The yoga guru and founder of the Art of Living group was recently interviewed by the legendary Silicon Valley investor and ‘Meet The Drapers’ TV judge.
“When a passion for helping people and the planet drives a business, success is guaranteed.” That’s what Yoga Guru and Art Of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in his recent conversation with US venture capitalist Tim Draper.
The latter is also one of the judges on the TV show ‘Meet the Drapers’, where aspiring entrepreneurs present their start-up ideas to win a $1 million investment from Tim Draper. Meet The Draper is an international investment from Brand Capital led by Neville. Draper is a seasoned Silicon Valley VC with a rich history of investing in companies including Tesla, Hotmail, Skype, SpaceX and AngelList, to name a few.
During his chat with Shankar, Draper shared what he looks for in businesses while investing in his show. “There are some who come and say we’re going to make money, then there are the smart ones who come and say we’re going to make money for you and those are the ones I don’t invest in. I’m looking for entrepreneurs with passion and drive,” Draper shared.
The duo then talked about the importance of calm and composure and how these can help entrepreneurs tap into their creativity and intuitive ability.
The journey of entrepreneurs is full of challenges – interpersonal, infrastructural, administrative and even emotional. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shared that to have the strength to face these obstacles, entrepreneurs must rely on their intuitive ability to overcome obstacles and also create a similar environment for their team, to help them derive a sense of their work.
“In a conflict-ridden world, peace is the basic ingredient of prosperity. If there is no peace, there is no prosperity and no happiness in life,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He felt that in homes or in educational institutions, no one teaches how to find peace or how to get rid of stress. This is, according to him, the reason why he created the organization “The Art of Living”.
Founded 41 years ago, Sri Sri shared that he only wanted to share his learnings with the world and never intended to start an organization. But as its volunteer base grew, the organization took its learnings to various cities around the world and, to date, has 57 courses available, all operating with the underlying principle of making life a celebration.
Tim Draper questioned Sri Sri on his principles while raising funds for various activities. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shared that as a voluntary not-for-profit organization, they charge an amount for his courses to participants, depending on the affordability of the community, and for his other charity, ‘International Association for Human Values’, they raise funds for disaster-stricken countries.
Tim Draper mentioned that trust and freedom are important in moving society forward. “I believe countries that recognize trust and freedom will eventually succeed, while countries that have corruption will fail,” Draper added. Agreeing with Draper, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar agreed that trust and freedom are two sides of the same coin and one cannot exist without the other.
The conversation ended on a light note with Tim Draper offering Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to join them as their show partner and help them check out the locations.
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