Amit Malik

The Bird's Eye View Of Being A CEO

The Bird’s Eye View Of Being A CEO

Amit Malik

President WadzPay South Asia & Pacific

Amit Malik

An accomplished Business, Customer and People focused leader with over 23 years of experience in Financial Services – Insurance, Banks, Captives and FMCG. Being a strong believer of inclusion & diversity, building capability and bringing social impact through sustainability initiatives, has been making a difference at Aviva since last 9 years with expertise in areas of Business Transformation & Growth, Strategy & Consulting, Business Restructuring, Change Management, Digital Strategy, Financial Analysis & Impact, Leadership & Capacity Development, Operations & Customer Services Management.

I am Executive Director on Aviva India Board and member of all Board level Committees, working with both shareholders as part of the Joint Venture, as the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director for the organization.

With my mantra “Leadership is a choice and not a position”, and driven by the ability to learn, adapt, drive numbers, commercial outlook, execution orientation, agility and challenging the status quo, I have proved to be an able and ambitious leader, willing to take on new challenges and drive businesses to success. With collaboration at heart, I have worked with global teams and have a strong track record of Developing Leaders and building high performance teams.

Take home these learnings:

1) Story of an HR person taking over the CEO role
2) Going beyond job description in your role
3) 3 Must-Have traits of a CEO
4) Distinction between a functional head and an executive one
5) Major Relatable Challenges faced by Executives
6) What’s More Important Than Certainty and Surity In A C-Suite Role?

Listen to the specific part


Episode Transcript:

