On July 12, I discovered the Four P’s.
I was nervously sitting at Taj Palace during the book launch of Terminal 4: An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Bicycle to Business Class, listening to Australian and Indian diplomats talk about my journey.
It was the first day of the Western Australia Invest & Trade Mission to India and I was humbled to be joined by Hon Roger Cook MLA Deputy Premier for WA, Minister Hon. David Templeman MLA Minister for Culture and the Arts; Sport and Recreation; International Education; Heritage, former High Commissioner to Australia Mr Navdeep Suri, the award-winning and dear friend Dr Mukesh Batra and the reputable publisher Harsha Bhaktal.
They said a lot of kind and important things.
But what struck a chord with me was MC Michael Carter’s nod to ‘3 P’s’ and the importance of passion, persistence, and perfectionism. I also threw a word into the mix. Product.
Looking back on the event, I now understand how these P-words have been key ingredients to my international student and entrepreneurial journey.
I also now realise they have been central themes in my book.
A book that Minister Cook hopes will support someone else’s migration journey.
“Terminal 4: An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Bicycle to Business Class describes a journey that many Indian men and women go on,” he said.
“So I would point to it as a contribution towards lessons we can learn and a way to celebrate their deep enrichment of our communities.”
Minister Cook’s humbling speech was one of the highlights of my New Delhi book launch, marking 10 years since I had arrived in Australia, built a business and settled in Perth.
When it was his turn to speak, Minister Templeman described my book and journey as an important WA story.
But he also told the audience that he wanted to star in a movie about my life.
He always makes me chuckle.
“When I think of words to describe Nilesh, persistence comes to mind,” Minister Templeman said.
“When he told me about the launch, he said I must be here, but I admit I didn’t need much encouragement.
“Much has already been said about Nilesh’s successes and the awards he’s picked up along the way, but I think an important thing to note is his role as an ambassador because we have people from over 150 countries of origin living in WA, helping to make it an exciting and vibrant place.”
While I’m both an AUSPIRE Australia Day Council Ambassador and a T20 World Cup Champion, I don’t feel I could hold a candle to Dr Mukesh Batra.
He’s the founder-chairman of the world’s first and largest homeopathy corporate and a great friend to me and my wife Lene.
He’s also a brand ambassador for WA and in many ways has been an ambassador for my book.
“Nilesh’s journey is one of passion and you can see that in this book,” Dr Batra said at the launch event.
“It’s an honest and practical account of the ups and downs Nilesh has faced over the years in India, London, Australia and the world over.
“It’s the trials and tribulations from childhood to entrepreneurship and how he has overcome them.
“It’s witty, engaging and inspirational.”
“I’ve read it personally nine times over.”
Not just a celebration.
The Terminal 4: An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Bicycle to Business Class book launch was certainly many things.
On one hand, it was a celebration of international students, migrants, entrepreneurs and Australia and India’s growing friendship.
And on the other, it was an opportunity to highlight the challenges and support that some new and prospective Australians still need.
Former High Commissioner to Australia Mr Navdeep Suri reminded us about this when he shared the heartbreak some Indians felt when they mortgaged their parents’ property for an education and still couldn’t get a job.
“I would encourage Nilesh to organise a speaking tour through Indian cities to talk about it and show people that there’s more to this journey than just getting a visa,” Mr Suri said.
“That you can do it, that it works but that you need to be prepared.”
I’m grateful that my publisher, Harsha Bhaktal from Popular Prakashan, also touched on how Terminal 4: An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Bicycle to Business Class may be a helpful resource to struggling people.
Currently, India is facing a mental health crisis and students are a particularly vulnerable group due to experiencing pressure to succeed academically.
Mr Bhaktal said feeling depressed or suicidal after poor exam results was a widespread problem, so he was pleased to champion a book that showed success was around the corner from failure.
“There’s been a lot of talk about P’s today – and when I think of Nilesh, perfectionist comes to mind,” Mr Bhaktal said.
“He went over every detail again and again to make sure the story would be just right for readers.
“Nilesh repeatedly failed his exams and overcame that to build an amazing tech company.
“I hope this book will be used as inspiration and guidance for other students and professionals who want to move outside of their country and make it happen for themselves.
“It truly shows that anyone can go on this journey from bicycle to business class.”
And a note from me.
Ultimately, I wrote my book for a number of reasons.
My friends and family encouraged me to share my travel stories. I know how challenging migration can be and I wanted to give advice. I know that building a business is a journey of laughs and tears and I wanted to support people embarking on their own path to success.
But mostly I wanted to inspire people and share the importance of living a giving, values-driven life.
Because when I moved to WA and did exactly this, I found my beautiful new home gave me ten times the support back.
“I wanted this book to be honest, to be true and to be helpful to everybody who reads it,” I told the audience.
“It had to be a quality product. It had to inspire people to ask what they can do for their country and how they can contribute to it. I have an obligation to show others coming after me that they can achieve success, if they hold onto their values and as the Australians say – be a ridgy didge.”
So yes, passion, persistence, perfectionism, and product.
The Four P’s.