Career, Most in-demand Skills, and The Future of HRM: An Interview with Akhteruddin Mahmood, Group Head of HR, IDLC Finance Limited

Career, Most in-demand Skills, and The Future of HRM: An Interview with Akhteruddin Mahmood, Group Head of HR, IDLC Finance Limited

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Akhteruddin Mahmood is the Group Head of HR at IDLC Finance Limited – one of the finest financial organizations in the country. Mr. Mahmood has over 29 years of experience working in diverse sectors spanning multiple geographies. Prior to joining IDLC, he worked at some of the leading multinationals including BATB, Nestlé in various local and regional roles.

In this interview, Mr. Mahmood walks us through his rather unconventional journey to what he is doing today, trials and tribulations he had to endure, discusses his work and HR practices at IDLC, shares his thoughts on overall people practices in Bangladesh and how he looks at the very job of managing people, what he looks for in a candidate during recruitment process and most in-demand skills in the market, shares his thought on management, leadership and living a good life, reflects on why empowering people yields better result for organizations in the long run and how intentional listening can change our lives.

Future Startup

Please tell us about your journey to what you are doing today.

Akhteruddin Mahmood

I passed my HSC from Notre Dame College, Dhaka. After HSC, I wanted to go abroad for higher studies but it did not happen at the end because my father did not support the idea. This was back in 1984. Session jam was a huge problem in Dhaka University. 4-years undergraduate program used to take way longer to complete. I decided not to pursue that path. Consequently, the options were limited for me.

Around this time, I came across an opportunity at the Bangladesh Air Force and applied and eventually got selected and joined Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Academy in 1985. I graduated as a Pilot Officer in the flying branch in December 1987. Air Force was a life-changing experience for me for many reasons. Along with my flying skills, it has helped me to develop discipline, a cornerstone habit for a good life, and build my character. After working for 10 years in BAF, I decided to pursue a private sector career.

One of the key motivations was potential opportunity to develop myself and learn new things. I thought that pursuing a corporate career would be a challenging affair which would offer me further growth and learning opportunities. Our personal and professional growth often comes from working with brilliant people and dealing with new challenges.

My private sector career started with British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) in their Personnel Department, which is now the Human Resources (HR) function, in 1998. I started at a fairly early stage position.

A lot of people would take it as a step back given my years of experience in the Air Force and would not take it positively. But I decided to look at it from a different perspective. I did not mind starting from the scratch in Human Resources function. In fact, I took this whole starting from scratch approach as an opportunity to learn the entire process of HRM from ground-up.

BATB was a wonderful experience for me. I learned a tremendous amount during my time at the company. On my 7th year at BATB, I was given the role of Organizational Development Manager. After working for two years in that position, I was made Organizational Development and Change Manager of South Asia Region.

During my 10 years tenure in BATB, I worked in various roles which helped me to develop myself and gather skills and expertise required to contribute more to an organization as a Head of HR.

In 2008, I left BAT and joined Nestlé Bangladesh as Human Resources Director. Nestlé Bangladesh was a relatively small organization compared to BATB but opportunities to learn and grow were immense. In fact, being a small organization was the advantage of Nestlé. A lot of things were happening at the company which gave me a different level of learning opportunity. When you work as one of the top team members of any organization, you get to see the organization from a bird’s eye view. It allows you to see and understand things from an entirely different perspective.

After working for six and a half years as HR Director, I became Head of Learning and Training of Nestlé South Asia Region based in Gurgaon, India. It was a totally different role and a relatively large portfolio to manage. The position had its thrill, challenges, and responsibilities but it was not that of an HR Director that I enjoyed during my time as the HR Director of Nestlé Bangladesh. After working for a year, I realized that I wanted to do more within Bangladesh which led to looking for opportunities where I would be able to make a meaningful contribution to the organization.

I started my journey with IDLC in January 2017. This is my first time in any financial organization. It has been a wonderful experience so far. I’m immensely enjoying the ride and I think that’s the entire point of any journey. Prior to joining IDLC, I worked at STS Holdings Ltd for a brief period of time.

Our personal and professional growth often comes from working with brilliant people and dealing with new challenges.

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Future Startup

When you decided to transition from Bangladesh Air Force to the business world, why did you choose HR? Was it because you were passionate about it or you saw an opportunity there?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

In the Bangladesh Air Force, we’re taught two skills: technical skill related to flying and planes and behavioral skills including people and leadership skills.

