Deep Kalra | Outlook Business
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Vishal Koul

Magic Book of Business

Deep Kalra
Founder and Group CEO of MakeMyTrip finds inspiration in everything — from time spent with family and friends to the Indian national anthem

A movie that inspires you…
Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal and Lagaan. It is on beating the odds. There is also Morgan Freeman-starrer Invictus based on Nelson Mandela’s life.

...and a song?
Our nation’s anthem Jana gana mana and Queen’s We will rock you.

When anxiety sets in?
What works for me is simple deep breathing or pranayam, especially anulom vilom.

Other ways to de-stress?
I do yoga four to five times a week. It has been part of my daily schedule for long now. Otherwise I swim, play badminton and spend time with family and friends, with the mobile phone kept far away.

Lowest point in your life? How did you deal with it? 
Within a year of starting MakeMyTrip (MMT), the dot-com bust happened. MMT was on the verge of shutting down. We had to downsize the firm and function bootstrapped for the next two years. Every month was a struggle and we managed frugally. What helped us bounce back were a great team and a couple of incredible senior colleagues who stood by the firm. They made huge personal sacrifices but joined me in the journey as co-founders. The scarcity of means actually made us pay attention to details and put herculean efforts. Those were trying times but gave a lot of insight.

Any quote or saying that inspires you?
A quote by Mahatma Gandhi has always helped me in tough times and I also used it during my speech at Nasdaq: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win!” In fact, the story of Lagey Raho Munnabhai is the gist of all the advice that I have ever given to entrepreneurs. Clearly, Gandhi and entrepreneurship have a karmic connection!

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