Balancing the Grind with Umesh Banga, Senior Director, Go-To-Market for Practifi

Umesh Banga is the senior director, go-to-market for Practifi, a leading performance optimisation platform purpose-built for the wealth management industry.

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

Throughout my career, I have driven successful digital transformations.

I am primarily responsible for defining and monitoring Go-to-Market strategy in my current role. The strategy must ensure the organisation remains relevant to all stakeholders, including customers, principals, and employees. 

Due to the highly dynamic nature of the technology business, I am constantly monitoring change management.

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

The typical day at my job is hard to describe. My first step is to drink coffee and scan my emails and Slack for any urgent tasks. The first half of the day is usually spent finishing internal meetings and following up on customer activities. As much as possible, I try to get to my admin tasks between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

A lot of my time is spent working on strategy and go-to-market sessions, strategy delivery, client proposals, and project action items during the middle of the week. For me, Friday is all about completing any outstanding tasks and planning for the week ahead.

What does work-life balance mean to you in the wealth management industry and how do you work to achieve that goal?

According to me, work-life balance refers to the amount of time and energy spent on work and other non-work activities such as family, leisure, and personal interests.

The two methods listed below have helped me achieve it with regular effort and self-discipline.

  1. Setting clear boundaries between business and personal time and committing to adhering to these boundaries.
  2. More effectively manage the workload and time, for example, by delegating and avoiding burnout.

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As the senior director, go-to-market for Practifi, what does success mean to you?

Success is mostly a state of mind, you measure it by how you feel and by the quality of the interactions with your team and clients.  When your team feels empowered to make decisions and is growing with the company, you know you’re doing well. It’s equally important that your clients benefit from working with you. You can help them think in new ways and be a trusted partner. If you want them to trust you, they need to know you have their best interests at heart. 

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

I’ve started a routine to check my emails and messages at a predetermined time. I realised that I’m most productive early in the morning.  During this time, I focus on strategic initiatives. 

Start your days focused on YOU and you will be in a much better state-of-mind to help others and get more accomplished all day.

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

  • The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal by Jim Loehr , Tony Schwartz 
  • Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt, Sean Runnette
  • Newsletter and Podcasts – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

If you could read an interview about leadership and management by anyone, who would that be?

John Maxwell (mainly for leadership), Jim Rohn (both on personal development and leadership)

Do you have any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

The greatest lesson I ever learnt was that learning never ends. Great leaders are curious and care about personal growth, they never stop learning and challenge themselves by continuing to question their default beliefs and assumptions. 

John Maxwell writes that real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow. For Maxwell, being a great leader is all about having a genuine willingness and a true commitment to lead others to achieve a common vision and goals through positive influence.

At Practifi, it is so important for my team to feel empowered and for my clients to have a great experience with us as that is the only way we can continue to be leading the way forward when it comes to great customer experience and innovation. 

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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.