To be a good pilot, you must have a sound technical knowledge about flying and planes and also you need to have expertise in dealing with people. Apart from my job as a Pilot, I was equally good at leadership and dealing with people. I had a natural inclination towards it.

When I was preparing to start my private sector career, I figured that I could not use my technical skills outside Air Force unless I join an Airline. That said, if flying had been my passion, I never would have thought of leaving it behind. Since I was good at managing people and also used to enjoy it, HR department was a natural choice for me to start with. Luckily, the company I worked at was looking for someone to join their HR department and I was there. I would say I was fortunate enough to be in the right place, at the right time.

Future Startup

Our life often changes when we come across some sort of a catalyst, it might be a person, a book, or an event. Was there any particular person or event that shaped your worldview or influenced you in a particular way?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

When I was transitioning from the public sector to the private sector, everyone around me was worried about my future. My father was particularly emotional about my decision to pursue a private sector career.

During that time, I shared my father’s worries and my challenges with one of my uncles who told me something simple yet profound. He told me that when we make difficult decisions with conviction we tap into a source of energy unknown to us that helps us to overcome the difficulties that come with that decision.

It is like a long journey, when we decide to embark on one, we manage to overcome challenges and complete the journey. He told me that since you managed to summon the courage to venture into the unknown leaving behind your comfortable and easy life then I do not worry about you, you will figure it out. You have it in you. That small conversation changed my perspective towards life and helped me to tackle my transition with confidence.

That experience has taught me an important lesson that our small conversations matter. Every time we talk to someone is a potential opportunity to uplift and change the trajectory of a life.

Our small conversations matter. Every time we talk to someone is a potential opportunity to uplift and change the trajectory of a life.

Future Startup

You have decades of experience working in diverse sectors spanning multiple companies and countries, what are the biggest lessons from all those years?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

We often underestimate the power of authentic listening. When we are in a conversation our natural tendency nudges us towards preparing a reply instead of listening to the other person. Instead of trying to understand the other person’s point of view, we try to answer which often results in misunderstanding and unintended challenges.

This happens when we maintain a predisposition about someone or some viewpoints. I can particularly relate this to one of my personal experiences. In one of my previous organizations, I had a new superior with whom I was having trouble communicating properly. Now, when you are not going along well with your boss this has consequences. I was underperforming. I was not enjoying my work and was having work-related anxiety. After a couple of months of this, I thought that I have to move out of here and look for other options.

After having this thought, I sat down to reflect on my past few months of distress. That’s when I came to realize that this whole time I was not communicating and listening to what this new person had to say. I was in a defensive mood and instead of trying to understand his point of view; I was actually looking for misalignment in his opinions. In simple, I was not listening. I realized that I am the one who had caused the challenges because I shut myself down.

The next day, I maintained quiet during the meetings and instead listened to what he had to say and invested myself to see things from his perspective. Instead of finding flaws and defending, I asked questions with an intention to understand. Afterward, our interaction slowly started to change and I started to feel much more relieved and free. It helped me to understand that there was indeed no real problem between us. It was my inability to listen that created the challenge. Later, we became very good friends which we maintain even these days. And we had done some wonderful things for the organization.

We often underestimate the power of authentic listening.

This is a quite common challenge we face in life when we come across a new environment, a new boss or an assistant when we shut ourselves down or become reactive instead of listening to what the other person has to say. Listening is a skill that we rarely pay attention to but when we exercise it mindfully it can truly change our worldview and thus life.

The other most important lesson for me is that there is no age limit to learning. It should be a daily exercise for all of us who seek to make a difference and stay relevant at work and in life.

If we stop learning then we are as good as a dead person and we stop growing.

When I joined this organization, I had no idea of how a financial organization works. Over the last 10 months, I have been on a relentless learning spree of a sort. I am learning about the economy and financial services and tools and much more. This willingness to learn has helped me a lot.

Akhteruddin Mahmood | Image courtesy IDLC

Akhteruddin Mahmood | Image courtesy IDLC

Future Startup

Please give us an overview of the company culture and HR practices at IDLC as well as your work as the Group Head of HR.

