Cred că viața trecută am fost un transilvănean
When I first met him, I had the feeling that a movie star was in front of me. He looks like a movie star, but he thinks like a visionary. He comes from India, the largest democracy in the world, a country with an incredible past, and a bright future; a land of choices, a country with as many Gods as you can count, and a wonderful cuisine. Not to mention the incredible philosophical, religious, and cultural traditions and also the amazing scientific discoveries. That’s why it was not very clear to me, at the beginning, what he was doing here, in Romania, in Cluj. After a while, I understood.
Besides learning Romanian, Mukul Pal is doing a great work. He is the founder of Orpheus Capitals, a company that provides business solutions, and has conferences all over the world. He can choose to live in any city in the world, but he prefers to consider himself “un transilvănean”. He will tell us why.
MG: Who is Mukul Pal?
MP: A signature of TIME. Like anything else that ever lived or will live. Or anything else that will die or decay. I always believed that this signature, which we are, is about a (not THE) fire is us. We have a choice to let it burn fast, burn slow, extinguish, reignite, create new flames or just let it flow. We all create something, even if we use the flame to destroy. I am doing my bit of creation and destruction, creating new ideas, while disrupting some old ones.
MG: From Delhi to Cluj is a very long way… What made you choose Cluj-Napoca?
MP: Cluj; I could not even pronounce it. Now I can. Cluj happened to me. Was it love at first sight? Maybe. What matter’s is that the love is going strong. I love the city and it loves me back. It’s strange how this Pygmalion effect panned out. I came with no expectations, dreamt of building a business, creating an idea. Cluj helped me think, nurture, groom, test, fail, reinvent and evolve. It was like a sapling in a nursery. You incubate it and then you take it to the world and it blossoms everywhere. Many things can’t be explained. Loving a city is a strange emotion, the more you resist it, the more it grips you. How else can you explain love despite all odds? Maybe it’s what you put in that comes back to you. I came here searching for something, a part of what I found is still with me, as a creation that accompanied my journey and of course great memories, lifelong friendships, goodwill which keeps pushing and taking me ahead.
MG: Mukul, tell us more about your Romania.
MP: My Romania is the land of good people, with a good heart, a non-corrupted soul that knows that’s it about being human first. This is not only because there is enough for everybody, but because the corruption of character did not reach Romania yet. Maybe it’s not that rampant. I think this intrinsic character is what makes it like a cohesive village. My Romania is the land of self-sustainability, where there can never be a food crisis. There could be another round of hyperinflation because, like everyone else, My Romania sometimes believes that the grass is greener outside. But it’s the opposite. The power is inside not outside. Take any powerful nation, the strength comes from innovation inside not from borrowing innovation, strength comes from conservation rather than consumption. So My Romania is capable of virtue, as it has all it needs to shine. But cyclically values prevail over virtues and every nation gets an opportunity to build back a nation back to greatness.
Another of my projects which I am working with a close friend is called “it’s neither mine nor yours”. The project starts as a book to explain the virtuosity that we should show with common assets. My Romania does not belong to you or to me; it belongs to both of us. Just like My India, is not just mine, it’s yours too. The time we start thinking of the world as a common asset, we can avoid the tragedy linked with commons. Not that the virtuous utopia is normal, but that virtue fights relentlessly with viciousness of the economic or moral life. So sooner or later despite the stronger bad, the weaker good persists, prevails and sustains moral growth, which drives the economic and political fiber of a great nation. My Romania and My India have everything they need to become great nations.
MG: At one moment you said that “Cred că viata trecută am fost un transilvănean”. How come?MP: Cause and explanation have come under attack more now than ever. Like many big names in the past like Joseph Schumpeter, Samuel Benner, Vilfredo Pareto, Herbert Simon, Karl Lamprecht and others, my work explains mathematically how it’s not just about cause and explanation but also about an intrinsic order. Though this is more about my scientific work for the current historical times and systems, metaphysically speaking why the order of one life could not continue from a previous life, assuming a previous life existed? This is why I assumed that my being here could have been linked to some previous life order. Talking about previous life I want to give myself more thinking space, the old Transylvania at 100,000 square kilometers could have done just that.
