What life throws up at you is pretty much beyond your control. But how you toss the stress out of your way and continue forging ahead with a smile that reaches your ears, is really only in your hands. The adage is one that has been repeated and reiterated since we can remember but its true meaning is something only a few have come to comprehend and put into action. Raul R. Rai, Co-founder and CEO of Nicobar, that has just turned three, is one such person, who believes in the quality of action and intention irrespective of what life throws at him.
The landmark year demands introspection. It beckons Rai and his team to reflect on the metaphysical reality that surrounds them, and then to see their reflections in still water. But before that, it’s time for plenty of celebrations, each attached to the multiple launches. Its birthday collection includes women’s wear, menswear, home, travel and jewellery, and the highlight of it all, a new kidswear line. “Little Nico mirrors some of our signature pieces: the Nicodress, weekender pants and Nawab shirt,” says Rai.
It is a capsule in 100 per cent cotton and garments come with a poppy seed paper label with seeds in it for planting. The last five years have been definitive for him in terms of holistic personal growth. His team continues to give him strength. Then, mentors like Santosh Desai of Future Brands, Ananth Raman at HBS, Ireena Vittal who is Ex McKinsey and Darshan Bhat of Creatnet, have all been stanchions to his entrepreneurial journey.
But the one thing Rai has come to hold close to his heart is a line from The Bhagavad Gita that says ‘You have a right to your actions, but never to your action’s fruits. Act for the action’s sake.’ “Both in my personal life and professional life these boundaries are totally blurred now for me,” he says, adding, “I have also come to see great wisdom in my father in law’s advice: ‘This too shall pass.’ So we know every story turns and we try not to get too excited when things work out extremely well and not feel too dejected they don’t.” Today, Rai finds himself in the middle of this three-year-old journey that has filled him with gratitude and purpose.