Akhteruddin Mahmood

IDLC is one of the few local companies that has all the ingredients of a multinational organization. We have the capabilities and requirements that an MNC’s HR department should have to operate effectively and efficiently. We have performance management system, succession planning, career development planning, recognition and reward scheme and a lot of other persistent processes in place. In simple, we are a very well-orchestrated organization which makes my job as Head of HR even more challenging.

As HR Head, my responsibility is to ensure that the tools and structures are in place and they are used objectively throughout the organization and that all the process and systems are in sync and contributing to creating the organizational success.

In order to do so, the 1400 people in IDLC has to know about all these systems, procedures, their targets and what they need to do to ensure organizational success. My goal is to ensure that we align all our people with every major strategic change so that the changes bring their expected result.

We are introducing a lot of new people processes while making sure that we stick to those which has worked well so far.

For example, we have a performance management process and it has been working well. We are working on making it more robust in order to improve its effectiveness. We set the organizational objective along with the business and functional priorities which are then aligned with the individual performance objectives at the beginning of the year.

We did the same with performance appraisal system. Rather than telling the middle and entry-level managers to achieve the results and push them frequently as a reminder, it is better to give them a target to achieve at the beginning of the year. The target has to be as objective as possible and thus can be evaluated by the employees themselves.

We have also introduced Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The sole purpose of PIP is to identify poor performers and ensure that they get all the support they need to come out of their current state. We genuinely intend to extend our support through PIP to show our concern and care for the people who are struggling with performance. Rather than just tagging people with low, medium and high performer tags, PIP tells people that if you are struggling we are here to help you to improve.

We conduct a need-based analysis of career development path of our people which helps us to identify their training and development needs.

We basically learn in three ways – through reading/training, coaching and mentoring and through experience. According to several studies, experiential learning, which is learning by doing, is way more effective than any other form of learning.

When we identify a learning need of an employee, we also try to identify how that need could be best met – whether that learning should come from education based initiative or through relationship-based coaching and mentoring or through gaining experience and knowing the know-how. We gather data and requirements and try to provide personalized development opportunities.

This has two benefits: employees can gain expertise in areas where they need improvement most and the organization get the benefit of a skilled person.

These are some of the people processes that we have. From HR, we are constantly working on improving these processes. As the HR head, one of my core responsibilities is to make sure that these processes are spread out in the organization and are being followed continuously all over the organization.

We currently have one of the best people processes in the market. In the coming years, our ambition is to strengthen it further and take it to the global standard.

We basically learn in three ways – through reading/training, coaching and mentoring and through experience. According to several studies, experiential learning, which is learning by doing, is way more effective than any other form of learning.

Future Startup

When you are designing an HR Strategy, what factors do you need to consider? Or how do you design an HR strategy that works?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

Before everything, you have to understand the organization. Without knowing the organization deeply, you will not be able to identify its challenges and thus the solution will be ineffective

For example, every organization has some poor performers and many people who struggle with performance know that they are not delivering up to the mark. When you come across such a problem, many HR people tend to offer easy to find and out-of-shelf solution instead of trying to understand the challenges these people are going through.

This is why it is important to understand the organization and the challenges specifically.

After understanding the challenge properly, sometimes you implement out-of-the shelf solutions and sometimes you have to customize solutions according to the need of the organization. For instance, when you help someone who is struggling with performance to regain his confidence through personalized training/intervention, he becomes close to the organization and delivers even better performance than before.

The culture of the organization has to be properly assessed and taken into consideration while devising a strategy. The strategy has to be in line with the organizational culture otherwise it will backfire and HR will have more problems to deal with than before.

Once you have a proper understanding of the organization, its culture, and problems, now you design the strategy working closely with other departments and stakeholders in the organization. It has to be a collaborative process. You should never prepare a strategy in isolation.

Future Startup

Being a Head of HR, what are the professional challenges you face on a regular interval?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

We have people from diverse backgrounds. While I consider it as an advantage for the organization, still we have to make sure that despite the differences everyone is on the same page and is aligned with the singular vision of the organization.

We ensure that we listen to everyone, their ideas, problems, and challenges and go accordingly.

We are a fast-growing organization and always hungry for changes and improvements. However, the fundamental challenge of organizational change management is that it takes a long time. It is a complex process involving many stakeholders and interest groups. Moreover, any good change will only benefit you when everyone in the organization accepts it. Now when you roll out a new process, all the parts of the organization may not accept it at once. A few may resist it. As a result, you lose time in negotiation and persuasion.

