(The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one's personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularized by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.)
Sujayath Ali is the Co-Founder and CEO of online fashion marketplace Voonik which is backed by Sequoia Capital and BEENEXT, among others. An ISB graduate, Sujayath has earlier worked with Visa and Amazon in senior positions. Now in his late 30s, Sujayath calls himself an introvert. We gave him the Proust questionnaire to get to know more about him and what makes him tick.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Spending time with my family.
What is your greatest fear?
That I might become complacent.
What is the trait that you find most deplorable in yourself?
I am not an extrovert.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Which living person do you most admire?
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider the most over-rated virtue?
The ability to sell -- as then you stop being yourself.
On what occasion do you lie?
When it harms nobody.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Which living person do you most despise?
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Books and movies.
When and where were you happiest?
When I spend time with my kids.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Judging people correctly.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Be a bit less nice.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Where would you most like to live?
What is your most-treasured possession?
Photos of my childhood.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
People losing confidence in me and not being able to face somebody.
What is your favourite occupation?
What is your most marked characteristic?
Getting things done.
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favourite writers?
Who is your hero of fiction?
Kabali - he is like Batman, not Superman – he was not born with great gifts, but he worked to get it
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates
What are your favourite names?
My kids’ names - Shayaan and Shifaan
What is it that you most dislike?
Socialising; I am very uncomfortable at events and parties.
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t do things fast enough.
How would you like to die?
Without pain, but with some notice period.
What is your motto?
Live my life to the best I can.