Defeating the Personal Debt Trap

–with Special Guest Asesh Sarkar

Episode Summary

Asesh Sarkar is helping transform the way people control their personal finances, at a time when this kind of service has never been more important. Discover key insights from Asesh relating to leadership, financial responsibility, and inclusive capitalism.

Episode Notes

Defeating the Personal Debt Trap (ft. Asesh Sarkar)

Asesh Sarkar is changing the way employers and employees handle salary


Just like when I joined the workforce as a grad and I had a great experience, making sure that people who join us have a great experience, as well. So yeah, it’s quite the journey, and then one we’re very much still on and learning every day.

—Asesh Sarkar


Asesh Sarkar is the Global CEO and Co-founder of Salary Finance. Salary Finance is a fast-growing FinTech company which enables employees to receive wage advances to help them pay off their debts faster and save towards their financial goals, operating in both the UK and US. It’s been featured twice by Forbes as one of the leading socially responsible startups and as one of the five fast-growing businesses to watch. It’s also already become a Harvard case study. Across the UK and US, Salary Finance is used by 500 top employers and available to around 4 million people.


[4:38] –Four Things Great Leaders & Bosses Do

Lessons from Asesh’s first great mentor

Asesh recounts the boss who played the role of a coach in his early career, providing him with four key gifts— autonomy, a listening ear, the feeling of being valued, and flexibility. With these four tools, a coach gives a person much more than any domineering, hard-charging boss could ever provide.

[17:42] – The Model of Reciprocation

You don’t have to be an extrovert to thrive

If you genuinely go out and show other people that you are interested in helping them, you don’t have to be an extrovert to thrive in business. If somebody reaches out to help you, and you are happy to help them, it’s often as simple as that. Build authentic trust-based relationships where people know that you are not just in it for a transactional benefit, and your reputation will reflect that. Meanwhile, people that have a history of transactional-based interactions get a reputation for having transactional-based interactions. The number of people who genuinely want to work with them declines over time.

[28:31] – Combining Social Intent with Business Acumen

Asesh’s formula for impact

Asesh shares his vision for an organization with the greatest positive role in the world: the best talent working on problems which can make a real impact in society, combined with a commercial model which means it is commercially scalable and can raise capital to do it at a big, big scale. This idea of business with social purpose is what inspired him to go all-in on Salary Finance.

[50:12] – Asesh’s Message to Leaders

Learning to cut the line

There’s always more work than there is time in the day. It’s rarely a bad decision to cut the line and stop work time a bit further, then use that extra time to spend with colleagues and form human relationships. It makes you better, it makes them better, and everyone performs better as a result. Focus on relationships and watch performance soar.


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Chris Roebuck
Chris Roebuck
Chris Roebuck is a speaker, advisor and executive coach who has a unique approach that helps leaders, teams, and organisations reach their full potential and be successful in just three steps. This is proven to add investor value, deliver better customer service, build the brand externally, develop innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, optimise risk and boost the bottom line by 10% + at no cost. Chris unique experience as a leader in the military, business, government and as a Hon Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership has enabled him to develop this innovative, entrepreneurial and highly effective new approach for leaders and organisations to achieve success: I CARE Leadership. It’s simply about you being the leader people always give their best for empowered by authentic and inspirational servant leadership. Chris shows how building on leaders current knowledge via simple, practical day to day actions can immediately deliver real improvements at all levels; individual, team, and organisation. One organisation who implemented it increased the number of staff happy to recommend it as “a great place to work” to friends or family in 2 years from 40% to 82%, an exceptional change, and increased revenue by 40%. When Global Head of Leadership at UBS, 70,000 staff & 100 countries, his team helped the bank transform organisational performance to increase profitability by 235%, market capitalisation by 50% and win awards. This is now a Harvard Case Study. Chris experience spans many sectors and geographies; from having held senior roles in UBS, HSBC, KPMG & London Underground to advising legal firms and construction, from the UK National Health Service of 1.4m staff and UK Government to the Red Cross in Myanmar, from Investment banks in London to Middle East Telecoms, from the Chinese Space Programme to retail in USA and many more. Chris has been quoted as a business leadership expert globally in the Harvard Business Review China, FT, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, New York Times, Business Week, Time Magazine, Washington Post, Times of India, Straits & Gulf Times and many other titles. He has been interviewed on TV over 350 on leadership and business issues on BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and other channels and his books have been translated into 11 languages. Chris has been recognised as one of the Most Influential HR Thinkers regularly since 2011 by the HR profession.

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