Meanwhile, the management expects the changes to take place immediately. It is easy to find a common ground for 10 people but it is equally hard to align 1400 diverse people with a major change. It creates complications and requires small fixes for a long time.

For example, we have implemented our new performance appraisal system recently which took us almost 4 months to roll out. We had to arrange awareness sessions for all of our people. We had to put together coalition team to make people understand about the new appraisal system and so on. Now, I can claim that almost all the people understand the appraisal system. However, it would be a tough call to claim that it is embedded in the organization’s core. It takes almost 2 to 3-years time to embed any new system in an organization’s DNA. After that, we will be able to say that yes we have done a wonderful job.

Bringing about any change often meets with resistance and doubt. Despite that, we have to find common ground and implement the changes that are good for the people and the organization. This is the challenge and the life of an HR executive, you have to maintain the delicate balance of overnight change management.

The fundamental challenge of organizational change management is that it takes a long time. It is a complex process involving many stakeholders and interest groups. Moreover, any good change will only benefit you when everyone in the organization accepts it. Now when you roll out a new process, all the parts of the organization may not accept it at once. A few may resist it. As a result, you lose time in negotiation and persuasion.

Future Startup

How do you decide who the best candidate is for your organization? What qualities and skills do you look for in a candidate?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

We primarily look for three things in people: knowledge, skill, and attitude. And we look at each of these things very differently.

Knowledge is open now. Anyone with willingness, dedication, and passion for learning, can learn almost anything.

Skills are the things that you are good at. That too can be taught and learned. If you are not good at something, through hard work and deliberate practice, over the time you can acquire almost any skill. Be it computer literacy or sales or any other skill for that matter.

The most important thing, however, for us is attitude and cultural fit. We try to find people who have the right attitude.

We have found that when it is easy to train a person to develop a particular skill, it is very difficult to change a person who does not have the right attitude and mindset. That’s why when we recruit people, we emphasize more on the attitude and cultural fit part than the knowledge and skill. We believe that with the right attitude, people can move mountains and achieve new heights.

We check whether a person has got the can-do attitude or not, whether he has the appetite to take initiatives as opposed to maintaining the status quo, whether he is a team player and can deliver on his promise.

We are looking for people with an ability to take initiatives. We need people who can do things, can make things happen and drive change. We seek pro-active people rather than people who wait for the orders and instructions all the time. The days of map-followers are over.

These are the qualities that we look for in a candidate. I think the past behavior of a person tells a lot about their future behavior. In that sense, the attitude and behavior they demonstrate in their previous organization or in their university life, essentially demonstrate a glimpse of their future behavior. Once we find out that a person has the right mindset, we do not hesitate to bring them onboard. Knowledge and skills are critical, but it comes after attitude.

The most important thing, however, for us is attitude and cultural fit. We try to find people who have the right attitude. We have found that when it is easy to train a person to develop a particular skill, it is very difficult to change a person who does not have the right attitude and mindset. That’s why when we recruit people, we emphasize more on the attitude and cultural fit part than the knowledge and skill.

Future Startup

What are the major skills that our young people/professionals lack these days?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

We come across a lot of young people with excellent academic result who lack basic professional and life skills. It seems to me that while many young people invest a lot of time and effort in achieving good grades, they don’t give much effort to developing life skills that are imperative to professional success.

I’m not suggesting that grades are not important, rather along with good grades, you should also pay attention to building some applied skills. There is a balance in everything. It is important to have good grades, it is also equally critical to develop basic life skills.

University life offers ample opportunities of attending extracurricular activities that can help students to develop leadership, management, and people skills. I think it is wise to take advantage of some of these opportunities that facilitate the development of street smartness.

Sometimes, we really feel frustrated to see very good students with great academic scores lack people skill, basic communication skills, and the likes.

As a nation, I think it is time for us to look at the education of our young generation from a holistic point of view focusing on technical skills, knowledge, and attitude and life skills in making them a complete individual. We should find ways to instill right attitude in our young people as well as help them develop leadership skills.

We check whether a person has got the can-do attitude or not, whether he has the appetite to take initiatives as opposed to maintaining the status quo, whether he is a team player and can deliver on his promise.

