An Innovator’s Dream

1.2 million euros….hearing at the price of his Yacht, I was stunned ..more so, because this was the first time in my life, I was sitting in a yacht relaxing on a sofa with a cup of lemon tea in my hand. This was all because of Arik, who had paid this amount to buy this yacht a few years back – it is favourite hobby. The first one that he bought was about 43 years back at the age of 22, which was a small boat that was just big enough to house two people. It was a very inspiring story, when I listened to each of his elements of life unfolding before me – a story of a life that he lead for 40 years with vigour, hard work, commitment and passion ! Working for himself was always his mission and he accomplished it at an early age. Having grown his company from scratch to about 400 people, he sold it a few years back and then got onto a journey of another one. Now, he has invented a new ‘single-use’ surgery technique/ instrument for use in cataract surgery, applied a few patents for it, and located somebody in USA to buy his technology and put it to manufacturing. Needless to say, he owns 15 % stake in this company. His dream is to sell a few million of these products once they are productionised two years from now. He dreams BIG. As he is on the verge of getting free from this venture, he has already started thinking about his next venture – a product that will reduce the time of a specific surgery from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.

When asked as to what is his Dream, Arik said that he has no dream – in fact, he lives his dream ! He does what he likes, what he wants – just for instance, if he plans the next moment to sail on his yacht to a distant location, he is all set – he has enough food, fuel, and all the other necessities to set his journey. Incredible !

The only moment when he was touched was the incidence, he recalled, outside Taj Mahal at Agra a few years back. It was a craftsman who was making small marble items. He was persuading Arik to buy a piece of art, although Arik was not keen. He followed Arik for a distance and was continuously pleading him to buy, after which Arik asked him the price and gave him two times the money indicating that he does not want to carry this item, and the artisan could keep the money. But, to Arik’s surprise, the person denied to take the money without selling the product. Arik was touched by his sense of dignity. He said that this incidence was about four years old, but even today when he narrates it, he feels a flow of emotion in his heart. ‘India is great’, were his next lines, that made me proud.

I was wholly impressed with this personality and could not resist hugging him for the time he spent with me and the inspiration that he rendered into me. At 65, he is a gem of a person – after all an Israeli innovator…..!

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