AN Rao, Solopreneur & Learning Sherpa

“Beyond the edge lies the realm of opportunities”- AN Rao

In this episode, Ashutosh Garg engages in a thought-provoking conversation with AN Rao, Founder,, a highly successful solopreneur and a coach. Rao is an alumnus of IIM-Calcutta.

AN Rao talks about the three phases of life- he meticulously establishes the phases and beautifully explains each. He shares the three milestones of his highly successful career. According to Rao, kicks on the back are essential- they push one to different orbits of life. 

“There was a time where you could’ve learned one skill and spent your entire career on that”- Rao explains how the corporate world has changed and why staying relevant is necessary. He talks about the changes one has to go through to accept Gen-Z and millennials coming to the workforce. He then shares his insights on the definition of success.

“One must have divine dissatisfaction until one reaches his potential”- Rao enlightens us with the meaning of his quote.


Looking back from the vantage point and rear-view mirror of today, this was an incredibly rewarding phase of life which started when I first reported for work on the 2nd May,1984. I was super equipped with the intelligence that the T School
and B School imbued me with but ill equipped with the wisdom life can only teach you. I was, at that time, too green to understand the difference between intelligence and wisdom in life but was bouncing around with an enormous amount of positive energy and a belief (that stayed with me till date) that each of us was born to making the world a wee bit better place (Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Success rings in my ears whenever I think of that). There was this strong conviction that success in career comes from the relevance you create for yourself and the impact you make for others around you. “If your presence does not make a difference, your absence will not matter” was the one liner (one of many one liners that became a part of my lexicon over the next 3 decades) my teams heard from me relentlessly. Pursuing a career in USA, the land of opportunity was a big thing those days. But as the only son, I knew I would be around in India and in proximity when my parents aged and would need my care and company. They would never ask for it being what they are. I am glad I listened to that inner voice.

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