Intro:// Welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome once again, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the podcast the xMonks Drive. I am your host Gaurav Arora and today’s guest is someone for whom I have huge regards for. Ladies and gentlemen, we have with us Mr. Amit Malik today. I have had the honor of knowing Amit for over a decade now. Amid has =over two decades of experience. He started his career in the year 1999. And since then, he has been playing an absolutely brilliant game. In his last stint with Aviva, he was the CEO and the managing director. And his mantra for leadership is that “Leadership is a choice and not a position”. In our today’s conversation, we are going to explore his philosophy, his life experiences and what does it take to accept who you are, where you are and how you are… Let’s take a dive and know Amit. Thank you Amit for joining us today. Such a pleasure having you here… Outro:// If there is one thing that I am taking away from this conversation is that “We as individuals don’t know how to initiate a conversation without a business card”. What are you reflection on? What’s your key take away… Do share with us your key insights, learnings and reflections and I look forward to meeting you next week with yet another interesting conversation. Till then, please take care and stay tuned ☺ Hey…forget not to leave a review and rate this podcast. ☺ 00:00 01:51 Thank you, Gaurav. For those five words and introduction, very good evening, good morning, good afternoon, wherever you are in the world and watching this, and Namaste, as they say, from Indian. 02:01 Super. Let's directly dive into the conversation. Very rare, I've come across people very, very rare. Somebody who has served HR somebody who has headed HR, that he moves on, and take over new challenges as the CEO as the CEO role in his life. How was your journey for you? How was it for you, when you take over the role of a CEO and who. 02:35 But before that, I will tell you I'm not a path breaker here. There are people who made the path. And I'm very thankful to them God of who initiated this journey. So I've Yes, I've been one of the few who had the opportunity to follow. Let me start and tell your listeners that I did not set out to become a CEO. That was never a career. Right. But he has couple of things that have helped me strong or steady in this journey. I think first and foremost is right from my first job. Data today, I've always tried to understand and be very focused on understanding couple of things is how do you you know, what is the business? What are we working for? How do we make revenue? Who is our customer? Why does the customer buy our product? So those are the questions that I've always intrigued me whether I've been selling Horlicks in eastern up or awesome girl or chimney or setting a credit card, or sitting in a bank lobby with the customer service executive and walk watching somebody or selling an insurance or whatever, I've, I've always done that. So that's the and that's really helped me, you know, answer some of the questions and understand the business. I think the second is, I've never left my role defined by job description is just something on the paper that that you know, that is there for someone to give it to me, I would I would rather look at my role. I've always looked at my role and said, What can I do to make an impact in this role? How can I fulfill the organization purpose in this role, and I think that's been very, very steadfast. And whether it was the HR head or the chief operating officer or the CEO. The other interesting part of this journey has also been that you know, the perception, internal and external, and like you said, you know, an HR person taking over the CEO role. Not many people know that I also did a C O role for three years before I took the CEO role. But when I got the CEO role, a lot of people had this question saying, Oh, they've given it to an HR guy, maybe they're not serious about their business in India, why would they give it to an HR guy? And what was very surprising for me always was that, you know, people would never say that for a marketing leader or a finance leader or an operations leader or even a legal head in our store. Why would they ask that for an HR leader to say they've given a lot of things? 04:40 There are some assumptions that go along with HR probably, you know, since you're talking about CEO role for three years, people find it extremely difficult to do only one role of a CHR o in several organizations and follows like three years, right? You were serving two roles. What was the motivation? behind that, and how did that help you? 05:03 I think first and foremost, you know, when you're when your CEO and the board come to you and say we really think you can do a CEO role, you know, from and I think that's the biggest motivation that one gets to be recognized and to be, you know, acknowledged that you have the capability to do it. I think that itself motivates you know, that sense of achievement that is there, you know, which and the, and they and they have a confidence that you have the ability to do that, because it wasn't easy for me when I was given the job, I was very clearly told, you have been given it for one year. And if you don't make a success of this in one year, we'll have to choose either one of those. God was very kind, I did both roles for three years. I think the second thing that happened with me was I've set up the HR teams, I was already an HR head for five years, I had set up the HR team where I had started to make myself redundant. And I was asking the organization, this question to say what next for me. So I took that plunge and said, I will make myself redundant, I had a very solid team who I knew could support me, you know, and could do more. And that that does not mean I did not give enough importance to HR when I bought both the roles, but it gave me the confidence to get onto this path of learning something new. And I think that's what gave me a lot of confidence. That's what that also gives