#7 Dr. Bharat Nain - Agent Of Change
Dr. Bharat Nain is a facilitator of life turned author who now acts as an agent of change in society by helping youngsters find their education path. Apart from living in Nigeria and London and having a near death experience, he completed his arbitration course at the age of 61.
Bharat: If you come across someone who's different, nonstandard, approach the person and say, I'd like to spend 10 minutes with you. I find you very interesting. I'd like to spend 10 minutes with you. Once you leave a message in the universe that you're seeking a mental by, actually this universe will respond to you.
Aamer: That was Dr. Bharat Nain, a facilitator of life, which basically means that he makes certain stages of life easier to handle through guidance or assistance. Like a wise man standing on the sidelines giving you a push here and there while you get out of the rut and achieve what you want. This is his story.
Aamer: Hello there and welcome. I'm Aamer Khan, and this is the Zed Medium podcast. A podcast that talks to people and about them too. We narrate people's journeys in the simplest way we can.
This past Monday, we had Dr. Tufail, a celebrated doctor in the UK, who talked to us about medicine, what life taught him over the years, and the flow that he achieved while operating. He was a pleasure to have. Do check that out.
Okay, let's start, shall we? Dr. Nain is the same Doctor Nain that Karina had mentioned to us in the first episode. Remember that? The professor cut through the bullshit with her and advised her to take a brand strategy while she waited to go back to being a creative director. That's how we got connected through Karina.
Things have worked out pretty well for her and his role as a facilitator was established with us then. Actually, let's get the meaning of a facilitator out of the way before we even begin.
Bharat: I bring my toolkit of common sense to facilitate a person going from A to A plus, B to B plus. And my motive for this is very simple. If I can facilitate someone to make an appropriate choice, whether for education or for a career, then we have one more happy human being in society.
And that one more happy human being then has the power, if he or she so desires, to create 20 more happy human beings. Simple. That's my desire.
Aamer: Okay, so who's the target audience for this kind of job? Let's look into that.
Bharat: One is helping students select the educational paths they want to take before they get the professional. Second are mid-career professionals who are stuck in a rut. The third is the over 45-50s who lost their jobs because of age.
Aamer: The toolkit of common sense that he brings to the table helps youngsters identify what they want to do in life.
Because that's really the goal, right? I think even we are trying to do the same thing. Youngsters are bombarded with so much information, and so many choices in today's day and age that at times it feels more like a burden than a blessing. I mean, compared we do have freedom in selecting what we want to do, but how often have you made the right choices? A survey says that about 75% of students don't know what they want to do, and only less than 30% actually work in fields that the qualification is in, most of them being doctors.
So in a huge market like this, how does Dr. Nain help these students make their choices?
Bharat: So I want them to take ownership of their choices, provided they know what their choices are. So basically, I meet these youngsters for an hour at a time, and all I do is I'm a mirror in front of them. I hold a mirror in front of them. I asked all kinds of questions. I have no set format. I'm not a counselor. I don't call myself a counselor. And it guides me to a part where I think the inherent skill and strength lies. So I will start from their childhood up to when they met me in 15 minutes.
But I interspersed with a lot of idiotic sounding questions. I'm actually looking at body language to give me a queue. Plus, this is god's gift to me. So if I'm able to identify a thread what each person would be good at, then I tell them to look at that plus XYZ as career options. Okay?
Aamer: The god's gift that he's talking about is breaking down something to the basics and explaining what he has broken down to another individual to make sense out of it. That's what we call an analytical ability.
Now, Dr. Nain helps guide people into various fields that they ought to choose. But he himself took a pretty standard path when it came to education. And believe it or not, engineering is where he honed his analytical ability.
That's also where he met loads of people from different states of India and understood their backgrounds, their cultures, and developed a keen interest in people.
Bharat: When I finished my engineering, I applied for MBA. Those days, doing an MBA was a real thing in the interviewing committee. They had got one very, very senior engineering person to come for my interview and was there within the first minute. He asked me something linked to engineering. So I smiled, and I bet his answer, and I told him that if you're looking at technical knowledge, evaluating for technical knowledge, I'd like to save you time and end the interview here because I don't have the technical knowledge.
But if you're looking at engineering giving me analytical abilities, which is what I got, let's proceed with the interview. My interview ended. I got that admission. So what I have gained now is what I look back on when I say it's analytical ability. So I spent five years in those hostels and living outside the hostel, surrounded by people from every state of India.
So now when I'm talking to someone and I see the surname, I know which part of the country they come from. And generally, when I hear an accent, when I hear an accent, I know where this comes from. So the socio-economic, the sociopolitical status of the person, and the region it comes from, there's been a big help for me.
Aamer: There's one benefit of engineering college. Let's look at an example of how he helps guide the youngsters and we'll dive more into it after the clip.
Bharat: Right now I have a message I recall with a youngster in Bombay. He's a young lawyer with one year of experience, a brilliant lawyer. He will most likely end up going for an MBA because he's got a business perspective and I've been guiding him for a couple of years. He just sent me a link to a solicitor's entrance exam.
