Ever since I started Outliers podcast in December 2016, it’s been an amazing journey of conversations, almost like a free flowing river, navigating the ups and the downs, and the unexpected twists. Sometimes fulfilling, and at times leaving me even more hungry to keep seeking.
And this analogy of a river reminds me of this beautiful poem by Kahalil Gibran, called “Fear.”
It is said that before entering the sea a river trembles with fear. She looks back at the path she has traveled, from the peaks of the mountains, the long winding road crossing forests and villages. And in front of her, she sees an ocean so vast, that to enter there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way.
The river can not go back. Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.
We started Outliers: the Season of Resilience as a series of conversations about how the outliers managed different cycles of disruptions and crossed the valleys of death in their lives and careers — basically, look how their experiences in the past can help us navigate the coming few months or quarters.
This series of Outliers has been about resilience, not necessarily false hopes.
And now, we bring you the final episode of this season.
Many of you would have heard of Anand Deshpande, the founder of Pune-based Persistent Systems. Anand has navigated Persistent over the past three decades through different cycles of disruptions and existential crises. He’s an outlier for many reasons. And creating a software product focused company when everyone around was busy building immensely lucrative software outsourcing business in the 90s, isn’t the only reason. Over the years, Anand has built Persistent into a well-oiled machine that continues to survive and keep its focus intact, sometimes doggedly.
“There are certain crises that are very specific to you, unique to you. The other crisis is where everyone is impacted. And in some sense, a crisis where you are not the only one in trouble, is potentially easier to deal with because you’re not alone,” Anand tells me in this podcast.
“Over the last 30 years at Persistent, we have had both these types. I must say our best growth periods happened right after these difficult times.”
So how did Anand do it?
Listen to this podcast to learn more.