After giving a talk on investing at Boston University business school, Pushkar Bedekar was one of the people who came up to me afterwards, expressing interest in investing and hedge funds. I told Pushkar what I tell almost all people who approach me in that way, “Pushkar, your best shot with someone like me is to find a way to add value. If you find a way to do that, I will then be indebted to you, and will feel obliged to help you”
In Pushkar’s case, because he was Indian, I suggested that he take a look at one of Aquamarine Fund’s holdings, Crisil – which is India’s largest credit rating agency. I was more than a little surprised when, around 6 weeks later, Pushkar came back to me with a report on Crisil – into which he had put a lot of time and effort.
Based on his having sent me that report, I let Pushkar know that he was welcome at my office any time – but that he should come with ways to help me to make sure that he did not lose the good will that he had built up with me.
Later that summer, I supervised Aaron Byrd, a summer intern in doing some editing work on the report that Pushkar had written. I sent the resulting report to around 30 or so investing friends and colleages of mine in the investing world. I also encouraged Pushkar and Aaron to do the same with their circles. At around the same time I also wrote a letter to Louis Lataif who is the Dean of Boston University business school, telling him how impressed I had been with Pushkar’s initiative and work.
As I understand it, our circulating Pushkar’s and Aaron’s report on Crisil was instrumental in getting Pushkar his summer job. Towards the end of the summer, when Novartis contacted Dean Louis Latief looking for some intern candidates, he naturally put Pushkar forward for the opportunity – which since translated into a very attractive job offer for Pushkar.
I am delighted to have been in some small way a part of that success story. Key elements of the story from my perspective are that Pushkar made it very easy for me to help him. My key points to him at the time I met him were:
A) Respect people’s time
B) Learn about what my interests are
B) Only approach me when you have something that is value added to contribute.
Not only did Pushkar get a great job at Novartis; he also earned my respect, admiration and friendship.
To see the report, click here: