Typical 24: Sudhesh Giriyan, Xpress Money

What do working professionals really do all day?


Name: Sudhesh Giriyan

Job title: Chief Operating Officer

Company: Xpress Money

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Years’ experience: 15+


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    At Xpress Money no day is the same – in one week I can be in four or five countries and nowhere near the office. Fortunately, technology is my friend and my working day starts from the moment I rise and runs late into the evening. It’s certainly not a normal 9 to 5 job!
  2. Is your job varied?
    As Chief Operation Officer at a global company I like to think my job is as varied as they come. On top of the countries I get to visit, I get to meet some amazing partners – everything from banks and fintechs to telecoms providers, each with their own unique look on the world. It certainly keeps me on my toes, and I’m constantly learning.
  3. Is your job creative?
    Each new partner, market or customer will have different challenges and tend to need creative solutions to overcome them. Some might have legacy systems, while some will have no infrastructure at all – myself and my team need to think outside the box to create the best solutions for each one.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    The majority of my time is spent travelling! I get to see a lot of the world, and spend a lot of valuable time with our partners, not only to review what has happened but to look to the future too.
    Aside from that, when I’m at our HQ I make sure to spend time with my team – it’s incredibly important for me to work closely with them to ensure that we are making the right business decisions for us, our partners and customers.
  5. Do you personalize your desk?
    While I’m not in the office all the time, I do like my desk to have some personal touches. I have pictures of my loved ones, and am in the fortunate position to have a number of awards dotted around.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    I like to think I’m creative as the nature of the job requires me not only to think on my feet, but to come up with solutions to problems. It’s important for me that I am always going above and beyond and adding value to the brand.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    I wouldn’t say they are quirky rituals, but I am spiritual and like to pray when I wake up and before I go to bed. I also begin my day with a few minutes of meditation and yoga.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    I’m a firm believer that I can’t do everything myself, so I like to work as collaboratively as possible with colleagues. It’s important to bounce ideas off each other as it helps to broaden your horizons to new and unique possibilities.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    It’s hard to pinpoint my exact hours, but I work from first thing until late in the evening. Having business partners all over the world means I have calls and meetings at all hours of the day.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    When I’m not flying, I spend roughly half my time on emails. If someone has taken the time to email me, I feel I should respond on that day rather than leaving – I don’t like to carry any into the next day. The other half of my day is spent on calls and in meetings.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    I’m active on Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsApp, the latter being hugely important for communicating with colleagues – we have many groups set up.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    The most enjoyable part of my work is that is dynamic – no day is the same. With the traditional method of money transfers diminishing, I get to work with some of the most innovative companies and people around the world. It’s constantly changing and is very exciting.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I don’t tend to listen to music at work, but I am a big fan of Hindi (Indian) music.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    I’m certainly no expert when it comes to food, but I’m a big fan of Indian food. Wherever I am, I try to find the best Indian restaurants out there. I could easily write a book on the best Indian restaurants around the world.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues?
    Whether it’s having lunch or dinner, watching a film or going to religious festival, getting to know colleagues on a personal level is important to me.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    It’s not so much the desire to get rid of a task, but the idea of empowering others that makes me glad. They say delegation is an art form, which I try to master!
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    Before I switch off for the night I ensure I have replied to everyone who has taken the time to reach out to me. On a personal note, my last task is to pray – it’s hugely important to me.
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    Relaxing after work revolves around spending time with family and connecting with friends. I love to see the latest films and go to religious festivals.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    I don’t like to postpone things until the next day, so I tend to work into the evening.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    Work is important to me, but so is spending time with my family, so if I need to, I take my work home to get the best of both worlds.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    If I was to see my 20-year-old self today, I would tell them to make the most of their time in college - it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. On the other side, I would expect my 20-year-old self to look at me, and think I’ve had a good life and that I look like I enjoy what I am doing. Which I do!
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    One or two of my colleagues would say that if I wasn’t doing what I am now that I would be a singer. In truth though, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else than what I do now – I love it!
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    I have a work phone –  it has everything I need.