Ranjit Singh Oberai

Navigating Life’s Challenges with Courage and Conviction

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The world always seemed like a puzzle for me, full of convoluted language and hidden meanings. I couldn’t fathom why people couldn’t just speak plainly and say what they meant. It was frustrating, trying to decipher the messages behind the words. But I soon realized that humans are complex beings, with layers of thoughts and emotions that often cloud straightforward communication.

My journey to understanding started unexpectedly, not from a person but from a book – “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Through the character of Howard Roark, I learned the value of being true to oneself and not being swayed by societal expectations or judgments. This lesson became the foundation of my life’s path.

I distinctly recall the moment I chose to walk out of my MBA interview, a decision that potentially cost me a place in a prestigious college in India. The reason? One of the professors on the panel exhibited behaviour that diminished his credibility and authority, thereby of the institution. I could not envision myself learning from someone like him. While it may have been acceptable to others, it was not aligned with my principles and values.

Similarly, I faced challenges in my first job. I refused to back down from an argument with the CEO, which led to me being fired on the spot. Some called it youthful arrogance, but I never regretted standing up for what I believed was right. As I progressed in my career, I encountered the prevalent culture of flattery and favoritism towards tech leads and managers in service companies. I refused to conform to this norm, even though it affected my career growth. Promotions were delayed, and my salary didn’t reflect my responsibilities.

Luck favored me when I least expected it. I landed a great job with a good package, and from then on, there was no looking back. I learned that when one door closes, another opens, often leading to better opportunities.

One of the defining moments was when I chose to leave the U.S. in the midst of my green card processing to be with my ailing mother in India. My manager refused to grant me a two-week leave, prioritizing meeting his billings quota over my family needs. It was a tough decision, but my family’s needs were paramount. Many couldn’t understand why I would leave a stable life in the U.S., but I followed my heart. I do not like to live with regrets.

I share these experiences not to boast but to emphasize that it’s okay to have your own opinions and principles, even if they aren’t popular. Standing firm in your beliefs and working hard with dedication and talent are the keys to success. Life may throw challenges and setbacks, but staying true to oneself and embracing opportunities with resilience and courage can lead to fulfilling and meaningful journeys. Live your life as you wish and not how others want you to.

Ranjit Singh Oberai

Doctorate of Business Administration, UCAM Spain