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Ashok, a boy from Mahmudaba defying all odds

Published in General Tuesday, 26 February 2019 15:14




Ashok works at Metro Wholesale as a salesperson and has been awarded ‘Performer of the Week’ twice till now. When he was about 10 years old, he’d met with an accident which had severely affected one of his legs.

Originally from Mahmudabad, Ashok had a very happy childhood, full of love and encouragement from friends and family. But it’s when he grew up and started looking for work that he faced some serious rejection and couldn’t land a desired job for two long years.

It was this period of struggle that forced him to think- why was it that he was facing so much difficulty in getting a job? What was it that he needed to work on? Could he do something to be in a place that would bring the best out in him? What was it that the employers were looking for these days? Did he have those skills in him? Even if he did, was he able to show them to the world?

What followed was a period of conscious self-exploration and leaning in. He started going out more, networking and learning new skills. It was during this time, he came across the opportunity for an internship. It wasn’t exactly the kind of work he was looking for, but he still took it up.

The internship required him to have one-on-one interactions with students. These interactions made him so much more self-assured and forthcoming. The reason being that if one can get through that sort of an audience- young, bold and questioning, one can get through to anyone. And it was the work at this project that brought out and polished the salesmanship skills in him.

Sales is a very uncommon career choice– it’s a tough job after all. You need to have more than just product knowledge to start conversations with new people, establish trust in short periods of time and eventually convince them to buy what you are selling.

On being asked about him, his reporting manager told us, “Ashok is a fast learner, very driven and never stops trying”.

Clearly, Ashok is not just another salesperson but has aced the art of salesmanship.

When we asked Ashok about his journey, he told us, “Ab darr nahi lagta. Confident feel karte hain, kisi haar se zyada time ke liye niraash na hokar, aage ka sochte hain. Medha mein training karte hue maine ikkiswi sadi ki skills hasil ki aur inhi ki wajah se aaj main apni naukri ka itni asani se nirwah kar pa raha hoon. (Now, I am not afraid of anything and feel confident & always think of going forward. While training at Medha, I learnt the 21st century skills due to which I am able to carry on with the performance of my official duties with ease.)

A non-profit based out of Lucknow, Medha better prepare youth for life after school. They provide 21st-century skills training, career counseling and workplace exposure, and ongoing job placement and alumni support to students at their existing educational institution.

Just like we can judge someone more for their inability than their ability, even Ashok could’ve pointed fingers at the people around him saying that it’s their inability to go beyond the filters of social and economic background but instead he chose to first look within and then face the world.

Ashok is an inspiration to everyone who feels held back by the prevalent systems and is fighting their way out of it. 


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Business Digest August September 2018

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