Well-Being//

How Sleep And Exercise Changed Rishad Premji’s Life

Wipro’s chief strategy officer and NASSCOM chairman on what makes his days more purposeful.

“Two things have changed my life,” says Rishad Premji, chief strategy officer and member of Board—Wipro Limited, “and I have been focussing on it quite systematically over the last three years. One is exercise and the other is sleep.”

Surprising revelation at a global entrepreneurial gathering but underlines the increasing body of evidence for that basic human requirement—sleep! Premji, who is also the chairman of the National Association of Software Services (NASSCOM), was speaking at the TiE Global Summit III.

“I’m a huge believer in sleep. If you read Arianna Huffington’s book on the sleep revolution, I would recommend it… it has great insights. I find that the days when I sleep and exercise more, I’m a different person—I’m happier, more productive, less stressed, and less irritable.”

In a conversation with Thrive Global India on the sidelines of the summit, Premji speaks of how he has tracked sleep and exercise over the last two to three years and found that enough sleep (at least seven hours) and enough exercise make him more productive.

So how did this change in lifestyle come about? “I just woke up one day saying I want to have a better sense of purpose and structure and feel good in my life.”

It was around this time that Premji was at a Davos event and heard Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post and Thrive Global founder, speak about sleep. “That resonated with me because till then I had always learnt how to minimise sleep as opposed to how to optimise it,” he tells Thrive Global India.

The second important thing that adds to his days is exercise. “It is the right thing to do and I have got into a rhythm where exercise is a part of my life. I do some yoga, a lot of gym, but it is more to do with your mind than with your body. I just find that when I exercise in the morning, my day has a lot of purpose, it has already begun on a good note.”

Practising two of the most effective well-being strategies have kept the NASSCOM chairman working at his optimum best minus the feeling of burn out. “I haven’t felt burnt out fortunately. I don’t let myself get too stressed out.”

The recently concluded two-day TiE Global Summit is said to be the largest global entrepreneurial leadership summit that brings together the TiE community of entrepreneurs from across the globe. In its third edition, the event went a step ahead by becoming more inclusive and adding sign language to relay the talks being delivered besides an exclusive women’s forum.

More on Thrive Global India:

How to Keep the Doctor Away: Advice from Healthcare Professionals

Poor Sleep Is Even Worse for People with Chronic Stress, According To New Research

Why 8 Hours of Sleep Before an Interview is Essential

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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