My father served in the Indian Army and I grew up in North India (mostly cantonment towns where my father was posted), before my family moved to Chennai where I completed my schooling and higher education. I excelled in academics being in the top three of my class; otherwise, my years at school and college were uneventful. Looking back, I sometimes regret that I was a nerd and did not dabble in sports or cultural events.

My corporate career which spanned over 25 years took me to different cities and companies in diverse industries and exposed me to several roles including leadership positions in Finance and General management.

My last corporate stint was with Verizon, where I was recruited to establish their technology hub in India. I grew their operation from 0 to 6000 people across different cities, in a period of 12 years. At Verizon we were facing challenges related to change management within the company, and my management team and I were offered Executive Coaching. As it was my first experience working with a coach, I did not have a clear picture of what to expect. I hoped my Coach would help address specific issues at work. Little did I know that these sessions would take a different turn, and soon I found myself leaving Verizon to pursue my passion!

After 25 years in the corporate world, I took the courage to move out and start over my second innings as an entrepreneur – largely due to the coaching I received from Venkat, my Executive Coach turned mentor. Over the years, I had considered quitting corporate life more than once, but this time there was no looking back as I consciously decided not to have a Plan B.

The sessions with my Coach turned broader than just guiding me to navigate my immediate challenges. They provided me with a lot of clarity in terms of what I wanted to do in the future, what would be more fulfilling, and what would make me happy. My Coach stretched my thinking by asking powerful questions which I never truly asked myself.

I was battling with the question, ‘What next?’

He helped me realise that I was not following my purpose and that I needed to take the course corrective steps now – wanting to do something vis-à-vis actually doing it ( “bridging the knowing – doing gap”, as he put it ).

My key learnings from the coaching sessions were:

  • Reflection and Self Awareness –

It is often difficult to truly reflect and be completely aware of your purpose and goals in life. Everyone has some goal when they start out but daily routine and challenges along the way make you lose track. My Coach forced me to think, reflect and try to figure out about yourself. Though I felt uncomfortable at first, only once I got into reflection mode, did I realise the importance of stopping and smelling the roses.

  • Goal Setting –

It was important to set SMART goals. I started by selecting 3 primary goals that I wished to accomplish through the 10 sessions I had with my Coach. The SMART goal setting helped in defining and refining my goals and to crystallise them. Most importantly, I understood the importance of the Big Why and that the secret of passion is purpose. Once you know your Why, Google will tell you the How. We would start every meeting with an end in mind. There were various frameworks and theoretical models which my Coach walked me through – these were highly insightful.

  • Art of the Possible –

Self-confidence is manifested in numerous ways. One important learning from these sessions was ‘how do you pump yourself up to reach for the skies?’ Getting into the daily routine, reaching for the skies gets pushed to the subconscious. Being aware, having that goal in front of you and developing a possibilities mind-set is of utmost importance at every stage in your life

  • Bridging the knowing-doing gap –

Somewhere I knew what I wanted to do next, however the action did not follow through. Having a bias for action was an important lesson which helped me to ultimately follow my passion.

  • Achieving the balance between the heart , body, mind and soul –

It is very easy to forget one’s self nourishment when chasing targets. It’s akin to the hamster on the wheel syndrome. One must take the time to understand, define, and execute towards their passion in a balanced way – not compromising on the self.

He was very genuine and I always felt that he was truly interested in my progress and well-being. He was always accessible and even today I turn to him whenever I hit a roadblock or to bounce off my ideas. I always feel invigorated at the end of these conversations.

He guided me to take control of my life and do something different. I have tried to apply many of the principles that I learned during coaching. I have become more confident and assertive as well as focused and results-oriented with a bias for action. Maintaining a balance between heart, body, mind and soul is so important to lead a fulfilling and contented life. Without a doubt, my Executive Coach transformed me and while doing so become my mentor and friend for life.

This experience left a strong impression on me and ignited my interest is using coaching as a vehicle to fulfill my purpose of making others great.

When I left the corporate comfort zone, I did not have a very concrete plan on what I wanted to do next. I had some ideas and dabbled in various things – some ventures succeeded whereas some were not so successful. At every step, I had my passion guiding me.

I now wear multiple hats

  • Am currently an Advisor to four Companies in different industries, geographies and at different stages of maturity
  • Am an entrepreneur, having co-founded (with my wife) a medical diagnostic center in Chennai offering primary diagnostic services
  • Am a Director on the Boards of two Companies

What I enjoy most is working as a Transformational Executive and Business Coach, as I see this as a way to fulfill my core purpose of helping individuals and organizations achieve their potential. My areas of expertise include Leadership growth, capability enhancement, facilitating change & transitions and helping Business owners scale their businesses profitably. I focus on coaching that produces measurable results, makes individuals more effective, productive and successful and helps them lead meaningful, fulfilled and happy lives. In other words, coaching that is transformational rather than transitional or transactional. In my view, coaching can indeed be the journey to one’s greatness and the path to become a better version of one’s current self.

I am grateful to my clients who acknowledge me for:

  • Improving their thinking and inspiring them to maximize their potential
  • helping determine their guiding values, vision and purpose
  • supporting them in identifying and translating into action powerful goals that will make a difference both to their professional and personal life
  • challenging them to live their beliefs and achieve balance in all areas of life

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John F. Kennedy