Does that word create the image of a spoilt brat with all the resources at his/her disposal? Well yes, I feel you. But this one experience gave me a deeper insight about the other aspects of the life of a rich-kid.
I had the opportunity to interact with Kunal Amalean, who hails from the business family that owns the 2-billion dollar MAS Holdings. Their clientele includes Nike, Victoria Secrets and many such major brands. But that introduction does absolutely no justice to his individuality and personality.
Recently, at Babson, he shared his story with us – How he had joined Babson’s undergrad program, went on to work for a couple of apparel startups, went back to his family business, gained some ground-work experience and then went on to take up roles of more responsibility (I can share this in detail but then the length of the post would dissuade readers). But throughout the dialogue, more than being floored by the scale of the MAS business, I was attracted to the humility, brevity and genuineness he maintained.
He spoke about empathizing with the employees (95000 of them) at the bottom of the pyramid, earning his position in the company, showing maturity in decision making and learning from the small companies he had worked for. He didn’t have the answers to all the questions, but admittedly spoke about the dilemmas about risk-reward and other issues.
I don’t know him very well, but he definitely taught me a lot about being grounded, polite, caring and showing maturity while dealing with high-pressure situations. The vibe was just so positive and welcoming, that I almost forgot the notion I had about the term, ‘rich-kids’.
Yes, that notion exists because there are many who reinforce our belief in the stereotype. However the flip side is that there are some who live under the tremendous pressure of expectations, responsibilities and benchmarks. How they make their way through it and manage to stay sane and humble, is something people like Kunal can share through their stories.
I think the stereotype also stems from the inert nature of humans to feel jealous of those who are doing better than them. It is important to not use these notions to paint the populations in the same color. Being selfish, emotional, loud or an atheist is a matter of choice and perspective. Everyone is playing a different game, with a different goal and way different metrics of success. Let’s try and open our minds in order to get rid of the notions that shape our judgments about people. After all, an open mind is fundamental to moving forward. Isn’t it?