How a gritty business owner walked the path of success despite an unexpected setback
This is an amazing story of triumph of human will over a disability, one that was inflicted after rather than born with.
John Milton, asks this clinching question in the peom On His Blindness,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask.
And provides an answer himself.
“God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; hundreds at his bidding speed
And post o’er property and sea without rest:
They serve who just stand and wait also.”
Without medical sophistication of today, Milton spent the rest of his life in blindness telling himself, “They also serve who only stand and wait, ” which means that they also serve God who endure hardship. Milton composed Paradise Lost, considered a literary masterpiece, after he lost sight.
A Life-altering Change
It was August 1997. Naveen Lakkur was near to 3 years into his relationship, but his entrepreneurial venture remaining him any moment to spend along with his wife hardly. But an invitation from his friend’s in-laws to invest the long Independence Day time weekend with him and his in-laws, produced Naveen pack his mind and bags to Chennai. Little did he understand this trip shall modification his life forever. In Chennai, after going to a temple, Naveen and his family members visited MGM Dizzy Globe, a theme park. His love for water, made Naveen enter the splash pool at the theme park. As he slid into water, people who are already in the pool splashed water on his eyes. These are not light splashes but very harsh sprays of drinking water.
A full week afterwards, when Naveen was viewing Shah Rukh Khan starrer Pardes, he felt some flooding and shaking before his eyes. It was the night show. He closed his left eye and could see perfectly with his right eye. But when he do the same exercise along with his left eyes, he previously the same shaking, flooding experience again. Next evening about consulting an ophthalmologist, Naveen got the first shock of his lifestyle, “Among your eyes has truly gone blind. You might not be able to see with it,” said the ophthalmologist. He advised Naveen to seek advice from a retina expert also.
The retina expert had more bad news waiting for you for Naveen. The retina was totally ruptured and the doctor tells him to get admitted the very next morning for a surgery. A true blue entrepreneur, Naveen was worried about the time he will have to avoid work and convinces the doctor to let him leave in three days instead of a week after surgery. The doctor tells Naveen that the seemingly innocuous splashing of water was like a stone hitting his eyes and the explanation for this problem.
Dr. Y.L. Rajashekar, the retina expert who performed the medical procedures informed Naveen a 20% potential for getting some view in the blind attention. However the worse was definately not over, the physician tells Naveen that it might be only a matter of period that he turns completely blind as the additional eye had also created a crack on the retina. An identical surgery is carried out on the additional eye, and Naveen totally looses his vision with a bleak chance of getting some sight back. For the next three months Naveen is advised to sleep on his stomach as the retina may dislodge if he sleeps on his back. Naveen endures the ordeal, mostly confined to bed.
Lessons Learnt in Adversity
Without business or an operating job, Naveen starts to contemplate what can he do if he is not able to move around. “I could be a telephone operator,” he thinks to himself. At such time, when the future looks bleak, Rajesh Setty, an old friend writes to Naveen some expressed words that give him fresh hope. “Complications come to heroes to ensure that they can conquer it,” said Rajesh. These expressed terms inspire Naveen to reunite on his feet. He tells his close friends of his inability to discover and inability to perform any task. Another friend Prakash Venkatesan suggests a list of 20 careers he has at heart for Naveen. And suddenly for Naveen, who had lost all hope, points up were needs to look. But to increase his woes suddenly, 11 workers of his business C-Design Systems – his initial entrepreneurial venture, give the office keys to him and resign en masse.
He’s forced by the problem to sit up, and by using his wife’s and few friends, Naveen resumes office and doubles his business within six months. Here is a streak of human endeavour that refuses to give up and maintains the light burning when there is usually darkness all around. Fatalistic attitudes debilitate the mind enduring physical pain already. But a convert to positive thinking and accomplishment negates the discomfort completely.