Do you think this is worth it? The answer to that question is yes. Nothing is wasted. Solicitor of UK entrance exam. They'll be great learning. You can go on the path of the solution, but does it tie up with his career choices? No.
Aamer: That's exactly what we're talking about. Too many choices, and too much information out there. The path for this youngster is clear, at least in his mind and Bharat's mind. There's so much difference between what you want to do and what would look good.
If something does not align with what the end goal is. Why go down that path even if it's going to help you in one way or the other? That's primarily the difference between something that is good and something that is right. Something that is good might help you in the short run.
Solicitors Exam in the UK there's a lot of money that comes in after that. But if that diverts him from what he really wants to do, he's missing those months or years to actually practice and learn more about being a corporate lawyer, which is a long-term goal anyway.
While you think big, break that big down into small steps and try to achieve that day after day, month after month. And it's easy to think in the short run that it won't work out. But everything you do today, all the small steps accumulate and lead you to where you want to be without you having details. Of course, we probably took a detour from the story right now, but let's continue.
After MBA, Bharat joined a company called Bharat Bijli which made and still makes transformers and electric motors. But you never realize what awaits you. That too on another continent. It was fate. I was just explaining to somebody in 3 hours my life changed. I was working in one bay in a company selling and I think possibly I was the first engineer MBAs the company took and I was leading a team of people much older than me because it's first MBA. But I had an uncle who passed away who had an old friend.
They were a large industry in Nigeria. He used to tell me, give me a CV, I'll give it to Mr. Chandra when he's in Bombay. And they have businesses all over the world. I never really bothered. And my wife told me, uncle is after you, at least give him the CV for his sake.
So I used to have a bike. I gave him the CV, I dropped to this house, went to my office at and continued life. In 1 hour I get a call from someone XYZ saying this is reference to an application from a position in Africa.
You have an interview today with the chairman. So I said, I haven't applied for the job. I couldn't connect. To cut a long story short, I met the gentleman at 02:00. The chairman is Sindhi, is running a large business, having a lot of experts. But unlike other Sindhi businessmen, they had no Sindhi experience at a senior level because they couldn't find qualified Sindhis in those days, they said. So my interview lasted for 10 minutes.
I could see the gentleman being uncomfortable and he asked me, hesitatingly in Sindhi, do you speak Sindhi? I gave a fluent answer. He said, you're an engineer, you're an MBA? Yes, he says, tick the boxes. I left it out later with an appointment later to join the company and I left that group. But within a year I took to that environment very well and I changed jobs. So I changed jobs twice and I got picked up and into a trading environment. And it's a combination of God's will, fate, destiny and to some extent, my push. But it is rare. It is unbelievable.
Aamer: Bharat was a young achiever and learned the importance of mentors very early on in life. He found not one, not two, but three mentors in life. And from each one he learned something different. The first was his boss at Bharat Bishli who filled in the gaps of his learning curve in management while he was there. The second was his father-in-law who was a surgeon that connected instantly with youth. And that's what Bharat does today guides the youth to a grateful future.
The last one his father. And there was one teaching of his father that he understood pretty late in life when there is something to worry about or something to fear. My father used to have one sentence which I never understood as long as he saw his hot headed son blah, blah, blah, blah issues here, telling people what to do, putting his foot down. You should tell me karkabul.
You know the meaning of Kar Kabul. Accepted. I never understood the real impact of it. I live my life on many things which I don't agree with by saying kar kabul, something that isn't in your control. Accepted. That may be an external factor, but the more you worry about it, the more harm you're doing yourself.
Because there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Things which are in your control, work on them and protect them with all that you've got. But that's what we're going for.
Aamer: The takeaway is actually finding a mentor.
Because without one, he wouldn't have known any of that. So for all the mentors out there, this one is for you.
Bharat: The need is mine to sell myself to you. Because the need is mine to put an agent to change in society. It is my need to change society by putting in better people. So I would spend time chatting with you about everything except what you want to be mentored about. I'll understand you. I'll understand your likes and dislikes. I'll share with you, with my career, what I like to do, what I don't like to do and create a plateau of calmness.
Then the person decides that they want to get back in touch with me. If the plateau of want is created then the person will feel motivated to say, hey, yes, this is what I can do.
Aamer: Bharat was very ambitious. I mean, still is, but more so in his youth. He was a young achiever striving to move forward at every turn. And the patient Bharat that you see now cool, calm, collected is nothing compared to the Bharat in his 30s. Patience. You don't have patience?
People who know me now, they get shocked if I tell them I was impatient. I was a typhoon because I was a young achiever at such a young age. So I was impatient. I was impatient to get things done. I was impatient to get more things done. So my impatience when I look back, when I see youngsters,
I'll tell you where I feel unlike in the past. If there's any mail which comes, etc, etc. Even if it's a conflicting issue, I'd give a reply instantly. Close the chapter in 60 seconds. Now I will do a reply. Because now you've got the email. I'll keep it in the box already as a draft morning and read it again 99% of the time. What the view I get in the morning is very different from what I thought in Adi.
