“The Obstacle Is Indeed The Way” – Mr. Vinay Gupta, Global Finance Director, Group CIO, Deutsche Bank

As part of the Industry Interaction Cell, IIM Amritsar, I invited Mr. Vinay Gupta – Global Finance Director, Group CIO, Deutsche Bank to be one of the panelists for our annual Finance Conclave – Pariprekshya. In our initial conversations, he shared, “conclave and all is fine, but Tarun I really want to do something for the students, I want to guide them to make a wise career decision, can we have a casual interaction session before the conclave where I can be of some help to these young aspirational minds, please see if it’s possible, you don’t get a chance to mentor future leaders of the country every day.” 

Though in the past 20 months I have invited and interacted with dozens of senior industry professionals-mostly CxO’s, his commitment to mentor the student fraternity was remarkable. It was then I decided that someday I’ll definitely catch up with him again to know more about him on a personal level and to discover what makes him so humble even after achieving so many laurels in his professional career.

Vinay started his journey in Deutsche Bank as a Project Lead for MI/ Finance Tools implementation and undertook various challenging roles in India and UK to finally become one of the senior-most executives. Reflecting on his 12-year long journey in Deutsche Bank, Vinay says “The beauty of Deutsche Bank is: there are always more green pastures to walk on, you will always find new challenging opportunities, not only in terms of career but also in terms of learning and development.” “In fact, in the last 12 years I did not feel the need to update my CV”, he said jokingly. Before Deutsche Bank, Vinay also worked in companies like GE Capital, Tata Steel, and JP Morgan. “I always love to work for a place which is very open in its culture and is backed up by its strong values. Where talent is nurtured to contribute not only to the success of the individuals but also to the success of the organization.”, he added.

Referring to the paralogism that only MBAs from top B-Schools make it to the higher most positions in the industry, Vinay says, “ It is not important where you have done your education from, yes many times it helps you to get an interview letter but the kind of thoughts you bring in, the kind of values you have as a person and your risk taking ability makes the difference in the workplace”. Moreover, he says, “What I look for in a candidate in my team is the assertiveness and the zeal to contribute. Functional skills can be taught easily but the difference will always be the soft skills one possesses, the kind of positive attitude one has, and the growth mindset which is quintessential in anyone’s career”.

There is a widely accepted belief that consistency and gradual improvement is the key to do well in life and to achieve mastery in any profession, however, I believe that there is always this ‘one big incident’ from our past, or from our education that shapes our personalities and the way we look at things. Responding to that, Vinay says, “If I were to recall one such incident from my time, it will be when I failed the Costing exam in a professional qualification I was pursuing. Instead of repenting over it or thinking of how this happened, I decided to enroll myself for the CA examination in order to push myself harder. Later, I got an all India rank in the CA examination.” Further, he adds, “This particular incident changed the way I look at failure and has shaped my career more than anything. I figured that the obstacle is indeed the way and that every disaster brings us an opportunity.”

But sometimes having an opportunity is not enough, we need someone to look up to in order to capitalize on that opportunity and to make the most of it. For Vinay, that was Anil Kumble. “The kind of demeanor he has and the challenging journey he had which helped him become one of the world’s best spin bowlers and later the captain of the Indian cricket team is nothing less than inspiring. His undisguised thought process and his approach of taking each game at a time offer a lot to learn from.”

Vinay also shared that apart from his office work, his passion is to help young leaders by interacting with them which in turn also helps him to do well in his mainline career. He says, “I believe, the other person is always superior to you in some way irrespective of his designation. There is always something to learn from students.”  His final words to all those who are reading this before starting their management career are “always look for new opportunities, keep stretching yourself, never settle, and above all – appreciate failure”

From the interaction I had with Vinay, I have personally drawn three learnings-

First, staying humble and helping others has a greater impact than one’s designation. Second, having a good education is not bad, but certainly not enough, it’s the great interpersonal skills and empathy for others that matter most in one’s professional life. And third, if you don’t fail, you certainly can’t succeed. The trick is to always move forward.

What were your learnings? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below 😊

Tarun Budhwani

Student at IIM Amritsar, Writer, Stand Up Comedian and an aspiring Marketer. Life's Motto - Live, Love, Laugh, Inspire.

Comments

148 comments

Ashishk03

Reading and deriving actionable insights from articles has always been my cup of tea, and this article certainly lived up to my expectations. Great Work.

