For the latest interview in our continuous series of Hedge Funds Club Good Life Interviews, HFC boss Stefan Nilsson has a chat with Atif Bashir of Matwa Group in Singapore.
From where and how do you get your daily general news updates?
Ugh! Too much negative news as well as general information overload. I stick to certain industry specific newsletters that I have a subscription to.
What do you do to unwind on a weekend?
Weekend is family time. I usually need to unwind during the week and that I do by binge watching TV dramas or watch programmes like “Mountain Men” and documentaries in the wee hours of the morning. I miss playing sports, especially football, since the lockdown.
Can you name a great book you have recently read?
The Quran. I liked the Robert Langdon series from Dan Brown and still need to read his last one, “Origin”.
Soundtrack of choice?
I am so far removed from the music scene that it’s not funny. When I do get a chance, I’m still listening to some old stuff like Van Morrison, Joe Cocker, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Amr Diab, George Dalaras, Gipsy Kings, Nat King Cole… the list goes on.
What drink do you start the day with and what drink finishes it?
Tea and water and a Coke during the day.
What gives you energy?
Positive news, good food, good game of football and my six-year-old daughter.
How do you stay grounded and focused as a person in these turbulent and fast-changing times?
Values I received from my parents and teachers keep me grounded. As for focus, I keep a to-do list.
Can you name a terrific restaurant that you love?
There are so many but for the sake of naming one I would say Kebabchi in Singapore. It’s a street-food joint – Pakistani food.
What’s your favourite museum in the world?
Victoria & Albert in London but I am not big on museums. I get my dosage on art, culture and history through documentaries.
Are you active on social media and what do you actually use it for?
Being a bit of a techie, I have tried most of the social media platforms and then deleted many. I have to use them to stay connected with the younger generation. But mostly, I use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family and LinkedIn to see what business colleagues are up to. These two act as my news feeds also.
Do you have any secret guilty pleasure that you are prepared to reveal here?
Not really, but one I can reveal is the need to have my chocolate fix at night.
What kind of battle dress do you normally put on for work?
I do miss wearing a good suit, but in Singapore it’s not always appropriate due to heat. For a usual business day/meeting I tend to wear a business shirt with jeans.
Do you celebrate your wins? If so, how?
In my younger years there would be loud celebrations but now they are humbler and quieter. A team dinner/lunch or drinks. Before any win/lose situation, I try and enjoy the journey and learn from the experience.
What makes you happy?
Little things, big things… I’m easily pleased. If I had to pick one thing though, it would be watching my six-year-old grow and evolve.