Ditchley Proust Questionnaire - Rajay Naik

Rajay Naik Answers the Ditchley Proust Questionnaire. 

The higher education business leader and thinker on social mobility, culture and family. 


What are you working on right now?  The future of higher education. 

What was your first experience of Ditchley?  A conference entitled ‘What Is Britishness?’ in 2005. 

What should change for good after this pandemic – generally speaking?  Society’s appreciation of “essential workers”—the people that make our planet work. 

What will you do differently as a result of this experience?  Hopefully fly less— relationships can be built and great things achieved via video conference. 

Name one likely change in your work/sector as a consequence (of the pandemic).  The expansion of online education. 

The technology that has most changed my life most is…  The iPhone.  

The best (political or other) biography you've read is…  Couldn't possibly choose a political biography so I’d say Sir Alex Ferguson’s, Leading—fascinating insights on building culture, managing egos and treating everyone equally.  

Which living person do you most admire?  Breaking the rules and choosing two: my parents. 

The company I wish I’d started…  M-Pesa: launched in Kenya in 2007 and now the largest mobile bank in the developing world. It has transformed access for millions to the financial system. 

Ditchley really should hold a discussion on…  Social mobility: the unwritten rules that prevent the full potential of every child from being unleashed.  

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?  What Aristotle called magnificence. 

What’s your most treasured possession?  Various treasures from loved ones. 

Which talent would you most like to have?  Being able to cook and playing the piano to a more advanced standard.  

What was your first ever job?  I had three simultaneous part-time gigs during school: youth worker on weekday evenings, cashier at Coventry Building Society on Saturday mornings and womenswear at Next on Saturday afternoons. 

What’s your favourite journey?  Journeying anywhere with my wife and daughter. 

Who would you invite to your dream virtual dinner party?  My grandparents, all of whom I miss. 

What’s your motto?  Humble Audacity. 

Rajay Naik is Chief Commercial Officer with the Study Group.