Source | LinkedIn : By Mohit Gundecha
“When you love your work, your work is your life. Entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of a work-life balance; for us the two are synonymous, and family support plays a huge role in dealing with that.”
My usual response to all those Entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs who ask me about Work-Life Balance. This quote appeared in yesterday’s edition of Economic Times on how “Workaholic Young Leaders Find Innovative Ways to Switch Off” where I was interviewed.
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Iguanas, dinosaurs, detailed foliage…all of this and more find pride of place in the doodles of Srivatsan Chari, cofounder of ClearTax, who spends his free time at work drawing on paper, tables, his own hand…anything that can serve as a canvas. “Spending about 12 hours at work, then going home to take calls can be quite hectic.
I give free rein to my visual passions during the day, which helps me manage stress levels,” said Chari, who set up the income tax returns e-filing website in 2011 along with Archit Gupta.
At Pune-based talent assessment and analytics startup Jombay, cofounder Mohit Gundecha can often be seen taking long strolls along the office terrace. These walks in the middle of the work day, he said, help him relax amidst the hustle and bustle.
Chari and Gundecha are part of a new breed of young leaders who wear the tag of workaholic on their sleeves with pride. Completely accepting that running a startup isn’t a piece of cake and moments of relaxation can be few and far between, they prefer to incorporate them into daily work schedules.
There are more like them at India’s new-age companies those who are perfectly happy working for more than 14 hours a day and, along the way, finding innovative means to switch off if only for short bursts of time.
Take the case of Archit Gupta, CEO of ClearTax, who hasn’t been on a proper holiday since November 2014. For him 14-hour days are the norm, but he’s not complaining. “Work changes every day, so at no point does it feel like a drag,” he said. “People like us must take our enjoyment as and when we can.” That’s exactly what Ankita Tandon, COO at coupons website CouponDunia, does.
She last took a proper vacation almost two years ago, but has no regrets. “Things move at a very rapid pace in a startup and if you’re a key decision maker, unavailability over phone and email will lead to team paralysis which is not something a young company can afford,” she said. A few days every week without fail, Tandon heads to a nearby Starbucks, sits with a cup of coffee, and catches up on her reading.
These solitary 45-minute sessions, she said, are dedicated to looking at blogs and news articles. Starbucks is also the venue of choice for Gaurav Hinduja, cofounder of Capital Float, an online lending platform for startups and small businesses. Occasional FaceTime sessions with his one-year old daughter, done quickly in between work tasks, help him take a break during his hectic day.
And when Harsh Jain, CEO of interior design startup Nestopia, is at work, he uses deep-breathing exercises and meditation app Headspace to relax, especially before and after hightension work like fundraising meetings.