MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga on Taking Risks in Your Life and Career


[MUSIC]>>Thank you so much for being here today. It’s a real pleasure to have you. And before we dive in, I wanna have a brief roadmap of where we’re gonna go with
today’s conversation. Wanna begin with your career and it’s trajectory to date, 30 years, Nestle,
Pepsi-Co.>>You’re giving away my age very quickly. [LAUGH].>>So Nestle, Pepsi Co, Citi, and now
MasterCard.>>Yeah.>>They now wanna move on to, in the last
10 years at Citi and now MasterCard, you’ve had a chance to develop a global perspective, and I wanna explore that a
little bit.>>Okay.>>And finally I wanna pivot some more
personal things like work life balance, family,
diversity et cetera.>>Okay.>>Now before we begin, I also have a deal
for you. If you can forgive have my MasterCard
debt, I’ll stick to the easy questions. [LAUGH]
>>Now, what if I double your debt? [LAUGH].>>Okay, hard questions it is you guys. [LAUGH].>>Sucker punch. [LAUGH]
>>So let’s start 30 years ago.>>Okay.>>You graduated. You went to Nestle as your first job.>>Yeah.>>And you spent 13 years there. At the time when you were choosing your
first job, how did you choose Nestle as the, as the first
place you wanted to work.>>And so my wife and I were classmates at
business school. She’s sitting right there. We were both, you know when we were in
business school. This was a long time ago 1979 to 81. In India, India just began to open up, to
the advent of multinationals coming in to build a lot
of businesses there. Some have stayed on over the years and had
changed their ownership model. Nestle was one of those, Unilever was
another one. Others had left when the Indian government
wasn’t as conducive to foreign investment as it is in the
period in between. And so when we were graduating,
multi-national corporations like Nestle, like Unilever, were places to work in of
great attraction. They were terrific for learning the
business. They were great for understanding the
culture of a company that operated across the
world. They were great for comprehending the
concept of high quality products, of high ethics in how
you worked. And all of us looked up to those companies
as where you wanted to be. Because you would learn the things that
you needed to learn in your early years of working
life. And we guys, unlike you all who work and
then come to business school, we didn’t risk to go, those days, straight from undergrad to business
school. We were very young. I was 21 years old when I finished my
business school career. And so, when you think about that, you think about the people in that frame of
mind. Nestle was a very attractive learning
place, with lots of strengths and attributes that I still
think the company has. That’s how I ended up there. Getting in was not easy because everybody
in the class would apply to these few jobs that were available, and
they were very competitive, but.>>And then, you chose, you chose to spend
13 years there?>>Yeah, so clearly it takes me a long
time to learn. [LAUGH] But the er, that really attractive
part about Nestle was that you were able to move in different
parts of the company very quickly. It was part of why I went there. It’s part of what I’ve tried to build with
all the recruitment programs we run here as well as in Citigroup without a
chance to influence the kind of program. Is I tried and build the chance for people to go across the company in different
places, geographically, functionally, opportunity wise, so that
they don’t get stuck and where they joined is where they’re
gonna be. And I think that’s a big part of working
at Cedric for me. They took me into sales. They took me into marketing. They took me into factories. They took me into product management. Took me to running a region and gave me
the chance to work on changing the entire inventory system of the Indian
company and to manage inventory and working
capital better. Things that I don’t know, but a lot of our company would have given me that breadth
and depth of knowledge, and I’ve lived in all parts of India, as I said, this is the one time you got paid to
travel. Not the most attractive places, but you’re
paid to travel.>>And, so now, 30 years later and you
reflect back on that time at Nestle, what are one or two
things that you really learned over that, over the course
of those 13 years that set you up for so much success later on in
your career?>>I’d say that Nestle taught me a lot of
things. The guy, I still say that the guy was the
managing director of Nestle when I joined, many levels above
me, a guy called Barry Rhine. He’s still one of the people I’ve learned
the most from. And I think people make the difference,
not just companies. And you’ll see that’ll keep coming up in a
conversation with me. That one individual can make a difference and Barry Rhine made a difference to
Nestle. It was there when I joined. And his view, aside from the company’s
commitment to quality and ethics and standards, his view was, never
take no for an answer. There is always a way to get to the right
solution. If you apply your mind, don’t take the
hurdles that come in your way as the reason why you’d move around them or give
up or as in India they say, jugar. Jugar means you adjust for everything. He said don’t do that, that’s the wrong
way to do business. Go for it. Never take no for an answer. And the second thing that he taught me,
which I think was tremendous, was that you’re one added, you’re one person, but you’re one person you can make the
difference. If you have the energy and the passion to
drive it in to action, and if you know how to
communicate well, which by the way is the most underrated
attribute when you’re young, but the most important attribute as
you grow, is your communication. And if you can do those two things well,
then there’s a whole new world out there. And I think Nestle taught me that really,
really, well thanks to him. And the last thing I think I picked up for is, I was a young MBA entering a company
which traditionally had been run by people who had grown up
there from being a sales rep all the way to being the
boss. And, you know I was among the first few
groups of new MBAs to come in. And therefore there was always the