But there is something that always remained intact even when he was impatient. Even when he was racing to the path of greatness. I was working with a large group. The people who hired me I won't need any further details. And I was given a very sensitive assignment to get some work done from the Central Bank of Nigeria. And I made friends very easily. I made friends, they got the work done, blah, blah was good.
And they decided to give me a special bonus, which was another. My salary at that time was equal to $1,000 a month. Plus I had accommodation, card, blah blah blah. So they gave me a check of $5,000. Which is unbelievable. I was like wow, wonderful. But for four months after that, at any time I should be told, remember, we give you $5,000.
Remember, we give you $5,000. So one day I walked into his office and had a check ready in mind and gave it to me and said you're hanging this $5,000 on my head like a democrat. I'm not able to sleep. Please take this back.
Aamer: There are more learnings than story in this episode.
Bharat had switched jobs while he was in Nigeria and switched again when a group from London saw his work at his latest company.
His dream was to own a house in Parkland, London at the time, and kept a check ready for his first down payment there. He had already paid $2,000 as part of the transaction. Things were on track. But, and there is always a but his health took a turn for the worse. It started when he was in Nigeria, but aggravated when he was in London, which is when he decided to return to India with a dream left unachieved.
Life has a way of slowing you down. Bharat was on a high throughout his twenty s and mid-30s before he slowed down and settled in India. For the past 30 years he has been a facilitator. And the beautiful part is he doesn't earn from his interaction with youngsters. It's only when he helps out the people who are financially capable of hiring him as a facilitator. There was a huge turning point in his life though.
His health was always under scrutiny by doctors, but he never expected a health complication to turn into a near-death experience. In his late fifties.
Bharat: I had a near-death experience in hospital. I've had multiple, multiple hospitalizations. A nurse made a mistake and injected me with something which should never have been done. Ivy. I survived, but I had a near-death experience. That 20 minutes changed me totally. And I picked up a message.
I sold a message to myself that God loves you and says, go and do all that you want. It is considered medical. I didn't die. 20 minutes have survived. A week later I filed for my Ph.D. application because I've been wanting to do it for 30 years, which I never did.
Aamer: And that's what he did. He started a course in arbitration at the age of 57 and completed it at 61. Why? A huge gap. Let's hear from him.
Bharat: The first level I did at the age of 57, I went to London.
Then I went through multiple bouts of hospitalization somewhere. It all got buried at the age of 60. I dug it all out, started appearing for the following exams. At the age of 61 I did my fellowship in arbitration from Singapore.
And my strength I'm good at explaining things to people. I can break things down and very simple. I can explain to you how to make a rocket by talking about a pen in my office when we do different positions.
This is God's gift to me. So I'm able to explain to you when I got into arbitration because I want to focus on my career, which is corporate and understanding of block, put the two of them together. I was creating a career 3.0 so that I remain busy.
Whatever the modules I did in India, I realized they were talking legal legal lingo. The modules which I did in Singapore, they were talking business lingo. And I realized that arbitration, there's a gas in the air which the lawyers have created.
Actually, it's simple if you boil it down to simple words. And I'm an FAQ person, I can boil anything down to simple FAQs. I love that. So it just struck me, why don't I convert the entire process of arbitration to something which even a student will understand? So that was the seed of the book. FAQ is an arbitration.
And my idea was that if there is a corporate entity getting into arbitration, rather than depending on the lawyer, they get some information so they contribute to the case better. Or if there's a law student and he needs to pay for an exam overnight, and arbitration, he goes through this book for 45 minutes, I guarantee you will pass the exam.
So I made it simple to understand idiot proof, and it was a fulfillment for me. During work, I'm doing another book on another topic, the same publisher. So it is fulfillment for me.
Again, I'm putting back knowledge into the universe in simpler in simpler ways.
Aamer: If resilience was a person, that's who Bharat would be. It's really not easy to have a positive outlook when things are not going your way. He has had health complications for the past 30 years now, but he mentions it very little when we had the chat with him.
He focuses more on the now than what's happened, and there is by no means any pity that he has for himself. It's all gratitude and his drive for helping others. His book on arbitration is out now on Amazon, and he is writing another one on an issue that will indeed benefit a lot of people in the world.
If you liked that episode and want to receive the latest updates, go on to Instagram and LinkedIn and follow us. Zed medium. There are a lot more stories to come and want to look out for.
Next up, we have Bilal Zaidi, the founder of a political crowdfunding platform, our democracy. And here is a snippet from that conversation.
So while India already had a twitter and a facebook, etc. For but we did not have platforms where political people, they could be candidates, they could be journalists, but people are engaging with politics would go beyond communication. So we launched a crowdfunding platform that also had other tools like signing up volunteers and throwing up events. And essentially our democracy became the stepping stone for a lot of people who wanted to get into politics.
Stay tuned, and goodbye for now.