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Leadership Stories

Season 1
Episode 10

Speaker: Shashank Shah

Topic: Becoming a Purpose Oriented Organization

Dr. Shashank Shah has been Visiting Scholar, Harvard Business School and Copenhagen Business School; and a Fellow and Project Director at the Harvard University South Asia Institute.

In this episode, he talks about why purpose is important for companies. He goes on to give examples of both Indian and International companies who have successfully embraced purpose in their organizations. He provides insights into how companies can embrace purpose and get started in that journey.

Shashank has published over 100 research-based papers, articles, case studies in national and international journals in the areas of stakeholder management, corporate responsibility, corporate governance, business ethics, higher education, humanized healthcare and social entrepreneurship. Between 2013 and 2018, he has authored three books ‘Soulful Corporations’, ‘Win-Win Corporations’, and ‘The Tata Group’.

Season 1
Episode 9

Speaker: Ashok Lodha

Topic: Bridging the Gender Diversity Gap

Ashok Lodha has been in investment banking for two decades and is currently, Director, Investment Banking Division at Barclays. Prior to joining Barclays, he worked at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank in various leadership roles.

In this episode, Ashok talks about his passion for gender diversity and women empowerment. He shares his experience on supporting and mentoring women and the role that men can play in reducing the gender diversity gap. He talks of what organizations are doing towards this and gives tips on how to start making a change.

Ashok leads HeForShe initiative across APAC and is a senior adviser to Women’s Initiatives Network in India and APAC. He’s passionate towards working on various social and cultural causes. He holds a Management degree from Newport University, California and a degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Jodhpur.

Season 1
Episode 8

Speaker: Nirupam Sahay

Topic: The Art of Mentoring

Nirupam Sahay has an impressive career spanning over a quarter century in Sales, Marketing, General Management & P&L Management. Till recently, he was heading Philips Lighting’s Consumer Lamps business globally and before that was CEO, Philips Lighting for the Indian Subcontinent.

In this episode, Nirupam shares his extensive experience mentoring people. He covers various aspects of mentoring such as commitment levels, external vs. internal mentoring, the required mindset, reverse mentoring and ideal frequency for mentor chats.

Nirupam brings with him a deep understanding of diverse Indian, Asian and Global markets and consumers. Prior to Philips, he held key positions in marquee companies such as GE Capital, Whirlpool and Asian Paints.


Nirupam is a graduate of St. Stephen's, Delhi, an MBA from Narsee Monjee and holds an Advanced Management Program from Wharton.

Season 1
Episode 7

Speaker: Gopal Iyer

Topic: Leading in Next Normal

Gopal is a seasoned Talent leader with over 17 years of experience and currently, with EY GDS as Associate Director – Talent, focuses on attracting and engaging with people for Gig assignments at EY GDS.

Gopal has spoken on numerous topics like Recruitment Trends during COVID19, The New Age Talent, The Future Skills in the World of HR, The future of work, The rise of the gig economy and how the Business and Talent landscape would change by 2025.

He is a Strategic Management Postgraduate from Indian Institute of Management – Kozhikode, a Global Human Resource professional (GPHR®️), Certified Career Transitions Coach, Certified Executive & an Organisational Development Coach.

In this episode, Gopal shares his perspectives on how a leader can be better at creating outcomes as a coach. He also shares views on the importance of leaders serving others in order to transform their organizations.

Season 1
Episode 6

Speaker: Partha Basu

Topic: Psychological Safety

Partha Basu is an author, a coach and a Management professional, currently the Global Head of Finance Operations for AkzoNobel NV, based in the Netherlands .

Over last 29 years, he has worked in leadership positions in a number of companies including Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, IFB Group, Tata Group and Spicejet.

In this episode, Partha talks about Psychological safety, and lays down eight points which according to him make up the construct of safety. He tells us why it is important and whether the onus of creating it lies only with senior management.

Partha is a certified professional coach and has keen interest in human behavior. He is the author of four books including the highly acclaimed 'Mid-career crisis'. He is a guest lecturer in management institutes and contributes articles in different platforms.

