24 hours With… Dharpan Randhawa of McLaren

In this 24 hours with, Dharpan Randhawa of McLaren balances exercise, with family life and living an ‘inbox-zero’ life – not an easy task when your responsibilities stretch across a continent

When I’m not travelling 200 days a year, this is what a typical day for me in Singapore looks like:

5:30: Body clock kicks in and I’m up.

5:45: Check on emails & Whatsapp messages that have come in overnight from UK team.

6:00: 6km run. This relaxes my mind and gives me the opportunity to catch up on my latest podcasts. Right now I’m really enjoying the Tim Ferris Show.

7:00: Sit down to breakfast with the girls – four and 10 years old. This is an important time as it allows us to discuss their day ahead, signing slips and also generally catching up on stuff.

7:30: Say goodbye to the girls and play with baby-boy (10 months old) for a few minutes before heading upstairs to my office.

7:45: From this point onward, I try to punch out most of my emails for the day. It’s when my mind is the sharpest and energy levels are high. Any proposals, strategy emails, numbers etc are all worked on now.

9:00: Typically, my first meeting or call for the day. For almost all my meetings, I plan them at coffee spots all over the island of Singapore.

10:30: Second meeting (and more coffee).

12:30: Working lunch at Artemis Grill (shameless plug) in Singapore’s CBD – a great lunch spot nestled on the rooftop of the Capita Green building. The staff know me well and my table is always the same – back corner. Formula 1 comes with a complex education process for those unfamiliar with it, and I feel having lunch really allows people to focus and connect better.

2:00: Back to my office to run through emails and catch up on missed calls. I also call this time of the day, “Calm Before the Storm” – read on!

4:00: It’s 9am in the UK and my phone starts lighting up like Christmas. Working for a UK company means my second shift starts about now and will go well into the night. I report into the UK and have all my support infrastructure there, so typically all my 1:1 calls with various people across the business starts from now.

5:00: Call with my UK marketing and graphic design team to discuss the various proposals and decks. Our team produce top-notch materials which really sets the bar in the sports marketing industry. I spend a lot of time feeding them with what I’m hearing from the market.

6:00: Call with our global head of esports to discuss progress and pipeline for the second season of our program. We are making huge inroads for the program with Asian brands and there’s lots to discuss!

6:30: I take a break to have dinner with the family. That said the Whatsapp messages are still flying in and I pretend not to look but often get caught out by my 4yr old. We sit at the table and discuss our days and have a laugh!

7:45: Read bedtime stories to the four-year-old and put her down. Boy, I could go down myself but wait…. More calls.

8:30: Call with my other regional sales heads to discuss cross-border conversations and general housekeeping. We are tight and communicate well.

9:30: Group-wide call with senior management across different parts of the business. Here we discuss pressing issues and also share news on exciting developments and new partnerships. I feed on this as it’s my information-ATM for all things McLaren.

10:30: One last sweep of emails (as I’m fading fast by now). I have an obsession about living an ‘inbox-zero’ life so will try to get it down to an empty inbox most nights.

10:45: One more last (one-eyed) peep at the phone. Smile. Breath. Snoring (within 60 seconds).

Dharpan Randhawa is Asia senior vice-president of partnership development for the McLaren Technology Group


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