Teeing off with Alok Bharadwaj

by Muntazir Abbas    Aug 01, 2008

A wine enthusiastic, frequent traveler, and a family man to the core, we share the memoirs of a Saturday spent in the company of Alok Bharadwaj, bringing to the forefront the personal side of the man who is leads Xerox’s major competitor.

Picking up golf a year ago, the game has become Alok’s favorite pastime today. Also fond of collecting wines from various breweries, he has created a cellar at home with nearly 200 royal, premium, and cult wines.

“Of course, I like drinking a variety of wines”- Alok is quick to say when asked, if he is just piling the bottles for hobby. His collection features Australian, French, and Spanish wine, including Grand Merlot, Pinot Noir and Reserve Shiraz.

His day starts at around 5:30 a.m., with the first cup of Darjeeling tea, prepared by his wife. “Then comes my turn to make Earl Grey, which I like most”-says he. “Tea preparation isn’t an easy task. It’s a matter of choice as well.”

What’s next? “Yeah, it’s time for half an hour Yoga”. “I make the most of my time during these yoga sessions at I have to stick to extreme machines in gyms during stays at hotels, while traveling.”

Saturdays are family time as well: both for the dutiful son and he proud father. “I do spare some time to see my son at learning the piano. And as the sun stealthily sets, its time to visit my parents, who live close by. This I do without fail.”

As we return, Alok has already started making plans for his Sunday, which is time devoted only to the family. “This is one day when my son and I pamper my wife. I help her with chores in the kitchen, with a little of home decor, and do most of the shopping for her.”

On whether he can cook? “Usually my son and I decide what to cook. We often agree on easy-to-prepare and light food. We can make kebabs, tikkas, smileys, and other snacks. But all of it is half cooked. I also like to eat south Indian food, specially appams, and Malabar and stew chicken.”

“I enjoy playing chess on a big Turkish chessboard with my son. This is one interesting activity at home. Water has always fascinated me. I love the backwaters of Kerala, besides cruising along Asian beaches.”

“I enjoy instrumental music, as well as Yaani’s piano. On the movie front, I prefer to watch Hollywood thrillers.”

From a trainee at a home appliances company, Voltas in Mumbai, to the Senior Vice President of Canon India, Alok drives inspiration from stories and biographies of successful legends like JRD Tata and Jack Welch.

And as the sun settles farther into the deep blue seas, and the Bharadwaj household sets table for a cozy family dinner, I ask Alok why he chose technology engineering? “Technology usually had some explanations to the queries in my mind. In general, technology excites me, as it keeps reconfiguring the business environment, which makes my job more interesting”, says he.