I didn’t hire the best…

Akash Mudaliyar, and Ganesh Pai

Exactly four years ago when Don’t Memorise was no more than a pipe dream, Akash, the son of the cook who works for my family, approached me asking if I had a job for him. At this point I was just creating math videos for middle school students I was teaching. Given his humble background I asked him whether he knew how to use a computer as my vision was to create high quality animated math videos. He didn’t, but his words “I want to work hard and earn money, sir” struck a chord.

Having read everywhere that the key to a successful venture was dependent on hiring the best talent I was uncertain if Akash was the right fit. Aside from not being computer literate, he was also a student. Given the academic pressure in India I doubted whether he would be able to balance working and studying. All the same, I decided to interview him.

During our 20 minute interview his sincerity, determination to work hard and eagerness to learn gave me a positive vibe. “Give me a chance and I will learn everything you want me to” and so I took a chance and hired Akash!

I recall spending a few days training him how to use 2 different types of animation software and then work began. I was apprehensive about how Akash would respond to the new challenge he had been given. In the end, Akash surpassed my expectations and more. Within a couple of months Akash was not only proficient in these but was also discovering and using a multitude of other software on his own initiative. I was also pleasantly surprised by his work ethic, not taking a single day off in spite of still being a full-time student!

Having worked with Akash over the past 4 years I have come to understand that what makes the ‘best talent’ is not necessarily experience — its passion, dedication, continuous learning and a positive approach! These are all qualities Akash has displayed and made him an integral part of the 4 million plus free lessons Don’t Memorise has delivered to date. Even though I may have taught him how to use software and acted as a mentor, he has taught me the most important lesson of them all: a never-ending desire to learn!

Whilst working with Don’t Memorise part time Akash has also continued to excel in his studies and is now in the final stretch of a Bachelor of Management Studies. Admittedly I feared and anticipated that Akash’s ambition post graduation would be to move on and pursue his career with a large multinational. Many study with that goal! Once again, and this time to my relief, Akash surprised me. “I want to join Don’t Memorise full time, Ganesh”

Now, as I look forward to welcoming him as a full-time team member after his graduation, I find this perfect opportunity to thank Akash for his commitment and dedication. Akash, it has been one incredible journey supporting you grow from the 18 year old who couldn’t use a computer to the highly talented animator you are today.

I didn’t hire the best talent, I hired the best attitude!