" SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA’S WORDS, ‘FAITH (SHRADDHA) IS A BELIEF IN WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW, SO THAT WE MAY SOON ENOUGH COME TO KNOW WHAT WE BELIEVE IN,’ HAVE ALWAYS INSPIRED ME "
Born into a family that settled in Kanpur post-Partition, Rajiv, was, from an early age, encouraged to make the most of every opportunity. A top 10 performer at school, he was elected Head Boy in his final year, an early recognition of the leadership qualities that would mark his future career. He went on to study commerce in college and then pursued Chartered Accountancy.
It was during this period that he attended His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda’s discourses on the Bhagavad Gita and became interested in Vedanta philosophy, which eventually shaped his core belief and value system. Swami Chinmayananda became his spiritual guru.
He began his career in management consulting in Delhi at Andersen Consulting in 1996, where he learned about business strategy and performance improvement. Things were looking good for Rajiv. He loved his job and, during this period, he married his long-time girlfriend Deeksha — his ‘best friend and soulmate’. The IT and dot-com revolution of the late 90s heralded a downward trend in management consulting, and many of his peers moved to large IT firms. Rajiv, after some soul searching, moved to Rico Auto Industries, and a long and satisfying innings with Rico followed.
He scaled Rico’s business from nil to almost `2 billion in exports, developed its auto component value proposition, built teams to lead sales and strategy, and evaluated several M&A opportunities globally. He then took on the challenge of turning around a loss-making business unit at Rico as Executive Director, Operations. Alongside this intensive role, he joined the Executive MBA programme at ISB, earning the Scholar of Excellence gold medal and the top place on the Dean’s list.
Post- ISB, he decided to return to his first love, management consulting, and joined the startup team of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. From there, he moved to Nomura Research Institute Consulting & Solutions, a Japanese consulting firm based in Gurgaon, as CEO and Managing Partner.
A strong believer of karma yoga, Rajiv tries to link his day-to-day activities to the pursuit of a higher goal. A man who loves fine arts, he and his wife enjoy plays, musicals and cultural immersions whenever they travel.