resentment about these young kid who would learn from me and then come back in a six months
time, green behind the ears, if you could find my ears, and then
you would sort of, you know, have to be listening to this kid
tell me how to do my business. And I learnt that that’s the worst way to
start your relationship with this company. And instead, if you take the approach that
you can learn from everybody, cuz we’ve all got
something to teach you. And then you can bring the value you
bring. But you gotta learn from everybody. It changes everything. And so, I guess that’s the two or three
things in Nestle. And then, you chose to leave Nestle for
Pepsi Co. So 13 years at Nestle, two years at Pepsi
Co, 13 years at Citi, now four to five years
at MasterCard. That’s quite a few career transitions that
you’ve had. I think many of us expect to also have a
lot of career transitions.>>Yeah.>>As you’ve gone about your career and
made these big jobs, have you thought about timing and reasoning for when you
leave one place and go to the next?>>Timing, very poor. I just take the jump but I think I’m ready
to make it. I, in truth, in my, my generation you stay
in careers for a long time. 30 years in one company. You guys a different. And I think you’ve got the right approach
to it, because if you don’t try out new things,
if you’re not willing to take a risk, you will
achieve very little reward out of the system the way
it’s constructed today. And so, I have a big encouragement saying
if you wanna move jobs, or you wanna move roles within the company, or you wanna
move companies or industries, think about it
but go forward. Don’t, don’t, don’t procrastinate forever,
and don’t hesitate forever. So, timing in my case was more about when
I felt that I had learned what I could, and I wanted
to do something different. And my mind felt that I was reaching a
point where I was stagnating. So, the Pepsi thing is a different one,
that is only two years because Pepsi decided to spin off its restaurant
business, KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That’s what I had joined to start in
India. I didn’t want to work for a franchisee, I
wanted to work for a large global organization, not
for a local Indian franchisee. And so out of the position that kinda came
my way because the nature of where Pepsi was
going through. But both of Nestle and Citi kind of stuck
it through, but I did many different things in each of
the companies. From, I told you about the Nestle, at
Citi, I did everything from joining in marketing
in India to running the region, Central Europe, Middle East,
Africa, to coming to the U.S. to run the lending business, then
the consumer business. Then I became the chair of the Global
Consumer Business. Then I moved to Asia, the [UNKNOWN] doing
his introduction, where I ran every one of the businesses in Asia through the
financial crisis actually, and then left and came
here. And each time its been something to do
with my mind feeling that I have more to give and more to do, but
maybe not where I was.>>I find the transition from Citi to
MasterCard to be particularly interesting. It was on the heels of the financial
crisis. A bit later in your career. I imagine there was a lot of stability and kind of community that you had with the
Citi Group.>>Oh yeah, I knew everybody there. I was in there. That’s true.>>And still you made the choice to pick
up and try something completely different.>>You know, at Citi, if I stayed there, I
was clearly being prepared to be the next CEO
of the company. That was what the board had told me. That’s what the CEO, Victor, who came her
to speak at one of these events, actually. Was the CEO that time. And that’s what he told me as well. And everybody told me that. And I didn’t know that I wanted to be the
CEO of a bank over the next 10 years. Cuz I think banking’s gonna be a, an industry where, you’re actually
contracting and shrinking and dealing with an increasing regulatory
environment rather than innovating and expanding and doing fun new
things. And MasterCard had technology and data and
even though I didn’t do technology when I was a young kid, I did in school but not in
college I just love the space. I think I’m half a geek somewhere deep
inside where I enjoy the stuff and I enjoy data and I enjoy making
connections and I, I love grovality and its got all that in it, and its got
this interesting mix of b to b, and b to b to c, which I found
very fascinating. So a lot of work for me in my head at that time, which allowed me to think
about this company. And, the second piece was that MasterCard’s number of employees are
relatively small. Citibank had 290, 300,000 employees around
when I was leaving. And an important of time, 200,000 of them
used to work for me. And it’s impossible to make change with
200,000 people in your 3, 4, 5 year span. But if you’ve got 5,000, 2,000, 10,000,
15,000 people working for you, you can touch them, feel
them, put your arms around them, they know who
you are, they can understand you, you can make
a difference. You can actually change things in that
company. I was telling the Dean, when we were
talking just a little while ago, when I joined MasterCard, we had 9%
of our population was millennials. It’s now four and a half years later, we
closed last year 34% from millennials. I could never have done that at Citi. I just could not.>>But can you argue millennials and stock
price are correlated?>>[LAUGH] Not on buying, maybe on doing
something about it. [LAUGH] Yeah, that’s true. Our stock value has quadrupled in these
four years, that is true, right. But, that I think has to do with the fact that we are doing two things well, laying
our real strategy. It is simple to understand, and we are
executing against it and putting our money where our
mouth is. And if you do that well over a period of time, stock markets tend to compensate
you well.>>So I’m gonna try something a little bit
different, lets take humility put it in a box and throw it out
the window. You’re now CEO of MasterCard, Citi had you
on deck to be CEO of Citi. Fortune had you as one of the top business
people of 2013 you are big deal.>>[LAUGH] Where’s my daughter is she in