MG: What is Orpheus Capitals and why this company is so important for business solutions area?
MP: Orpheus Capitals is based out of Cluj. The company is built on an idea that geometry, patterns, order and structure that we see in nature are really not in nature but in the underlying time on which natural systems grow and decay. And since understanding TIME can be only done through data, data has a commonality, a universal character. We call this ‘Data Universality’ at Orpheus. Simply putting this means, a set of data from a natural system or variable can tell you everything about the future growth and evolution of the natural system or variable.
MG: You were invited to conferences, all over the world, from Delhi to Dubai, San Francisco, Chicago or Budapest. You were also invited at the famous TEDxCluj conferences. How is the public interacting with your ideas?
MP: Today’s audience is open to new ideas. The society is consuming information like other economic goods. Moreover, the society is in a state of flux as new ideas replace old ideas. We are in experimenting times and even the avant-garde is appreciated and criticized. It takes very little for an idea to traverse the globe today. We have had a good reception to our ideas and this is why these invitations, we have not reached to the criticism stage yet, as we just started talking about our idea and sharing it. The idea is disruptive, and disruptive inventions, leading to innovations, leading to a business use usually takes some time. The best part is that because our idea is scalable we have a cross-industry usage. We are already implementing these usages in real cases. This also makes it easier for us to illustrate the workability of the idea. We are positive going ahead that we will get more traction and global acceptability.
MG: You just published a book, Risk Management Indices. Tell us something about it.
MP: Indexing in this case, is a financial term, which refers to as a benchmark. Markets of all goods need benchmarks to follow, as they are expected to be superior, popular, and well-constructed to represent the universe. There are few original indexing innovations over the last 150 years. Most indexing innovations have come from United States of America. The reason there are a few indexing innovations is because it’s hard to better the existing innovations and improve the popular benchmarks. Based on our data universality approach, we have been able to improve and enhance the current global financial indexing innovations. The book is planned for a year-end release and will be available to purchase on Amazon.
MG: Are there any similarities between Indians and Romanians?
MP: Yes, generally speaking, the family is an important part in both cultures. Both of the cultures I find have an intrinsic simplicity and God-fearing nature. Both of them i.e. Indian cities and Romanian cities have an English speaking youth. The level of technology skill is also comparable, the reason a lot of overlapping technology businesses. Both places I found the youth to be very forward thinking, up to date and support a risk-taking spirit.
MG: People often say that “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, or that “things happen the way they are supposed to”. What do you think? Is there a Destiny, out there, for every one of us, or we are our own destiny creators?
MP: Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” And adapting is about overcoming what can kill you. Many times what can kill us lies within us, so it’s not just the war outside but the war inside. Mastering the mind is a very powerful way to survive. As I said there is a structure to everything natural, so I believe things are happening as they should, what we need to do as individuals to adapt to the changing times. If in the process we can understand ourselves and master the mind, we create our own destinies.
MG: If you could change one thing in your life, what would you change?
MP: My life has been a relatively extreme expression till now. I could not have been happy if I would not have lived it, the way I did. I think I was lucky. I think I will never know if I would like to change anything or re-live it. I guess my opinion does not matter. But it’s good to feel that you matter, so I will make myself feel important revisiting this question after another 40 years, hopefully nearing another round of joyful expression, meaningful! Only time will tell.
MG: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Is Romania on the list?
MP: Even if we know a lot about TIME structures and order, societies understanding of nature will always be empirical, limited, the rationality like Herbert Simon said is bounded. It’s hard to predict tomorrow. And sometimes your friends know more about you than you do about yourself. With all the forecasting I have done, I appreciate and acknowledge uncertainty. India gave me a personality, Romania gave me a platform to think and it seems that USA would give us the breakthrough. So I guess one of them will know, what will happen to my journey tomorrow.
Thank you, Mukul.
Multumesc frumos, MG (Mihaela Gligor)