This Father’s Day, get up-close-and-personal with these fathers at Flipkart – Meet the #FlipkartSuperDads
On Father’s Day, we celebrate fatherhood with four #FlipkartSuperDads! In a series of interviews, we speak to these fathers at Flipkart who are voyaging through different life-stages of parenting, to get perspective on how they’ve embraced becoming a dad.
Fatherhood is a huge milestone for any man and taking on the responsibility for another human has always been considered truly beautiful, but also a tad bit daunting. We talk to four Flipsters from various teams who are dads, to get an idea of what it means to become a father and how they’ve discovered a completely a different kind of rejuvenation at home through their children. Getting used to early mornings, ensuring there is regular quality time, the absolute importance of supporting their significant others and being a role model and integral part of their children’s upbringing – these super dads do it all and are an inspiration!
Read on as these #FlipkartSuperDads share their golden nuggets of advice and their heartwarming stories of how fatherhood has played a role in their lives.
Meet daddy 2x – Binny Bansal
Co-Founder, Flipkart | CEO, Flipkart Group | Father to twins
Q1. How has fatherhood impacted your life?
One drastic change it has brought about is that it has made me an ‘early to bed, early to rise’ kind of person. Until this point in my life, I had always been a late riser and a nocturnal creature of sorts. Now with the twins, I am in bed by 10:30PM and rise up by 6AM to their giggles and cries. Never thought I’d ever take to mornings so well.
Q2. What are your favourite aspects of having twins? Also, do you find it challenging or foresee any challenges?
I think the best part is seeing the creation of two very unique personalities at the same time. They are twins but I see them holding their own with their individual set of likes, dislikes and budding interests. Of course, the joy is also 2x. You get to experience their first steps and words twice over! But then the challenges are undoubtedly 5x, I would say. Their bed times are not synced, so at all points you always have one baby to tend to, no breaks there!
Q3. What rapport do you share with your wife with respect to raising your twins?
I try my best to support her but I would say that 90% of the credit in raising the twins must go to her. I tend to get the more fun part of the bargain, playing and cuddling with them. But yes, having said that, I never take her for granted and every day I try to up my dad-game too.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) June 18, 2017
Q4. In the last year, what’s the one memory with your twins that really makes you smile?
It was the first 2-3 days after the twins were born, we were still at the hospital and my wife Trisha was almost immobile after the delivery. Those were obviously our first few days as new parents and I found myself alone with the twins, independent and responsible for them. I remember not taking even a wink in that phase and somehow the exhilaration just kept me going. I would just look at them, taking in every detail and feel this inexplicable rush.
Q5. Still early days, but do you see yourself being the good cop or the bad cop in the future?
I think it’s very clear that Trisha is going to play the bad cop, the disciplinarian, while I’ll be the indulgent good cop. I guess it’s just a product of how we are as people. The two of us as a team, I feel, will maintain a good balance.
Q6. Your founding partner, Sachin, once said “I treat Flipkart like my child.” Do you see the same parallels as well? Have the lessons you’ve learnt founding, growing and nurturing Flipkart, helped with fatherhood?
There are surely parallels to draw. I feel be it your own flesh and blood in the case of your child or your own blood and sweat, in the case of your start-up, you need to have a vision for the kind of values you want to inculcate and then build a culture that resonates with those values. It is important to start early to make it a part of the core personality you are shaping and you will see your child thrive. A message I’d especially like to give to all young entrepreneurs who are starting off is, build a good team that embodies the core values you want to set. That’s half the job done.
This daddy’s got style – Prahlad Krishnamurthi
Director – Head of Category Marketing, Planning & Operations – Fashion & Lifestyle at Flipkart
Q1. You are a dad to your 6-year-old son and year old daughter. What was the difference between being a dad for the first time and the second?
The first time it was overwhelming. I got married early, at about 25. And when we were 28, we had our first kid… we were the first ones in our peer group to be parents, so all in all it was new with a capital N. We read books and spoke to people, but nothing can prepare you for the real deal. In fact, for the longest time our son called us by our first names. He’s like a pal, a mini-brother of sorts. He has high energy levels… things happened fast, he grew super-fast.
With the second one, it was different. Even the lead-up to the delivery. We were more in control, more sure. But the experience again was all-new. Her temperament is different; she is more sure and laidback. In many ways, more subdued. Again, that’s a part that you can never be too prepared for… you just go with it.
Q2. Have you ever felt like you were caught off-guard in your experience as a father?
Our 6-year-old has caught us off-guard several times. But this one memory comes to mind right now. Our son, Utkarsh, is a people person. Very comfortable talking to new people, pally with strangers. It used to give us the jitters. We thought he will ease into school and it would be a smooth transition. But on his first day he created the biggest ruckus and cried every single day for a month. That was a moment we were caught off guard. It was only later that we realized it was just a show he put up. His teachers told us that the drama stopped the moment we were out of the scene!
Q3. What do you think is the toughest part about being a dad?
Keeping the mother happy. <chuckles> Kids, kids are cool. They are much more flexible than we imagine them to be.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) June 17, 2017
Q4. In what way has fatherhood changed your life?
It has impacted my lifestyle to a large extent. Everything is now timed to perfection. Impromptu road trips have taken a backseat. But spontaneity of a different kind has made its way in my life, thanks to the demands of my kids.
Q5. What is the wackiest thing you have done at your kid’s demand?
Haha. This one very funny memory comes to my mind. We were at a loud wedding which had a dance floor and the DJ was mixing the latest Hindi item numbers and hits. My kid commanded me to go on stage and dance. And I can’t ever say no. So out of nowhere, there I was, dancing to ‘kar gayi chul’ as my kid clapped enthusiastically and later joined me. Never thought I’d ever do something like that!
Q6. One piece of advice you’d like to give to-be dads?
Calm down. Relax. I feel dads, parents… especially new parents stress themselves out too much. I’ve been a dad twice. With Utkarsh and recently with my year-old baby, Prakriti. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that kids follow their own trajectories. Give them the space to grow. Picking up language, crawling, walking… they will do it when they are ready. So chill and enjoy with them. Let your child be a child, parents worry too much about public conduct, hell with that! Your kid won’t get a chance to run wildly and break things. Let them do it while they can. Let your kid be a kid and everything will fall in place.
Q7. What’s your take on gender associations with colours, toys and how kids are brought up?
Tough one. In fact, right now my son is going through this phase where he feels blue is for boys. And this is not an influence from our household. It’s from his friend circle at school. We make it a point to ensure our kids are not restricted by any societal constructs of gender. Be it with the choice of colours, toys or clothes. But the peers play a bigger role and you need to give kids the space to see what they like and build their personalities.
Undivided loyalty, at home and at work – Nikhil Goenka
Product Manager – CRM & Loyalty at Flipkart
Q1. Did you have any fears and hesitations when you were expecting your baby?
Of course, it’s a big unknown. You don’t really know what you are signing up for. Even though my wife and I discussed things and decided that this is a good time to go for it, there was still so much ambiguity. Were we ready to take the responsibility? Was I ready? But in spite of all this nagging you at the back of your mind, when you feel it, you just feel it. I distinctly remember feeling this surge of happiness when my baby girl made her way into my arms for the first time. It was this unmatched high… ever-present feeling for days.
Q2. What was the best of advice you got in that phase?
Don’t overthink it.
Q3. Are you the good cop or bad cop?
Good cop, hands down. My daughter is just 10 months old, so right now all the molly coddling is expected. But I do believe I have the makings of a very indulgent daddy who will get her what she sets her heart on. But yeah, I do expect her to be responsible too.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) June 18, 2017
Q4. In the last 10 months, which is the most precious memory you recall with your daughter?
There are several but there is one that is always quick to rush to my mind. I had gone for a trek to Everest Base Camp. It was a 14-day excursion but by day 11, I started missing my daughter terribly. The scenic waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets, the wilderness, all seemed to pale in comparison to my baby girl’s smile. So I packed my bags two days early and took off for home. And the best part was that when I entered her room, she recognized me and lunged towards me with the widest grin. It was bliss.
Q5. Do you think how people perceive you has changed after you became a dad?
