Hitting The Right Note Between The Disciplinarian & Artiste

Saumya (second from right) with his college rock band, the Hexanophres

It’s difficult to say whether Saumya Kumar, project manager at nearbuy, goes by the clock, or the clock goes by Saumya. He wakes up between 4.30–5am everyday, reaches work by 8.30, has lunch sharp at 1pm, and upon reaching home does his yogic tantras, reads and sleeps by 9–9.30pm.

He explains,Waking up early just makes me feel healthy and energetic. I reach office early and like to be on top of my numbers since I have always been a sales guy. After lunch I like to call all the people I work with in different cities and touch base with them.”

It’s hard to believe that Saumya, the disciplinarian, was once a rocker. Had his own rock band at 16, did two rock shows with the lead guitarist of Agam and even sung with Shilpa Rao! “She was then known as Apeksha Rao,” smiles the 32-year-old. And his videos on Youtube are testimony to the fact that he also plays the tabla, guitar, harmonica and flute.

In fact, Saumya was actually named Pranav. “Growing up, I was so mischievous that my mom thought changing my name to Saumya would make me Saumya (calm and composed),” he laughs.

Saumya with Goa-based singer Remo Fernandes (left) and Lucky Ali (right)

While his mother’s ultimately happy with her decision, what she doesn’t know is that Saumya still has an inner artiste that’s begging to be unleashed. Lucky for him, nearbuy, where he joined in August 2015, is helping him strike the perfect balance.

“My job at nearbuy’s Bangalore office, has been a great experience. It is fulfilling to work and learn with such a creative and flexible team. Here, I work at bringing together the inner artiste and entrepreneur. In a way, I attempt to give the artiste entrepreneurial skills and I would like to achieve perfect harmony there,” he says, adding, “The learning is immense. The best part about my job is that I have the freedom to go ahead and do things my way to achieve goals.”

Saumya, a family man and cycling buff, says that nearbuy is a blessing, in more ways than one. His father’s early demise in 2002 put his family in a tight spot, financially. “I finished my BBA and thereafter, whatever jobs I took up went away as soon as they came by, because the financial markets at that time were crashing and these businesses dried up their funding quickly,” he says.

In 2014, Saumya went through a near-death experience that helped him realise the fleeting nature of time, and forced him to rethink his life’s choices. “I had held on to whatever I had at the time because I was insecure about trying to leave my stable anchor-my job. But the accident made me aware about the fleeting nature of time and I realised that if I was not chasing my dream, I was not living an optimum life,” he says.

He applied and got through SP Jain and IIM-B but eventually decided to study at ISB, and after that, found his calling at nearbuy.

Bringing the roof down at ISB

Today, Saumya’s a happy man. “My ultimate ambition is to attain peace with myself and everything around me and in my head I have broken this down into small daily goals which comprise living everyday in balance and entirety, always leaving time for introspection and self realisation,” he says.

He loves his family, considers his wife the yin to his yang, and yet has one major pet peeve. “I love food so much, but I have this annoying tendency to put on weight,” he shrugs sadly.

Today, Saumya has set up 23 new cities for nearbuy in a span of 6 months, and is contributing to the company’s coffers each month.

With skills like these Saumya, forget the calories, everyone wants to eat what you’re eating!