I think the second part of it is, you’ve got to be willing to take risks with your life and your career. And you guys do that. This school produces entrepreneurs and people who want to take a risk. But, so it’s a little preaching to the converted here. But it wasn’t that way some years ago. And it isn’t that way with a lot of your colleagues and friends and pals, who don’t take the same risks, and by risks I don’t mean changing jobs only, I mean where you live and what you do. Aditi has been to eight or nine schools before she left high school. Around the world, in different places. Her sister, the younger sister, had been to a similar number. We’ve lived in as a family, Ritu and I have moved I don’t know how many times now. And, we’ve lived in a house of our own, for the first time after coming to the US. Otherwise it’s always been a rented house somewhere rented by a company and moving around. And I moved from, different functions and different companies. You have to take those risks. That’s it, those two probably are the most striking.
Interviewer: And so I spoke to your daughter yesterday and she mentioned that you love Lady Gaga. And so, so, my question.
Ajay Banga –CEO, MasterCard: Can you believe that? Do I look like a Lady Gaga kind of guy?
Interviewer: Is it true?
Ajay Banga –CEO, MasterCard: Actually, I do.
Interviewer: And so, the question is.
Ajay Banga –CEO, MasterCard: Among others.
Interviewer: Among others.
Ajay Banga –CEO, MasterCard: Just to be clear.
Interviewer: Do you think that you were born that way? Or was there a point in time where you made the decision that Ajay, I’m going to be more humble and take more risks?
Ajay Banga –CEO, MasterCard: I’m thinking about the me to address, but never mind. I don’t know, I don’t think you’re born that way. I think this thing about you’re born this way, you’re born that way, is given too much credence. I think your mind is capable of a great deal, of learning, adapting and comprehending, and disciplining, and operating in a method that you care for. I think what your early experiences and the values you pick up. Yes, that makes a difference. But I don’t, I don’t believe in this born that way stuff. I just think, you pick it up as you go along. And you’re capable of changing who you are, as you go along.
Interviewer: That’s inspirational for a lot of us in the audience, so. Moving forward now to the last ten years. At Citi, you had a job that had a very global perspective. And now at MasterCard obviously very focused on rolling out the business globally. In your time on this, with this perspective, what do you think now is the most exciting thing happening in the global economy?
Ajay Banga –CEO, MasterCard: Actually I have a big bull on the U.S. and I’ve been that way for years through the decline in the financial crisis. I was speaking at a commencement ceremony a MBA school at that time, which shall remained unnamed because it’s a competitor. But, the focus of my speech, was innovation is alive and well in the United States, and you better watch out, because it’s coming. And that was in the height of, I would say it was 2008 or ’09, that I did that. I still think this is the most exciting economy in the world, for various reasons. I think it’s taken the adjustment and the pain to a larger extent, than some of the others, after the crisis. Banks have come out of the crisis with their balance sheets in better shape. Arguably, they need to do more. Households have come out with their balance sheets, in way better shape. Companies have got enormous amounts of cash on their balance sheet and, you look in our balance sheet, there’s no debt, it’s all cash, and we’re not the only ones, we’re surrounded by companies like Apple, that are trying to find ways, to give it away these days, right? And so, when you think about the environment here, the environments are on a stronger footing, than anything else. At the same time, productivity is at very high levels, innovation is alive and well. So there’s a lot going on here, that I think would make the U.S. still, a terrifically exciting economy, for the next five, seven, eight years. Who knows after that. Because the world changes, much faster today, than it ever did in the past. That’s one of the most exciting.
The second part that’s interesting to me, is actually South East Asia. I know every talks about China and India and I think that you got to go beyond that, I think those are large markets and they’ll be very exciting to look at, and do things with, but people are missing out the next five, seven, eight years, ASEAN will be an unbelievable driver of growth, in that region The ASEAN economic community is coming together. And when it comes together, those nations ranging from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam to Singapore and, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and Thailand, are going to create a economy that’s going to be $3 trillion, with 600 billion people. And the way they’re connecting it is through rail links and bridges, and they’re building bridges across the sea all the way to connect south China with the ASEAN countries. And when they start putting money into there, they’re talking about $500 billion of infrastructure, in the next five years. That community, with good governments by the way, because countries like Singapore, they’re like, excellent governments, excellent methods of working. You’re looking at a huge burst of growth from ASEAN. So in the U.S., ASEAN, the US and North America, Mexico would be interesting too. But, the U.S. and ASEAN are the two, that people don’t pay attention to. Everybody talks about China and India and, blah blah, but it’s beyond that. It’s beyond that.