Doors That Opened
There exists a famous saying, “When He closes one door, He opens another.” Naveen gets another break he badly requirements Similarly. Prakash Venkatesan, the friend who’d provided him 20 jobs earlier, now comes back to develop a software to manage his weighing bridge stock. With a business spread all over India, Prakash have been facing difficulty to get inventory supply-demand or information data. Because of this sometimes there were way too many orders to focus on and sometimes there is a whole lot of dead share, turning up without product sales. Naveen pieces the record direct with prospect management program software that can help Prakash get actual details of stock, supply and demand so that he is able to inject the much-needed dynamism into his business.
As yr 2000 dawns, life seems bright for Naveen. But fresh eye problems snatches Naveen’s vision once again. He is unable to see and unable to read and diagnoses of new conditions are made. 14 surgeries are performed in three years to set the eye right. The recurring eye problem leaves Naveen depressed. He feels burdened by the recurring problem that doesn’t let him live.
While undergoing the trauma of losing and gaining sight, he is directed to Sri Sathya Sai Baba by his doctor and goes to Puttapurthi on a Dusshera day. Life requires a divine switch and he gets an indirect message that he will be in a position to see again. Constant engagement with he is helped by the divine ponder over life’s burning questions and discover answers for them. A staunch believer now, Naveen believes it had been Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s blessings that helped him gain his sight.
A New Beginning
After much ups and downs, Naveen is today a changed man and has many people to thank including the Lord for helping him overcome the trials and tribulations of his life. Today Naveen’s eye sight is partially restored. He doesn’t have the periphery eyesight still, which means he can only just see what’s there only before him and nothing that’s on his side, best, or bottom-just just how horses possess their blinders. He misses some handshakes or bangs himself in uncertain terrains. But that doesn’t prevent him from doing factors and getting points done. Now, Naveen has redefined himself, and in his own style, he says, “Naveen Lakkur is usually a person with limited sight but unlimited vision. That is who I am by divine grace.”
Naveen walks tall with over 14 of his ideas having been turned into effective businesses through his association in various capacities. He was lately invited to chat at chapter of Vistage Group (CEO’s discussion board) in the usa, where he was to provide a lecture on serial entrepreneurship. But when he senses that the crowd is filled with most people who have built billion-dollar businesses and icons themselves, he changes his topic to “Problems Are Relative.” He slowly unravels to the stunned target audience the freak accident that he landed himself in, his fight for sight after that, and his burning desire to see the world again. He tells them, “I lost my sight to gain vision-fourteen of which have grown to be commercially viable businesses.”
Naveen is cofounder and Person in the Plank of Compassites now, a high-end product and software development services company with its functions based out of Bangalore, Pune, Sydney, and Kent. He incubates new suggestions and has been part of 24 incubations – one of the recent spin-offs is definitely HomeConnect that helps you get solutions at your doorstep.
Naveen feels he was able to see much of his inner self , rather than the exterior world that helped him soar to heights he wouldn’t possess imagined. His is normally a tale of tremendous individual spirit that lifted a person from the particles of despair to exuberant business achievement, of an existence that would have gone haywire but stayed to create a difference to several more lives and an inspiring tale of unremitting mind and a saga of courage. There is definitely one element that shines strongly in Naveen’s existence – he kept the entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial streak alive and endured his disability to build even more businesses.
Unforeseen are many in an ongoing business, but little do we realize our own physical personal shall limit us in a single way or the additional. It can be with the type of attitude that Naveen offers displayed that people will get to the other side of life that is full of energy, positivity, and success.
There is another addendum to Naveen’s life story. He recently turned author with his first book, The Inseparable Twins: Paired Principles to Inspire Young Thoughts, a continuing business publication describing paired thoughts as a parable. At the written publication release function at Bangalore, many eminent many people paid glowing tributes to Naveen’s ability to transform life from one of no vision (blank, empty spots) to a grand vision (of setting path for stellar business successes). The entire proceeds of the book would go to help social projects – like a seed that will grow right into a tree to benefit many people.
Among the entrepreneurial traits, Naveen embodies grit and perseverance, and searching at life positively despite an obtained disability that was testing Naveen’s ability also to function again. Of his second innings following this life-altering knowledge, he says, “I wouldn’t have achieved even a quarter of what I have achieved today if I had not met with that freak accident.” Rediscovering yourself is a part of entrepreneurial journey.