the organization a confidence tends to give it to me for two jobs. And you know, what it also taught me, Gora was it taught me to be very miserly with my time, which I think is a good learning. And I got that at that juncture to be able to plan my day better to be miserly with my time. And then to be able to, you know, achieve it. It wasn't easy in the beginning. So I'll tell you a small anecdote. When I told my boys who were at that time, quite young. Now they are 17 and 14, at that time, they were 14 and 11. My, my elder one said, Oh, so you will do two jobs and get paid for one dressing? And my younger one said, Does that mean you will come home late? You know, and that's that's the view that you know, people have a very interest. Yeah, 06:51 and the choices that we make and the priorities that we have? You know, since we are talking about assumptions that people carry for HR, I'm sure there will be some truth to that as well. And I don't know, what is the truth, if there is any? Now let me ask you this question. What do you think? What are the traits that an individual needs to have? In order to take on the role of a CEO? Probably, I'm saying probably, they just might not be trained on. 07:20 You know, it's a tougher become a CEO, and especially? Well, I think, first and foremost, the trait is, irrespective of what part what job, you will come back to that point is, you have to understand your business and your customers. And that is why I say that CEO overall helped me get into my job as a CEO from day one, see, when I was an internal candidate, so there was always an expectation that I would deliver quicker, but I got through it one day, you know, and I did that cross functional role quite late in life. So people who aspired to be a CEO, I will tell them irrespective of your function, you should do that cross functional stay not one maybe too much earlier in your career. So you know, that's my realization. And I think the second trait that is very important, if you want to become a CEO in any organization is when you start to understand the difference between a functional head and an executive. And I give this credit to my boss, and Trevor, who was my CEO, he made me actually realize that there is a difference, when you sit on the management team, when you sit on that table, you can choose to be either a functional voice, or you can choose to be an executive and an organization was, you know, and that is the differentiation that that I realized, and I imbibed that learning with. So I was first and foremost and Aviva executed, rather than Aviva HR head or when you start to put, you know, you change your own perspective about how you look at things and how you look at issues and how you look at solutions. That's that's a trade that is very important that people should imbibe. And a lot of functional heads, do it and majority don't do it outside. I live in them. 08:54 I think. So yeah, I just love it when you're saying that it's very important to create a distinction between Are you being a voice of a functional head? Or are you being a voice of an exhibitionist or a beautiful distinction? Yeah. 09:11 The third point, and I think, you know, this is where the where HR leaders have an advantage, which they acknowledged or not is about people and process, you know, that's a treat as a COC, you have to understand that it's like an 8020 principle, 20 to 30% of the people have, have 70 to 80% impact on your financials. And I'm not saying the others don't contribute, but they have a major impact. And you know, as a CEO, you need to then ask that question to say, Do I have the right people? First we do we know these roles as an organization. Second, do I have the right people in there because they will have the biggest impact and when you come from HR, I think that's a trait that is your advantage, and people should play it out, you know, very, very strongly when when they want to make that transition. So I think these are the three things you know, people and process you know, functional and executive and Understanding the business and customer I would say, or you know, hold would hold you good. 10:04 lso you spoke about the roles that different people are playing in the organization and identify who are your horses? You know, I'm it, I remember our conversation, right. And if you if you remember, during the last conversation, the coffee date that we had, you spoke about two transitions, we discussed to transition that transition from the role of a chro. And the CEO, and the bridge was CEO. And then recently, you have said goodbye to that position as well. So, I'll talk about that. Now, let's look at the second platter that we have the CHRO the CEO, what are the major challenges that you faced? Or? What are the major challenges or CEO faces that only a CEO can relate to? And how did you deal with that? 11:00 That's, that's very, very interesting. So I think as the CEO, first and foremost, you know, what changes and what you need to start to do quickly is, you you are one of the few who's gonna take a 360 view of the company. Right the company performance, you know, there is sales, there is product, there is markets, there is competition, there is financial angle, right, and an insurance company, there is also an actuarial and reserving angle and an investment type, depending on what industry you come from. You are someone who needs to understand all of that end to end and have a complete picture in your mind. You know, because the decisions that you take, and the decisions that come on your table have have an impact on all of these elements, you know, when you look at when you look at say, I'm only going to focus on products, then you have to look at margins? And how will it have impact on financials? If you look at sales, you have to look at the service element of it say how will that if you look at competition and say what is competition doing, you have to look at your own financials to say, Do you are you geared up to be able to meet that competition now that 360 degree view as a CEO is very important. And