He then said something which I will always remember: “Koi kaam mamuli nahin hota, kaam karnewallah mamuli hota hai (no work or job is small; it is only the worker who may be small).” Success is ultimately not in the job itself; it is in how well you do your job.
One evening when I was 16, my father sat with me for a post-dinner conversation. He said that according to Indian tradition, when a son turns 16, the father should start treating him as a friend.
I was free to pursue whatever career my heart desired. I specifically remember him telling me that it was absolutely fine if I wanted to be a tennis player or a mountaineer. But, he added, I must always aim at being the best.
There should be no compromise on this. If I chose tennis, I should aim at winning at Wimbledon, or if I climbed mountains, I should aim to climb Mount Everest.
Even if I wanted to be a cook, he said, there was no harm in it as long as I aimed to become a top chef. It was my choice to stay with the family business. But his emphasis on excellence has always inspired me to push boundaries.