Dear IndiaMART stakeholders,
We are completing 20 years of IndiaMART soon. This is my first personally written blog on our business website on this unusual non business day called Sunday, the Valentine’s day. Today I would like to introduce you to one of the most important persons behind my everyday energy, my wife Chetna. I am writing an open letter to her, thanking her for being the woman behind me, whom you call the man behind IndiaMART.
This will take you by surprise. But I must do this. I know you’ve missed out on almost every Valentine’s Day there was, since our marriage. This is me trying to make up for all of them, even though I know that I truly cannot.
Looking back, I can see flashes of all our memories. I remember coming home from the U.S. for a month with the intention of getting married. I still remember feeling awed looking at the pretty girl in the photo for the first time ever. I remember having an intuition, then and there, that I had found my better half; that I needn’t look any further. Little did I know then that in the following week we’d meet each other for the first time and within a fortnight we’d be married and flying back to the US together! It all seemed to have happened within the blink of an eye. You’ve always been by my side ever since.
When I expressed my desire to come back to India and start something of my own- even though I was pretty much clueless about what, you stood by me. While I buried myself in work and set about realizing my dream, you sacrificed yours and decided to devout yourself to taking care of the family. That for a Gold medallist Post Graduate was no small sacrifice. But you never complained.
And there are innumerable memories of you that I still cherish fondly. I remember how in our early days you would come to the office every evening with the kids so that we could all go home together. Each day, I would promise to leave early, but would end up taking a long time to wrap up. Your presence in the office, with our kids, made me feel at home. It made all those long stressful hours seem easy. You have been a guiding force in my life whenever I went wrong. Remember those days when we did not have a phone at our home and office, and we had installed a fax machine at Madhup’s flat in Kirti Apartments? We would go to Mayur Vihar every evening to collect fax messages received in the day but then three of us including Vikas would keep up late chatting for a long time. Invariably, we would get back home late at night, which went on for many days. After two to three weeks of such practise, while returning home in our green Martui 800, around midnight, you asked me if these discussions were even necessary. There, I got the message and started to focus on ‘doing’ rather than discussing.
When I had to work late hours, you didn’t crib. When we had to be stingy, you eased into it. When I had to bring colleagues home without notice, you treated them like family. When I couldn’t find time for the kids, you made sure they were happy. Maybe one stray word or one little fight was all it could’ve taken for everything to fall apart, but you safely saw us to the shore without a fault. Every time and till date!
I remember how, since the earliest days, you would keenly collect every little brochure and every newspaper clipping about IndiaMART and keep them safely tucked away. Just so that if by some turn of luck we ended up successful one day, those little clippings would help us keep track of our history! I don’t think anyone would have believed it back then, including me. But you were so convinced, just because I said. It’s probably that faith which kept me going all along.
And when it came to taking charge, you were a star! I, for one, take a lot of pride in the fact that we have always maintained deep rooted and very close ties with our family and community, to date. While I was busy working, you single-handedly and with utmost dedication ensured that our extended family and community as a whole, never felt ignored. From transport to sending food to medical and taking them shopping. Remember that Singapore trip with at least 60 of us? I would never have been able to manage it alone.
And look how far we’ve come! We’ve built IndiaMART up from scratch. We’ve kept intact our ties with both our extended families, all along. We’ve brought up two wonderful boys together. We’ve travelled all around the world from Khimsar to Barcelona, from Maldives to Kashmir, from Canary Islands to Bali, from West Indies to Greece and Mykonos. We’ve grown young together.
Would any of this have been possible with anyone but you?
With you around, I’ve always felt like I have another soul, giving me that something extra to push forward, to take that risk head on, and to keep going. You have been my strongest pillar, my anchor, my strength. Look at me! All these years later, I’m still in awe. I know that I have not been a perfect husband. I shouted at you so many times. Forget about consulting, I take so many decisions without even informing you. And I believe the best part is that we’ve only begun! We’ve still got a long way to go and a lot more to do together. For my part, I am still as excited as I was in the beginning of this amazing journey.
Now, both of us belong to very traditional families wherein talking openly about our affection is always out of the question!
But this Valentine’s Day, I would like to break that trend and tell you, loud and clear, that:
I love you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you, Chetna!
Thank you for everything.