Sandip Mallik (Director – HR, Aviva India) fills us in on a few of his Favourite Things.
Q. Where did you study from?
A. Bachelors from Presidency College and PGD in Social Welfare from Calcutta University.
Q. You joined HR from the word ‘go’. What convinced you?
A. My belief was/is that business success is directly linked to how a company manages its people and I wanted to play in that space.
Q. Your first job was at The Telegraph India; what’d you learn?
A. Two key takeaways: there is no shortcut to success, and the quality of the leader/team directly affects results.
Q. What do you love most about working at Aviva?
A. It’s an action-oriented learning organisation. Our people have the ideal combination of youth, energy, and ambition. This makes me tick everyday.
Q. What lessons for managing people have you learnt?
A. Focus on three things: customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and positive cash flows.
Q. The most critical HR trend?
A. There are two. Social media is changing the way we lead our lives; these viral channels must be actively managed by HR professionals. Open sourcing will soon apply to employees, and that will mean that HR practices must cater to an “invisible” employee.
Q. Your signature leadership style?
A. Drive for results and perseverance. Sportspersons have been a source of great inspiration.
Q. The teacher you remember?
Q. How do you spend your free time?
A. I am an intrepid traveller. My goal is to set foot in every country on this planet. Reading comes next.
Q. What kind of reading?
A. No specific genre bias. Currently reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
Q. An alternative career choice?
A. Airplane pilot.
Q. Which car do you drive?
A. I drive a Honda Accord V6. Planning to get the Audi Q5 next month.
Q. Any movies you enjoyed?
A. Sliding Doors, The Godfather, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Q. Technology you can’t do without?
A. Expresso machine.
Q. The best advice you got was?
A. You live once. Live it well.
Q. Most-used business tool?
A. I think it is called a spreadsheet.
Q. When are you the happiest?
A. When I travel with people I love.
Q. Your greatest extravagance?
A. Top of my mind, USD 400 per day skiing at Deer Park, Utah.