Solid innings at the helm for Kaya chief executive

Debashish Neogi, the chief executive of Kaya Skin Clinic, may have completed 20 years in the corporate world but he still dreams of being a cricketer.
Debashish Neogi, the chief executive for the Middle East of Kaya Skin Clinic, says those starting up businesses should be very hands-on and not afraid to lead by example. Pawan Singh / The National
Debashish Neogi, the chief executive for the Middle East of Kaya Skin Clinic, says those starting up businesses should be very hands-on and not afraid to lead by example. Pawan Singh / The National

Debashish Neogi is the chief executive, Middle East, of Kaya Skin Clinic. Born and brought up in Kolkata, India, he dreamt of being a cricketer but long hours spent studying launched a corporate career instead. Despite job- hopping from one post to another in the early days of his working life, he has now been employed by Marico, Kaya Skin Clinic’s parent company, for the past 15 years. Mr Neogi, 44, moved to Dubai in 2010 to oversee the brand’s 19 clinics in the Middle East.

What are your favourite things to do on the weekend?

At the weekend, apart from spending time with my family out and about in Dubai, I love to read and study on the internet. I’m very interested in stocks and shares but I’m a cautious and wise investor and I’m more interested in long-term security, rather than short-term gain. I like to cultivate a feeling of ownership in my investments, so I spend a lot of time researching and analysing which shares I wish to invest my money in before I do so.

What do you consider to be your favourite hobby?

Although I don’t have a lot of time for it, my favourite hobby is investing in the stock market. I love the thrill of the chase when I identify a possible company which has the potential for long-term gain. The buzz of instant gratification really doesn’t interest me.

What can’t you live without?

In order of importance it has to be my family first – life would be so empty and joyless without them – they enrich me in so many different ways and never fail to surprise and delight me. After that, I have to confess to being an internet addict. I’m never far away from an interface, whether it’s on my PC or on my phone. I also love to read but, sadly my time for reading for pleasure is limited these days. As I’ve already explained, I’m fascinated by investing in stocks and shares. And, finally, I couldn’t live without my wife’s coffee – she makes simply the best cup and it helps me start my day with a smile.

What do you consider the secret to your success?

I attribute a lot of my success to my passion for whatever I undertake, whether it’s in my personal life or in business, I never do anything in a half-hearted manner. I’m a workaholic – that’s understood – and I have very high standards of professionalism and ethics. It’s an attitude I also try to engender in the Kaya team. Also, I always try to be completely sincere in my dealings with people – I consider that it’s a vital part of establishing trust between us. My entrepreneurial approach to my career has also been important – I love taking on a new challenge and seeing what I can make of it.

What advice would you offer others starting out in your business?

Oh, I wouldn’t advise anyone to start a business like mine and increase the competition. Joking aside, if you are thinking about starting a retail or service business, the most important thing to establish is your strategy – what you stand for, what your USP is and what makes your idea completely different from what anyone else is offering. You’ll also need to be very hands-on and not afraid to lead by example. The details are vital, especially in sectors such as retail, where minute subliminal factors can drive sales, or not, as the case may be. Above all, retain the vision of your strategy and see it through – don’t be sidetracked.

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

I never have time to stop and consider how to achieve a work-life balance. I am, however, lucky enough to have the complete support and understanding of a wonderful wife and family. I also make sure I keep myself physically fit and I love what I do – all of which I think helps it happen automatically.

How do you relax after the working day?

In the little time I have to relax, I love to read and surf the web. Learning about the capital market is like meditation to me – I go deep into a very special and relaxed place, which helps calm and focus me, so you could say I also enjoy meditation.

If you weren’t chief executive of this company, what else would you be doing?

I would have loved to have been a cricketer. I know it sounds odd after 20 years’ experience in corporate life, but it was my first love and passion and, if I hadn’t studied so hard and worked so extensively, it would have been my chosen path.

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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM


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