BACKSTORY: 13 questions with Bank Zero CEO Yatin Narsai
We question co-founder and CEO of Bank Zero Yatin Narsai
What are you reading at the moment?
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard P Feynman.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Be humble and "fly below the radar" for as long as possible. You don’t want others to see you coming until it’s too late.
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
The brilliant mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who is the inspiration to our company’s name, Bank Zero. I highly recommend the biography of Ramanujan, Robert Kanigel’s The Man Who Knew Infinity. Ramanujan died at 32. It pains me to think just how much more humanity would have gained had he lived longer.
How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips for handling it?
Don’t let it fester inside you. Talk, and talk some more. Authentically.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I’m learning to be a barista.
Which living person do you most admire?
My wife, Ingra. I think I’m a difficult person (sometimes) and I’m just over the moon that she’s always with me. I deeply respect that.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?
A life of conspicuous consumption.
Which word or phrase do you most overuse?
I cannot answer that here.
Is there such a thing as "enough money", and if so, how much is it?
No. Not if you have a burning passion to change things for the better. With more resources, so much more can be done.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
My dad, who was a formidable negotiator and entrepreneur. He lived his entire life without a single pay cheque — so no monthly pension and no medical aid. Sheer entrepreneurial grit brought him great things. Only now that I myself don’t get a pay cheque do I understand the freedom he enjoyed. It’s liberating.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Being able to meditate longer.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress or amaze him?
"Stay on course, buddy. There’s a master plan unfolding with each step of the journey, giving you vital knowledge and skills, including at the hardest times, when you’ll learn the most. One day it will all be worth it."