Akshay Daftary is in charge of SIRO Clinpharm's global business development activities and client management.
Note to readers: Morning Stars is a series of interviews with achievers across fields about their morning routine and how they get ready for the day ahead. Mornings bring optimism and a fresh start. And how we spend them sets the tone for the day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of medical research. At such a crucial time in history, SIRO Clinpharm, one of India’s earliest Clinical Research Organisations (CROs), has two GenNext representatives in leadership positions. Akshay and Karan Daftary, the sons of company founder Dr Gautam Daftary, have been a part of the organisation since 2018.
Akshay, the elder son, is Director, in charge of global business development activities and client management. Karan is the firm’s global VP.
In this interview, Akshay speaks about how he begins his day, and how working from home saves him at least a couple of hours, otherwise spent on commuting.
What time do you get up on working days? What do you like, or not, about mornings?
In the past few years, since developing a consistent work routine, I have become more of a morning person. I generally start my morning with a workout followed by breakfast and listening to podcasts to catch up on all the news I might have missed.
Have workday mornings changed for you since Covid-19, for eg, while working from home?
I believe this has had a beneficial impact on me as my daily 1.5-hour commute to my office in Thane has now been replaced by work from home. I use this time to catch up on most of my personal errands and plan for the day.
What would mornings be like in student days? Can you share a funny anecdote from college or university?
I was the furthest from a morning person. To the extent that I would intentionally plan all my classes towards the latter half of the day to ensure I got a long night of sleep.
Do you reach for your phone for news/ messages right away? Or do you stay offline for a while?
With the new work-from-home lifestyle and the increasing frequency of telephonic communications, it's hard to stay away from the phone. But in most cases, I tend to read the news right away in the cases that interest me.
What are the two or three things you do in the morning that are important for you to start the day on the right note?
My morning workout, followed by a healthy protein-filled breakfast is something I look forward to. It's a good way to get your mind ready for a long day of work ahead.
What is your regular news source in the morning?
I enjoy reading the Financial Times and The Ken. While one focuses on daily news, the other focuses on key topics and analysis which I feel is a good balance every morning.
What do you like to see on the breakfast table?
Generally, a very simple eater in the morning - eggs, a milkshake, and some dry fruits.
Which famous stranger would you like to see at your breakfast table and why?
Elon Musk. I look up to the forward-thinking perspective he brings to the table and would love to know what transformational thing he is working on next.
What is the one thing you do on weekend mornings that you don't on weekdays?
Sleep in. On days where there are no scheduled meetings, getting some rest is something to look forward to which helps recharge for the week ahead.