Shabu Qureshi is one such extraordinary human being. Despite being the partner of EMP Global, a major emerging markets private equity firm, and now running his own firm Q Development, which makes him a "very important person" he has always treated me with kindness and respect. I first came into contact with him when I was 22, and looking for a job in emerging markets private equity. He not only took the time to discuss my future career with me, but made several introductions to foreign private equity funds that might be interested in hiring me.
Here comes a twist - life got in the way, and I was no longer able to consider moving away from the country to pursue this career path. Not sure what to do, I immaturely did not follow-up with his contacts, and spent the next decade occasionally recalling his generosity with great regret for how poorly I responded. Eventually, I got the nerve to reach out and apologize, and he responded with the same kind and generous spirit.
He has since met with me a few times to mentor me on my business, and to give me more general life guidance. He has even joined our advisory board, thus extending the resources that we are able to offer entrepreneurs building profitable multinational businesses. I would like to think that he enjoys exploring what our clients are up to, and how we engage with them to help make their multinational businesses profitable. For instance, when one of our clients was seeking venture capital, we turned to Shabu for advice on the client's pitch and on potential investors.
There are so many people who, whether or not of actual influence and power in society, will treat you like dirt. Some of them seem to be under the odd opinion that this makes them appear superior. I hope that whatever mountains I personally manage to scale, that I'm able to reach out and help others with kindness and humility. Basically, I want to be 1/10th as cool as Shabu someday. Until then, I'll make do with hoping he'll accept another invitation for sushi in the near future.