Our childhood usually shapes our future, and while all kids don't sketch their future out, Ankur did. Even as a child, he had a plan — he wanted to do his Ph.D. in the US, become a NASA space scientist, and then be the first man to reach Mars. In 2002, his father took a loan of INR 55,000 to pay for a one-way ticket to the US for his Ph.D. But here's a twist in the tale: although he was good at physics, his heart wasn't in it. So, he decided to drop out and move back to India. Soon, he joined the Indian School of Business (ISB). After graduating, he worked as a management consultant at Kearney while managing SecondShaadi.com. He worked at Kearney for three years before building several startups.
As a youngster, he took pride in pursuing his goals, but in hindsight, he realizes it was based on how the world would perceive him on achieving those goals. The journey that'd lead him to the goals didn't matter then.
"The outcome seemed fascinating! I'd see myself as a NASA scientist, and thought oh my god, people would say Ankura Warikoo is a NASA scientist. Look at that dude; he did it! But I didn't fall in love with the journey that would lead me to be a scientist. And that wasn't an easy one; no journey that takes you to that level is, and today I'm wiser. I recognize that if you don't fall in love with the journey or the path, you'll rarely be content with what you eventually get. Even if you get it!"
Unlike many individuals who prepare themselves for larger-than-life goals with mock speeches or winning medals — Ankur remained realistic. He always saw himself getting ahead to a certain point and enjoying it for an extended period rather than relishing just that moment.