the audience? [LAUGH] If she’s here i want to hear that. [LAUGH].>>There she is hiding.>>And, and, and so, now with all this
professional success.>>[INAUDIBLE] don’t laugh me.>>What are one or two things about you, personality traits, personal
characteristic that have set you apart and let you have so much success while others
have stall, they’ve kind of reached their dance
in their career?>>You gotta ask somebody else who would
evaluate me, then I would tell you that, I would think humility is actually a big part of
this, you can’t throw it out the window, cuz if you’re not willing to learn from people or
adapt or adjust and progress in your mind,
there’s always learning, you can’t be in a company like
this and succeed, it just, it doesn’t make any
sense. But I think that’s important. I think I picked that up over the years in
some ways from people I saw and watched. Barry Rhine for example, used to have the
ability in Nestle to deal with the junior most employee and the senior most with as much interest of purpose with each of
them. The gentleman at Citi, Sandy Rime who was
the chairman and CEO and the founder of the merged CitiGroup,
has exactly the same attitude. He can deal with the gardener in his vineyard, he can afford vineyards, so he’s
done well. And he can deal with a gardener in his
vineyard with the same interest in purpose and passion as he does
with a president of a country. I don’t know that you can diverge that
from success. I think it’s actually a key part of who
you are, and how successful you can be. I think you can be successful without the
humility, but you won’t enjoy it as much. So that’s kind of one big part of it. I think the second part of it is, you’ve
got to be willing to take risks with your life
and your career. And you guys do that. This school produces entrepreneurs and
people who want to take a risk. But, so it’s a little preaching to the
converted here. But it wasn’t that way some years ago. And it isn’t that way with a lot of your
colleagues and friends and pals, who don’t take the
same risks, and. By risks I don’t mean changing jobs only, I mean there you’re living and what you
do. I, you know, [UNKNOWN] has been to eight or nine schools before she left high
school. Around the world, in different places. Her sister, the younger sister, had been
to a similar number. We’ve lived in as a family, [UNKNOWN] and
I have moved I don’t know how many times
now. And, we’ve lived in a house of our own,
for the first time after coming to the US. Otherwise it always been a rental house
somewhere and to by a company and moving around. And I moved from, different functions and
different companies. You have to take those risks. That’s it, those two probably are the most
striking. And so I spoke to your daughter yesterday
and she mentioned that you love Lady Gaga. [LAUGH] And so, so, my, my question.>>Can you believe that? [LAUGH] Do I look like a Lady Gaga kind of
guy?>>Is it true? [LAUGH].>>Actually, I do. [LAUGH]. And so, the question is.>>Among others.>>Among others.>>Just to be clear.>>Do you think that you were born that
way? [LAUGH].>>Yeah.>>Or was there, or was there a point in
time where you made the decision that [UNKNOWN] I’m gonna
be more humble and take more risks? [LAUGH].>>I’m thinking about the [UNKNOWN]
address, but never mind. [LAUGH] I don’t know, I don’t think you’re
born that way. I think this thing about you’re born this
way, you’re born that way, is given too much
credence. I think your mind is capable of a great
deal, of learning, adapting and comprehending, and disciplining, and
operating in a method that you care for. I think what your early experiences. And the values you pick up. Yes, that makes a difference. But I don’t, I don’t believe in this born
that way stuff. I just think, you pick it up as you go
along. And you’re capable of changing who you
are, as you go along.>>That’s inspirational for a lot of us in
the audience, so. Moving forward now to the last ten years. At Citi you had a, you had a job that had
a very global perspective. And now MasterCard obviously very focused
on rolling out the business globally. In your time with on this, with this
perspective, what do you think now is the most exciting thing
happening in the global economy?>>[LAUGH] Actually I have a big [UNKNOWN]
on the U.S .,and I’ve been that way for years through the
decline in the financial crisis. I was speaking at a commencement ceremony
a MBA school at that time, which shall remained unnamed
because it’s a competitor. But, the the focus of my speech, was
innovation is alive and well in the United States, and you better watch
out, because it’s coming. And that was in the height of, I would say
it was 2008 or nine, that I did that. The, I still think this is the most exciting economy in the world, for various
reasons. I think it’s taken the adjustment and the
pain. To a larger extent, than some of the
others, after the crisis. The balance that come out of the crisis,
with their balance sheets in better shape. Arguably, they need to do more. Households have come out with their
balance sheets, in way better shape. Companies have got enormous amounts of
cash. On their balance sheet and, you look in
our balance sheet, there’s no debt, it’s all cash, and
we’re not the only ones, we’re surrounded by companies
like Apple, that are trying to find ways, to give it away
theses days, right? And so, when you think about the the
environment here, the environments are on a stronger
footing, than anything else. At the same time, productivity is at very
high levels, innovation is alive and well. So there’s a lot going on here, that I
think would make the U.S. still, a terrifically exciting
economy, for the next five, seven, eight years. Who knows after that. Because the world changes, much faster
today, than it ever did in the past. That’s one of the most exciting. The second part that’s interesting to me,
is, actually South East Asia. I know every talks about China and India
and, I I, I think that gotta go beyond that, I think those are large
markets and they’ll be very exciting to look at,
and do things with, but people are missing out the next five, seven, eight years Asian
will be an unbelievable driver of growth, in
that region The Asian ec, economic community is
