We have a special treat for the readers of IndspireMe today, especially those of you who are interested in International Affairs and Policy Analysis. We are in conversation with Rahul Guhathakurta, curator at IndraStra Global, a strategic analysis and information services provider headquartered in New York City. Recently, IndraStra achieved the impressive milestone of having crossed a readership of a 100,000 per month.
Thank you for taking the time out to talk with us Rahul. Please tell our readers a little more about yourself.
I’d like to say hello to all the readers of Indspire Me and extend my thanks to Akanksha for interviewing me on this beautiful and thought provoking platform. I’d like to share a bit about myself and the initiative which we are working upon as an integrated team. My name is Rahul Guhathakurta and I have more than eight years of experience in the supply chain and retail operational domain across a couple of countries. I’m also very involved in 360 degree brand management and curation, in both the offline and online spheres. I am a voracious collector of stamps, artefacts, old books and old cameras.
You have been curator at IndraStra Global since March 2015. Tell us more about it.
IndraStra Global isn’t a start-up, a publication or a media agency. I define it as an online space place where we curate best of the best articles of our times, document them, index them, put them into various open access repositories so that the future generations can gain from all that knowledge in the best possible digitized format.
That’s a unique definition. What’s the most interesting part of leading the charge at IndraStra?
There are many interesting aspects of the journey. I let my team make decisions, make mistakes and of course, learn from those mistakes. In return, I grow along with them on this journey. In a nutshell, it’s all about working with the most innovative minds. A leader doesn’t always have to be the genius or the smart guy. One should know how to give the right push to the right people in the right direction and in their success, enjoy one’s own sucsess!
What’s your short term and long term vision for IndraStra?
My short term vision is to give authors and researchers more authority with respect to their content when they share it on Internet. The long term vision is for IndraStra to become a recognizable news-journal portal within academia, policy think tanks and the governmental circle by emphasizing on curating research oriented, data driven analysis and forecasting pertaining to various world issues. Both the visions have no deadlines, achieving them will be a continuous process.
It’s been very insightful to hear about your short and long term visions. It seems to me that IndraStra is operating in, what some would describe as a niche sector. What would you say are some of the challenges and opportunities associated with growth in this sector?
Well the biggest problem within this sector is that there is a thin line between academic-research and media. It can be difficult to differentiate between the two. Good research or insights can become propaganda, not vice-versa. So, filtering such information by reading between the lines is the biggest and toughest challenge. Now, when we talk about growth – I would like to quote the inventor of magnetic tape credit card Roy Klien “Ideas often don’t work, but benefits do”.
That’s a very unique challenge, which requires a nuanced understanding of various issues and good quality scholarly work. In this aspect, providing training in critical thinking also becomes very important. What’s your opinion on the power of professional mentor-ship for an individual’s growth?
Mentorship is of course important, however, it should be a two way street. One should never take anyone’s advice for granted, irrespective of the stature of the person. One should always question people. It is only then that one can come to know the real value of professional mentorship.
That is such a different, and yet realistic perspective. I think it’s so important for people to think and engage with others from an open minded perspective. And now, on to the last question. If you could recommend one book for our readers what would it be?
I would recommend “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur” by Ryan Blair and Don Yaegar. It’s the story of a man with no formal education, and a rough childhood, and how he goes on to overcome those challenges and build a successful business.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us Rahul. It’s been a pleasure.
The pleasure is all mine !