Category: In a Teacup

  • Fact is stranger than fiction

    Fact is stranger than fiction

    Some experiences happen that leave you dumbfounded. I have had many such. This is one of them. They are markers for me that Allahﷻ is there and watching and protects us with His Mercy.

  • Riding Elephants

    Riding Elephants

    The importance of habitat conservation in the protection of avian and animal species can hardly be overemphasized. This is why when logging companies talk about reforestation, by planting millions of trees of one species in the place of the multi-species forest they demolished, it is such a farce. Especially the animals, birds, insects, amphibians, and…

  • Climbing mountains to build teams

    Climbing mountains to build teams

    The biggest leadership challenge, irrespective of the situation, is the ability to build self-motivated, autonomous teams. Teams who after you have built them, work without you and don’t consider you necessary for their success. My greatest success in my years managing profit centers was in building such teams. This is tough because making yourself redundant…

  • A factory, Karpusamy, and a Masjid

    A factory, Karpusamy, and a Masjid

    My learning in this incident of the bulldozer was the fact that to build credibility it is important to be able to lead from the front. You do not have to do people’s jobs for them. It is not even desirable to do that. But you do need to demonstrate that you know what they…

  • No pain, no gain

    No pain, no gain

    In this whole incident the one thing that is not logically explainable, but an essential part of leadership is the willingness to trust your inner voice. When you do that, you enter a state of grace. It is a state where you do things that you did not know were possible. You will find yourself…

  • Monkey Business

    Monkey Business

    But hunger is the best motivator. The newcomers are hungry. The early movers have eaten. The newcomers know that if they don’t succeed, there will not be anything left for them. They are desperate. Their stakes are higher. That is a winning combination, in business. Even in monkey business. If you want to succeed, get…

  • Memories of Anamallais

    Memories of Anamallais

    It is difficult to describe the beauty of the place where we lived; a place that changes the scene from season to season. In the summer, when it is hot and dry, the waters of the Parambikulam Reservoir recede towards the dam and the submerged land becomes visible. It is a surrealistic scene of a…

  • 1985


    These years and incidents were tough on the one hand but were enormous opportunities for me to learn about myself, develop resilience, patience, and perseverance. They were proof that if you take the pain, then the result is worthy of it. I had taken the pain to insist that I would not let my injury…

  • Every end is a new beginning

    Every end is a new beginning

    My planting story ends on a very happy note which always brings great happiness to my heart. After spending three years in Ambadi, I decided to quit planting and seek my fortune elsewhere. One year later in 1994, I launched by consulting company, Yawar Baig & Associates, in Bangalore and have never looked back. Planting…

  • AMM-HSS – Turnaround story

    AMM-HSS – Turnaround story

    I set some ground rules. I told them that if they identified a problem, I also wanted them to think it through and suggest a solution that we could apply. I didn’t want them to become ‘professional protestors’. I wanted them to become problem solvers. Whatever problem they mentioned would be their problem and who…