Stress Buster

Sport At Work

Payback India CEO Rahul Rana finds table tennis a good way to stay focused and nimble

Vishal Koul

It’s been more than a year since Rahul Rana took over the top job as the CEO of the Indian operations of Payback, the world’s best-known loyalty points company, and he clearly seems to be enjoying the role. What makes work fun for him is that unlike his peers, Rana beats the stress by staying at work when the day ends.

What does that mean? The native of Assam, who joined Payback as its COO in 2010, sounds rather euphemistic when he says, “When the going gets a little tough, small wins give you the chance to maintain the momentum.” The meaning of these confounding sentences comes across clearly only after Rana explains that he was talking about what he feels after winning a game of ping-pong at the company’s office in Gurgaon. Payback’s corporate office has a ping-pong table where, between breaks, Rana shows off his moves. Besides keeping him on his toes, Rana says the game increases blood circulation and improves concentration. “Since you play with better players, it also teaches you adaptability.” What better way, then, to learn at work?

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