coming together. And when it comes together, those nations
ranging from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam to Singapore
and, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and Thailand, are gonna
create a economy that’s gonna be $3 trillion, with 600
billion people. And the way they’re connecting it is
through rail links and bridges, and they’re building bridges across the sea
all the way to connect south China. With, with the Asian countries. And when they start putting money into
the, they’re talking about $500 billion in infrastructure, in
the next five years. That community, with good governments by
the way, because countries like Singapore, they’re like, excellent
governments, excellent methods of working. You’re looking at a huge burst of growth
from Asian. Secondly, the U.S., Asian and North
America. Mexico would be interesting too. But, the U.S. and Asian are the two, that
people don’t pay attention to. Everybody talks about China and India and,
blah blah, but it’s beyond that. It’s beyond that.>>And a good number of MBA students are
international. From different countries across the world. And, I know many of them struggle with the
question of, after I graduate, should I go back to
my home country, and build a business there,
should I stick around the U.S. and try to find a job
here? How would you think about navigating that
decision from where you’re sitting?>>That’s a personal conversation. A lot of it has to do with your
[INAUDIBLE] in terms of, what you think you can do well, and the kind of
place you wanna be in. The dreams you have, and the aspirations
you have. I will be the last one to say you
shouldn’t go back and try and do something there, because
probably, you will stand out even better there, where you came from, than
you would in the U.S. where there is a very large number of people who
have different opportunities that. You’re competing for, right, there’s to
that extent, why would you not go back? But I tell you, this is the place where
you can really get things done. This is the place where the environment
allows you to think about expanding and growing, in a way that you
can’t do in other countries. You, I am Indian by birth, and I was
educated there, I have no education overseas, my, my
daughters have done me proud. Because, they do stuff I couldn’t do, but
what you kinda get out of here, you get out of schools like this,
and you, go back to to going back to Indian work, I don’t know
that I could deal, with the infrastructural issues, of opening a
business where power is not available, and where. Permits are a problem, an where, I joke
with people that we’re in China, when you shake hands
with a leader, and you want to open a business, they roll
out the red carpet, In India, they roll out
the red tape. [LAUGH] And it’s just, you know, there’s
600 more mouths to feed, kinda thing, and it is just a, it’s
a nuisance. But, if that’s what inspires you, you
should go do it. It just doesn’t work for me. And for me, the globality and the ability
to do things that are global scale out of places like
the U.S., the impact, the openness, the opportunity in
this environment, an this marketplace, are way too attractive, for me to easily
give that up. And go somewhere else. I would do it as part of my, my career in
my future, but I would never do it, as where I would
live for my life. I couldnt do it, and I’ve worked, 14 years
in India before leaving, 15 years, before
leaving and coming out. And, I’ve kind of seen both sides to this
game, so. Coming back to the United States two, two
of your largest competitors Visa and AmEx and you
guys have kind of.>>Those are bad four letter words. [LAUGH] Both of them.>>That’s true. [LAUGH] You guys have coexisted in this
space for a while now.>>Yeah. And one thing that I think would be interesting to hear, is how you think
about competing. With such established companies, in a
mature market?>>So actually the [INAUDIBLE] mature 85%
of the world’s retail transactions are cash
and check. Only 15% are electronic. And everybody focuses on the 15 and the
scrap for market share in the 15 and. That’s important, you must focus on that. But you gotta remember there’s 85% out
there. And, by the way in the U.S., that number
is 50%, cash and check. And in Germany, its 78% and in Japan, its
80%. So this is not a developed world,
developing world thing. This is cash is still king, for various
reasons, good and bad. And I’m a believer that actually, there’s
more bad than good, on the cost of cash. And, I could go into that for, as long as
you’d like. But the idea is that, that I think there’s
a huge opportunity, in this industry, so, its
actually not a mature industry. It’s got a great opportunity. And, the example in Nigeria that the dean
was describing. Was an example of getting financial
inclusion, to be part of this change. There’s 2.5 billion people in the world,
who do not have what you and I take for granted, a bank account, an
identity, a card, things that you think just work. You just, go online and you want to order
a, you know, food from thin cow or from anybody,
and it comes. Well, it doesn’t work that way for these
people. And so, their lives are different, and
that’s gotta change. Because, non-inclusive growth, will
destroy the feeling that I’m talking about, of prosperity and growth in the
U.S. as well. The U.S., by the way, has 40 million
people who do not have a proper bank account, just to
be clear. This is, again, not a developing world
issue. Developed Europe, has 93 million people,
who do not have a bank account. And so, there is an enormous opportunity,
to get people an identity, and the self respect that an
identity brings. And add that to electronic payments, and
take out the victimization that only the poor feel, by
not having that access. Cash, is the friend of the poor, of the
rich man, not of the poor man. Because its the rich man, who uses cash to
suit their needs, not pay the correct taxes in many countries indulge in
the kinds of things that only cash can provide you with the chance to do, and that’s the misconception of existing society, for
the long time, so, I’m a big believer that there’s a huge runway, in this industry, of
growth. And the question is, are you gonna focus
