Typical 24: Jagdish Mahapatra, Intel Security

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…

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Jagdish Mahapatra

 Job title: Managing Director – India and SAARC

 Company: Intel Security

 Location: India

 Years’ experience: 20+



1.             What time do you reach the office each day?


I am an early riser and my natural high energy levels make sure my day begins on an active note. This helps me sets the tone for the rest of the day. My usual day begins at 6:00am and I work out for an hour with my trainer before leaving for office by 7:30am which hasn’t changed in last 8 years. On days when I have multiple calls scheduled, I work from home. Given the nature of my job, I travel extensively and this could be anywhere between three to five days of the week.


2.             Is your job varied?


Absolutely! I think the existing business environment is very demanding. Whether it is working with a large and extended team of employees and partners or with customers directly, one has to wear many hats and change gears several times during the day. Without that, I think work would become monotonous and repetitive so the variety keeps me engaged. India as a country and market always pushes you to think outside the box hence one can’t follow a defined template.


3.             Is your job creative?


I believe that one can always infuse creativity in almost any job at this level. Right from organizational innovation to customer delivery, there is always room to do something new and interesting if you are motivated to drive that change yourself.


4.             What do you spend the majority of your time doing?


Majority of my time is dedicated to the one aspect which I learn most from, i.e. with people. To my mind, the more time you spend with employees, partners and customers, the more you learn from their perspectives. This in turn allows me to become creative in the solutions I offer them and become more ingrained in their lives. I ran a program called ‘reverse mentoring’ for a year when I took over the role at Intel Security. This allowed me to learn from people and hence be of help to them. I believe the only difference between good and great companies is people. Apart from this, I try and read as much as possible.


5.             Do you personalise your desk?


My work environment is usually a reflection of what drives me most. I am a fitness nut and so have implemented a life hack of sorts by replacing my usual chair with a Swiss ball. I feel that this has helped improve my posture and promotes a more proactive approach.


6.             Would you describe yourself as creative?


I don’t think I was born creative. It’s something that life and work have taught me.


7.             Do you have any quirky daily rituals?


Aside from my daily workout, I need to make sure I am meeting a customer or partner without fail every day. I feel the best feedback comes from your closest customers and partners and culturally organisations need to be outside-in rather than otherwise. I feel restless if I don’t meet customers.


8.             Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?


Over the years I have come to learn that the key to making strides is team work and organization-wide contribution. As a conscious practice which has evolved over time, I try to avoid working solo since two heads are better than one and a collective conscience is better at driving outcomes.


9.             How many hours on average do you work a day?


I am responsible for the India and SAARC operations and have to keep in touch with the global team to ensure smooth execution of strategies. Therefore my usual day at work ranges between 12-14 hours. One never feels the hours since the activities are intellectually stimulating and I ensure to take time out for myself as well.


10.        Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?


There is no fixed time for this. The activities can vary on any given day depending on the nature of on-going processes. On a general note I try to restrict them to five hours.


11.        Do you use social media much for work?


Yes, Twitter and LinkedIn are platforms I use for work. Twitter is generally focused on insights from the world of security while LinkedIn is a great platform to network with both existing and potential customers. I’ve found LinkedIn to also be useful when I am interviewing a candidate. Facebook is more personal and focused on life and family outside of work.


12.        What do you enjoy most about your work?


I get to interact with people from all over the world. The cultural learning is spiritually and intellectually elevating and it’s safe to say that I get to learn something new every day.


13.        What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?


It depends on the need of the hour. Most times it’s predominantly Bollywood since one can’t say no to the rich flavour of India’s quintessential music. When working out, I prefer to tune into some rock.


14.        What do you do for lunch?


I pay attention to my health and hence nothing beats a simple home cooked meal if I am in Mumbai. Since I’m not much of a cook, my wife plays a huge role in keeping my diet on track and is the sole reason for my physical and mental transformation through fitness and the right diet. While traveling I tend to stick to a light lunch like soups and salads.


15.        Do you socialise with work colleagues?


At Intel Security we have fun while working and many of my team members have things like cycling clubs outside of work. That said, I would still like to increase my exposure with my colleagues on the personal front. I think sometimes I tend to be all about the work and could do to have some fun with colleagues sometimes.


16.        Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?


I’ve worked too many years to recall what those tasks are but the one thing I do know is that no matter how dull they may have seemed to me at the time, the fact that I had to do them ensured that I was able to groom team members better as I began to grow in my role.


17.        What is your last task of your day?


Given the global nature of our activities, the day ends with an evening call with US team.


18.        How do you like to relax after work?


I like watching movies. This experience helps block out everything else, teleporting me to a completely different time and space. I manage to make time to consume three to four movies every week, mostly Western Cinema and if there are offbeat Indian movies, then even better.


19.        Do you keep checking email through the evening?


It’s a habit that has only increased with time. The security industry being what it is, requires that we be connected 24x7. I do realize that this is one of those areas where one must exercise more self-restraint, however it is not easy to get rid of the habit since it’s almost like an involuntary response.


20.        Do you take work projects home with you?


No. After spending 12-14 hours at work, I firmly believe that I should spend some quality time with my family. Small bonding activities are imperative to keep the fabric of a family together. For example- preparing my daughter’s snack box is one of the many things that I relish and off course watching movies is a great time to bond with family too.


21.        What would you say to your 20-year old self?


I think maybe I was a little too serious in my 20s and it’s important to have a balance between work and play. So I’d advise my 20-year old self to just have more fun!


22.        If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?


If I could indeed choose to try out a job for a day, it has to be the role of a film critic. I am one of those people who meticulously dissects every scene of a movie carefully. Besides, I find a critic’s influence very interesting, especially in the field of cinema which is dear to me.


23.        What device did you use to answer these questions?


While I am an avid user of Apple and the iOS ecosystem, I like to use at least one device on the Windows platform since it affords me enhanced productivity due to a well-established ecosystem of applications, support and the like. Therefore, I’ve used my Dell notebook to answer these questions.


24.        Do you use your own personal device for work?


Yes, at Intel Security, we promote the concept of BYOD and therefore I can use my iPhone and also bring along my iPad to work. We do however have strict security policies and protection systems in place when accessing work mails or files on these devices.