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Kicking Back Razorpay CEO Harshil Mathur on how Karate taught him a little bit about entrepreneurship

By Punita Sabharwal

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Entrepreneur India

When Harshil Mathur was in third grade, he was asked to pick a hobby. His father chose karate for him. Since then, both father-son duo became quite passionate about karate and performed several stunts together. Harshil's passion and love for Karate began to fade after he graduated from IIT Roorkee. As a shy kid, the black-belt holder, learned discipline and confidence from practising this form of martial art.

How did martial arts training help you with entrepreneurship?

The competitive spirit of a tournament can give you quite an adrenaline rush. Yet, the best part about the sport is that you have got to remain patient and calm. Or else, you end up committing errors and lose the fight. So, even when someone is hitting your face, you cannot lose your cool.

What is the one important lesson you learned from karate?

I won a silver medal in karate at the national level. But in 2006, things changed - just when I appeared to be on top of my game, I got injured - amid the second fight in the Nationals, I was hit so hard by my rival that I nearly collapsed. I was immediately disqualified in light of the fact that I was not able to even get up on my feet. This incident taught me to face failure and disappointment. Although, I lost a year recuperating because of the incident, I went on to bag a silver medal in 2008.

How Often Do You Practice Karate?

I try to make time for it during weekends, holidays and my home visits. In the meantime, I meditate for around 30 minutes every day, before I leave for work.

Favourite cuisine: Dal Baati Churma, a three-inone Rajasthani treat

Favourite gadgets: My two favourites are the Google Home, which makes my life easier by managing all the tasks and also helps me plan my day, using just my voice and the other one is Apple watch — a high-style, high-tech and highly personal device.

Your current read: "Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou

Your favourite music: Bollywood music

What thrills you the most? Go-karting, it feeds my need for speed

(This article was first published in the November issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur Staff

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur India

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