Theatre enthusiast, Basketball Player, Golfer, Entrepreneur, Banker, MBA

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Email this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0

Kabir Nath being stylish

The “Delhi Boy” who bought his first of pair jeans a couple of weeks ago (unhappy childhood), he’s never worn any alphabet on his belt, his shoes aren’t pointed – partly because he cannot find anything his size (obnoxioulsy tall) and mostly because he’s boring like that & Limca Book Record Holder – (They actually give you a badge that reads “Limca Book Record – Winner) for Biggest Nosed Foodie in Asia…

Theatre enthusiast / Consultant / Golfer / Entrepreneur / Sell Out / Basketball Player / Banker / Balding

– In That Order

Q. Tell us a little bit about Kabir?

I’ve grown up in Delhi, high school was at The Shri Ram School and hence spent most of my life journeying between Delhi and Gurgaon. Son of a teacher mother and corporate slave father.  College was at St. Stephens where I had the supreme honour of being chucked out of my first Economics lecture. Like father like son – I sold my soul to the devil (gladly) and joined a bank (Barclays) after college and then sold the remaining parts of my body to a consulting firm (Towers Watson). Sometime very early on – I made the best mistake of my life.

One fine alcohol filled DU weekend –  admist a very routine but intense weekend monopoly game, I decided to start a theatre company with other equally foolish best buds. We called it The Free Parking Theatre Company (please tell me you get the monopoly reference), over the last 5 years the name became “much” fancier – Free Parking Entertainment. What started as a theatre company doing college theatre and workshops somehow became an entertainment solutions provider to corporates and educational institutions. No inspirational Dhurbhai Ambani story, just a lot of really good mistakes and a passion for the stage.

Q. You didn’t become an engineer or a doctor? How is that even possible?! No parental pressure?

No engineer or doctor dreams here. Both weren’t viable career options ever since I almost failed class 10 science. My parents didn’t want to be blamed for the already increasing number of quacks, so they didn’t push me to get into anything science related. However, my parents did play the famous ‘reverse psychology’ card that most poker players would be supremely proud of and somehow I found myself determined to study Economics in Delhi University.

Q. A degree in economics from St. Stephen’s College, a basketball player, a golfer and an actor? How do you do it!

Its really funny, because I’m essentially a very lazy person. So when I look back now and think about how long my days used to be through college – 5 AM basketball practice,  followed by 6 hours of class and tutorials,  then a couple of hours of theatre in college and then eventually ending the day/night with work for our own company – I’m pretty shocked!! I spent close to 16 hours a day out of the house! For 3 years! (thank god it wasn’t 4 years then) – DU Vice Chancellor Jibe is a must.

Honestly the only possible explanation to the madness is that I was passionate about the things I was doing. Really passionate. I never once wanted to slow down or take a break. Did I hate it when I was doing it? Yes, there were days. But many more days that I absolutely loved. There is no such thing as a perfect job, don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

Kabir Nath

The obnoxiously tall Kabir Nath

Q. You’ve been associated with theatre for the longest time. How did it evolve from just a hobby to your passion? Tell us about Free Parking Theatre Company? What all does it do?

My love for the stage started in school, I was that tall and gawky looking oversmart kid who spent his lunch break on the brink of a heatstroke playing football in the field – when one day I decided to not be such a bore and audition for the annual play. With a lot of luck and a massive bribe I landed the role of “Jafar” in Alladin. The attention seeker that I am, couldn’t resist the applause of the audience and soon found myself addicted.

What started as a theatre company doing plays in Delhi and facilitating improvisional theatre workshops for free in Delhi University, over the last 5 has developed to an entertainment solution provider to corporates and educational institutions. Today Free Parking Entertainment has 3 verticals Education, Corporate and Production. We design and execute a number of niche entertainment programs for our clients as well as produce and direct a number of in house public productions and short films.

Q. What have you learnt from your journey in the last few years?

The journey has been NUTS. Sorry, don’t have much of a vocabulary. I could talk about innumerable mistakes we made in running our business and the millions of times corporates slept through our value propositions. But honestly which entrepreneur or business owner hasn’t gone through the same.

For me personally, the most gratifying outcome of the last five years has been the way  I have managed to adapt to different business management situations. From being an actor with no trained background in acting to becoming a facilitator teaching theatre to hundreds of kids and adults – it’s been.. wait for it…. NUTS. The way I did it was basically by listening and learning. Stepping back and learning from people who are more skilled than me at a particular thing. Whether it be facilating a workshop or acting on stage – I picked up things from people better than me and eventually gave it my own colour. My constant love affair with the corporate world has been a tremendous boost to the way I run my business – taking my learnings in HR consulting and sales to my own business and integrating the same to a middle ground was another huge but gratifying challenge.

Q. Ever felt like quitting? What keeps you going?

Everyday.

The money.

Kabir Nath

Kabir Nath in Character

Q. You’ve always followed your passion, at the same time you’ve always had a firm grip on your professional goals. We’ve heard you’re off for your MBA? How come?

I have! Don’t ask me how! But I’m just thankful the GMAT demon (worst thing man has invented) didn’t swallow me whole and I somehow managed to make it to B school. I’m going to sound like all your grandfathers and grandmothers but I honestly believe that there is a time and place for everything. Yes, I said it. But that’s because I genuinely believe it. I spent my college years being passionate about theatre and sport. I was lucky enough to make ‘work’ out my passion and in the last couple of years exploring these passions, I’ve become passionate about building strategy and business management.

Over the last couple of years my professional goals have made a critical contribution to my business and hence I’ve come to realize the importance it will have to my eventual dream of running my own business – hence the MBA. Wow, I sound like those bad Jamboree Ads.

I’m not the biggest gambler in the world and hence I know when to fold or hedge some of the risk – the MBA helps you do that.

I’m not the biggest gambler in the world and hence I know when to fold or hedge some of the risk – the MBA helps you do that.

Q. Any words of wisdom for our readers?

Oh god, basically youre asking me to be preachy.

I must oblige.

Theres no right way to do it. I’m not this ultra sorted young kid who had his life planned out as you can see. I was lucky and risky. That’s about it. I wasted a lot of time, made a lot of mistakes and lied a hell of a lot. If you like something, just do it. Don’t waste time stressing about what you’re doing because sometimes the most clarity you get is while you’re doing it. Things tend to work out.

Gursartaj Nijjar

Gursartaj is a mathematician, former investment banker, and wannabe standup comic. He loves technology and looks at his phone more than he looks at the mirror. He is also an avid gamer and spends hours playing Assassin’s Creed. He is a fitness freak and loves to run marathons, and wishes to climb Everest one day. He knows several languages including French and Spanish, and loves to talk in an Italian accent. In his spare time, he is found matching his turban with his tie.

You may also like...