Make today better than yesterday, says Neelima Burra, Co-founder, Ganymede Business Ventures

The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

Neelima Burra, Co-founder, Ganymede Business Ventures aims to position her company as the world’s largest ‘food on street’ service chain, striving to serve safe and tasty takeaway food at affordable prices in India. The company is working towards rewriting the rules of success in the Indian street food market while, at the same time, putting economic power into the hands of street food vendors through its TOTO Food Cart.

Ganymede launched its service in Indore, Madhya Pradesh recently, with a factory and an already active network of 274 street food vendors across the city. The company is now looking to expand its presence in Delhi, as well as Lucknow.

Neelima has successfully traversed the distance between being a successful marketing mastermind and a path-breaking entrepreneur. Her colleagues describe her as “a formidable marketing professional, dedicated brand manager, and a smart and relentless worker.” Here are her responses to our Proust questionnaire...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being at peace with the moment, and the realisation that my family is safe and happy.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is looking back and realising I didn’t do something because I was afraid. 

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My approachability. It is taken for granted sometimes. 

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


Which living person do you most admire?
Indira Nooyi. 

What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying a contemporary collection of watches. 

What is your current state of mind?

Ready to go. 

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Patience. Since over-exercise of patience can lead to loss of opportunity. 

On what occasion do you lie?
When I don’t want to hurt someone, especially when I forget birthdays and anniversaries. 

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I am comfortable in my skin. I am good the way I am. 

Which living person do you most despise?

Someone who is shallow. 

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Intelligence and a sense of humour. A man who loves his mother and his wife. 

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Let’s do it! Why not? 

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My family and my work. 

Which talent would you most like to have?
Establish a better work-life balance. 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

No change, I am continuously reinventing myself. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To be able to create brands that last the test of time and generate jobs in my daily work life! 

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I would like to be reborn as Neelima Burra. I am proud of the life and space that I’ve made for myself. I would like to come back to the same person to complete what was left incomplete. 

Where would you most like to live?
My home right now. It's safer than going out.

What is your most treasured possession?

My collection of watches. My family and pets. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being completely dependent on others for every need. 

What is your favourite occupation?

My current one! Being an entrepreneur, Being a business and marketing strategist. 

What is your most marked characteristic?

My brutal honesty and sincerity! 

What do you most value in your friends?

Their time! Invaluable. 

Who are your favourite writers?
Ray Kurzweil - He is an American inventor and futurist. My favourite book is How to create a mind. 

Who is your hero of fiction?

Clive Cussler- The Oregon Files  

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Chanakya - Master strategist and economist.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My dad, who taught me to be fearless to be who I am today, and my husband, who encourages me to challenge my limitations every day and go beyond.

What is your favourite name?

My daughter’s name, Ananya.

What is it that you most dislike?

Lack of integrity.  

What is your greatest regret?

No regrets, so far. 

How would you like to die?
At peace with myself. 

What is your favourite journey?

The road to success. 

What is your motto?
Set your goals and go beyond them every day. Make today better than yesterday.
Edited by Suman Singh


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