My parents like for anyone else have been my true source of inspiration and their support in every stage of my life has contributed towards where I stand today. I’m a scientist by education and one of the reasons I opted for this field was various success stories of scientists my father narrated me during our post dinner walks when I was a kid. He used to tell me how they made a difference to the world and society at large and that’s when I decided, I too want to do something for betterment of the people around me. However, while studying to become a scientist I veered away from my path. 

During my graduation, for a couple of years I failed in multiple subjects. I was least bothered about my grades and led a vagabond like life, wandering around with my friends and the last thing I’d think of was studying. We had an extended break in college between 2 years and I visited home, this time for a longer period. I didn’t tell my parents that I had failed in various subjects, but this period acted as an eye-opener for me. I realized then that I had truly lost track of the purpose I had chosen in my life. While my mother didn’t know what was going on in my head, she realized the confused state I was in and just told me everything will be ok and she’s there to listen if at all I’d like to share anything with her. The realization that it’s ok and an understanding that you have someone to talk to plays a crucial role by providing you with a sense of support you need when you feel lost. There was no looking back for me after that, I was back on track with more determination to achieve what I earlier intended to and scored well in all my examinations. Hence, while I didn’t do MBA, the experience of failing in multiple subjects and subsequent learnings from the observations and hard work, I achieved the StreetMBA degree – The title I came up with for the learnings you get from experiences, observations and interacting with people you meet. So don’t feel upset when you lose track, it is a natural process of evolving. It’s an experience from which you learn a lot. It gives you the ability to emerge stronger when met with tough situations in life and helps you tackle them in a better manner, bringing you back on the track you want to be on.  

Feeling lost is completely normal and everyone does at some stage or the other in life. Embrace the fact, only then you’ll be able to deal with it in a better manner. Reasons for feeling lost vary from person to person and how they deal with various situations in life. For me as I stated earlier, I got distracted completely from my purpose and upon realization got back on track. Also, it’s important to have one go-to person in such situations. A person whom you trust, admire the most or feel is experienced enough to help you de-clutter your thoughts. Having an outside-in perspective provides you with a clear picture – you may feel that the problem is huge, but from that person’s perspective its simple and s/he may provide you with an immediate solution. Or it may be a grave situation, but just the act of sharing and calming words from your go-to person rejuvenates you, thereby guiding you to the right direction instead of you sinking down further by over-ruminating on the problem.  

There are also times when there’s simply too much on our mind day in and day out, it comes to a stage where we think – where was I? You feel so overloaded mentally and physically with endless responsibilities and demands, that you forget what you had set out to do. This in fact had happened with me when I had joined insurance industry, handling profiles I had no clue about. However, with this experience I learnt many management principles and it gave me a multi-disciplinary holistic perspective of the industry. There are also times when people judge you from the way you tackle such situations in life whether on personal or professional front. Know that it’s not the time to worry about what others think about you, instead it’s time to move on, explore and learn what you don’t know. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, see it as an opportunity to identify your true self. It’s a chance for you to figure out why you veered away from the path you had set, do you wish to continue further or is it the time to explore or set a new purpose for yourself in life. 

Demanding jobs and the competitive world we live in compromises our lifestyle. Ensure that you carve out some ‘me time’ during the day. It can be anything at any time of the day to pursue what you’re truly passionate about other than your work. If you keep doing what you’re doing, without a break from your ‘too busy’ schedule even if it’s a job you’re passionate about, you’ll eventually start feeling monotonous, incredibly bland if not lost. There are times when I work till late, but one thing which I really look forward to at the end of the day is being with my family and sometimes reading a book on my favorite recliner chair at home. So live every moment of life by ensuring you have time for yourself during the day. It helps you avoid from feeling lost as you give your mind and body some break from the daily chores.

Lastly and more importantly, know that this too shall pass. Don’t ignore the feeling as if it’s not worth the attention, do what you can do best to be back on track, give yourself sometime and confide in someone who can listen to you (without judging) and motivate you. Losing your way is not something you should feel embarrassed or bad about, it opens the door to something better and helps you bounce back stronger. Such feelings can certainly be difficult to deal with, but they’re also a catalyst for change which strengthen you further and help you become a better version of yourself.     


  • Tapan Singhel

    MD & CEO

    Bajaj Allianz General Insurance

    Tapan Singhel has a rich experience in the insurance industry of more than 30 years. He has been with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for over 20 years and is the Company’s MD & CEO for close to 10 years. He also chairs the CII National Committee on Insurance and Pensions. He has been the President of Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and is now a board member. Under his leadership, the company has emerged as one of the largest and the most profitable private general insurer in the country ensuring growth, profitability and customer-centricity. In Mr. Singhel’s decade long stint as the MD & CEO, the Company has achieved a cumulative underwriting profit of more than ₹ 350 crore, grew its revenue at a CAGR of 16 %, grew its net profit (PAT) at a CAGR of more than 30% with a double growth in solvency ratio from 156% to close to 350%. Customer obsession and passion to do good for the people are what drives Tapan and his success in the industry. A scientist by education, but insurer at heart he works towards making a difference in the lives of people in whatever little way he can. Tapan has not only transformed the company, but has also been a trendsetter in the insurance industry by always taking the first leap towards innovating to enhance the customer service standards. Under his able leadership, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has transformed the distribution of insurance by being the first company in the country to start Bancassurance. He also envisaged and implemented, Virtual Sales Office, which is a 100% digital office. Addressing customer worries is what drives him to ideate and implement innovative products and services. For instance, settling motor claims in a matter of minutes with the help of Motor OTS, taking care of new-age cyber risk through Bajaj Allianz Individual Cyber Safe Policy, industry’s first Pet Dog Insurance policy and introduction of Health Infinity, a health insurance policy with unlimited sum insured. His leadership has been recognized across the globe. He was honoured as the 'Personality of the Year' at Quantic’s BFSI Excellence Awards 2021, India Insurance Summit & Awards 2019, 22nd Asia Insurance Industry Awards 2018 and Indian Insurance Summit 2017. He was also awarded the title of Best CEO at Insurance Asia Awards and was recognized as the Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia 2018 by The Economic Times. By always imbibing the principle of empathy towards customers and employees, he has been instrumental in the organisation being recognised on various forums. To name a few, Best Digital Insurer in Asia for IDC Financial Insights Innovation Awards 2021, Non-Life Insurer Provider of the Year by Outlook Money Awards 2020, Best Motor Insurance Provider of the Year at the prestigious Business Today-Money Today Financial Services Awards 2021. The Company has also won the coveted Porter Prize award under the category of Creating Distinct Value in 2019. Tapan is known for his ‘Communicative Leadership’ style, where he believes in engaging regularly with employees and customers through social media.