Kanchana Moodliar is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, philosopher, yoga teacher, writer, brand strategist, and change maker who believes that a small group of conscious individuals can indeed change the world. She aims to touch as many people across the globe as possible with messages of hope, so all beings may experience joy, health, love, and dignity in this lifetime. She realized the corporate world was not for her and left the likes of Unilever and The Foschini Group to venture out on her own. Her philanthropic project, Saris for Good Karma, led to her making the 2012 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans List in the Civil Society category and empowered over 100 poverty stricken women.
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My Definition Of Success | To me, success means freedom. Freedom to move, to travel, to enjoy adventures, and find love in my work…and to have the time to get to know myself completely during my journey called LIFE. Freedom that culminates into me being myself at all times, and to have the ability to express who I am, without reservation or fear of judgment. Absolute success is to live this freedom in life with a peaceful heart and to excel in every facet of life such as the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical, without compromising one facet for another. When one can achieve all of this – then to me one is successful.
I Am Driven By | I am driven by the thought of being consequential in the grand scheme of things. I am driven by the consistent prospect of adding a positive, massive contribution to one, to many, or to the world, before I die. Every day I am driven by ways in which I can do just that by means of unlocking positive change and solutions with the right people all over the world.
My Highlights | In my career I am blessed to have so many highlights. Right now I am proud to be one of 40 global consultants (we call ourselves Business Humanizers) of the most brilliant marketing company on the planet, Innate Motion. Together we are influencing the world’s biggest brands, to put purpose at the heart of everything our clients do, so they can contribute to a better more prosperous planet. Another highlight, was my successful nomination onto the Mail & Guardian Top 200 list in Civil Society for a Not for Profit Organization I started called, Saris for Good Karma. Here my organization helped to empower over 150 women to be self-sufficient by creating/adding value to donated products, which were subsequently sold by their newly formed businesses. Their up skill was not only in the specific trade but also included small business development and training. I am proud to be a certified yoga teacher and a co-author of 2 health books on diabetes for the Indian community.
The Characteristics Of Success | My strong sense of integrity, my work ethic, my self belief, my relentless attitude to getting the job done and for getting up after every failure. 7 times down 8 times up (inspired by the Daruma Doll), are some of the things I think have helped me to achieve in my life. The influence of my father and mother who, when we were kids, played the roles of disciplinarian and nurturer respectively, as well as siblings who are 7 & 10 years older than me, as mentors and examples to follow. The habits of regular yoga, meditation, exercise, deep breathing and journaling are what I call the inner work needed to achieve in one’s life. We often focus on work, socializing, beauty treatments and doing stuff to be busy, that distracts us from doing the inner cleansing which is more important.
Principles I Live By | Integrity in thought, word and action. To be someone of your word is something that I place above all else. After all if you could say it, you must have thought somewhere along the line you were going to do it, right? Or else we are just liars who can say whatever we want and never ever deliver. It’s what I believe is so wrong with the world today. Too much waxing lyrical and not enough doing what we say. I value family (which many of my friends have also become) and nurturing those bonds in a true and sincere way. In some of my lowest points in my life these are the people that have reached out to me even when some did not know it. The ability to continuously learn from everyone no matter how young or old, no matter what job level, no matter what race, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference. To value the opinions of everyone and consider the other’s point of view is something I highly value. To be the kind of person who can befriend anyone and not just those who are in the same social echelons as me is very important. As Plato so wisely said, “A wise man knows that he knows nothing” and the more we surround ourselves with people with completely differing points of view, the more we can get a better understanding of the world around us, not just our small world.
How I Use My Mind | I practice meditation and believe that this practice is the key to unlocking stillness especially in situations that could have one flustered. This is key to making decisions from a point of strength. I also use my mind to visualize certain outcomes and to be better prepared for meetings. Thinking things through over and over also helps me know my strategic intention much better, so when I am in a meeting I am really prepared for most questions and explanations. I also write things down all the time – making notes, and notes for those notes, makes me understand things better, then reading it over and over makes it quite clear in my mind.
Lessons I Have Learnt | In business my biggest lessons have been to change the need/desire/habit of acting out too impulsively and not researching something well enough. The repercussions of impulsive reaction are quite destructive but are a genuine human process that requires mastering. Cash flow management is something I learnt about a little too late as well! I also learned that when you get into partnership know who you are getting into partnership with. The biggest lesson is to fail fast. I decided to invest my life savings in a hair extension business, which on paper made sense. After just 8 months the business and all my money was lost. I was in a state of depression; I owed lots of money and could not face myself. I wanted the world to swallow me. But one day I took charge again and decided that if I got into business before, I can do it again. The more time I wasted wallowing, the more time I lost making my life a success again! So the best advice I can give anyone who fails, is to know that failure is part of success. Failing makes you stronger, sharper and more aware of how to go forward in the future. So if you are faced with failure, do not spend too long looking back, look forward, learn the lessons and make your next move quickly. The longer you stay down, the harder it is to get back up!
The Best Advice I’ve Received | “If you want to fly with the eagles, do not hang out with the chickens” – that was a saying my dad always used to tell us growing up and it is the best piece of advice I have ever received. We often don’t understand that the company we keep, the people, books, movies we watch are all subliminally influencing us. So in order to be great, you need to surround yourself with the right people, inspiring reading material and positive media. If you are the most intelligent person in your circle you need to get a new circle to hang out with. If you feel drained, bored or negatively affected by the company you are in, get out and change it NOW! You’d rather spend time alone than spend time in company that brings you down.
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I would like to be one of the people who helped unlock the full potential of African entrepreneurs to the world. I want to enable more entrepreneurs to export, to play in the global market and find global and African solutions. We have our set of social issues that require African solutions, but we are so focused on International brands and solutions that we downplay what we can offer. We have an outlook that if it’s international, it’s better than what we can do and that perception is something I hope to change.