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Morning Stars | A few minutes to express gratitude: How Droom CEO Sandeep Aggarwal starts his day

From sniffing out free breakfasts to starting the day with gratitude, Aggarwal talks about mornings in his student days and his routine now. His dream breakfast guest? Warren Buffett.

April 09, 2021 / 07:27 AM IST
I would love to host Warren Buffett and talk to him about the global economy, says Sandeep Aggarwal.

I would love to host Warren Buffett and talk to him about the global economy, says Sandeep Aggarwal.

Note to readers: Morning Stars is a series of interviews with achievers across fields about their morning routine and how they get ready for the day ahead. Mornings bring optimism and a fresh start. And how we spend them sets the tone for the day. 

As a budget-conscious student at Washington University, Sandeep Aggarwal would be on the lookout for free breakfast arranged by his professors or by companies visiting the campus. Now that he is a founder CEO of online automobile marketplace Droom, a unicorn, he begins his day by expressing gratitude for whatever he has.

The habit of being thankful is at least in part due to the personal and professional upheavals Aggarwal has faced in the past. The morning hour has thus meant different things at different times for him.

A conversation with Aggarwal on how he starts his day: 

What time do you get up on working days? What do you like, or not, about mornings?

I usually wake up around 7:30 or 8:00 am.  I like mornings due to the mild weather, freshness in the air, and the promise of a new day. I love that I can start my day with a stroll on my terrace and then working out with my trainer. What I do not like is early morning flights or travel.

Have workday mornings changed for you since Covid-19?

Yes, pre-COVID I would wake up around 6:30 or 7:00 am. Now I go to sleep between 12:30 to 2:00 am, so I have been getting up late too. I liked the pre-COVID regimen better.

Morning StarsWhat would mornings be like in student days? Can you share a funny anecdote?

I was studying in the US for my MBA at Washington University in St Louis. The best part was going to the university early in the morning for free food, as almost every day a professor or a student, or at times visiting companies, would bring bagels, donuts, sandwiches, coffee, juice, cookies and fruit. As a student of modest means, it used to be a fun sight to spot free breakfast.

Do you reach for your phone for news/ messages right away? Or do you stay offline for a while?

I prefer to go through a few minutes of gratitude and create a mental to-do list before touching my phone or the newspaper.

What are the two or three things you do in the morning that are important for you to start the day on the right note?  

I think it's extremely important to start the day with gratitude, a workout, transcendental meditation and Prana Mudra.

What is your regular news source in the morning?

I get most of my information from Facebook, Twitter, and many other online news providers.

What do you like to see on the breakfast table?

Amla juice, almonds soaked in water overnight, avocado with wheat toast, eggs sunny side up and cold coffee.

Which famous stranger would you like to see at your breakfast table and why?

I would love to host Warren Buffett and talk to him about the global economy, stock market and his current picks.

Any song or tune you listen to in the morning, or which captures the essence of the morning for you?
I like ragas, mantras and bhajans in the morning. I really like Hindi and Punjabi music, but not in the morning.
Akshay Sawai
first published: Apr 9, 2021 07:27 am

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