The Invaluable Essence of Time Management: Lessons from Azim Premji

@Hyderabad Airport- 1999

In our pursuit of progress and success, we often prioritize the accumulation of wealth, inadvertently relegating time to a secondary role. However, it is essential to recognize that while money can be earned or regained, time is an irretrievable asset. This article delves into the significance of effective time management, highlighting a personal encounter with the renowned business tycoon, Azim Premji, and the valuable lessons gleaned from his exemplary approach to handling time.

Most of the times we associate our progress with money and relegate time to background. But the truth of life is, one can earn money at any time, or even make up for lost money, but one cannot earn back time or make up for lost time.

Sometime in 1999, I had the opportunity to meet Sri Azim Premji in the airport. There was some delay in the regular flights, due to some cancellation and Indian Airlines offered a complementary breakfast spread. I spotted him with a couple of his colleagues, in apparent serious discussion, while sampling a few food items. One could immediately guess that there was something important planned ahead and the flights issue, put a dampener on it, and he was doing his best to compensate and most importantly manage time effectively.

Time, the elusive constant that we often take for granted, holds a profound significance in our lives. As I reflect on my interaction with Azim Premji back in 1999, the airport encounter painted a vivid picture of a man who valued time above all else. Amidst flight delays and disrupted schedules, Premji’s unwavering focus on managing time efficiently was palpable. Even as I approached him seeking an autograph, his initial reaction conveyed the urgency and importance he placed on his time. Nevertheless, upon discovering my professional aspirations, his demeanor softened, and he graciously obliged, leaving little room for small talk. It was evident that individuals like Azim Premji regard time management as paramount, proactively taking charge of their schedules instead of allowing time to dictate their lives.

Observing Azim Premji engrossed in earnest discussions with his colleagues, his unwavering commitment to optimizing time became increasingly evident. With every nibble of food and every exchange of ideas, he exuded an aura of purposeful efficiency, unaffected by the curious gazes of onlookers. Premji’s approach to time management exemplified a cardinal rule: by projecting oneself as someone prepared and ready for any challenge, the schedule inevitably becomes packed with meaningful tasks. It was an unspoken lesson in conveying priorities through actions, ensuring that each moment is allocated to the most significant endeavors. The encounter left an indelible impression, emphasizing the importance of proactive time management as a crucial aspect of achieving success.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This quote from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty encapsulates the essence of effective time management discussed in this article. The protagonist embarks on an extraordinary journey, driven by the realization that life is about experiencing moments, connecting with others, and truly feeling. Similarly, Azim Premji’s relentless pursuit of time management reflects a deeper understanding of life’s purpose. By efficiently managing time, we create opportunities to explore, grow, and connect with the world around us. Premji’s dedication to optimizing time serves as a powerful reminder that time is not merely a resource to be consumed but a catalyst for meaningful experiences and personal growth.

In a world often preoccupied with financial gains, it is crucial to reorient our perspective and recognize the true value of time.

How OpenAI’s unique equity compensation works

OpenAI’s median total compensation package for a Software Engineer is $900k, just shy of a million dollars. The catch is that instead of traditional equity grants, OpenAI issues Profit Participation Units (PPUs).

OpenAI distinguishes itself from the majority of startups by providing PPUs to its employees instead of traditional stock options. To put it simply, while exercising options grants ownership to a portion of the company itself, PPUs represent ownership of a percentage of the company’s *profits*.

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Kasme Vaade and Chesina Basalu: The Copy-Paste Chronicles of Remakes!

Remakes in the film industry have been a common phenomenon, serving as a medium to recreate successful stories for a new audience. One such remarkable instance is the Hindi film “Kasme Vaade,” starring the legendary Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role, and its Telugu remake, “Chesina Basalu,” with Sobhan Babu as the hero.

Released in 1978, “Kasme Vaade” is a Bollywood classic that recorded a decent hit at the box office with its storyline and performances. Along with Amitabh Bachchan, the film also featured other talented actors such as Randhir Kapoor and Neetu Singh in supporting roles.

Remaking a successful film is no easy task, as it involves striking a delicate balance between staying true to the original (aka retaining the success formula) while catering to the sensibilities of a new audience. Filmmakers face the challenge of preserving the essence and magic of the original film while incorporating fresh elements to make the remake relevant and engaging. From rewriting the screenplay to casting suitable actors, the entire process demands meticulous planning and execution. However, when done right, remakes can breathe new life into timeless stories, introducing them to a wider audience.

One such remake that deserves a special mention is the Telugu version of “Kasme Vaade” titled “Chesina Basalu.” Starring the iconic Sobhan Babu in the lead role, this 1980 remake took the concept of recreating a film to a whole new level. In a feat that left many in awe, “Chesina Basalu” meticulously copied every frame of the original, leaving no stone unturned in recreating the magic of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer. From the dialogues to the costumes and even the camera angles, it seemed as if the director had embarked on a mission to achieve perfection through replication.

With a touch of humor, it is safe to say that “Chesina Basalu” could be mistaken for a masterclass in frame-to-frame mimicry. The dedication to recreating every minute detail was so precise that one could play both films simultaneously and marvel at the striking similarities. In a world where creativity and originality often take center stage, “Chesina Basalu” serves as a comical reminder of the lengths to which filmmakers can go to reproduce a hit.

A word about casting. Casting suitable actors for remakes can be a daunting task, especially when their choices don’t perfectly align with regional market preferences. It’s akin to the world of celebrity brand endorsements, where different markets have distinct preferences for their beloved brand ambassadors. Take the example of Thumbs Up soft drink—Shah Rukh Khan represents the brand in Hindi markets, while Vijay Devarakonda does the same in Telugu markets, who, on the silver screen, might appear in different kinds of movies. Similarly, in remakes, filmmakers face the challenge of selecting actors who may not perfectly match the original stars but can still resonate with the target audience. It requires a careful balance between regional preferences, star power, and adapting the character to the cultural nuances of the target market. Successfully navigating this casting challenge in remakes involves understanding the audience’s expectations, preferences, and finding actors who can bring their own unique flavor to the table, ultimately creating a delightful and engaging experience for the viewers.

In summary, “Kasme Vaade” and its Telugu remake “Chesina Basalu” exemplify the enduring appeal of captivating stories and the challenges filmmakers face when venturing into the realm of remakes. While remakes can often spark debates about creativity and innovation, they provide a platform for revisiting beloved narratives and introducing them to a new generation. And if nothing else, “Chesina Basalu” will forever be remembered as a frame-by-frame tribute to the original, adding a touch of amusement to the vast landscape of Indian cinema.


The author saw the movie ‘Chesina Basalu’ on the eve of his aunt’s marriage, in the opening weekend.