Right after my MBA, I joined Citibank and went to Singapore as part of a batch of new hires who where hand-picked from various premiere colleges. I realised that one trait that was common between all of us was that even though we were the brightest minds in the country, we were lousy at social skills. After my training, I joined the operations team in Mumbai and managed technology and operations. I worked very long hours and ended up learning a lot. My confidence skyrocketed, my technical skills got sharper, my ability to analyse business problems became much better, and my presentation skills too improved dramatically. Citibank moved me quite a bit across functions and my understanding of the banking sector became very good over time. I also learnt how to prioritise my tasks, deliver as per the priorities that were set, and creating a good impression as a doer. I slowly moved into product development and distributions where I brought in some innovation solutions like friction-free lending. I moved to Amex in 1997 as Country Head for Financial Services. This was a great move for me as it gave me the opportunity to build Financial services for Amex. I could put all my learnings in lending, wealth management, premiere banking, etc. to practice. I could also bring the best of talent to work with me and so I built a fabulous team. Within a few years we reached profitability very quickly with some innovative lending programs in the market. By 2001, I was heading the bank, card business, and consumer businesses in India. In my years with Amex, my ability to deal with the environment and the people, my ability to manage capital, and my ability to communicate improved considerably. A friend and I had been contemplating getting into insurance. Before we could begin, I was called in by Mukesh Ambani for a conversation. He spoke to me about Reliance’s retail business. I wanted to learn how to work in an Indian company before starting my new venture and so, I agreed to work with him for a period of time before I went on to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams.