Millennials have the reputation of switching jobs every year or two. While this has been shown to encourage pay raises and can be perceived as a strategy for growth, naysayers say it is reflective of the non-committal nature of this generation.
In our interview with Amit Midha, Dell’s president of Asia Pacific & Japan, and Global Digital Cities, we delve into why he has stayed with the company for more than two decades.
The following interview has been edited and consolidated for brevity and clarity.
Oasis (OS): You have been at Dell for 26 years—a choice that demonstrates long-term commitment to a company. What is your take on job hopping?
Amit Midha (AM): I think one should be able to have different experiences and adopt different skill sets, and a company should also evolve along the way. When I joined Dell, it was primarily a PC company, but it has changed dramatically since then.
At the same time, I changed my role every nine months when I was with Dell in the United States, and every 12 months or so in China. It’s only with my current job that I have been able to stay in a role for almost five years. If you can get that kind of opportunity within a company, there is no reason for you to leave.
Ask yourself: am I learning? Am I growing? Am I having fun? Do I like the people I’m working with? Am I being rewarded or recognized? Bear in mind that there is always a gestation period when going to a new company.
OS: What is the most memorable experience from your time at Dell?
AM: When I moved to China, I realized that I did not know anything about the local culture or the people. The crucible moment for me was realizing that everything that I learned before—communication, leadership, and motivation—was not working there.
I told the team there that I cannot do what they do well, but I will help them with what they might be struggling with.
We made a promise to collectively help each other succeed. I told myself to forget about previous success, roll up my sleeves, and be part of the process.
OS: How do you deal with competition?
AM: We are more concerned about customers, not competitors. If you want to design a product, listen to customers. If you want to decide how to reduce the costs, investigate what’s important to customers—and what is not. Every company should focus on customer-centricity regardless of its size.
OS: What advice would you give to a 25-year-old person today?
AM: I would start by saying look in the mirror and inspect yourself before you venture out. Think about the set of values, perceptions, and beliefs that you carry: who are we? What beliefs and goals do we have? What do we deserve?
Achieving success or aspiring to succeed starts from within. The curiosity, the humility, and the desire to serve are critical. There are many paths to success. You need to find your own. Do not copy someone else.
Secondly, be very determined and very focused. Think of yourself as an athlete who’s competing in the Olympics. Develop your physical and mental self, emotional self, and spiritual self on a daily basis. Think about what you can do to build up your skill sets and how you can stay connected with your values along the way.
If you take care of these two things, I think a lot of other positive things can happen.
January 18: The story has been updated to reflect the interviewee’s title more accurately.