Imran Ahmad is  a Regulatory IT Project Delivery Manager at Barclays

Letter to my younger self: Imran Ahmad

In the latest in a series of letters from Barclays leaders to their young selves, Regulatory IT Project Delivery Manager Imran Ahmad reflects on different ways of doing things, the value of “true friends” – and his encyclopaedic knowledge of cars.

Dear Imran,

You have grown up feeling different. It is because you are! You may encounter bullying at school due to visual impairment as a result of your albinism, but you will rise above it and show resilience – your difference will lead to many positives, so do not be disheartened. Any challenges will be short-lived and your friends and family will always be close to you. Never forget that.

You will be a successful young man and do the things most youngsters enjoy. You will have a fabulous time at university and build strong relationships – finding a true circle of friends to help you when you need it and defend you against those who choose to offend. When you head into adult life, you will maintain the same beliefs and continue to surround yourself with people who value you.

You may be thinking, ‘How will anyone give me a job’? But let me tell you, young man, that you will use your passion for technology to launch a successful career with some of the UK’s top banks. Imagine it now – you in that big London skyscraper, working for Barclays! There, you will manage both your own workstreams and colleagues who are delivering important changes at the bank.

As in your personal life, you will build up a circle of close, supportive colleagues. They will recognise your astonishing memory and different ways of doing things. Sure, early on in your career, things may seem rocky. You’ll encounter some outdated views. But over time things will change for the better, with inclusion becoming a priority.

This letter would not be complete without mentioning your love of cars. You have grown up identifying cars by the sounds of their engines and the clunking of their doors. While regretfully you won’t be able to drive on the roads due to a visual impairment, you will certainly know ‘how’ to. It will always be an ambition of yours to drive a performance car, and someone important in your life may treat you to the opportunity to do this – on private roads, of course.

Day-to-day you will enjoy reading about and looking out for the latest vehicles, building up a huge encyclopaedia of knowledge. You will have a passion for detailing, making average-looking cars look brand new. While you might feel that having a visual impairment is all doom and gloom, that is not the case: your eyes have a wonderful perception of colour and shades of the spectrum. You will develop a knack for spotting accident repairs – if anything untoward has happened to a car, you will likely spot it!

Imran, you will always uphold solid values in everything you do. You will guide people with care, compassion and common sense. When they confide in you and ask for guidance, you will always try to do your best by them – even if they don’t like what you have to say.

Through everything, stay positive. Approach life’s challenges with your head held high.


Need to now

Having joined the bank 15 years ago, Imran Ahmad is now a Regulatory IT Project Delivery Manager at Barclays. Outside of work, Imran enjoys “anything related to cars” – with particular interest in performance vehicles. He has albinism, a condition which can impact eyesight. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.