Hamid Taylor is the general manager of Finance House, one of the UAE’s first independent finance companies. The banker, from India, has more than 45 years of experience at financial institutions in the UAE. Mr Taylor, 69, has a son, daughter and three grandchildren – two girls and a boy.
What are you favourite things to do on the weekend?
For me, the weekend is essentially catch-up and family time. I try to spend time with the family and with my grandchildren – entertain them, take them out. I like to do a few odd jobs in the garden and I spend a lot of time outdoors in the fresh air. Sitting in the office for long periods daily makes the fresh air a wonderful change of ambience. I also like to catch up with extended family and friends, both in India and here. I have recently started swimming, albeit not regularly, which I find extremely refreshing.
What do you consider to be your favourite hobby?
I would say reading. I am fascinated by some biographies and autobiographies, especially those related to politics, personalities and contentious issues in today’s world. A book is a very faithful companion, and ensures that you are always occupied no matter where you are.
What can’t you live without?
Work and family are the first two things that jump to mind. Being a confirmed workaholic, I cannot imagine life without it. I belong to a generation where family means a lot, where family ties and bonds are meant to be cherished and maintained. This holds a lot of value for me, even in today’s fast-paced world.
What do you consider the secret to your success?
Honesty, sincerity, dedication, commitment, an eye for detail and lots and lots of hard work. None of these factors are replaceable and I would not have reached the position I am today without any of these. I have put in an unimaginable amount of time and effort, and by the grace of God it has paid off. While I am definitely not a strong believer in luck, I would not hesitate to give some credit to it. I believe that one just had to be in the right place at the right time. I have always believed in humility and giving back to the society in some form or act, and I feel that there are a lot of prayers and wishes from well-wishers that have helped me achieve my goals. I cannot fail to mention the immense support and encouragement my wife has given me throughout these years, which has allowed me to dare dream bigger and achieve greater heights.
What advice would you offer others starting out in your business?
Be transparent, work hard, be frank and do not compromise on integrity. There are no free lunches in this world. If you want to reach somewhere you need to be willing to go that extra mile, but make sure that you are acknowledged for what you do. Accept positive criticism and learn from others; do not feel that extensive degrees make you more knowledgeable than very highly experienced people.
How do you achieve a work-life balance?
It is difficult to achieve an acceptable balance, and at some stages of life the scales tend to tip more in favour of work. That, however, is a necessary evil and when possible it is important to try to make up the deficiency by having some quality personal time. Regular getaways, quiet weekends and caring for the family all go a long way to improving your personal life. Work is definitely my passion, but it is equally important to pay attention to personal and life issues.
How do you relax after the working day?
News channels are my major entertainment. Catching up on what is happening around the world is one of my passions. I also enjoy sitting outdoors in the fresh air, on my garden swing relaxing with a cup of tea – total bliss – or playing football with my grandchildren. As far as possible, we try to all have our dinner together. This is our time to exchange stories about our day and relax with each other.
If you weren’t the general manager of Finance House, what would you be doing?
It is difficult to envision gear change. With finance as my mainstay, I could have perhaps ventured into an advisory or consultancy role in the financial world. This financial world is a part of my blood now, and I cannot imagine not being involved in it in some form or fashion, even in a limited sense.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter