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Indian Olympian Sakshi Malik's Mantra Of Success

The first and the only women wrestler from India to win an Olympics medal, Sakshi Malik talks to BW | Businessworld’s Brij Pahwa on ‘the lessons that business leaders and young entrepreneurs can learn from an Olympian’

In this exclusive chat, Sakshi Malik talks frankly about her failures, her routine and how she has achieved what other Indian athletes couldn’t.


Sakshi’s comments when posed with some untypical questions-

How to achieve par excellence?

“If we try with utmost dedication, perseverance and hard work, we can achieve anything and everything we want in life.” This is what Sakshi Malik’s mantra is and this is what has helped her reach the stage she is at today. Well, it is true not only in the life of a sportsperson, but anyone who is trying to achieve a personal or a professional goal. Accepting something with whole of your conscious and focus will help you achieve par excellence. Many business leaders and entrepreneurs boast today about their success stories and how they achieved transcendence with the help of targeted focus and dedication.

A dedicated inspiration is pertinent if you want to inspire others.

How to surpass failure and manifest it into success?

If you madly love something, failure will not make you lose ground. It will only serve as a platform to achieve something which hasn’t been achieved till now. And why does this happen is as Sakshi Malik correctly defines it, “We don’t really think after winning, we just win and immerse ourselves in a state of satisfaction and relaxation, but losses instigate us to think, they enable us to dive deep into what went wrong, and that is when we come up with a renewed thinking and end up achieving something which was way out of our league.”

What Sakshi says is what we also see in our daily lives. Many businesses have come out of the deepest pockets of losses and have channelized themselves into profit making multinationals. As Sakshi herself points out, it is all a game of continuous dedication and believing in yourself/your organisation / your startup idea.

Can talent overpower experience?

When asked, Sakshi gave the question some thought and responded, “I think both go hand in hand. Talent can never overpower experience and experience can never overpower talent. To really touch the summit, an amalgamation of both is required.” She then recounted how her experience at the Olympics taught her some necessary lessons in life. “I have participated in many international events, but representing the country at the Olympics was a different experience altogether and I learnt innumerable things which I now apply in my game”.

Startups today consist of ideas, while big companies are woven by the thread of experience. If one recounts, we have seen umpteen examples where startups have aligned themselves with big companies and the partnership has benefitted both. Where talent meets experience, the product becomes invincible. Prominent examples include YouTube’s take over by Google and Whatsapp’s alignment with Facebook.

The importance of proper health and fitness

In the past, we have seen companies run in array of losses because the work environment was not regulated enough to suit the employees. We have also come across examples of profit making companies who have the best standards in world to govern their own set of employees. What is the difference? Sakshi points out- “As a player, fitness is really important for me and I can translate how it can be important for businesses as well. We function on day to day basis and hence dynamism becomes a very important phenomenon. Keeping in good health not only helps me become physically better, it helps me think productively as well”.

The lesson learnt here is that, neither a human, nor a company (a group of humans) can survive without proper health and fitness. Hence we see regular training and fitness programs being employed by major companies to keep their employees fit both physically and mentally.

The role of ethics in an over growing materialistic world 

“I think proper doctoring is important. Not only for athletes but for everyone wether it be startups, communities, organisations and even individuals. Proper advise and correct mentoring can ensure that ethics and desires go hand in hand.”

And Sakshi hits the mark here. Almost every day we see a new company succumbing to defaults as its balance sheets run amok. More so in the world of startups. While desires do outlast ethics, correct mentoring can ensure that both go hand in hand and benefit a people.

And finally, when I asked for her advice to business leaders and young entrepreneurs- she had the following words to end the interview with 

“I cannot give advice to professionals unrelated to my field but I can, from my own experience, say that to become a leader, a mix bag of all the ingredients is important- from talent to experience and from hard work and dedication to perseverance and mental strength”.

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