'Don’t strive to be the best, strive to be legendary': Ankit Gupta, Chief Operating Officer, Frontier Businesses, OYO, India
The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature
Ankit Gupta, Chief Operating Officer & SVP, Frontier Businesses, OYO India and South Asia has over 14 years of experience and has the responsibility of strengthening and consolidating existing opportunities in the co-living, student housing, self-operated hotels, and vacation homes businesses of the company in India & South Asia under the Frontier Businesses umbrella. He is responsible for leading OYO LIFE, OYO Townhouse, Collection O, SilverKey and OYO Home in the country.
Ankit joins OYO India & South Asia from McKinsey & Co where, as a tenured Partner. He is an alumnus of IIT Bombay with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Computer-Aided Design.
Ankit was born and brought up in Hyderabad, and lives in Gurugram with his wife Richa and his two sons, Aveer and Rishaan. On weekends, Ankit loves playing football, reading and travelling with his family.
Here are his responses to our Proust questionnaire….
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A fun-filled day spent with my family would be perfect happiness.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is not fulfilling my potential.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The one thing I would like to improve is not to burden myself with the pressure of being super-efficient.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Constant distraction and not being invested in the task at hand.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I would say my greatest extravagance is travel.
What is your current state of mind?
Currently I’m constantly thinking about how I can keep my entire team motivated during these tough times. I try to be available and accessible to be able to listen to them and engage with them openly.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
While all virtues are good if I have to talk about a characteristic that is over-rated is blindly following the rules. Break them once in a while, build a new path, innovate and think out of the box.
On what occasion do you lie?
I lie when it can help prevent any embarrassment or hurt to others when their fault is not a conscious one.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I gave up on my appearance long back in life.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
People who are a great combination of intelligence, hard work and empathy.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Same answer as above.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I always end up encouraging my teammates to find true purpose and passion in what they do, hence repeating these words often.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife, Richa.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I fancy playing the flute in my free time, and would have loved to learn it professionally
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I am typically handling multiple initiatives at any time. I would like to be less of a multi-tasker and give my undivided attention to one specific task, before switching to the next one.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement was to graduate from IIT where I learned to dream BIG.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I would like to come back as a COVID-19 vaccine as the world needs it right now.
Where would you most like to live?
I would love to live in the vineyards of France or Italy.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Kids - Aveer (8) and Rishaan (3)
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I think lowest depth of misery is seeing the suffering of the migrant workers during the pandemic
What is your favourite occupation?
Either a globetrotter or a wine connoisseur.
What is your most marked characteristic?
A logical mind.
What do you most value in your friends?
Being around always.
Who are your favourite writers?
Walter Isaacson for his balanced biographies and Richard Thaler for his deep research on Behavioural Economics.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Master Shifu of the movie Kung Fu Panda, because of his inner peace, wit and truly inspiring life lessons.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Captain James Cook, for his fervour to explore the world.
What is it that you most dislike?
I dislike when people set aspirations without a deep purpose
Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents are my true heroes for giving me and my siblings a wonderful life embedded with strong values
What is your favourite name?
The names of my kids - Aveer and Rishaan.
What is your greatest regret?
My greatest regret is not travelling enough.
How would you like to die?
I would like to die peacefully
What is your favourite journey?
Watching my kids grow up and the many joyful moments with them.
What is your motto?
“Don’t strive to be the best, strive to be legendary”
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