that is a job that a CEO, I'm not saying no one else can do but that a CEO must necessarily do because he or she is the one who take on the concept. I think the second thing in that whole piece, which is very important is your stakeholders change. And you and I spoke about that day on our coffee day when I was telling your stakeholders change your stakeholders is no more your CEO and you know and and your management team who you are going to influence your stakeholders directly today are the board which are indirectly they are when your associates today, your stakeholders is your shareholder is your board. How do they view the how do they view the country? How do they view the organization? How do they view the market? How willing are they to be your partner in your journey and how they influenced them? That's one part of stakeholders. Other stakeholder is the external bodies, the regulator, you know, where you are the ambassador for the company, you are the ambassador for the industry? And how do you start to manage those stakeholders, you know, and manage that reputation? I think that's the second part that I think is very, very important. The third part is, you know, as a CEO, it is your responsibility to ensure that your leadership team is on the bus. That's the first time that the leadership team there is on the person. The second is they are putting the organization above their function in the church like us. I think that's that's the role. Let us see your breath. And you can never delegate it to the HR head or someone else to say that's your problem to do collaboration. Get the team together. No, you have to take our action. Yeah, those are the three things that I think, you know, I would I would like to 13:39 say, yeah, yeah. And thank you for bringing that element of systemic view. Because as a functional head, I would have a very, very narrow view of things, how things are working. And and you also spoke about the third challenge that you spoke about, I think, unless I know how this one chord is going to change the music that will come from the other instrument, which at the surface level might not be connected. But at a deeper level. All these interconnected parts are creating a sound, which is if it's not making sense to the external stakeholders, they are not going to invest. 14:14 Yes, you know, since you're talking about the orchestra, I just I just you know that that just sparked a thought in me. So you are you are the conductor of the orchestra, but you don't have your back towards the world. You have your back towards the organism. Because you are also the face of the organization. Yeah, yeah. 14:29 Yeah. Thank you. And the thing that that while I was listening to you, I was reflecting that. Of course, you spoke you spoke about the way your stakeholders look at you the organization. I think also the way stakeholders look at you and your relationship with the team. I think because as a CSR or as a CEO, it's an indirect indirect connection that you have the stakeholders now you are the bridge between stakeholders and your team. I think that's really makes a huge differe to navigate through these white waters? And yet, you were able to do it really well? 15:11 I think, you know, so when, when we started, when I started my journey, we were coming, we were in COVID, we were coming back out of, you know, a period that wasn't very great. And, you know, there was this whole piece about how serious is is, you know, is the organization about the market, and then they brought someone at someone like me to head to be the CEO, which is, you know, and ask questions internally, there was a lot of belief and faith, but you know, there are so I think, I think there was a time that I think you and I, when I presented the business plan, I actually got the whole team together to first have a one voice on that plan. And it was so aspirational, that my stakeholders asked me this question to say, Are you sure that you know, we are geared up to deliver this aspiration? And, and, you know, I had the team with me, and before I answered, I first asked the team to share their views. And then, you know, collectively, we made a, we made a point that lets aspire to do what we want to do, and not be bogged down by the outcome of it. Yes, we may not aim what you want to aim. And you know, I'm not giving you percentages, because for proprietary reasons, I can't, you know, we had a regular we were a regulated industry. But we when we laid out the ambition, we laid out the ambition, giving confidence that this is the team that is going to deliver on this ambition, right, and not one individual who's going to deliver on this happiness, ambition. And I think that helped the stakeholder to not only have faith in the team, but also to have faith in the business and invest to grow the business, wherein we got, we got the green light to go and build a strategy for the next five years with an external consultant. And willingly they said, for the cost of building this, we will incur the cost as a stakeholder, not us. Jetstar was great when first. 17:01 Now let's look at from the other perspective, now is your relationship with your team, as we discuss that it's not very frequent, it's not very often that people would expect an HR to take on the role of a CEO. Now, when you took over the role of a CEO, how did that change your relationship with others? Who were ones? Who were colleagues once upon a time? 17:28 That very interesting question. See, I think at one level, it changed overnight, at one level, it remained the same. And let me help differentiate, what changed overnight was that I was all of a sudden the boss, right, but they had already seen me play two roles. So they know there was a lot of the voice was already there, but I was always a boss. So that changed, what remained constant was the personal relationship that you had, you know, I was in the organization for eight years, you know, and as the HR had, I had hired many of them, I had a personal equation, good, bad, or whatever parameter, you have a personnel equation, and