Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi an Associate member of the Indian Institute of Bankers, (IIBF) Mumbai is a retired Banker with almost four decades of banking experience. He is author and motivational speaker. He has played pivotal roles in Training & Development both in local and international Banks. He has written extensively on varied subjects and his articles on management have been collected in a book called ‘Managerial Skills’ self-published in 2012. He is the author of a bestselling book Anti money Laundering /Anti-Terrorism Financing & Know your customers –Bankers Handbook. He was a columnist for Money Life and once wrote for American Banker, New York.
He started his career in Union bank of India. He retired from Commercial Bank of Dubai UAE as Head- Career Development where he successfully implemented the Mentoring and Emiratization (Localization) policies.
Aashi Dewangan: Welcome to Criticspace Journal, Sir. First of all, I would like to begin by congratulating you on the publication of “Failure is a Knock on the Door of Success.” How has the response to the book been so far?
Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi Response has been very encouraging-Mostly the book has so far received 5-star ratings-not only from India but from the readers in Canada and the USA also
Aashi Dewangan: What led to the idea of writing “Failure is a Knock on the Door of Success”? Were there any events that inspired the work?
Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi: I observed people especially the younger generations seemingly unable to deal with failure committing suicide by droves. A case which I have mentioned in my book also is that of Late V.G Sidharth founder of café coffee day (CCD) who committed suicide as he could not bear the harassment from the income tax authorities and the financial troubles he had on account of huge debts he had raised (It was mentioned in the letter that was found after his death). Such incidents disturbed me and made me think “is it worth sacrificing one’s life?“ And the result of that thinking is –this book
Aashi Dewangan: Studying the subject matter of this book, I’m greatly impressed and I want you to explain to us your version of how this book is relevant in the present-day scenario.
Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi: There is a rat race. Imagine millions and millions of people running just one race for the same thing. It seems running for one’s own life every day. It is a race to realise an elusive dream. To achieve this one must let go of everything- the pressure to get is intense –One example I can cite here is that of striving for elite college admissions status to enter an elite profession. How tragic is the effect that this rat race is having on students when they don’t achieve this? It leads to depression and in most cases suicide- Reading this book will hopefully give them solace that not getting admission is not the end and sacrificing one’s life is not worth. There could be better things waiting for them –so they should just push on
Aashi Dewangan: If you were to describe your book “Failure is a Knock on the Door of Success” in a few words without giving any spoilers, what would those words be?
Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi: Failure is a very powerful ingredient for success. No one likes to fail but it has been observed that those who fail often come back and win. Failure is the pillar of, and roadway to, success. Failure is a lure for success; it is neither incompetence nor indignity. It is a trigger to continue, to not give up. It is really very depressing to observe that our society portrays harsh images of success and failure. We should always WIN is the mantra they prescribe. If we lose we are doomed. It is the culture of conformity. Its mantra is to go along to get along. Its prescribed standards are stringent. But one should not get terrorized and frozen by such standards. This single-track success-driven approach creates stress and tensions that one may find difficult to handle. What needs to be emphatically highlighted is that successful people are those who accept and embrace failure without making excuses and move ahead to plan out the next move.
It must be kept in mind and understood that success is a journey. It is a continuous process. The road leading to success will not always be smooth. This journey will not always provide unending and continual joy. There will be difficulties, setbacks, obstacles, and roadblocks. There will be moments when you start questioning your commitment. These will emerge irrespective of whether you are on the right path or the wrong path. So you should recognize that while it might sometimes be hard, you will need to make an effort to re-establish and reconnect with the positive vibes you felt when you started moving towards your desired goal.
There is no magic potion that energizes and makes people successful. It is for you to define what success means to you.
Aashi Dewangan: Is there any message, which you would like to convey to your readers? Or any piece of advice, which you would like to give to the readers out there!
Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi: Failure is a knock on the door of success. Continue knocking and the door of success will certainly open.
Failure will never overtake you if you:
- keep your determination to succeed strong enough
- have steely faith in your resilience
- break free from the clutches of self-doubts and fears that frighten you and hold you back from moving forward
- use your fears as fuel to ignite the fire within you to continue marching ahead
Remember- Whenever failure visits you it is not to knock you down but to inspire and motivate you to learn and improve
Aashi Dewangan: “Failure is a Knock on the Door of Success” has given a powerful introduction to your potential as a writer. Can the readers expect more from you in the future? Please share about your future projects.
Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi: Yes I have 4 projects on hand
- A journey of dreams and determination(Memoirs)
- Customer is not always right
- Leaders need to govern not rule
- Excellence in Leadership-
Aashi Dewangan: Thank you very much for sparing your time. I look forward to reading more books from you in the future. All the best.
Saiyid Safdar Abbas Zaidi: Thank you Aashi -it was indeed my pleasure to interact with you. Look forward to many more such occasions -Regds.
Interviewed by Aashi Dewangan, Criticspace Journal