all your attention on the 15% or on the 85% as well, as the
15? You don’t pay attention to the 15, you
don’t get to fly out out places like this, and speak to
people like you. But if you don’t pay attention to the 85. It won’t be a great company ten years from
now. And that’s the simplicity of our vision,
our vision is, a world beyond cash. That’s what I’m focused on, that’s what
the company is focused on, every one of our employees, if you ask them,
what’s the strategy of this company? It is to get to a world beyond cash. And that’s as simple as it is. Once you get that, how do you compete with
everybody else? Well, I’m not sure they have the same
perspective. So, that gives me space for play. Hence the Nigeria example. South Africa, where your dean comes from
originally, we’ve actually gone and given every South African who
gets social security payments, an identity, with a card, issued by the
government, with biometrics on it, where the money can be
given to them. Every week, without somebody getting in
the middle. There’s an estimate that 42% of the money
that goes from a government to an individual, through
social programs, gets stolen along the way, 42%. And the World Food Program, loses 40%, of
the food that it takes from farmers here, to
distribute to refugees. You can change all that, if you do it
smart. So, how do you compete in the 15%? There you compete, with things like
technology, which we’re investing a great deal of money and effort
on. You compete with data. You compete with a good differentiated product, differentiated
analytics, with consumers. That’s how you compete on that, and, that
I’m comfortable competing in. It’s the 85 that is a big opportunity.>>So, with that 85%, does that make you
allies with your competitors, in making, helping
these 85% become banked?>>Competitors that exist today, as well
as new ones that are constantly being formed, by
young people like you, who want to go and find a way to disintermediate us tomorrow, and
that’s a good thing. Because, if you think about producing new
technology, it’s not just the, don’t focus on the
disintermediation. That’s the 15% again. Think about the 85%, that’s in cash. There is an unbelievable opportunity, in
the world, to get to revenue, out of the
disintermediating cash. Which to me, is public enemy number one. And I’ll, I’ll tell you why I say that. People think cash is free. Cash actually costs between 0.5 and 1.5%
of GDP, for the Central Bank of a country to print it, to secure it,
and to distribute it. This country has a GDP, of 15 trillion. 1.5% of 15 trillion, is a shit load of
money.>>Yes. [LAUGH].>>You could do a lot with that money,
which we’re not doing, correct? So there’s that. And then if you go past that, what’s
turning that cost, is the cost of banks, to pick up that cash, from the federal
reserves [INAUDIBLE] and move it around. And by the way, that all comes in armored
trucks, with two people. And if you ever look at a Brinks armored
truck that delivers cash to your ATMs here,
there’s always two guards. Why, are there two? Because if there’s one, the damned thing
disappears. [LAUGH] Right, it’s the whole cash is
fungible, it goes away, and gets lost. And hidden, and then, if you go beyond
that. Tax evasion that I talked about. You can’t evade taxes long-term, without
using cash. The U.S. is one of the lowest tax evasion
countries in the world. And even here, the estimate is that 20% of
the economy, is underground. In India, it’s a blood sport, not to pay
taxes. The only guys who pay taxes, are people
like us who are salaried. And that can’t be the right way for India. It needs revenue, for the government to do real things, with infrastructure,
education, healthcare, water, all the stuff that India needs, to have a demographic dividend, not a
demographic liability. Which is what it’s gonna get, if it
doesn’t sort itself out. And so, when you get past all this
nonsense about cash being free, then you come to the
worst one. You guys have, studied in a campus in the
United States, and. Some of you are undergrads here and, no
doubt you encountered drugs along the way. But guess what? They come from certain countries into the
country, and by the way, which of you paid for those with your
credit card? You pay for them with cash. Not just you, how it comes into the
country, and how guns go out and they’re showing up in Mexico,
and the gang wars. All guns are manufactured in the U.S.,
you’d think they go in exchange to the Bank of Nova Scotia
via transfer. So there’s a hidden cost, that society is
bearing, for the use of cash, for the anonymity, that
cash provides. And I don’t think that’s the right cost. I just think there’s a new dialog to be
had, about what should be done with cash,
versus other things. So, 85% is cash. That’s the one to go after.>>And getting to that 85% requires quite
a bit of innovation. I’ve heard you say in other speeches that,
innovation is mission critical. At a large company like MasterCard, how do
you ensure innovation continues?>>Very tough but, it’s critical
completely. So, if we, if, we’re in an industry where technology’s innovating
around us very rapidly. And, and we’ve gotta keep pace and in
fact, in some ways, we’ve gotta be drivers, of new
ideas, in that space. So, we’ve done two or three things. One is we created a group inside the
company called MasterCard Labs. Which is headquartered in Dublin, has
locations in the U.S., and in Singapore, and Brazil
now. In an effort to get innovation from around
the world, to flow into what we’re doing. And, these guys are they’re actually kept
safe from the lunatics who run the asylum, inside of
MonsterCard. Right, so, so they have a budget that I
give them, which only I can change. My CFO is not allowed to question it,
nobody in the company can change it. It’s my budget, I give it to them. They work with that. They have They don’t have to give me any
spread sheet for any project. Because, you guys want work done here, you
can produce a spreadsheet and It has 24 sub spreadsheets, you change the number on
the 23rd one in roll zero 7 [LAUGH] column 14. And your entry on the first page becomes
35% instead of 3.5%. [LAUGH] I’ll never find it, I would lose numbers in change, It’s a waste of my
