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Veterans Unpacked | Gurcharan Das: 'Make a life, not just a living'

'Have a purpose in life, and whether in Covid or normal times, retired or working, you’ll know what to do after breakfast each morning.'

April 30, 2021 / 08:08 AM IST

Note to readers: How ​do corporate leaders surf life after hanging up their boots? What do they do next? What are the lessons they learned in their eventful journeys? What advice do they have for the current crop of leaders? Veterans Unpacked is a new series of interviews aimed to offer readers lessons from retired bosses on life outside the corner office.

Gurcharan Das, former CEO of FMCG giant Procter & Gamble India, may have honed his business skills while growing market share for products like Oil of Olay and Vicks, but it was when he took an unusual call to retire early, at age 50, and become a full-time writer that the next leg of his journey began.

Veterans UnpackedDas, 77, is a native of Lyallpur (now in Pakistan) and the son of an engineer who was also a "mystic". He attended high school in Washington DC and subsequently got a scholarship to Harvard University where he studied economics, philosophy and politics.

He's also  written around a dozen books, a compilation of plays, and shares his views on spiritualism, the principles of detachment in the corporate world, and the trick to finding happiness at work.