Now that Praveen Someshwar’s daughter is attending a university, he and his wife suddenly find themselves as empty nesters. So what is the CEO and managing director of HT Media Ltd. going to do with all that time? One of his favourite things in the world: read.
“We have a long autumn reading list ahead of us,” he said. Those books include My Life in Full by Indra Nooyi, Lahore: The Partition Trilogy by his brother’s wife, Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, Bringing Up the Boss by Rachel Pacheco, and The Raging 2020s by Alec Ross.
This relaxing time comes after a year that caused him, like much of the world, to refocus on what is important: “2020 taught us to put a pause to everything in the outside world that once took most of our time and energies and focus within. I rediscovered and reclaimed my life — one day at a time, relished my hobbies, and my passion to stay healthy has only gotten stronger,” he said.
“In a nutshell, 2020 has been a life-rediscovering year for me, and I hope I am able to maintain that momentum.”
INMA recently caught up with him to learn more.
INMA: What did you learn in 2020 that helped guide you in 2021?
Someshwar: Workwise, the year has given us lessons to last a lifetime. We took to innovation and gave our own versions of “new normal.” I, for one, have maxed out on the ways I use technology for better efficiency, collaboration, and productivity. I have always been a learner and this year lent me ample opportunities to keep learning, growing, and thus staying relevant.
INMA: If you had your career to do over again, what would you want to know in the beginning?
Someshwar: I believe that life is an institution that teaches us everything at the right time and in the right way. I am very proud of my journey and where it has brought me. I am grateful and humbled to have received opportunities to teach and even more thankful to have learned from anyone and everyone I have had the honour of working with.
INMA: What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
Someshwar: I take each new day as a new opportunity and thus look forward to making it better, every day. The thought of how I can make our ecosystem a slightly better place every day is what pumps my veins and makes me jump out of bed every morning.
INMA: What is your best piece of advice on work/life balance?
Someshwar: It is all in our hands as to how we use our time. While our work defines who we are, it is still a part of the bigger picture that “life” is. With remote working becoming a part of our lives like we had never imagined, maintaining a good work-life balance becomes most important. Personally, I find myself investing the commute time that I now save into exercise and meditation and the results are amazing! I feel good from within and am thus able to put in a bit extra in everything I do.
My advice is simple: Investing in self and relationships is something we often overlook. While investing in work will give you that accelerated growth, investment into self and relationships will make it sustainable … . And a perfect balance will give you unparalleled success.
INMA: What is the craziest job or project you’ve ever done in media — and what did you learn from it?
Someshwar: I wouldn’t call any of my professional assignments crazy. They have all been a huge learning curve for me. Especially my current role with the HT Group, where I am responsible for transforming a media house with a legacy of about a century into a new-age media hub. HT Media Group has been an integral part of each milestone set by our young and developing nation, and it gives me immense pride to be part of such an iconic brand’s journey into a tomorrow full of opportunities.
It has been and continues to be an exciting journey, wherein I am seeing an exciting transformation. I believe that people are the core of an organisation and the stimuli that causes the transformation. Therefore, I have put utmost emphasis on hiring the best and most diverse [people] from some of the finest start-ups in the country, while retaining our pillars to ensure we have a rock-solid foundation to soar into greater heights.
I believe in getting our basics right, co-creating a new vision, and then working tirelessly toward it. And at HT Media Group, it has been all that and more!
INMA: What success within your company are you most proud of right now?
Someshwar: Like I said, HT Media Group has been an important part of India’s journey to being the fastest growing nation in the world. And what can be a better combination than legacy and technological excellence? We are leading the way and are amongst the top digital platforms in the country in each genre that we serve. We have a host of applications available for each segment of the society, the success of each of which is growing each month. And being part of the HT family, I couldn’t be more proud!
INMA: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Someshwar: I have always believed that it’s all about people. They make the organisations what they are and are the driving force behind the success. As leaders of organisations, we must always focus on getting the right people, building powerful teams, co-creating and communicating the vision, and ensuring that they have the resources to deliver on their stated mission.
We must keep our teams motivated and inspired to be courageous even in the face of adversity, collaborate to achieve common goals, think long-term, keep innovating, and exploring better and newer ways to do the same things — and most of all, being agile to changes, so that we are building a brand of the future.
And at HT Media Group, we are excited to live these values.
INMA: What do you do to relax?
Someshwar: I am always relaxed. For me, life is all about enjoying the ride. I take full responsibility for my words and actions, think before I act, and thus try to keep the uncertainties at a minimum. But if you ask me what my hobbies are, then reading and listening to music will top the list. This is closely followed by fitness activities of all types. Carnatic classical helps me kick off the day while putting me to rest at the end of the day.