Tarun Budhwani

Thanks, Abhijit. Really appreciate you for taking your time out and sharing your feedback 🙂

Agum Singh Miglani

An inspiring read…very aptly described the realities and paved the right direction to pursue for budding and aspiring enthusiasts like us…the one and the most important learning or take away from his talk is that everything depends upon our attitude and mindset which is then driven by our inner consciousness/awareness about ourselves. The one who works over it, irrespective of the institute he comes from…will definitely do wonders. Thanks tarun for posting this talk for us…

Tarun Budhwani

Thanks, Agum for sharing your learnings and feedback. Really means a lot coming from you 🙂

Rohit Chaturvedi

Very well written Tarun, Indeed “Success is not final; neither failure is final”, Its all about courage to always look for new opportunities that counts, as Vinay sir has mentioned.

sawan khapne

“Keep Stretching,never settle and appreciate faliures” a perfect combo for success and a reminder that our best is yet to come.Well said and Very well written Tarun..!!

Tarun Budhwani

As an IIC member, I am glad Jitu you can relate it with the Guest Lectures in IIM Amritsar. 🙂

Sanju

A very interesting read Tarun. The approach to life, success and failure is definitely deterministic of the personalities we transform into. Also, Mr Vinay is truly an inspiration for all the aspiring and ambitious leaders of tomorrow.

Tarun Budhwani

Thank you so much, sir, for sharing your feedback here. Means a lot coming from you.

John Coelho

“if you don’t fail, you certainly can’t succeed. The trick is to always move forward.” For me this was the key learning.

anuraggupta

Very well written buddy..n learning for me “it’s the great interpersonal skills and empathy for others that matter most” 🙂

Tarun Budhwani

Great Anurag. We all can learn and grow from the professional success of Mr. Vinay.

Dhanushan R

Even I believe, resilience is the strongest of virtues one can possess because it can coexists only with lot of other positive virtues.

When I hear stories of how people bounced back at a particular situation in their life. It shows how optimistic, strong willed and deterministic they are.

Beautifully summed up article Tarun. Way to go!

komal sharma

This reminds of my favorite quote that keeps me going, it ain’t about how hard you hit, its about hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Pooja Harjani

That was one captivating read. I learnt that everyone has something to learn from everyone yet should know how to pragmatically approach with that. Though it would be nice to have someone to look up to.

Tarun Budhwani

I am glad the article was a fruitful read for you Pooja. Really appreciate you sharing your feedback here 🙂

suresh budhwani

My learning – “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

VIVEK SINGLA

Well done Tarun! This article wonderfully reflects the learnings we gathered from the insightful session by Mr. Vinay Gupta.

Tarun Budhwani

Vivek, yes even during the conclave he shared some of these inspiring words. And later, I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with him to understand his thought process and his journey.

Poonam Jain

Very Well Penned Tarun! The article contains sound and practical advice.
Vinay has been an inspiring leader. He is one-of-a-kind Boss!!

Sweta Ramuka

Very well said. Failures can be turned into opportunities with our courage and determination.

Chetan Bharadwaj

Insightful thoughts being shared by Vinay during the session. It was good to know your views on the financial industry and about building a professional career in general.

Nice piece Tarun. It is great to work with you in the same team for our institute.

PANCHSHEEL PRATEEK

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Quite informative. Good one Tarun.

Super Siwan

Great article Tarun. And I too think that Failure is not the opposite of success but it is a part of success. We shouldn’t get disappointed by failure rather we should be motivated by it.

Ayan Paul

Absolutely enthralled, Tarun. The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.

Dusa Pihoji

It’s simple, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”. Apt for this article.

Tarun Budhwani

Saikat, yes even during the session he shared some of these inspiring words. And later, I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with him to understand his thought process and his journey.

Punit Harjani

I really like the way you’ve written this article. Great readIndeed, staying humble always helps personally and professionally. Great read. Keep writing such inspiring articles, I get so much of positivity and motivation from these kind of articles. Kudos.

rishikesh sen

Vinay failed an exam and then topped the CA examination. That gave me goosebumps. Amazing Vinay, you showed us anything is possible.

Manoj Verma

Very well written Tarun. In fact, I can relate this article with my life as the motivation to achieve something came to me only when I faced back to back failures and the joy of an achievement after failures was unparalleled for me.
Secondly, the empathy for others does work because behind every professional (however his reputation may be), there’s a human being first and we must look for that human being in any kind of relationship with others. Keep up this good work, dude 🙂