Meet Haresh Daswani: Author, Comedian, Entrepreneur, Environmentalist

The When in Manila team recently had the pleasure of having a career development training with Haresh Daswani. The training session took a very hands-on approach, and we were able to learn a lot of new things that we could apply to our work.

Haresh was definitely an interesting character! He condensed a lot of lessons in a short span of time. And because he’s a comedian, the whole session was very lighthearted and full of funny anecdotes.

Since our readers weren’t there with us during that training session, I interviewed Haresh in hopes that our readers could get to know him a little bit more and pick up new lessons from him, too!

When in Manila Meets Haresh Daswani-1

The When in Manila Team with Haresh Daswani

Haresh is defnitely a multi-hyphenate. He provides career development training. He sells eco-friendly products. He is also a published author, a comedian, the current 2016 Regional Vice President for Metro South of JCI Philippines, a columnist for Global Free Press in Canada, and the Admin of the page Lord Shiva pictures in Facebook. He is also into online retail with Lazada.
What is the common denominator out of all these varied endeavors?
I do what I enjoy doing. I found myself passionate in helping the environment, which is why I am also a vegetarian (I do not want to harm animals, seeing them in pain makes me feel bad). I became an author because I want to share ideas and thoughts and learn from others. In a way, writing is a way of giving back to everyone the knowledge I gained from everyone. I do comedy because people would usually come to me telling me how they look forward to me and my posts because it cheers them up after a stressful week. JCI has helped me grow as a leader through trainings and give me business opportunities through friends I meet, taking a position gives me the opportunity to give back. I do things I do because it is the best way to make things better for everyone. Even the Lord Shiva facebook page becomes an avenue to inspire people to do good, be better, and be happy.
How do you know which projects to take and which to turn down?
I look at my time and priority. Family first, Business second, JCI third, everything else comes after. (Read more about Haresh’s journey with JCI here.)
You are active in business, and you also took up entrepreneurial management in college. What are essential lessons on business that school didn’t teach you? 
You will learn to realize that you need to know your own personal value and not allow others to step on you. I learned how to listen from everyone else and grow from them. You gain much more from the stories of successes and failures of real businessmen than from books.

It is real.

School shows you numbers and theories. Once you’re on the field, there are so many more variables to learn from. Business competitors will copy or invest or drop prices to kill off competitors, you need to know how to plan your next move. Schools do not teach you that business is war.
Could you tell us more about your book, Evolution of Insanity? Did you have a specific audience in mind when you were crafting it?
Evolution of Insanity was crafted as a sort of experiment between prose and poetry. It is humorous in nature with a lot of philosophy. It was a way for me to grow my craft and evolve, while sharing my ever evolving thoughts and philosophy through fiction. The book is crafted in a very unusual manner that makes traditional book readers uncomfortable. It is definitely not a book for everyone, but those who appreciate its core love it.
How did you become a comedian? As a comedian, what could you say about Filipino humor?  
I became a comedian because I like to just crack jokes and weird observations. People found me funny, encouraged me to go on stage and tell jokes, and that’s how I later landed with Comedy Cartel. I enjoy making people laugh.
Filipino humor is vast as is different types of humour. It all depends on the demographic. Those who are western oriented will appreciate stand up with intellectual quips. Otherwise, like in many other places and cultures, the humour of the masses requires personal injury or insulting others.
How do you combine being a businessman and environmentalist? 
I guess it is respect with society. I do not want to be seen as a parasite to the environment. I wanted to give back, so I got into environmental business practice. I try my best to do as much communication online and use as little paper as possible. I try to keep meetings through email and phone rather than drive far distances. I choose to be in a business that reduces resources a lot more than what I can consume, to be on the carbon negative.

Haresh Daswani