News & Views


So Much To Do @ 60
Ambi Parameswaran, Brand Strategist, Author, Founder Brand-Building.com a Brand Advisory.

Really? When I meet friends who ask me how is my ‘retired life’, I often tell them that my life is as busy as it was, except for the headache of meeting a ‘revenue budget’ every month. And I think I am lucky.

You may say that luck has nothing to do with it and did I not work meticulously towards this goal starting years ago.

Well may be, but not really.

When I completed my Advisorship role at the agency where I had served as VP, CEO, ED for a span of over 25 years, I was clear that I was not going to do something: I was not going into a retired life mode. I wanted to continue to stay active, do whatever I can to help young people and entrepreneurs. Teach. Read. Write. Speak.

But where to begin this journey. I did the most obvious thing. I made a list of people to meet and in a systematic fashion I went and met more than 25 different senior business leaders, academician, consultants. As a friend asked me when I met him at Jaipur Literature Festival that year, ‘How many people have you met in preparation for your next phase of live?’. He said he had hit a total of 50. I was way behind.

Meeting so many people gave me some clear ideas of what I should and should not do. The late Pradipto Mahapatra, one of India’s foremost CEO Coaches told me, ‘Aambi, whatever you plan to do, don’t don’t start a B School’. Thank you Pradipto!

The one thing that I was sure not to do was to sit at home. So I created an office where I will go to every day at 9.30 am. Fortunately this office is so close that I just need to cross the road to get to my office. Secondly I decided to try various things. Did a CEO Coach Certification from Coaching Federation of India. Joined hands with some forward thinking Directors of B Schools to launch a Forum For Marketing Education which will offer pro bono seminars for young marketing faculty of Mumbai’s 90+ B Schools. Accepted readily the offer to spend 5 days a month at SPJIMR as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing. Got my book ‘Nawabs Nudes Noodles – India Through 50 Years of Advertising’ published. Delivered more than 50 talks around the book all over India and even in Sri Lanka. Started writing my ninth book. Decided to contribute article more regularly to Business Standard, The Mint and numerous other publications [this one included]. Accepted speaking requests from TEDx organisers [two and counting], even the Army War College at Mhow. Gladly said ‘yet’ to requests from young entrepreneurs to serve as an advisor. Invested in a couple [Delighted to report one of my ‘mentees’ was featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine last month].

Do I have a winning formula for a RetyrSmart reader? Not sure. My formula is to accept requests without strings attached. Enjoy the journey. And not get stressed about meeting a financial goal.

What gets you going? I have a friend who believes that he wants to spend the rest of his life travelling and listening to music. Yet another friend wants to do work with the NGO sector only. Someone else has gone back to teaching in a local municipal school.

We are the fortunate lot. I suppose most of the readers of RetyrSmart have created a good enough nest egg that they don’t need to work for a fee, in their golden years.

There is so much to be done in our country.

There are schools crying for teachers. Can you volunteer in one?

The colleges and business schools need tutors and visiting faculty. Can you go back to your books and pick up the threads to become a good visiting faculty. Believe you me, you cannot get by by just narrating stories from your past. You need to have the theoretical chops to make the new age student listen to you.

There are so many young people bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Can you serve as a mentor for them.

The coaching business is booming. There are all kinds of coaches. Can you become one.

The NGO sector needs people with skills of various kinds. Can you serve as a mentor for a deserving NGO.

And these are just a few openings that I can think of.

When I was the President of Advertising Club Bombay we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Ad Club and we published a book titled ’50 Careers in Advertising’.

I think it is time that RetyrSmart publish a book on ’60 Careers for Post-Career Folks’.

Stay Healthy. Stay Happy. Keep Helping. Keep Smiling.

Ambi Parameswaran
Brand Strategist, Author, Founder Brand-Building.com a Brand Advisory.