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January 17, 2016


Nostalgic morning -- stumbled upon this email I had written 6 year ago before I returned from Mexico . While reading this email felt both joy & sorrow at once , and certainly my concluding sentence of coming with a better report card in the future made me smile !
From: Konnur, Samir
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 5:46 PM
To: Konnur, Samir ; P Y, Salil
Cc: Chegudi, Sudha; 'Robbins, Mark (Penske)'; 'Greg, Tom (Penske)'; 'Reid, Marshall (Penske)'; 'Flury, David (Penske)'; 'Brooks, Martin (Penske)'; 'Williams, Becky (Penske)'; 'Joseph, Victor (Penske)'; 'Samson, Paul (Penske)'; 'Foster, Renee (Penske)'; 'Arthur, Peter (Penske)'; 'Tanner, Andrew (Penske)'; 'Margaret, Sheena (Penske)'; 'Isaac Ariel (Penske)'; 'Bankert, Marcia (Penske)'; Basu, Abhijit (GE Infra, Energy, Non-GE); Basumallik, Madhuwanti; Peter, A.J.Ranjit; ''
Subject: RE: Thank you Samir
Hi Salil,
We exchanged an email exactly a year ago. So it was time to subject my progress card to scrutiny.
On 24th Aug last year when I arrived in Mexico , I felt quite similar to the protagonist of a thriller book * ‘The Tightrope Men’ written by Desmond Bagley.
(* Set during the height of the cold war, Giles Denison's life is turned upside down when he awakes to find himself in a luxurious hotel in Oslo and, peering into the bathroom mirror, discovers the face of another man! He has been kidnapped from his flat in London and transformed into a famous Finnish scientist by surgery. Compelled to adjust to his new persona and to play out the role assigned to him by his captors, he embarks on a dangerous escapade from Norway , Finland and across the border into Soviet Russia. * Wikipedia)
Waking up in Mexico was a similar experience– (with the same face though smile emoticon hahahaha) there was not a single strand of continuity… from when I traveled from India . It was akin to starting a new life.
Over the year I traveled extensively, made lots of friends, won the respect, affection and admiration of my team in Mexico, managed the Mexico engagement with 8 Global F&A businesses so had an opportunity to work with leadership across a wide spectrum of businesses. I have attached one email as evidence of the change I could bring to our processes in Mexico from a senior stakeholder. (In case you thought I was making things up)
Participated in 4 half marathons ( Rio Grande half marathon at Las Cruces , Atlanta half Marathon, Whiskey Row 10 K at Prescott and Running with the Devil half marathon at Boulder City ). Worked on several other areas of interest and improved the quality of my reading.
As I reflect back on the year, feel mixed emotions. Should have accomplished so much more but could have easily lost my momentum in life too. So to answer
Whether he rises from the ashes, does all (of you) proud;
or it is a ' coup de grace':
Only time will tell, alone time can tell !
Jury is still out……time is yet to tell!!

Sharing some of my learning’s –
When I was being introduced to Penske team in Jan 2003, some associate inquired the reason why I left Compudyne (my previous employer). I narrated how a quote from the story about Ramanujan came to influence my decision. It read “Success is a combination of ability and opportunity” and it resonates with me even now. Because if I can give myself credit for something, than it would be tirelessly working on my abilities. After all opportunities are not in our control anyway. Most of us are not invested enough in our abilities and therefore even when opportunity comes knocking we are unable to exploit it.
I signed up for CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program earlier this year but somewhere I could not connect my acquiring that ability to a possible opportunity and gave up, it was my biggest disappointment during the year. So the attitude of ‘working on abilities’ is WIP for me too.
There were months when I was living like a zombie. Day in – day out, sometimes circumstances demand that. As my finance professor used to say “No strategy can be a strategy too”. Sometimes standing still against the tide is moving forward.
For the most part of the year isolation and loneliness was soul wrenching. But diversified my interest in so many areas that I could keep melancholy at bay. I have attached a slide aptly titled ‘ammunition’ which lists all the different areas I researched into. Diversify your interest to offset a set back in particular field, it is easier to deal with professional upheaval if you have other areas to invest your mind in.
Confidence / Resilience – During several months because of either injury or sinus I could not run, but I always had the confidence that I can get back on track once fit. Similarly inspite of several upsets during the year, I had the resilience to bounce back. Confidence – Resilience according to me are key ingredients for living thru tough times. Keep working on improving both.

All the best to everyone, would come with better results next time.

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