Uhm. I think a lot of their own ideas of what being a dad means tends to get rubbed off onto you. I remember perceiving dads in my own peer group to have become more settled, stable and calm after fatherhood. And I think that’s what people think of me too now. You also tend to be perceived as being less wild, less willing to be impulsive, which may not always be true <chuckles>, but yeah, the perception exists.
Q6. What’s the rapport do you share with your wife with respect to raising your girl?
It’s an equal partnership. We share duties. My department is waking up in the dead of the night to tend to my daughter. But largely we share experiences, tips on what works better and rope in help from our nanny. It’s a two-way street all the way.
Q7. One piece of advice you’d like to give to-be dads?
Support your wife. The first two-three months can be overwhelming. Biology has its part to play. Plus, the baby depends on the mother for every basic need and clings to her all the time. Everything is as new for your wife as it is for you. So, make sure you do what it takes to simplify things and be there to make the transition easier. Be it calling your folks over if they don’t live with you or getting help or generally being more aware and present. Remember it’s a two-way street and it’s on you to manage the load. Here it just happens to be your very own bundle of joy.
This father has got luck on his side – Lucky Saini
Senior Manager, Brand Marketing at Flipkart
Q1. Did you have any fears and hesitations when you were expecting your baby?
Once my wife and I planned that the timing was right, I just remember being thrilled to bits. I don’t recall any fears as such but yeah there was this constant nagging at the back of my mind. I was going to be a role model, someone was going to constantly emulate me, pick up my habits and I had to make sure I was the best version of myself at all points. Thing is, you can afford to be an average guy at work or an average human being somewhere down the line, but you can’t be an average dad. You must be the best and I was bracing myself to do just that.
Q2. Since you also have a 50-day-old Labrador, what dynamic does that add to your family?
My wife and I were very sure that we wanted to have just one child. But the thing with single kids is that they are so used to being the centre of attention, they expect to get it everywhere. We wanted someone Ani could share his space with and that’s how Boozo came to be a part of our family. Today Ani treats him like a younger sibling and has become his caregiver. I feel that for his age Ani is extremely empathetic and in many ways, that’s because of the intuitiveness that comes with communicating without language.
Q3. Do you have any special rituals that you share with Anirudh?
Ani and I both love being outdoors. Every week we make it a point to go swimming together or we cycle around our complex. We play catch or football and have our own little tournaments. Every single evening the two of us catch up and share how we spent our day.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) June 17, 2017
Q4. Which is the most precious memory you have so far with Anirudh?
My wife, Ani and I had taken a trip to USA. But my wife was occupied with a lot of official work there. So Ani and I would be by ourselves all the time. There was this one time we just took off aimlessly and ended up by the sea in San Diego. The moment we absorbed that site we couldn’t stop beaming at each other. We spent the day just looking at the sea and clouds merge into one. I distinctly remember Ani being overjoyed and this unsaid bond of safety and trust developed. I feel it was a journey of many firsts… first trip, first father-son bonding, the first time by the sea.
Q5. What’s the dynamic that you share with your wife with respect to raising Ani?
It’s an equal partnership. We share the joy and the load. Now that we are parents, we see ourselves playing many roles, but we always make sure we get time for ourselves… that we get to be individuals as well. Every now and then, we rope in help so that we can spend time, just the two of us. We also plan our schedules together – so we try to see if we can make time for our friend circles. Honestly, it’s a balance and it takes two to maintain it.
Q6. What’s your take on gender associations with colours, toys and how kids are brought up?
I don’t think a child is a he-child or a she-child. A child is a child. And he/she may have interests. What is important is that parents harness these interests, whatever they may be, in a way that motivates the child, helps them find themselves and their strengths. It is silly to be shackled by gender constructs and thwart your kid’s growth. Tomorrow I’d be happy to support Anirudh in whatever life decisions he makes.
Q7. One piece of advice you would like to give to-be dads.
Don’t drive yourself up the wall thinking about it so much. Just go with it. It’s the most exhilarating feeling in the whole world.
Dedicated to all the awesome fathers in the world. We salute you for the hard work you’ve put in to make us who we are!