time. So I told them, here’s the money, you
choose the products. I need commercially viable, two products,
after two years. If I don’t, I’ll fire the whole Lorraine,
and start again. It works, i now have four products
Incubation and i will stay within three of them by the way are run by women, so much more
for women cannot succeed in Technology. That’s another bank, that like cash of
three that should be dispense with and three of them are run by women
[UNKNOWN] for and they do a great job, by the way they’re kicking
ass on those, on what they bring in the company and that’s
what I’m trying to do. That’s part of innovation. But the other part of it is, it’s gotta,
you know, seep into your bloodstream, It’s gotta be, you gotta
have an osmosis there on this. And so they’re putting money into venture
capital firms that show us many more new technology pieces
than we ever saw. We have people working inside the company
on being told that if you try something new and it doesn’t
work, that’s fine. You can take a risk and you can lose the
money and move on. And it’s the, it’s the culture you build. It’s not just creating labs and giving
them money. It’s the culture around it that we’re
trying to build.>>Great so at this point we are about
twenty minutes left. I wanna to switch gears a little bit more of your personal life,and so one big topic
in the GSB is work life balance and you always
say you have a very busy career, you are very
global career.>>What you guyz have a topic at GSB, you got a problem with working life
balance here.>>[CROSSTALK] [UNKNOWN] about it in the
future [LAUGH].>>I want your work life man [LAUGH] but
this is for the future.>>For the future.>>For the future.>>You’re already planning for your work
life already.>>[LAUGH] We’re trying to protect what we
have right now.>>I get it.>>And so,and so how do you think about balancing those two things in your
own life?>>Work life balance of very personal
thing, you know? There are guys who work 12 hours, 18 hours
a day and they think they’ve got balance. There are others who work six hours a day,
and they think they’ve got balance. So I don’t know how you define it for
yourself, but for me… Work life balance request, I guess a
couple of things to happen. One is gotta to enjoy what you’re doing. You really have to. It’s really, really critical. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s
time to do something different and that’s part of the reasons why have
changed what I did over the years. Because if you’re gonna work as hard as we
work, and I travel probably 2/3’s of the time, and if you’re not gonna to
enjoy what you’re doing when you travel. Why the hell are you doing it? And so work life balance starts with
enjoying, what you do really well. At the same time you’ve gotta have time
for yourself ,and the people who matter to
you, I mean, by that I mean, you know not just helping other team move into a dorm room,
and Harvard by the way was up four bloody
flights of stairs, with no elevator [COUGH] with a
room partner who hard a stupid shipping trunk
that was bigger than my car [LAUGH] carried up the
stairs and. I used to call that the two-Advil
believing, right? You could have had them and then you had
two Advils so you could wake up in the morning
without a broken back. But that, you gotta provide time for that. You gotta provide time for the, for the,
that play with their acting and intern. The small part that’s totaly from left
because, it’s important to them. And so, if you’re not gonna be there when
they need you, then you’ve got to balance. So, coming, I was living in Hong Kong for a little while, running study group in
Asia, and I used to fly back from Hong Kong, for one
evening, to be able to spend the time that was
required. If one of them are little were doing something, that was important to us as a
family. So, I guess you’ve gotta enjoy what you’re
doing, but you’ve also got to take out the time, for the people
who matter to you. And when you’re with somebody, spend the
time with the person you know. This stupid habit of having a Blackberry
and an iPhone, in your hand all the time, honestly, you’re not spending time with
the people you’re with, your spending time with the
instrument. And the instrument isn’t your work life
balance, It’s actually in some place an invasion of your work
life balance. It’s useful don’t get me wrong, I use the
darn thing all the time but. It’s an invasion if you’re not careful, so
finding the right space that says when with you I am focused on you,
you matter to me. And I’m gonna to spend time with you, as
compared to I ,m doing that but also doing these looking at my email,doing
full calls taking our paper working on the
weekends. You gotta ,you’ve gotta figure out how to
find that balance. That’s what we’re working on balancing. The rest, all, kinda of works out.>>And then, another topic that we speak
about pretty frequently is the diversity. And, for you,uh you’ve always been a
physical minority,>>Heh, yeah. [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] Throughout your
career.>>Yeah.>>And, and, has that every presented any
challenges for you in the workplace?>>Not really, the United States because
of the way it’s constructed, actually truly gives you a
chance to succeed. No matter where you came from, and what
you look like. But what matters is, what you do and how
you do it. What, those, what and how, matter in
honesty. You can’t just do the what and not the
how. But what and how you do matters and I
believe that passionately. I would say to more challenging if I had
been on continent, in Europe for [UNKNOWN], but that’s not
the case in the United States. So that’s not as much of an issue. In your, in fact you do stick out a mile
when you look the way I do and you kinda walk
into a company which is a fortune fortune 50,
fortune hundred company and you’ve got 200,000 people in at city
who work for me. You just, you’ve got to get comfortable
with your skin and have a little bit of confidence
in yourself. As compared to worrying about what the
other person is thinking about you. You’re going to get stared and I walked in
today, I was telling you, and as I was walking in to your cafeteria, and why the hell is everybody staring and looking