I focused on maintaining that personnel equation with that, you know, but when you become the boss, you know, you are the boss, and you take calls, which some people like some people don't like. But I think what was interesting was that when I took the job, I was very aware. And I'd reflected on this when I was preparing, you know, between the announcement and my taking over that I needed to redefine my relationship with each of my directs and build a new one without the baggage, so taking the good part of my other relationships, but redefine that relationship, and that owners, as a leader was on me, in which I had to make an effort, which I did, but some of the people still carried the baggage, of course, as expected, and it took them longer to adjust. You know, but overall, you know, when when I when I when I, when I took over, we had to redo the team, because I was doing two roles. So you know, we had to reload, look, but overall, I think we got the right people on the bus, they may not be the best people, but I was very sure that they are the right people for the organization at that time when the bus was being traded. And for that journey, they were right. And that was the focus to get the right people even if they are not the best. I think that's the that's the that's what helps 19:15 to understand. Yeah, in an all these years, one of the trades that I have seen you demonstrating is definitely the way your ability to not only build but sustain relationships. That is one second thing I think, your ability to call a spade a spade. I think that's what I've witnessed. I'm sure there will be other traits which are hidden from me and I'm sure as we walk this path together, 19:43 called Life bill, we are definitely going to explode that. But I remember 10 years back also in one of the conferences, you were speaking about purpose driven leadership. 19:57 Today also you speak about purpose driven leadership and Same as good as last, what last 15 days back, we were sitting together? What do you think? How can I see you create a culture which is purpose driven? First, what is purpose driven leadership? Second one, what can see you or what can a leader do to create a purpose driven leadership? 20:22 I try and simplify maybe, maybe to be too simple for your listeners and your, you know, me, I like to keep it simple, I think purpose driven, really, leadership is, where it is, is an alignment between an individual purpose and an organization. You know, as long as you're able to see that alignment, you know, I think that's what that's what matters. And for me, you know, leadership has various connotations, and everyone has a very different definition. But I, I always say that, it's not about what you want to achieve what you set out to achieve all that is good, they are goals, they are measures or metrics you mentioned. But as long as you have that alignment and saying, I work for this organization, this organization has a purpose, this purpose resonates with me, and I'm willing to give it my all to make this purpose happen. For me, that's that's where the purpose driven relationship comes in. And I've always imbibed that, if I have not resonated with some place some time, I've always made the change quietly saying, you know, I'll go find something else. So that's, that's what I think, how do we make it happen to the second part of your question is, you know, and that is, and that's a question that I'm going to answer more as an HR person than a CEO. But you know, you can take in whichever hat I'm still an HR guy, as I say, I think it's for each and every individual to be able to see that linkage to the purpose of the organization. And I'll give you an example of that, that I did. You know, when I took over the CEO role, a CEO role, I started to sit with my call center person and listen to the costs, why the customers are calling us, what's the issue? Why can't what what is it that you know, is troubling them? What are the majority. And this this individual who I was co listening the calls with, was it was a was a veteran in our call center for five, seven years. He asked me this question, he said, you know, you're such a senior leader, you are, you're so busy. Why would you spend two hours twice a week with me to listen to these chords? What is it that you get? And, you know, that was my opportunity, where I felt that there is a gap between his looking his job and his impression that what he does is how important so I had that conversation with him. And I'll relay this in two minutes, I sat down to him and said, look at what the purpose of the organization is, you know, and we define the purpose and I said, Look at look into this purpose, this is so, we are we are an insurance company and this purpose is of customer focused, I said when the customer calls you, you are not answering a query, you are actually fulfilling the purpose of the organization by giving him or her a solution. That is what we say no, that is what Aviva has purposes. And I told him that I said, this will also reflect in the metrics that we will do, you know, we had that conversation, and he and I then had a conversation on how that purpose gets defeated about, you know, with the metrics that we measure call center on and as an as an end, I've always believed that, you know, the metrics have to be true. So we took decisions to take away the average holding time, we moved from average holding time of a call to the first time resolution. So we did those changes, and I'm just giving one example, we looked at what measures and we put that in to say, and you know, and that is where I think every time that I would meet people, you know, and whatever role I played, I would I would try and define for them as to what is the role that they play. Similarly, my branch sales executive in a branch is far more important than a salesperson, and I'm not trying to, you know, replay one against the other is far more important because a sales person has done the sales and moved on to the next customer that's momentary, the customer service executive at the