A mix of Optimism, Courage, and Resilience makes a perfect CEO says Paul Dupuis, CEO Randstad India

Paul has over 24 years of professional experience in Asia across Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong & Korea.


A global leader with a commendable track record in hands-on business growth and organizational transformation management. An exclusive interaction with BW People,  Paul Dupuis  who is currently the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Randstad India, the country's leading HR services organization talks about work-life balance, his avatar outside of the boardroom, the biggest business risks he has taken in his career and his love for riding on the beautiful terrains of South India.

Paul has over 24 years of professional experience in Asia across Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong & Korea. His extensive industry experience and network have been gained from handling key leadership roles in recruitment, strategic planning, and business development, spanning renowned organizations. Additionally, Paul is the Chairman of HOPE International Sustainable Development Agency (JP), focusing on clean water projects and micro-credit programs, with a mission to help the neglected poor become self-reliant. Edited Excerpts from his interview :

What is the one thing that you like to do when you are not in the boardroom?

Growing up in Canada, I learned to skate at the age of 4 and have played ice hockey since I was 5. I continue to play hockey in tournaments around Asia and most recently I competed in the ice hockey tournament that was conducted in Leh by The Hockey Foundation. Regardless of where I find myself in the world, I follow the National Hockey League and watch the game highlights every morning. Connected with this is my passion for fitness and wellness. I enjoy "off-ice training" at the gym and riding my mountain bike around Bangalore on the weekends.

Who do you look to when you are in a dilemma? Share one dilemma of your life?

I prefer to view dilemmas as challenges and opportunities. We all come to forks in the road in our personal and professional lives and this is when our personal "north-star" kicks in. This is my moral compass which comes from my upbringing in a warm, caring home where my parents taught me the values of relationships, to know what you stand for and to walk the talk. A recent challenge I faced was when I had the opportunity to relocate from Japan to India, to leave my comfort zone.I was leading a strong team at Randstad and was part of a close community after 21+ years of living there. This was a big decision which not only impacted me personally but also my wife and sons, and our extended family. In these times of tough decisions, my wife is my go-to person, my confidant.  She always provides the fresh perspective which helps make the tough decisions easy.

How do you balance work life?

A given that comes with leadership is responsibility. When we take on the challenge to become a leader of people, we are no longer responsible only for our own actions, behavior, and performance. I know many leaders who find this to be a burden which can have a negative effect on personal health and family relationships. As the head of a large, complex organization it's fair to say that work is always on my mind. At the same time, I draw a clear line between personal and family time vis-à-vis work. I make an effort to block time for myself, to exercise, watch hockey or read. And of course, I place a high value on family time. I am not sure if one can truly separate work and life as they are so tightly interconnected, but one thing is clear, we all need to turn off sometimes. In order to be truly effective, it's important to stay healthy, both mentally and physically and to place value on relationships.

What are the things you don’t leave your house without?

My laptop, iPhone and a few protein bars.

If you weren’t a CEO, what would you have been?

A sportscaster.

What is the biggest business risk that you have taken?

Leaving a high-performing business in Japan to take on the role of CEO of Randstad India, to lead transformation and pursue an ambitious growth plan in a completely new environment.

Who is your favorite CEO?

Jacques van den Broek, CEO Randstad Holding and Sam Walton of WalMart.

The last line of your autobiography would read?

Paul lived a good life. He had a positive impact on so many lives and achieved his mission to 'do well and do good'.

What are the 3 qualities that a CEO must have?

Optimism, Courage, and Resilience

What are the principles that you swear by?

Look in the mirror, raise your bar. Work hard to set others up for success. Trust when trust is earned. Always move forward.

One regulation in Indian laws that you would like to change?

I would like to see a strict protection of privacy law in India.

5 words that define you?

Committed, competitive, trusting, down to earth, fun.

5 things on your wish list, personally and professionally?

I am not interested in acquiring 'stuff', for me, it's all about the experience.

Personally, I want to travel to interesting places with my family, help the extreme poor become self-reliant and be able to play hockey until my last day on earth.

Professionally, I want to surround myself with great people, with strong values and commitment to move forward. In the short term, I want to help bring Randstad India to the leading position in in our industry.


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