Entrepreneurship, Life, StartUp

My Prayer. My Pitch.

Every day early morning this little girl would come to the church and stand before the Lord, close her eyes and with folded hands, murmur something for a couple of minutes. Then open her eyes, bow down, smile at the Christ’s statue and go out running. This was a daily affair. Every morning she would come religiously and follow the same routine.

The Priest was observing her and was curious about what she was doing. He thought, she is too small to know the deeper meanings of religion, she would hardly know any prayers. But then what was she doing every morning in the Church? Fifteen days passed and Father now couldn’t resist but to find out more about her behaviour.

One morning, Father reached the church before the girl and was waiting for her to complete her ritual. He placed his hand on her head and said, “My child, I am seeing since last fifteen days that you come here regularly. What do you do?”

“I pray, father.” She said spontaneously.

“Do you know any prayer?” asked father with some suspicion in his voice.

kucht…No father.” Replied the girl.

“Then what are you doing closing your eyes, every day?” Father smiled.

Very innocently the girl said, “Father, I do not know any prayer, but I know a,b,c,d….up to z. I recite it five times and tell God that I don’t know your prayer, but it cannot be outside of these alphabets. Please arrange the alphabets as you wish and that is my prayer.” And she ran jumping her way out of the Church.

Priest stood there dumbstruck, staring at her for a long time as she disappeared running in the wilderness.


Do we have such unconditional belief in our prayers or in our pitches? It is the founder’s own conviction that knocks at the door of any investor, mentor, co-founder, employee or customer for it to open. My mentor and former President of NASSCOM Mr. Som Mittal would always say “bahut angrezi bolta hai.” (He speaks too much English) when he would have a superficial or pompous conversation with anyone. It was his way of saying “I am not impressed. I am not convinced.”

The Music Maestro in the film “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” defines the singer and his singing – “Jutha gale se gata hai, bhookha pet se gata hai, lekin sachha dil se gata hai.” (A fake singer sings superficially, a hungry man sings to fill his stomach, but a true singer sings from his heart) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L07o-LHkP-U

As they say in Archery, the more you pull the bow, the arrow would go that much farther. In the same manner, when the words spoken are emitting from the deeper layers of your heart (conviction), it reaches even deeper into the listener’s heart. The listener listens to the sincerity, feels the passion, appreciates the honesty and conviction in what we say. Believe me – We don’t get a second chance to make the first impression.

I have started learning my a l p h a b e t s…..

….and you?


मंदिर मस्जिद वो चले जिनको फुर्सत है,
किसी की याद में आंसू बहा लेना इबादत है  I      – निदा फ़ाज़ली

Mandir Masjid wo chale jisko fursad hai,
Kisi ki yaad me aansu baha lena ibadaat hai. – Nida Fazli

People who have extra  / free time go to temples and mosques
tears, when flowing from eyes remembering someone, itself is a prayer.

About rajivvaishnav

Rajiv Vaishnav Managing Partner Cornerstone Venture Partners Rajiv is Managing Partner at Cornerstone Venture Partners, a global tech VC fund focused on Consumer business enablers (such as Applied AI) and Enterprise / SME BI solutions (vertical SaaS, AR & VR applications, Blockchain for enterprise, etc.). Cornerstone is a Pre-series A / Series A fund, the first institutional support for promising tech ventures enabling growth and customer access in unique ways. Rajiv brings over 35 years of solid experience in building brands, developing teams, expanding the market share and building organisations from grass root upwards. He was heading the Ecosystem & Partnerships Developmentt at Jio-GenNext Hub, A Reliance Enterprise. In this role, Rajiv is responsible to evangelize the Start-Up ecosystem, identify and connect with the deserving start-ups, academia, government agencies, mentors, angel investors and VC networks globally. Since 2002 till end of 2015, Rajiv was an integral part of NASSCOM’s senior management team. He headed NASSCOM’s first regional office in Mumbai and grown to manage the membership outreach nationally. He initiated many path breaking initiatives at NASSCOM including Cyber Safety initiatives with enforcement agencies, start-up incubators with State Governments under 10K Startup programme, evangelised Animation and Gaming industry and nurtured it, lead the ISO Standards initiative to establish a Global BPO and Product Quality Framework Standards out of India. He helped establish NASSCOM’s emerge forum in its formative days. At NASSCOM, he was enthusiastic about developing new IT destinations in the country, and fostering platforms for Industry-academia interactions as he believed that these were the two most critical requirements for the Indian IT industry to maintain its globally advantageous position. Rajiv was a member of AICTE (WR) and of IQAC of the SNDT Women’s University and Trustee at Dewang Mehta Foundation Trust. With Harish Mehta, the first President of TiE, Mumbai and the first Chairman of NASSCOM, Rajiv co-founded TiE in India. He built the organisation bottoms-up and nurtured the start-up ecosystem in India since early 2000. He got early exposure to work with TiE in Silicon Valley and investors, entrepreneurs and mentors such as Kanwal Rekhi, Suhas Patil, Desh Deshpande, Sridhar Iyengar, Raj Jaswa, Shabir Bhatia, Raj Desai and many others… He has worked with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Franchising Association of India (FAI) and US- Environment Resource Center (US-ERC). In the corporate sector, his experience includes stints with two U.S. Freight Forwarding giants Emery Worldwide and Air Express International in sales & marketing. In 2000, Rajiv was invited by the U.S. Government to participate in their International Visitors programme on US Trade and World Market. Rajiv has administered several outward trade delegations including those to International Franchise Expo ’99, USA, Emerging Companies delegations to CeBIT Australia and Silicon Valley. He has represented NASSCOM in the International Advisors Council to the Mayor of Luwan District in Shanghai, China and E-Sports Symposium in Seoul, Korea. Rajiv is a Science graduate from Mumbai University. He is passionate about music and literature. His blog url: www.rajivvaishnav.com
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