branch is the face of the organization when the customer walks in. And that's the experience that the customer will give any levers our company to the others. No one says I, you know, when you look at the feedback, no one says I had great sales experience. So I'm going to refer it to somebody and buy another insurance. Everyone's when you seek feedback, they will say, great customer service, great product, great processes, timely, I think those are the experiences and those are the functions, you need to then understand their whole connection with purpose. That's how that's 24:22 beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And thank you for sharing all these examples. And, you know, tells me about the views, different views that you could play with the view of an eagle, at the same time, the view of a microscopic view, what we call as, right so you could actually zoom in and zoom out so that you can look at what's happening. And if there's a, there's a need to regulate up, regulate down or tune up what you're down, you could actually play along. You know, I mean, in my understanding of knowing you as an individual, as a friend, as a professional, I've always seen you challenging the status quo. I mean, I will meet you You will tell you that this is what If you're doing after three months, I'll meet you, you will say, this is God, now I've disrupted this part of my life. Now I'm doing something else. It could be your relationship with your family, the way you take care of your health, from HR, to CEO to CEO, and then what are you doing these days? Hey, you know what, God, I've left the the company as well. Now, what are you up to? I really don't know. I mean, I really don't know this full words, the sound easy. What do you get when you challenge the status cue, which is more important to you than stability? And certainty? 25:38 That's a very tough one. Let me see. That's a very, very tough, let me break this question into two parts, one from an organization view and one from the personal view, you have touched both right? I think from an organization view, it's not about challenging the status quo, it's about being aware of the changes in the external environment, the changes in the customer profile, the changes in the competition, the changes in the people capability, people expectation, the changes in the product, how is your customer going to go. And, you know, when you look at this, as a leader, you also have to then start to visualize how will this impact the organization in next two years, three years, six months, three months, one legislation comes in house more impact, and then one needs to take that into account. And if that warrants a change, then one has to go for it. You know, so if it does not warrant a change, then you continue doing what you're doing? You know, but for me, in an organization, a couple of statements are red herrings are very, very different, very, very hard. We have been doing this way. You know, it has always worked in the past, this is how it is done here. These are very dangerous statements. So I always tell people to challenge themselves. On the personal side, I think, you know, this, you know, and we've had so many conversations, and I've always told you that, when I went, even when I went through the you know, the whole process of understanding myself as a coach, reflecting that there is I would always want to reinvent myself. And I think every five years, I've given myself five years to reinvent. So I did five years of HR head row, five years of CEO and CEO. And I thought, at my age, this was my time to reinvent myself. And you know, as a as the chief executive officer, you have a responsibility towards the organization, you can't go searching for a job or your next mantra while doing the job and then stand in a town or openly and say I, you know, I think this is the best place, and I'm going to be here for next five years, and you should be here for next five years. So I did that role till I did that role. I made that statement till I made that statement. That's why I said, when I leave my role, I will then go and explore the world. 27:37 Now, but I can tell you, there is one statement, which is very consistent and constant every five years when I meet you, and you will say God, if not now, then when? The same statement you had then and now the same statement you have today. And you know, it's like really? Yes. Submit, let's take one step forward now. And that is where I would like us to take a pause and reflect because I really want to subvert that I really want to digest that piece. When you released yourself of your responsibility as the CEO and the managing director of Aviva. What changed for you? And how did you respond to that change? 28:21 A lot changed. A lot changed. And I think so let me let me let me give you back first I prepared my family for and then my wife was my support and whatever I've achieved is because I answered that question for my kids saying, What will my father do? So if someone asked my son, what does your father do to at that point? He could say he's the CEO and Managing Director. Well, Aviva, what would you say? He does not think he has no job. So I prepared my family for it. Right? I prepared my parents for it, who are old and who don't come who come from a school of thought that you need to have a job to take care of your family, especially with HR to prepare my family first and get their confidence and their support. I think what changed was drastically for the world. I had no role. I had no business card. Right? I had, I got up in the morning, and I had, I had nothing to I had no calendar. Right? And all of a sudden, someone like me, who has a huge sense of achievement. I you know, there was no there was there was there was a lot to do. But that whole sense of achievement that comes where would I look for that new sense of achievement and purpose? That was a question that I had to answer for myself. 