Reflections for 2017, Learnings & Looking ahead for a Bright 2018!

I’m writing after a long time. Having said that, I started writing in 2017 and many friends encouraged me to write more and share more. Thanks to Medium, I felt encouraged to write and share within my network of friends, well-wishers, without whom this post has little meaning. I had few more topics that I wanted to write in the last couple of months, but unfortunately they just remained in my drafts and I never got to finish them. 2017, in that way, has been a year like any other, busy and full of movement. But it was also a year in which a lot changed for me personally. I thought it’d a good way to share what I learnt in 2017 and its purpose in my life and work and also update everyone on what I’ve been up to.

Here goes, starting with my most important and most personal experience:

My father: My father had a brain stroke in January this year and he was hospitalised for 41 days in the ICU. I had captured the immensely personal journey of what I felt through. Writing allowed me to vent my fears and share the pain of what I was going through.

But a year later, I’m happy to share that my father is doing well and just a few weeks back I was able to read out to him the blog referred to — Papa, I love you. My father was emotional and wanted me to take a print out of it as he believes very little in this digital world. I’m grateful for his guidance and love for making me who I am today. His memory is getting back to normal and I AM Happy to say that 60% of has been retrieved. He is able to remember many things from the past and can also walk with little bit of support. He is a changed person now, the stiffness in him has disappeared and his old humour is back. Many Thanks to many of you who kept checking on how he is doing.

With my Papa…on my 45th b’day.

iSPIRT: As many of you know already, I moved on from iSPIRT after doing my bit to contribute to the ecosystem for 5 years. It was a very satisfying ride for me personally, but like all good things, it had to come to an end, I decided to move on and focus on something else which gives me happiness. I will continue to contribute to the ecosystem in many different ways, and that is something I am sure of.

Joining Accel: It’s been a little over 3 months since I’ve joined Accel, and I’m quite excited with my role and the impact that I can make within the ecosystem. I also realised the extent and depth of the effort that some of my colleagues are putting towards our portfolio companies. There is lot which is being planned in 2018 and I’m hopeful that I should be able to make an learning impact to the #AccelFamily.

My son Ekansh: My elder son Ekansh is turning 18 in in the next couple of weeks and I’m super excited to see him grow into a thoughtful and likeable human being. I asked him some time ago if he would like to take up a course overseas around FilmMaking, as that is something he is interested in. He is very excited, has already shortlisted a few options, and and he is exploring various colleges in LA. Hopefully, he should be able to get through somewhere and I wish him luck in whatever he does. I hope I’m able to give him a platform in pursuing his interests, as much as I can in my capacity, and I encourage my friends to do the same. This generation has much more ambition, much more intelligence, and a lot more drive. If we can help them channel this into something of a greater purpose, they will do more than we can ever hope to and in the process, we will become better too.

Ekansh pretending that he is studying…:)

Happiness community & Oneness Spiritual: I have started a community where people talk/share about the mathematics of happiness and I’m part of a group where people connect on conscious living. This is something I’m starting to get really interested in, and I quite like how people help each other with their own learnings.

Connections: I continue to connect like minded people with friends, ecosystem builders & VCs. This has given me immense happiness over the last few years, and I’m glad my new role allows me to do this and hope I can continue developing more authentic connections and foster higher purpose

Year end Break: I decided to bring my family to Bangalore and show them this lovely city, which is the focal point of the ecosystem and in which I spend so much of my time. I had a great time with them in Bangalore and then drove down to Mysore and Kabini. My kids enjoyed the autorickshaw rides in the busy streets of Bangalore and I enjoyed talking to many folks in Kannada at Mysore and Kabini. Enjoyed the authentic South Indian food at Mysore :)

from the Mysore Palace…

This break also allowed me to relax, think about the year which passed by, the ups and downs that life take you through, and how some friends stay by you all the time. I don’t want to embarrass them by calling them all out here but some of them were by my side all the time in those tough times.

A Big HUG to them :)

Cycling: My friends Arun Katiyar & Manjula Sridhar have always been an inspiration when it comes to cycling and finally I bought a cycle early this year. I continue to cycle over the weekends, although I have slowed down as Delhi-NCR is quite polluted in the morning, and I hopefully will revive this soon.

Reading Books: I probably have read around 25+ books this year and bought around 40+ more. Thanks to Atul Jha who forced me to buy a Kindle. I had been avoiding it for a long time. I’m enjoying reading books on Kindle. I think this is one of the best things that I have invested in this year. I hope to continue doing this, and encourage everyone to invest in one. Just having it round can help build a reading habit. Meanwhile, let me send you guys a 4 paragraph about each of those books I read, or here, these reviews..

Listening to Podcasts: I continued with my morning walks this year and I have listened to many podcasts and this has again become part of my daily routine. Some of the Outliers conversations done by Pankaj are really good. Apart from that, Naval Ravikant’s podcast on Reading and Happiness has been one of the best. Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale has some good podcasts and Robin Sharma & the Inner Engineering by Sadhguru have some great insights to listen to as well

Moving on from Facebook: This year I slowed down from Facebook as I realised I had too many Facebook friends and very few that I really could connect with. I also realised that Facebook’s importance as a platform has been diminishing for me over the past couple of years. It may be because there isn’t time for frivolous window-gazing anymore, and it also may be because Facebook in itself is losing its grip on the modern imagination. I have to think more about this, but these are my thoughts on this topic for now.

Let me wish you a happy & prosperous new year in 2018. I’m hoping to write regularly in 2018 as writing, I’m beginning to think, is like meditation for me; it allows me to clear my head and to express/clarify my thoughts and connect with friends who really matter to me. Pls do write back to me as well.

Best wishes for 2018 from the Raghava’s

Hoping to meet you soon in this new year, folks. Thanks for reading!

Thanks to my friend Sairam for editing this and for another dear friend Sunny Ghosh to propose few mindful edits.



Building @ScaleTogether, Founding Volunteer at @SaaSBOOMi | Past: Community Platform Evangelist @Accel_India. Co-Founded@iSPIRT(@Product_Nation), @NASSCOM

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Avinash Raghava

Building @ScaleTogether, Founding Volunteer at @SaaSBOOMi | Past: Community Platform Evangelist @Accel_India. Co-Founded@iSPIRT(@Product_Nation), @NASSCOM