Balancing the Grind with Bond Leung Sudarta, Product Lead at AMP Capital Technology & Innovation

Bond Leung Sudarta is a Product Lead at AMP Capital Technology & Innovation, and on the side he also advises a number of startsup and non-profits.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Currently, I am the Product Lead at AMP Capital in their Customer Technology & Innovation team. On the side, I advise and act as a board advisor to a number of start-ups and nonprofits.

I am also part of the Airangels syndicate which is composed primarily of early Airbnb employees who are looking to back the next generation of 21st century companies.

I started my career at Deloitte as a management consultant where I consulted for a number of large automotive brands which included Volkswagen, Toyota and BMW and then progressed to a category management role in Microsoft.

In 2013, I took a trip to Austin Texas for SXSW and met one of the Airbnb founders which helped spike my interest in the sharing economy and entrepreneurship, which I credit to this day as the turning point in my professional trajectory and life. I then co-founded a number of companies which includes an online men shoes retailer, boutique hotel and photography company.

In late 2014 I joined a robotics company, it was a good insight to the future of automation and robotics. This job really helped me to reflect on what I wanted to do with my life, which was to make a positive impact on people’s lives and change the world for the better.

I had great interest in how new technologies can help people get new jobs and make their lives better rather than for the technology to replace the person itself.

This was the reason why I joined Airbnb in Feb 2015, where I became part of the founding team in Airbnb ANZ to help create a smaller world where people can feel that they Belong Anywhere.

In my role as a country lead for Airbnb for Work, I helped build and scale the business from scratch to a global business with 700,000 active corporate customers globally which includes companies such as Google, Morgan Stanley and Salesforce.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

As a product lead, I build technology products that solves both the user problem and fulfills the business needs. I lead cross functionally and operate in the intersection of engineering, marketing and the executive team to manage the product from conception all the way through to its launch.

As a product owner you are empowering stakeholders and teammates to deliver the highest value. You’re defining what problem to solve, for who, why, and when. You drive the product vision and you push your teams towards the north star of your vision.

For my role, everyday is a different day. This can range from strategic planning for product, planning for the future vision to collaborating with different teams to move the project forward.

Some days I go to site visits to get to know the vendors, the field team and the customers better. Some days would involve testing and launching new features for the product. It is always interesting and new.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

The role does allow for flexible working and I love it.

It really helps me achieve a better work-life balance lifestyle as it allows me to be my best self by maximising my work and rest time. I normally incorporate a sport session such as a run, gym or yoga to really help break the day. It re-energises me and helps me to perform better at work as I can focus and become more productive after the run.

WFH also allows me to cook healthy food at home which helps my cognitive performance. I have found that healthy nutrition has improved my mental effectiveness in a number of ways, which really helps with deep work and improves the velocity that I complete my task at.

I still do like to visit the workplace to connect with the team. I feel that is the place where we build relationships, grow trust, and get to know people better.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance is about state of mind. I believe it is all about managing your stress and energy so you can still perform well at work but also enjoy life with your hobbies, interests and relationships that you have.

It’s about being in the moment and enjoying the different facets of work and personal life.

I truly believe that you can have a good work-life balance if you set good boundaries and strong discipline on not just performing well at work, but performing well for your health and your relationships.

If you have a healthy body, a calm mind, good relationships and work that you enjoy – it would not matter how many hours each of the activities would take and if you were working longer hours.

If you don’t have all of these facets in check, it is important to be self-aware on which areas need improvement and where you need a lifestyle change.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I have been running more regularly, cooking healthy food with less carbs and started intermittent fasting. This has really helped me improve my energy levels and mental performance. I feel so much better and less bloated.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My Apple Watch – It’s such a cool device to keep me motivated to hit my health goals for the day. Plus it measures your heart rate so you can push higher or go lower to the right intensity.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Tim Ferris and The 4-Hour Workweek.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.