29:24 Yeah, nothing to hold on to now think to hold on for now. Right? On the positive side, I 29:29 had more time for myself to rejuvenate, to understand myself to reflect on what I wanted to do. Right, I think but I think you know, I was mentally more prepared in that space. I have, I've never shied away and you've known this Trump saying I am on a break, and I will job it now. But I think it's taken people it has it's had its own impact on people. You know, when I told people that I'm taking, you know, I'm taking a break, and people actually didn't believe it. And I'll tell you, someone just said Oh, so you're joining as a CEO of a listed company and you can't share that now. So you're taking this Like, so I've had all kinds of answers, but people just didn't, it actually took five to seven minutes in the conversation with me with people, some of them to actually believe that I've taken this call. And that's what I want to do. And that's, that's where I am. So I think challenging myself was one part of it. And I'm going through that journey, so I'm enjoying Yeah, yeah. 30:19 You know, during the last conversation, you mentioned something and that, that stayed with me, I've not been able to get over that one statement. I do understand that. And in fact, that's what my role is, as a as a coach, I work with individuals where people are able to release the identities that they've been holding on to the material that they've been holding on to, because anyways, it's not going to serve us not, not neither it has served us in the past, not they're going to serve us in the future as well. However, I'm still not been able to get my to wrap my head around that when you said that when you don't have a card or designation or a role. People find it extremely difficult to initiate a conversation to engage with you in a conversation. Tell me about that. 31:10 See, people in the world people and world in general Gourav is tuned to a roll a designation, you know, they have the symbols of your social capital, which people want to invest in and derive from. I will tell you one small example that I had, you know, I wanted to download a report on a very on a website, because I thought I had time to read this report. And I wanted to get some knowledge. And when I went into download, it was a free download, it said, your designation and your organization. And if you don't have that, and it didn't take my gmail id. So that's how the world around us is Why blame the people. Right. But coming back to your question, I think people feel happy, they feel surprised, right? When you say you are on a break. So there is also a genuine happiness and surprise, and you know, people are there but then they don't know how to engage with you. Because they are so bound by the purpose of engagement, you know, what is in it for me and what we like get for myself or for my organization, after spending this five minutes with this individual, whoever that individual is, and if they don't find an answer, then it really becomes very awkward. So I've had I've had conversations where I've told somebody in a conference saying, why don't you go engage with that individual, that individual will help you meet your purpose I'm and imagery is around when you have time, I'm around the corner, and we can have a conversation. So people who know me would engage in a conversation with people who would not know me and they would walk into a room, you know, they would have that challenge. I understand that. And I'm not I'm not blaming them, and I'm not taking against them. But I've also realized how how this is you know how the world works here. And when it's fair on their part, because you know, they have a purpose they have they have their own metrics, they are out there to do achieve something to get something and if I'm not able to get, give them what they want to give, then it's unfair on my part to encroach on their time. 32:57 and we are talking about tapping into the true essence of life, when we have not been able to wrap our heads around, that a person is beyond the designation, when a person is beyond the chord that he or she carries in my relationship with you. I don't think that we have ever spoken business in all our conversations, right? All our conversations,And I think this is what I'm talking about the friendships that we have been able to nurture in the last 1015 16 years. Just the last question I'm in now with all the ups and the downs, the transitions that you have experienced in your life. What is the essence of life for you? 33:58 Like what would have what would be on my on my gravestone, but let me try and answer this. If you if you if you will bear with me since you know I don't have a one line answer like you said, I don't have a one line answer and I'll give you two or three aspects which may be an essence of my life not but I still I think I have to reflect more on the specimen and I but I'll try not so I think first and foremost is to have the freedom to do things that make me happy and feel fulfilled. That's that's the essence of life. Second is for my family and my friends because they bring meaning into my life. Right? They bring meaning they make it more meaningful. And I think the third is to be kind to be accepting and full of gratitude. So I thank you for having me here without any designation and anything you could have chosen to go to any other currency you and add this at this conversation. So my gratitude and my thanks. 34:52 Thank you. Thank you so much. I think all sudden done. It's time to come back home, isn't it to accept where we are what is is released the expectations and as you mentioned that, ask yourself what is important to me? Right? If if that is making sense, then life is worth celebrating. So thank you so much. I was an absolute pleasure interacting with you as always. And looking forward to our journey ahead to our friendship I always have always cherished and I will continue to cherish it. 35:24 Thank you very much. Thank you for having me giving me an opportunity to share and some very interesting questions, but I want to reflect on the last 35:31 pleasure, take care. Bye bye.

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