We live in a 24/7 culture that's always on. With the ability to stay connected around the clock, the lines between work and home have blurred.
But for Aditya Puri, the managing director of HDFC Bank, making time for family and friends is the biggest priority. He firmly believes a balanced lifestyle is necessary to stay at the top.
Puri has nearly 40 years of experience in the banking sector in India and abroad. Prior to joining HDFC Bank, the 69-year old bank veteran was the CEO of Citibank, Malaysia from 1992 to 1994.
Puri is also a member of numerous board committees of the bank and has won several awards. He was named among the best 30 chief executive officers in the world in Barron’s list for the years 2015 and 2017.
Being the boss of the country's largest private sector lender by assets requires exceptional hard work and skills, and work-life balance can be hard to manage. But Puri figured out how to remain successful while making time for his close ones.
"There was some chief executive of Coca-Cola who said a few things that I realized only after the first 5-8 years of my professional life. He said, in your life you will have number of balls in the air, maybe five- six, family, friends, hobbies, job and most of us end up treating job as the most important thing but out of all these the job is the only rubber ball," Puri told CNBC-TV18 in an interview that aired on May 4, 2015.
According to Puri, work should never be one's top priority because one can find another job but not another family.
"For Christ's sake, (if) you don't like it, chuck it. It's not going to make a big difference," said Puri on doing job one resents.
A hands-on boss, who is also known for his exceptional work-life balance, said that since the Citibank days, he has always been in the office by 9am and has exited by 5.30pm.
For him, his wife and kids come above everything else.
"If you ruin your family life, you upset your wife, you have had it. Your kids, if you don't give them time ... you have a big problem."
Puri's wife Smiley is an entrepreneur and a businesswoman. They have two children—Amrita and Amit. Amrita is a Bollywood actress and has appeared in movies such as '
Aisha', 'Kai Po Che' and many more.
Amrita and her mother have a clothing line called
'Akuri'. The label includes different kinds of Indian ethnic styles, dresses and tops.
"Without wife, there is no life. See now I have got a full life," quipped Puri.
"She runs a lovely home, the kids love her, I love her", said Puri, who is retiring in October 2020.
Unlike several top executives of blue-chip companies, Puri is averse to the use of technology in his day-to-day life. He doesn't wear a watch, doesn't carry a mobile phone and doesn't uses email either.
A perfect way to lead a happy family life (as some would say).So if your personal life has taken a backseat to your career, it's time to pick up the threads and make a change for the better.