Coffee and Conversation in San Francisco
It doesn't surprise me that Mike loves living in Ocean Beach, San Francisco. The ocean is only a block or two away, so close that you can taste the salt on your tongue. Mike loves surfing, and he's loved doing it nearly his whole life. What he remembers most about growing up was the outdoors, not just in the ocean but playing sports with his friends and family and being with nature.
Mike also talked about learning early on about the value of working hard. Even though his parents have been divorced for as long as he can remember, they both instilled in him that very same value. It was popular to take honors classes and do extracurricular activities. People expected you go to good schools and make good money. It pushed Mike to go to Amherst and eventually work at Morgan Stanley. But he realized that working just for the sake of working — without a mission, or any real purpose — was not achieving the American dream, in any form or fashion.
Since then, Mike has moved out to San Francisco and working at start-ups where he has more ownership over. He's currently working at Blowhorn, a logistics service based in Bengaluru that he helped found. The company provides the city's low-income, intra-city truck drivers with more opportunities. He's felt that his time in California has changed him, molded him more into a progressive, mission-oriented mindset, a transformation that he credits his environment.
He has recently become a vegetarian, and is very passionate about the environment and animal welfare. In his new community, Mike has chosen to surround himself with people that mirror his values and ideals, instead of trying to fit into a crowd that does not align with his identity. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is his passion for surfing. When he's not working or volunteering at the nearby animal shelter, you'll probably find Mike in the water, looking for his next big wave.