Amit Damani boasts of a collection of interesting stints – from a Teach for India fellow in Dharavi to working in strategy consulting firm, Dalberg Global Development Advisors. A student of Economics and International Studies at Northwestern University, Chicago, Damani’s key personal and professional decisions have always been driven by a desire to solve problems. A keen supporter of charitable causes, he is a founding member of Robin Hood Army in Mumbai. Damani spends his leisure time playing football and reading fiction stories rooted in Indian history. In this informal chat, Damani shares his secret to distressing and living a full life.

When and where were you happiest?

In general, I'm a family guy, and happiest around them. I can recall a Rajasthan trip to our ancestral home with my family, and a trip to Paris with my wife, brother, sister-in-law and 2 year old nephew as some of the happiest times.

Where would you most like to live?

In the hills up north - maybe in Kasauli. I've spent some time doing business development for Vista Rooms there, and was just blown away by the beautiful homes and simple life. I can see myself living there.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Perhaps my tardiness in my personal life. It is the one thing most loved ones seem to complain about, so I'm working on improving that.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I find it hard to get along with people who manipulate, have hidden agendas, or those who cook up too many stories. I really appreciate people being candid and transparent, and on the flipside, get put off by unnecessary theatrics.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to be faster at writing! Any time that I have attempted to write something, most say I do a good job at it, but I find it impossible to do my writing at an acceptable pace. It can take me hours, sometimes, to draft a simple email that I'm satisfied with.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I asked around to answer this question, and it seems to be that I'm a listener. It also translates to being a generally quiet person, but my loved ones seem to appreciate that I am one of the most patient people when it comes to hearing them out.

What do you most value in your friends?

I can't say this enough - I truly value them remaining my friends despite my absence. I don't drink, I don't do weekend night-outs, I have missed birthday parties because of work, and they are just so forgiving about it all. It means a lot to me!