at me. Then I discovered you put my photograph on
every table [LAUGH] which is the most embarrassing
thing in the world. And, and, and I walk in has this damned
tent card everywhere.>>[LAUGH]. They don’t guard no wonder they’re staying
in there.>>[LAUGH].>>So that’s not a good thing. But you can use that to your advantage if
you care about, talking to people. It’s a great conversational opener. I’ve made friends who’ve talked to me
about why I look the way I do and they’re still the best friends I’ve
ever had over a casual conversation. So not in work life. Your personal life, yeah, it can be quite
interesting thing i mean. Look, there are times like after 911, when
life was very complicated for me. And, I lived in New York city at that time, and that’s the best way I can
describe it to you is I got shouted at and abused with verbal abuse, no physical
abuse fortunately, many times. But, you know find your way through it,
because you realize that only point 5% of the people, or smaller
than that, are doing that. The other 99.5% of people around you are
actually on your site. And they care deeply about what you’re
feeling at that time his that kinda. If you have that strength, you can get
through a lot stuff. When I still get”randomly” check guy
pulled out for checking at TSA. And I’m the “ultimate random check guy.”. . . . [LAUGH] But. But I what are you going to do? You can’t fight that because you’ll just
take it with you. So personally, a lot of things come around
you know. My boss at Citi at that time. My bosses’ bosses’ boss, was Sandy
Weiland. He called me the second day off, we these
issues erupted in New York City and said to me, listen, you’re not gonna to fly commercially for the next few
months. You can have the company claim, whatever
they’re entitled to, at that time, to go wherever
you’ve got to go, and we’re a chance with you getting caught up with security at the
airports. You’re not going to do that. Rule one. Rule two, you need a car to bring you back and forth from home place to work, from
Manhattan to work. You can have my car. And I soon walked anyway, because dealing
with it is more important than hiding from it. And yes, I got the looks and I got the art
comment, but I walked to work, and I walked back, and once in awhile, my boss
used to come to my house and walk with me to work. That’s pretty cool, that’s leadership, and
It matters. So you can deal with, it’s more of a challenge on the postal side than in the
work firm. The work firm [UNKNOWN].>>It sounds like having people that
really cared are really helps a lot.>>It helps. It helps people do really care i,m tell
you 99.5% of the people around you really care about
how you’re feeling and thinking. Just sensitive to you. People are, humanity is sensitive. Don’t get taken in by the animals
[UNKNOWN] that’s the issue.>>At this point I know my classmates also
have questions, I want to open it up a little bit I’ll go to Steve first with a Twitter question, and then we’ll go to the
live audience.>>[INAUDIBLE].>>By the way how is somebody supposed to
tweet you if you told them to put the phone
away. [LAUGH] I was trying to figure that out
when you were speaking but I.>>So following directions so that the
laptops away forms silence comes right up. So the question’s from Twitter, is it says
tough times, seems everyone is trying to disintermediate you, Google, PayPal, now
BitCoin, which of these make you lose sleep and why.>>The only reason I lose sleep is my wife
snores, I don’t lose sleep otherwise. [LAUGH].>>>Sorry. [LAUGH].>>She doesn’t. So, just to set the record straight, I, I actually don’t consider most of those as
competitors. I think they’re part of the ecosystem
being developed at the end of the day, we’re not, we’re. Our technology connects billions of people
with millions of merchants, with tens of thousands of banks
in 200 countries. Whether you use a card or a mobile phone,
that Google is a big partner of ours. Apple’s a partner of ours. In so many ways, all these companies
square with I know Jack Dorsey has been here to speak. Jack and I are very good friends we work a
lot together. Because square enables new acceptance. And so theres a perception that they are
disseminating us. Actually they are part of what enables us
to attack the 85%. Bit coin is a different issue. BitCoin’s [UNKNOWN] disintermediates. If it disintermediates anything, it’ll
disintermediate dollars. And God forbid that ever happens. But, but I don’t think I, I don’t think of
these as disintermediation. I just don’t. So it doesn’t bother me. I think of them as possibilities to work
with. We’ve got a bunch of people in our company who spend their time building
relationships. With all these new opportunities that we think of.>>I think you barely answered question
but as an Indian There are certain characters, there’s a
way of thinking you’re born in product fit, and you said you basically
learn that you aren’t born in product fit over the twenty-five to
thirty years of your life. How does that hinder you from you know,
when you think of business today or how does that present opportunity for you when you are looking at global
businesses.>>You know, as I said you learn as you go
along, you learn and adapt and if you learn from
everybody you get to a. A very healthy place in your life. We can look back, I’m 54 now, and I kinda of look back on having worked overseas
since 1997, right? And, and in India before that, I kinda of think I’m a mix of all those things
together. But I’d say India did teach me a couple of
things. One of the things it taught me very, very
strongly. Was the idea of warriors having a plan B,
and a plan C, and a plan D. [LAUGH] Because in India, plan A will
certainly get sabotaged. Either by infrastructure, or some damn corrupt bureaucrat or politician, or
somebody. And so you need a plan B, a plan C, and a
plan D. It actually serves you in good stead. Even in an environment like the US, where
competition is moving very quickly, and things are moving around
you very quickly, and having a plan B and a plan C, is a smart way to think through the opportunities and the
risks that you’re working with. That clearly you did, I think the second
