“I turn into a giraffe at home!”

Austin Gomes, Director – Information Systems at People Interactive (I) Pvt Ltd (, on finding work-life balance and sustaining the passion. By Shweta Gandhi

What do you do during your down time?
Today’s fast-paced life leaves very little free time for anybody. Gone are the days when you would return from office and peacefully spend time with loved ones. The phone keeps ringing or messages pop up to take away the peace! So what remains in between are several minutes of whitespace that I use to the max by spending it with my kids. I turn into a giraffe, literally, with the younger one climbing on to my shoulder and head, while the elder one is pushing some worksheet from school. When they are done with that we often watch programmes on TV that explain how stuff works or a travel show. On weekends we usually do some sporting activities. It’s kind of fun when you lose on purpose so that they win!

Which book has influenced you the most?
I am not a book person and I cannot sustain interest in them over several days. Instead, I prefer reading short articles on a plethora of interesting apps that are now available on the mobile. So I would like my book to be in the form of light, sound and music—that is movies inspired by popular books. However, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey remains an all-time favourite and a book I revisit frequently.

What’s your favourite music?
Anything from Bollywood, I especially love songs sung by Abhijit Bhattacharya. I am an avid fan of movies and truly enjoy watching them in a theatre or on TV channels that run break free. However, I make it a point to make sure I don’t consume pirated stuff.

You’re an avid gym goer. How do you manage to find time for fitness?
Fitness is a way of life and doesn’t need special scheduling. I reach office early and am therefore in better control of what is expected of the day, so I leave at a reasonable time in the evening.

How do you incorporate fitness into your life?
In a week, I attempt to spend at least four to five evenings in the gym. I alternate between cardio and weights. Saturdays are special days when I spend more time working out. At office, I make it a point to walk when I’m on phone calls and not sit at my desk. Also, everywhere possible I take the staircase. While I eat everything that pleases, I ensure that my sugar intake is limited.

What makes a successful CIO?
Recently I got an opportunity to listen to Kapil Dev and when he was asked on how one can maintain passion, his answer was amazing. The legend said that your passion at work should be something similar to a young guy falling in love for the first time. When his girlfriend asks him to call in the morning at 4 am, he will ensure that he doesn’t sleep and do whatever it takes to make that call! This passion is what makes a person successful. 

Categories:   People, Interviews


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