Season 1
Episode 5

Speaker: Pradeep Nambiar

Topic: Can Political Savviness set a leader apart

Pradeep Nambiar is the Head of Talent Management for Boeing International and Leader for Enterprise Level Succession Management at Boeing. Former Naval officer and Air Traffic Controller who transitioned into HR,  he has worked and lived in India, Netherlands, United States and Middle East and worked for Mars, Philips, KPMG and Aditya Birla Group. In his current role in Boeing Talent Management, he manages a team across Multiple location in US, London, India and Singapore.

Pradeep says his biggest blessing is the experience and learnings gained, working for managers of over various nationalities and opportunity to lead team members of many nationalities and cultures . He has travelled 35 countries, wants to make it  to 50 countries in next 5 years. In this episode, he talks of 'Political Savvy' - topic that needs to be discussed and understood by most of us to succeed at work place or sometimes even outside workplace. He also talks of how this is different from 'Playing Politics' in dirty sense and its relationship with emotional intelligence.

Pradeep also shares his own personal experience in driving outcome,results and shares tips as to how one can develop this competence to succeed at workplace. Pradeep is passionate about Business Partnering, Leadership Succession Planning, Organization Design and Leadership Team effectiveness. While asleep he dreams of organizations with managerial courage and sense of humor. Pradeep is currently based in Dubai."

Season 1
Episode 4

Speaker: Veena Sethuraman

Topic: Essential Leadership Tool - Your Mirror

Our guest is Ms. Veena Sethuraman, Head - Learning & Organizational Development at InMobi , India's first start-up Unicorn. Veena is a Learning and Leadership Development Consultant by profession and a Psychotherapist by passion. As an executive coach, she brings in a hybrid of coaching and therapy to help leaders heal, transform and inspire.

In this episode, she talks of how a Leader can better connect with themselves. She talks about how important it is for a Leader to see themselves and have those mirror moments - which is the primary tool in creating a bigger impact. She also shares her own personal experience and journey as a leader in using mirror moments.

Veena is a proponent of diversity & inclusiveness and mental health awareness. In this capacity, she works closely with LGBTIQ community to amplify their voices. She has also spoken at TEDxBangalorewomen. Apart from these, she enjoys writing and loves travelling, engaging in meaningful discussions on social media platforms and binge watching Netflix series.

Season 1
Episode 3

Speaker: Pankaj Rai

Topic: 5Cs - An Approach to Continuous Reinvention

Our guest is Mr. Pankaj Rai, Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo. Pankaj has had an amazing journey starting with management consulting, moving to the financial services industry with the likes of GE Capital and ICICI, and he went on to build the analytics practice at Dell. He now drives transformation at Wells Fargo.

In this episode, he talks about his views on how the world is changing and what behaviours and belief systems we need to change to adapt to this new world. He goes on to share tips on how to balance multiple demands on ourselves and ends with a 5C leadership mantra which we can all benefit from.

Pankaj is passionate about D&I and Sustainability initiatives and has also been engaged with various industry forums including NASSCOM.


Pankaj is an Electrical Engineer from IIT Delhi and MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad. He is also a six-sigma “Quality Leader” from GE. Pankaj is also an avid Marathon runner and dabbles in cycling.

Season 1
Episode 2

Speaker: Apurva Purohit

Topic: Tough choices leaders have to make

Ms. Apurva Purohit is the President of the Jagran Group, one of India’s largest multi-media conglomerates. With over three decades of experience in the media and entertainment industry, she currently manages a diverse portfolio which includes print, radio, digital and outdoor.

Apurva has worked with marquee organizations like Zee Telefilms, Times of India and partnered with private equity players like True North, one of India’s oldest PE firms.


Apurva has won multiple business awards and has been named as one of the Most Powerful Women in Business as per the India Today Group and Fortune India. She is also a director on the board of several for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Season 1
Episode 1

Speaker: Rakesh Godhwani

Topic: Charismatic Leadership

Our guest is Dr. Rakesh Godhwani who is the founder of School of Meaningful Experiences, an online ed-tech startup in Bangalore. He is also an Adjunct Faculty of Communication at IIM Bangalore and IIM Udaipur.

In this episode, he talks about charisma and charismatic leadership, why it is important, how it can be misused and hence the need for caution. He elaborates further on whether it is in-born or can be learnt and how charisma compares with Executive Presence.

Dr. Godhwani's research and teaching interests focus on how a charismatic leader builds a persuasive message to impact audiences.

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