Future Startup

What are some of the most in-demand skills in the current job market?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

Communication skill remains an indispensable one. And frankly, we are relatively weak at it. I am not referring to the language skill or dialect; it is about getting your message across. Your ability to understand what the other person is saying and at the same time, being understood, being able to tell what you want to tell.

If you look at other developed countries or our neighboring country India, you will see that they are very good at communication which has helped them to move forward in many areas. Your ability to articulate, share and communicate your idea is an incredibly important quality.

Managing and navigating relationship is another key skill that you need in order to thrive in modern workplaces. Although we think that it is simple and everyone knows it, it is not true. Most people struggle with dealing with complex relationships at workplace. It is only wise to invest in developing these skills early on.

Future Startup

People are considered to be the most important component of success for any company. That said, while many multinational companies are well recognized for maintaining good HR practices, complaints against local companies for not being people oriented is an old one. What is your observation about overall HR practices in Bangladesh?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

The key priority for any business in the immediate term is sustainability, which means revenue and profit. Although this revenue is generated by people, the people concern comes later. The entrepreneurs, owners, and shareholders think that once the business stabilizes then they will think about the human concerns. I consider this to be a common and logical way of doing things.

You will see that many local companies now have excellent HR practices because they are doing good business and they understand that it is people who bring business. This is one way to look at the development.

The other aspect is that there is a lack of understanding about how HR processes can add value to the bottom line of an organization. Organizations need to understand what benefits investment in people and best HR practices bring to the organization and how it creates value.

It is a two-way process which demands a deeper understanding. If HR processes create value for my organization then I should invest in HR. If it does not, then it is hard to justify any investment in HR. That is a simple logic.

For example, if you believe that sending people to training helps create value and increase revenue for the company, only then you will send your people to training. But if investment in people development does not bring any value, you will not spend money in that area.

I think these two aspects explain the logic behind investing in HR practices or not for that matter.

There is a lack of understanding about how HR processes can add value to the bottom line of an organization. Organizations need to understand what benefits investment in people and best HR practices bring to the organization and how it creates value.

That’s one.

Now, when you have an HR process in place, I think we should rethink the generic career development programs. That means career development programs should be personalized based on the needs of both the individual and the organization. If you are sending people to generic career development programs, the chances are, it may end up not adding any value to the organization or the employee.

Personalized career development programs are much more effective and generate betters result for both the organization and the employee because it trains people based on their skill requirements. That means I should be nurtured to acquire skills that I need and that my organization needs and obviously not otherwise. For instance, someone who is responsible for finance should be given training on finance and so on. In that way, the productivity of the said employee will increase and the company will get the benefit.

Career development programs should be personalized based on the needs of both the individual and the organization.

Finally, I think HR professionals should come out from the conventional mindset of only dealing with administrative and managerial works and instead engage more with people and business and understand and measure results of people related changes in the organization. Otherwise, HR people will not be valued as an important part of the company.

HR should not be seen as the police within the organization who just seek to implement policy manual and impose things regardless of their business consequences. Instead, HR people should be seen as the change managers in the organization who bring material value. We need to be more close to people and overall business. People should not feel any kind of hesitation to express their concern to the HR people. And HR people should pro-actively engage with people.

HR should equally participate and understand business aspects of the organization as the finance or accounting or marketing people. They should portray themselves as a partner in the organization and equally contribute to the business as any other department in the organization.

Culture is something that ultimately drives an organization. HR plays an important role in creating a culture that helps people at the company and overall organizational growth. Through policies and system, HR can nudge the entire organization towards greater collaboration, less bureaucracy, and speed that will ultimately generate a better result.

Future Startup

What is your management philosophy?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

People perform at their best when they are empowered and inspired. This is, at least, how I think and it informs my management style or philosophy for that matter.

I’m in favor of allowing people autonomy in order to make sure that they develop leadership skills and ability to take initiative. I also believe that you should engage your people with your long-term vision as well as short-term goals and objectives and also allow people to participate in the process when you design a strategy. Engaging people helps with developing ownership in them which ultimately lead to better result.

I believe good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone in the team, regardless of position. We only get this benefits when we allow and encourage people to speak up and participate no matter what their role is.

Culture is something that ultimately drives an organization. HR plays an important role in creating a culture that helps people at the company and overall organizational growth. Through policies and system, HR can nudge the entire organization towards greater collaboration, less bureaucracy, and speed that will ultimately generate a better result.

