‘Great things never come from staying in your comfort zone’: Nidhi Kumra, Co-founder and CEO, YourSpace
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.
Nidhi Kumra, Co-founder and CEO, YourSpace, worked in London as a trader at Lehman Brothers, and at a bank for almost a decade before launching into entrepreneurship. She went on to pursue her Master's at Trinity College, Cambridge where she was awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship.
YourSpace is the newest hostel brand in India, co- founded Shubha Lal, Karan Kaushish and Nidhi. It has 21 facilities with around 2,500 beds across 7 cities in India at present. An IIM, Cambridge, Oxford alumni initiative, YourSpace is a built-to-suit student housing facility that offers top-class accommodation.
They partner with property owners and developers to build homes for students by leasing, remodelling and managing large buildings. Here are Nidhi's responses to our Proust questionnaire…
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A state of mind. It is not always about acquisitions.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing the people, I love.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My short temper.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
No respect for other people’s time.
Which living person do you most admire?
What is your greatest extravagance?
My bag collection.
What is your current state of mind?
Chaos with a sprinkling of some more!
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My bad hair days during the monsoons.
Which living person do you most despise?
I don’t spend my time dwelling on such things.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to sing.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Be more patient.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To have the audacity to start a challenging business and take it to where it is (albeit small)!
Where would you most like to live?
On a beach where there is no phone network.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Chanel handbags.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Getting into a viscous loop of self-pity.
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What is your favourite occupation?
I would have become a full-time food critic if not for Your Space.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am passionate to the core.
What do you most value in your friends?
Being non- judgmental.
Who is your favourite writer?
Who is your hero of fiction?
Who are your heroes in real life?
What is your favourite name?
What is it that you most dislike?
What is your greatest regret?
No regrets! You can’t live life with regrets.
How would you like to die?
In my sleep.
What was your favourite journey?
My first trip to Europe.
What is your motto?
Great things never came from staying in your comfort zone.
If the words of writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron who once said,"Writing is what I do... it is like breathing to me..." defined the goals of Ephron's life, it would be Asha's mantra too, as she lives to create word pictures of the people she meets. She believes that the best stories "must move the heart and feed the mind". When she is not working, she loves reading novels and listening to music.