Pappapreneurs: the New Super-dads
“Having kids does change how you think about the world in a pretty dramatic way,” declared Facebook founder and proud dad to two kids Mark Zuckerberg...
"Having kids does change how you think about the world in a pretty dramatic way," declared Facebook founder and proud dad to two kids Mark Zuckerberg during a college town hall in March 2017.
"I used to have meetings that ran really late," says Zuckerberg. "But now, I make sure that three times a week, I'm home to give Maxima a bath, he adds.
This brings us to the fact that men in high places in the corporate sector are now more open to embracing fatherhood and all the responsibilities that come with it. The Corporate HR terminology is evolving to accommodate the new phenomenon by adding 'paternity' leaves (for new fathers) to existing 'maternal' leave for expectant/new mothers – thus signifying a common responsibility.
A zany new term making the rounds in corporate corridors is pappapreneurship; which is all about striking a balance between entrepreneurship and fatherhood. Sumir Meghani (38), the co-founder of Silicon Valley-based on-demand staffing company Instawork and Prajit Nanu (38), co-founder & CEO of InstaReM, a Singapore-headquartered digital cross-border money transfer and payments FinTech with its presence across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas, echo Zuckerberg's sentiments.
"Arika's arrival in November last year has been a life-changing experience for me personally. Handling a high growth, high-pressure business meant that I had to prioritize ruthlessly. I made sure to prioritize my wife and the newborn," says Prajit Nanu.
"I am fortunate to have a great team who I can absolutely trust and rely upon without worrying about the business. While this gives me more time to spend with my wife and daughter than I expected before. It also helps me look at things in the perspective of our customers who are working hard for the better future of their children," he adds.
"Being a father has taught me the value of empathy, understanding and most importantly, sharing the feelings of others as if you experience it yourself. Developing empathy is critical to being a great parent, spouse, colleague and an entrepreneur," says Meghani.
Indeed, fathers have nearly tripled their time spent with children since 1965, according to a 2014 paper by the Pew Research Centre.
Delving deeper into fatherhood itself, one finds surprising parallels with entrepreneurship.
Both are very personal experiences and come with no fixed manuals. Becoming a parent helps men put things into perspective. This is similar to the clarity provided by entrepreneurship itself. The joy experienced from successful parenting is similar to the rewards acquired on watching your start-up touch milestones. No wonder, most entrepreneurs think of their ventures as their children.
Fatherhood, like raising your own-start-up, makes you more self-aware, responsible, humble, open and honest in communication.
Pappapreneurs tend to be more inventive with the quality of time they spend with their kids as well, providing on the ground training to their children in very inventive ways. Internet-savvy dads often jump online, to find answers that they need.
Perhaps the most important outcome of fatherhood is that pappapreneurs build sensitive and caring organisations. While Facebook announced the company's extension of its parental leave policy of four paid months to full-time employees of any gender and to same- sex couples, in 2017; InstaReM also happens to be an incredible workplace for new parents. It offers a week's parental leave to a newly-minted father and also all necessary support to ensure that the arrival of the new member in the family is a great experience for the employee.