Does success have to kill the way it did Rudratej Singh, BMW India CEO?
What do you say when a 46 year’s young working professional passes away due to a massive cardiac arrest? You would say, “he was working too hard.” “Was he stressed about something?” The reason for the sudden demise from a medical perspective has been pronounced as heart failure. But it is shocking that someone as fit and energetic like BMW’s Group President and CEO Rudratej Singh passes away suddenly.
It is known that he had big plans for the company, a new job that he took over merely in August 2019. Singh was being looked up, to create a wave of change in the company that was in midst of implementing strategic measures for strengthening the dealer network across India. Singh had worked with Unilever and Royal Enfield.
He apparently was working out on his treadmill when he had a massive heart attack. He was BMW’s first Indian CEO who had pushed the company’s figures up for the first time since 2012, way ahead of Mercedes Benz. The company also lost another young corporate at the age of 40. He succumbed to cancer.
In July 2019, the top CEO of an Indian coffee conglomerate, V.G. Siddhartha was found on the shores of the Nethravathi river in Mangaluru. He was suspected to have committed suicide over pressure from Income Department and debt collection. He was 58 years of age.
It is a glaring fact that we don’t know how to slow down. The desire for expansion and reaching to the top, somewhere has devastating effect on our body, mind and eventually spirits as well. It seems like somehow nature’s way to slow us down as we are locked into our houses and cannot but wait and watch to see nature takes its course.
There are speculations that Singh might have started to feel the mounting pressure of meeting targets as world over, the sale of cars is dipping by the passing days. But that does not become reason enough to kill yourself. Strangely, our body gives out signals when we are stressed, or when our heart is not feeling rested. It is important to pause and listen to the indications of the body. Is your heartbeat racing, are you feeling anxious, are you tired and fatigued, are you pushing yourself too much that you body can’t keep pace with your mind? These are simple but sure indicators that it’s time to slow down.
In Siddhartha’s case, it seems he never gave a lowdown to anyone in the family about what he was going through. This is where family comes into play. Spending time with loved ones, talking to your spouse and finding time to be with things that matter and bring you joy, is the surest way to find solutions and hope to move just one more step. If one was to closely read the letter that, V.G. Siddhartha left for his employees it shows clearly, he had lost hope. That should never be the case. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey and it is therefore important to have a circle of trusted friends and family you can let your hair down with.
Let us not wait for a pandemic to find the time to do things which are really important- living life and enjoying it!