Interview with Yashish Dahiya, CEO of PolicyBazaar.com: Sports people usually have great careers outside of sports

Mike Claudio

Yashish Dahiya, CEO PolicyBazaar.com

Yashish Dahiya is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co- Founder at PolicyBazaar.com, the largest online insurance aggregator in the country. His long term strategies have turned this financial start-up into a thriving successful brand in the short span of just 5 years. An expert in the field of insurance, Yashish holds extensive knowledge of the consumer financial space in India.

An enthusiastic marathon runner, Dahiya recently became the national swimming champion in masters category. He won a gold medal in 400 meters freestyle and a silver in 200 meters freestyle category at 11th National Masters Swimming Championship held last week in Gulbarga, Karnataka. He is also now eligible to represent India at the World Masters Swimming Championship at Khazan, Russia in 2015. 

Dahiya spoke about his sporting interests and the similarities between sport and his business in an interview with Sportskeeda.
Here are the excerpts:

Were you always swimming competitively throughout your childhood? Did you aspire to be a professional swimmer? 

No, I started quite late, actually picked up during college, but I’ve been swimming regularly with a coach for the last 5 years.

How important is the competitive nature of participating in sports along with the fitness aspect?

Fitness is fine and great, competition is different. It’s not about fitness, it’s about winning and proving a point to yourself and others. Competition can also lead to injury, and burn-out. 2 minutes of competition can be way more painful both physically and psychologically than months of training.

As a CEO, how do you encourage sports and exercise amongst your employees? 

We have annual sports meets within our organisation and take part in several tournaments with other organisations.

What similarities exist between approaching a swimming competition and managing a company?

You need to have a plan, you need to change the pace, you need stamina, you need to challenge your limits, but swimming is less complex than running a company. The facets you need to control are fewer.

Is it more challenging to swim races or run marathons?

Both are tough, both have their challenges. If you get tired, it’s very difficult to revive a swim race, in a marathon you can run slow for a while and revive. But in swimming once you lose it, you lose it and it’s very difficult to recover. Breathing and technique is more of an issue in swimming.

Winning medals is a big achievement. With the hours required to put in training and conditioning, how do you manage to balance it with your work?

No one comes to office before 8 in the morning. That is when I practice. It’s actually great as it keeps energy levels very high, and usually I am more active than most people.

What do you feel is necessary to improve the quality of Indian swimmers so we can challenge for Olympic medals?

You bet, Delhi barely has any pools for four months in a year. How can one win medals at international levels with such poor facilities?

With a high percentage of youth in india, what advice can you give them to continue exercising and playing sport along with their pursuit at work? 

Sports is a must, treat it as critical in your character building. Otherwise, you will be 40 and burnt out mid career. Sports people usually have great careers outside of sports owing to their never give up character, and high energy, so do not get sucked into books alone.

Other than actively playing various sports, do you follow any particular ones as well

Yes, Formula One and tennis.

Originally published on Sportskeeda.com here