Harsha on Cricket & Corporate Lessons

Last night we attended a dinner with Harsha Bhogle organized by Forum of India Professionals in Hong Kong. Harsha spoke at length & compared all three forms of cricket. He talked about impact of T20 on the cricketing world & how it is creating opportunities for young talent in cricket. Couple of very interesting things came out – some young professionals might not want to play Tests or ODIs and play for India at all. All they would do is focus on short form performance – hittiing power for 5 overs and bowling for few overs. I thought it was quite interesting as these days most corporates are just focusing on short term performers rather than people who really build long term value for the company.

Harsha talked very passionately about Test cricket and I really liked that. Not that I have 5 days time to watch but I think Test cricket requires you to survive things through 5 days and then win. He said a very interesting thing – sometimes you get attacked by a bowler – you get hit – you can’t judge the balls – wind & light conditions make it difficult etc etc.¬† In any such cases the key is to rotate the strike – spend some time on the wicket – take a breather and build your innings. It is so true in corporate life where professionals are faced with tough situations. So rather than being psyched or reckless… I think it is important to stick it out and build the innings and eventually smash the same bowler who troubled you big time. And it is possible – I have seen Sachin Tendulkar do that – Steve Waugh used to do exactly the same – and we can certainly learn of these cricketing heros.

Harsha as always was entertaining, charming and witty. He engaged the audience with quiz questions and also cracking some cool jokes. I must say the audience was captivated.

For both Bashuli & I the evening meant even more as we met up with Anita Bhogle after almost 7 years. Anita used to head strategic planning function at FCB-Ulka when we joined the agency and we always had fun interacting with her. It was indeed good to catch up and in no time all the fun memories of early days in advertising came back.