents have been the wind beneath our wings. They have always asked us to follow what we want to do, and do it with hard work, discipline, dedication and single-minded focus. The fact that my sister took up singing, or that I played profession­al cricket… I think it’s sometimes not acknowledg­ed enough. Even now, we sometimes bump into people and they tell my parents, “Tumn e usko cricket chudwa dia…” [“You made him leave cricket…”] and that’s not the truth at all. It was my decision when I got into it, and likewise, it was mine to leave it when I did, and it’s mine to pursue my entreprene­urship businesses.”

Finally, does the Birla name ever weigh him down with the duties and expectatio­ns that come with it? Is he intimidate­d by what is expected of him?

Aryaman replies thoughtful­ly and precisely. “When I was younger, it was much harder,” he says. “When you’re in the third and fourth grade, you get asked silly questions, like, ‘How many cars do you have?’ Those things would embarrass me. During my cricketing years, when I’d go to the maidans for practice, I would make sure the car dropped me off 300 feet away, so nobody saw me arrive by car. I’d carry my kit and walk to the ground. I was

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