thing I picked up in my time in India, which I still use
very carefully. Is that I took diversity in india for
granted, I just took it for granted. I grew up in the Army, my dad was an Army officer, I was an Army brat, we moved
regularly. You, you know, you went to things at the
local mosque and the local church and I went to midnight mass,
and I, I did all that. And, I took it for granted because around
me, people were Indians, but there were Sikhs, and
Hindus, and Muslims. And, people from the South of India had
asked for, in some ways, for a guy like me because
the language. We’re all Indians in some way. And, I took diversity for granted. Then, I came overseas and found that
people make a big deal out of it. And I actually resent that in some way
because, I’m diverse, as you said, and if somebody told
me that I got my job because of the way I look, first of all, I think they would need a
head examination. But, if they did say that, I would be very
hurt. And I would leave instantly from that
company. Instantly. What I don’t want to be a is a tick mark
in the box. Saying I’ve got my Indian American who’s
got this, the guy who looks different, two women, four African Americans, three Japanese, two
Chinese. What? This is bullshit. That’s not what life’s about. Diversity is about having people around
you who don’t think like you, don’t walk like you, and don’t
talk like you. You know? If it looks like a duck and walks like a
duck, it must be a duck. You need ducks and geese and minors. And spirals around you, in God’s aviary,
and that makes for, an outstandingly diverse population, who
think differently, come from different backgrounds, have
different experiences. And by the way, if you choose carefully,
all the other formal aspects of diversity,
will fall into place. If you have sincerity, about surrounding yourself with these different kinds of
people. And I took that for granted in Indiana. I’ll never take it take it for granted
again. Again I focus on it with a great deal of energy, to surround myself with people who
are different from me. [BLANK_AUDIO] Hello? Oh, okay. So you run a huge successful company, and
the way you talk about it is very inspiring that you’re providing
identity and financial stability to people who need it
most. But, I’m willing to bet that If Jack
Dorsey were here or even, I don’t know, the Snap Chat CEO
who’s like. Obnoxious 18 year old whose company makes
no money. There wouldn’t be an empty seat in the
house. So, and I think both sides are partially
to blame. Do you think there’s something wrong with
our mentality about business, and which country’s industries are more
important, which companies, I mean. And also you, as the CEO of Mastercard,
are there things you can do and should do in terms of how you present
yourself and market yourself to us.>>It’s a great question, it’s a great
question. And I, and I would tell you that one of
the reasons why I’m doing things of this type is to help
change the perception of who we are. We’re perceived right, when I joined the
company, every time you read anything, it was credit card
giant, MasterCard. I don’t insure a credit cards. I, we don’t insure a single card. Banks issue cards, we don’t. We are actually the technology
infrastructure through which the electronic payment rail
goes. And by the way I make less money on credit
cards than I make on prepaid commercial and
debit cards, each of those. So first misconception, second
misconception we decide the fees on your card. And so when you guys get a, a big debt
lottery on MasterCard as we started the joke, I actually have no
clue, what the debt law is. I actually don’t know your name. In the database I have, your name never
comes to me. It only goes to your bank and your
merchant. What I get, is a 16 digit account number,
a time of the transaction, a dollar value,
and a merchant code. It’s completely anonymized by the nature
of the data. I don’t have to prove that I have a Chinese wall between two parties in the
company. And yet, people think that big brother is watching you, because I know everything
about you. I don’t actually, I can make good
conclusions from the data I have. And so yeah misconceptions about our
company, abounded, they are caused by various reasons, but one of those was, we
were owned by the banks. Killer IPO 7 years ago, and so we were
seen as the mouthpiece of the banks in the
electronic payment system. It’s not the case today. Banks own 2% of the company, and now we
are a $90 billion market cab company. I’m sure they are very sad they sold their
shares, but the fact is, they own 2% of the
company. And yet, we’ve seen in the financial
services company. Which we’re not. And so, there’s a lot of misconceptions
about us, and what I’m trying to do, is through a series of activities, public
speaking, but more importantly by the actions we
take. I’m trying to demonstrate that we are not
what people thought we were, but we are truly a technology and data company
that can make a difference to help people work. That we can do well and do good at the
same time. One of the secrets about our company is
when the IPO happened 12% of our stock was put into a
foundation, that’s run independently. That foundation today is the second
largest foundation in the world after Bill and Melinda Gates’
Foundation. It’s headquarter in Toronto. And, and this they, told me that I’m the
gift that keeps giving. Because as the stock prices perform, their
[card purpose kept increasing. They now have a $12 billion corpus as a
foundation. People don’t know that about us. And so that’s our fault, not yours. You’re the audience. It’s the message I give you that you will
take away and so I’m trying to change that with what we do as well as
how we speak about it. The fact that the audience is not here in full number, I, you know, doesn’t
bother me. People will come if they want to, [COUGH]. And you can’t force somebody to come. They’ll come if they’re interested. And I, I’ve never got fussed about that. I’m delighted you guys are here, and
you’re actually asking me questions like the one you asked, because it gives me a
chance to explain how I think about this. So, thank you very much for doing that. I appreciate it.

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