How to Pronounce my Name
Here’s how you pronounce my name: Dhawal. It rhymes with shovel. The-vel. Shovel. I’ve also included an audio here.
I’ve worked inside of and with dozens of organizations to see where they succeed and what makes them come up short.
I am a winner of the Drucker Challenge, one of the 100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow as per the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. I have an MBA from York University (Top 10 in the World outside the US as per Forbes) and a Bachelors from the Ivey Business School (Top ranked undergrad program in Canada).
My thought leadership work has been emailed more than 20,000 times and read by close to 1 million people. I’ve spoken across North America in front of audiences of up to 3,500 people.
I consult and work with a variety of non-profits as well. Along with my work for BAPS Charities, I work with NY Times Best Selling author Dr. Michael Greger’s organization NutritionFacts.org. I also advise startups in the IoT, med-tech, food, education, and logistics space.
I currently live in California, and am looking for my next big opportunity. Get in touch with me here for your needs.
It took a lifetime to understand what matters in my life, but the heart of it came to me in an instant in the dusty heat of an ashram in India. A 90-year-old monk brought me home to myself, and here to you.
My life changed on 26 January 2001. A 7.7 Mw earthquake shook my hometown of Ahmedabad, India. In 2 minutes, over 13,000 lives became dust. Within a month, my parents got the opportunity to start afresh in Canada. Overnight, my father went from being a media professional to working in call centers and mall kiosks. My mother worked double shifts as a cashier. I remember she once walked home in -4 F or -20 C to save $2.50 on the bus ride. She almost got frostbite on her toes!
I was 11 and I was homesick in this new land which was so cold. Pushing aside these overwhelming feelings aside of guilt, loneliness, and inadequecy, I started working hard. I forced myself to enter debating competitions, and act in dramas to beat my “wallflower” reputation. I attended the University of Western Ontario, one of the oldest in the country where I studied business at the renowned Richard Ivey School of Business, one of the best business schools in the country. I was in a rush to succeed, and I believed I could quickly conquer the corporate world. Alexander had conquered the world by his 20s. Why not me?
Climbing the Ladder
Foolishly, I was out of my depth. My classmates were groomed in prep schools their entire lives and their parents had buildings named after them across the world. I, on the other hand, was ashamed to keep cycling through the same three shirts in class. My view of the world was starkly different than theirs, and I was constantly reminded of how different I was. Instead of embracing my uniqueness, I started questioning it.
Upon graduation, I started at Bell, a top three telecom in Canada, in their new graduate program. My performance reviews exceeded expectations. I was quickly noticed by senior executives, and on track to being a Director in just 2-3 years. I had finally made it, despite the road-bumps! But, why did it leave me so empty inside?
I was caught in a whirlwind of confusion. So, I did the only sensible thing possible: I went to live in an ashram in India in 2012.
The Ladder Breaks!
“In the joy of others lies our own” was Pramukh Swamiji’s motto. His work had touched millions of lives through hospitals, schools, relief work, and personal guidance he had given to the simplest villager and the likes of President Abdul Kalam and Bill Clinton. Yet, he did not claim credit for this work, which mystified me.
Over many months, he taught me. Through service and meditation, I glimpsed my true self as being sat-chit-ᾶnand: filled with consciousness, truth, and bliss—an eternal being here to grow, learn, and contribute. My life’s work was meant to be a gift and of service to others. Somehow, in the process of trying to “prove myself” to the world, I had forgotten that. No wonder I felt so disconnected. He reminded me of this truth. I had to bring this to my life, and make my life about serving others.
"In the Joy of Others Lies Our Own" Pramukh Swamiji
I also met many others at this ashram. They were engineers, doctors, and lawyers. They were Harvard and Oxford grads. And yet, so many of these outwardly successful people had given it all up to take up the monastic order. Their stories helped me appreciate the meaning of a well-lived life. They became monks to be of service to a higher spiritual order and it became clear that I would not find satisfaction either unless I centered my career on serving others.
There and Back Again
Many others felt disconnected from their work and lives back home. I wanted them to experience this different story. I spent the rest of 2012 and most of 2013 working on a 200-page play. We took this story to young people worldwide. Our last show happened in August 2013 in Atlanta where we performed in front of an international audience of over 3,300. I was the lead actor.
The story deeply affected the thousands who saw it. Many resolved to change their lives and careers to be of greater service to others. I learned that a powerful story can change lives.
In 2014, I started at UPS. I made logistics accessible to my clients—large enterprises and start-ups—and brought in millions, exceeding all performance in the process. When a medical device company needed to safely deliver medical equipment to a woman’s clinic in Afghanistan threatened by the Taliban, I was brought in to make it happen. My insecurity and fear had left me as I worked with CEOs in the boardroom and warehouse workers. I learned to build global teams, solve complex global supply chain problems, but mostly importantly, I learned to serve others in business by getting out of my own way. This is when I started advising start-ups on how to grow and how to remain grounded.
Since then, I’ve worked with dozens of organizations across the US and Canada, attended the Schulich School of Business at York University to receive an MBA (one of the top 10 business schools in the world outside the US), and become a thought leader at the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland.
Finding A Purpose
Working as a consultant and as someone who builds relationships both with companies, leaders, and end clients, I’ve learned that what we need more than anything else is the ability to see the world from someone else’s perspective and help them. Doing this makes us better leaders, salespeople. It also helps us build better products, services, and be more profitable.
Somehow however, we’re missing that in the world. Maybe it’s the left-brain focused nature of the world, or the tech-determinism we believe in. I do not believe technology and a left-brained world alone will fix everything. Our health, the health of our planet, and our ability to be whole will come from breaking out of this worldview and connecting with others and ourselves.
There is tremendous technological, economical, environmental changes coming our way. I believe strongly that the proper way to deal with these challenges begins with the inner work of changing how we see ourselves and how we see others.
This is why I write. This is why I speak. My goal on this site is to share the best ideas I can gather to make this possible. I do not want these to just be intellectual ideas that don’t create change. I want to live them, and then write about it.
Currently (Dec 2019), I’ve lead Sales and Marketing at TUIO Payments. I advise Mythic Markets and Three Good. I am a Leader of Tomorrow as per the Swiss Symposium. I have an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University. I did my undergraduate at the University of Western Ontarioat the Richard Ivey School of Business. I’ve worked at Bell Canada, Top Hat, UPS Canada. I’ve advised Acerta Analytics, Textbooks for Change, Upbeet Foods, and many more Canadian companies. I also volunteer in Outreach for NutritionFacts.org. I founded (now defunct) The Travelling Monk, a subscription box chronicling world cultures for families to explore with kids. Volunteer for 10+ years at BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
My Contact Information
You can contact me via email at dtank at dtank dot co or follow me on Twitter.
Photos are usually from Unsplash.
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The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.Share