Future Startup

How do you deal with stress and challenges that come with your profession?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

Prioritization helps. There are important works and there are urgent works, I try to pick wisely.

You can’t do everything overnight. Lasting progress happens on an incremental basis, brick by brick. Achieving any major ambition is like a marathon, not a sprint. In order to run a marathon, you have to maintain your energy and balance.

Our ambition is to take this organization to a global level and it is not a permanent state or outcome rather it is a continuous journey. While we have to do it step by step, once we get there we will have to work even harder to maintain the status. This mindset allows me to relax and maintain my cool even when things are not going that well.

I truly believe that a healthy lifestyle is critical for performance. I expect my team to come to office on time and leave on time. Work-life-balance and rest are critical for the sustained productivity.

I’m in favor of allowing people autonomy in order to make sure that they develop leadership skills and ability to take initiative. I also believe that you should engage your people with your long-term vision as well as short-term goals and objectives and also allow people to participate in the process when you design a strategy. Engaging people helps with developing ownership in them which ultimately lead to better result.

Future Startup

What books have you been reading lately?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

We are going through a lot of changes at our organization and one good book, which I refer a lot, is ‘Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions’ by Holger Rathgeber and John Kotter. It is a wonderful read for anyone looking to understand change management.

Future Startup

What do you think about the idea of leadership?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

I think leadership is about giving people the ‘feel-good’ factor so that they can perform at their best. As a leader, if I can inspire people, make them understand their own ability then my work is done.

At the end of the day, I am not going to do your work. You will do your job. As a leader, I can just motivate and inspire you to do it better. People, often, excel at their job when they are happy, motivated and inspired. To me, the job of a leader is to make sure that people are inspired and empowered enough to do their things.

When I am dealing with my children as a father, my role is to facilitate them and maintain as little barrier as possible so that they can honestly communicate with me. Your kid should be doing what they like most and your job is more like a facilitator, a guide and an emergency support for when they fail or struggle.

Role of a modern organization is almost similar. Organizations should put together a mission and a vision into place and empower people to achieve that.

In today’s world, fear mechanism, rigid hierarchy, command, and control – these things seldom work.

My personal preference is to empower people and make them realize their true potential. To me, that is the best kind of leadership that helps organizations to grow and succeed.

I truly believe that a healthy lifestyle is critical for performance. I expect my team to come to office on time and leave on time. Work-life-balance and rest are critical for the sustained productivity.

Future Startup

What advice would you give to the people who are just starting?

Akhteruddin Mahmood

The ability to listen is an underrated quality in our society. More often than not, we listen only to reply. You have to understand in order to be understood.

When you join a new organization, in the first six months I suggest that you just listen with an intention to understand the organization, people, and culture. This will help you to develop a deeper understanding of the organization and communicate at a different level. Sometimes, people start commenting or complaining from day one. They bring their own perspective and look at things from that perspective which changes the interpretation of things which make entire thing difficult. My first idea is that when you are starting out listen and try to understand first.

It is hard to overstate the importance of investing in your personal development in today’s fast-paced world. Today, staying relevant with old knowledge is a constant challenge. Unless you learn and improve on a daily basis; your chance of moving forward will shrink significantly.

Overnight success often is the result of years of consistent hard work, pain, and sweat. Keep a long-term view of things and aim for gradual improvement because shortcuts don’t exist. Be persistent and do not be random in doing things.

Time is a scarce resource, which means you have to be very mindful of how you use your time. Never try to do too many things at once, because you will end up doing none. Prioritize and focus on the things that enrich you as a leader, help build your personality and ultimately make you a better human being.

Finally, a money advice. We often forget that days are long and decades are short. When you are young, it feels like there are endless days left to save money, make investments and the likes, until one fine morning you come to realize that you are not under 30 anymore. Start investing and saving from a very young age. This is something we don’t encourage culturally. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Save and invest when you have the time. It makes you financially discipline.

If you want to take away anything from this interview, I suggest you take this one.

We often forget that days are long and decades are short. When you are young, it feels like there are endless days left to save money, make investments and the likes, until one fine morning you come to realize that you are not under 30 anymore. Start investing and saving from a very young age. This is something we don’t encourage culturally. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Save and invest when you have the time.

(Interview by Ruhul Kader, Transcription by Md. Tashnim, Cover photo courtesy, IDLC)

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