Great problems bring out great potential, and Vikas Goyal, Senior Manager, Business Analytics at IndiaMART, is a fine example of how to turn adversity to your advantage.
Married to Vaishally, the couple shifted to New Delhi four years back and are proud parents to their son Vivaan. For Vikas, work-life balance is purely a function of hours. He explains that out of the total 168 hours in a week if you strike out 70 hours for the basic chores, you are left with roughly 100 hours. These 100 hours can be segregated by dedicating 60 hours for office, 30 hours for family, and 10 hours for your passion. Coming to passion, Vikas has an undying inclination towards numbers, solving puzzles, cubes, and all things logical.
His passion for numbers takes us back to his early days. The untimely death of Vikas’ father pushed the Goyal family towards financial struggle. All of twelve at that time, Vikas pitched in to contribute whatever little he could, by giving mathematics classes in his neighborhood. “Gradually, the responsibility germinated to love for the subject, and I started coaching CAT/GMAT aspirants during my academic days,” he shares. Vikas went on to crack CAT and pursue PGDM. Besides, he worked with T.I.M.E, Career Launcher, and Endeavor Careers as a part-time quantitative and logical reasoning faculty.
Learning never stopped for Vikas, as the ‘Best Performer of the Year’ awardee for 2016-17 and 2018-19, continues to enhance his skill set with certifications like Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the American Society of Quality, and Level III Professional Risk Management from PRMIA.
Blessed with a jovial persona, Vikas is an advocate of data-driven decision making. He states,
Vikas shares that when you lead a big team, people get carried away with emotions, however, the leadership must trust data.
“Don’t trust your beta, but trust data.“
Talking about the inspiration behind his book ‘A Date with Numbers,’ Vikas shares that mathematics is perceived as a dull and dry subject with lots of formulas. And youth icons like Virat Kohli add fire to this dislike for the subject, when they release statements like, “I used to get 3, I was that good. I did not understand, why someone would even want to learn math.” To break the notion and make maths interesting for children, he authored ‘A Date with Numbers.’
Vikas brings out the beauty of numbers by linking them to dates. “Dates are special, and they are universal; birthdays, marriage anniversary, work anniversary or even the paycheck day – dates are meaningful to us,” he adds.
Vikas shares an incident that acted as a trigger to write his book. “It was my 13-year-old niece. Last year, I happened to see her on her birthday. She is good in studies but didn’t like mathematics as a subject. I tried to convince her that math is interesting to which she asked to prove it,” he reveals. Vikas took the challenge and proved his point by taking her birthday as an example,
“If a math equation on the birthdate could ignite interest in the kid, then why not do it for each date of the year?”
Vikas thought of beautifully expressing each of the 365 days of the year using basic mathematics to invoke the curious minds of all ages. His formula was to blend the beauty of numeric logic with the emotions of dates.
However, the destination Vikas had set for himself did not pave through easy roads. To identify something unique for each date was a herculean and challenging task. And it becomes tougher when you are working as a full-time employee. “I believe in the motto: There is no “i” in “team” but there is always “i” in “time.” If you are passionate about something, shelling 8-10 hours out of 168 hours in a week is just 5%,” he shares.
The key takeaway from Vikas Goyal’s journey is that anyone should not be bounded by their work, and must follow their passion. While writing his book, Vikas was often ridiculed for being orthodox, there were many who told, ‘who reads books these days.’ However, going back to the roots, and following his passion motivated him to stay on course. “Pursue what you love the most, irrespective of whether it is perceived orthodox, outdated. Do what you love,” Goyal concludes.
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