Each episode, we learn from experts who have shaped the future of work to make it awesome. They share how they solved business problems and achieved results. We explore how they tapped human potential in a way that made people find purpose, achieve mastery and gain autonomy.
Ramakrishna KV (Ramki) is an NIT Warangal and IIM Bangalore alumnus with more than 3 decades of industry experience. Barring a short stint with Tata Motors early in his career, he has been primarily in Venture Capital and Private Equity with organizations such as ICICI, Carlyle, and Kotak. He is currently an advisor to Kotak PE and has served as the CEO of Kotak PE as well.
In this Podcast, Ramki shares with us his perspectives on the people's side of the business that influence his decision making and his experiences as an investor and key stakeholder in his quest for understanding the 'person behind the paper' as he calls it. Ramki believes in a balance of understanding the qualitative (people, organization, culture) aspects as much as quantitative (product, growth, market) when making investment choices. In this podcast, he touches upon insights on why it is important to understand how leaders and entrepreneurs treat their people, how they demonstrate trust and confidence in their everyday conversations and understand/preserve the culture of an organization.
He also shares perspectives on how an investor looks at investments vs. M&A situations and understanding cultural nuances that can impact investment decisions, how senior lateral hires can integrate and build teams within a new organization, how expectations need to be matched when a professional joins an entrepreneurial venture, promoter and professional alignment during growth (alignment of shared interest or finding common ground), the decision process for onboarding a leader, how allowing new senior hires who bring their teams can be risky and how culture shifts and dilution can be managed through an open dialogue. He also speaks about interesting inflection points for an entrepreneur with investors such as Growth vs Dilution of stake and how with an alignment of interest it can be achieved and about entrepreneurs willing to build an organization both in terms of depth and breadth of management.
Neeti Sharma is the President and Co-Founder of TeamLease Edtech Limited which is a leading Online Learning Solutions Company that enables Universities to launch and manage their online programs and provide solutions for enabling CSR led social impact training projects. She is also the SVP and Co-Founder at Teamlease and is responsible for skilling and upskilling programs with state and central governments as well as offering vocational programs through Teamlease Vocational Skills University.
She has worked extensively for more than 3 decades in the Education, Employability and Employment space and is the rare combination of a skilled business leader, education industry thought leader and entrepreneur.
In this Podcast, she shares with us on how organizations can build trust with first time employees through a range of practices ranging from open and fair communication, continuous workforce development, employee engagement based on a foundation of values - in a nutshell 'Trust begets Trust;. She also speaks about Alternative controls which in her experience is about allowing employees and customers access transparently to information that they require as part of their stakeholder roles. She says - Centralized Processes and Decentralized Relationships with customers & employees is easy to state but is the practical way to balance expectations.
R. Gopalakrishnan or Gopal as he is fondly called, has been a professional manager from 1967. He has served as Chairman of Unilever Arabia, as MD of Brooke Bond Lipton and Vice Chairman of Hindustan Lever, as ED of Tata Sons and several Tata companies. He also serves as an independent director of listed companies, Akzo Nobel India, Castrol India, and Hemas Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka. Gopal mentors start-ups and is actively engaged in both instructional and inspirational speaking. He has authored six books – the most recent three, about how Indian companies grew to be successful. We want to discuss how companies, especially in the Indian context, succeed or crash, and how to bring the heart and not just the mind, into organizational transformations.
Krishnakumar Natarajan or KK as he is called fondly, is one of the co-founders of Mindtree and was until recently the Executive Chairman of the company. He is currently Managing Partner at Mela Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund in India. In this episode, KK shares how as a founder he had to establish trust as a fundamental aspect of Mindtree culture, both as an early start-up and as it grew. He talks about how to operationalise trust and not merely letting it be a slogan; and how trust is even more important as the workforce becomes younger and crowded with millennials.
Forbes calls our guest for this episode, Abhijit Bhaduri, one of the most interesting globalists. Nearly a million followers on LinkedIn and Twitter follow him. He just got chosen as one of the ‘Top Voices To Follow’ on LinkedIn. His new book, Dreamers and Unicorns is now in stores and on Amazon.
He calls for a complete rethink about how people are engaged in their hybrid workplaces - with home working continuing post-pandemic. We also discussed how we need to start looking at algorithms and robots as part of the talent mix!
Creative Innovation is one of the principles of the Semco style framework - it enables companies to tap into the creative power of their people. However, despite providing a nurturing and engaging environment, some teams don't become creative. That, Dr. Bala Ramadurai, our guest says is not because of lack of trying, but because of lack of tools and methods that can help people become more creative.
Dr. Bala Ramadurai, is an expert on systematic innovation, using formal methods to make people create and innovate more. He says, that we have romanticized innovation, and have the image of Isaac Newton sitting under a tree to come up with hisbreakthrough. However, that is not the only way innovation and creativity work. Creativity is not a spark that comes once in a while, but can be seen as a process, that is traversed step-by-step.
Listen to Dr. Bala to understand how you too can be more innovative and creative.
Bala’s book, Karmic Design Thinking can be bought here
Bala's website has resources for systematic innovation and can be accessed here
Triz India's website can be accessed here
Our guest for this episode, Himanshu Saxena, CEO of Center of Strategic Mindset, is ranked as one of the top 100 executive coaches in the world. He talks about how many leaders have forgotten that they are already brave, and have to rediscover their courage from within.
Himanshu has had six diverse and contrasting careers, starting from being an Exploration Geologist to Military (Retd. Colonel, Indian Military), United Nations (Geopolitical Advisor in Rwanda & Congo), Consulting, Corporations and Entrepreneurship. In his last corporate assignment, he was the Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Leadership Development for a 20 Billion USD Global Technology Firm. He formulated and implemented strategy for 23 Industry Domains and groomed 350 leaders for top leadership roles, including 27 CEOs.
Himanshu is the Founder & CEO of Centre of Strategic Mindset (COSM) a full-spectrum, boutique Consulting organization in Strategy, Leadership Development, Design Thinking & Innovation, Executive Coaching, Mindfulness & Culture. You can find out more about his firm here: https://cosm.co.in/
Innovation is necessary to shape the future of work. Our guest for this episode, Gaurav Johri, has led teams to innovate under different circumstances. Gaurav is the CEO of Doppelio, a start-up that has innovated in reducing the time and cost of testing distributed field control equipment. His company has been selected by NASSCOM, under the Digital India Initiative.
Gaurav talks about how there really is no playbook for innovation. What is needed is a humble spirit willing to learn and the courage to change is what is needed. He talks of how big companies are also innovative. They struggle only in adapting their business model to breakthrough innovation.
Creative Innovation is one of the principles of the SemcoStyle Framework. The framework and the associated road map for implementation has been used by companies to transform themselves into high performing firms with purpose-filled employees. In sharing the experience of leaders like Gaurav, we hope we help you fine-tune your own leadership of your teams when it comes to innovation.
Our guest for this episode is Srinivas Uppaluri. Srini, in a career spanning thirty years, managed many stakeholders. Be it as a consultant handling critical organisational change initiatives, or in leading the marketing function at Infosys - his efforts at understanding and aligning stakeholders was key to success. He explains his tactics, processes and tools that helped him.
Harini Srinivasan and Ramesh Dorairaj, both partners at the SemcoStyle Institute India, interviewed Srinivas Uppaluri for this episode.
You can learn more about SemcoStyle Institute by visiting our website.
You can buy Srinivas Uppaluri's book: Switch - Sales Transformation for Strategic Advantage here.
Click on the title to buy Ricardo Semler's books: Maverick and Seven Day Weekend
You can view Semler's TED talk that has had more than three million views here