Life & Leadership in India


Today we started off our day with an hour yoga session by the pool at the Taj followed by our first speaker Ashish Gupta. Ashish is the founder of a prestigious university in Delhi called Ashoka University that gives local students the opportunity to attend university no matter what their socioeconomic status providing 70% of student’s scholarships. He talked about his key learnings on his leadership journey that he hoped would help us on our own journeys. His six key learnings were:

  1. Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur – be true to yourself and do things for the right reasons. He explained most of the people who he had met in Delhi who wanted to start companies wanted to either to get rich or started their companies because other people were doing it, not because they wanted to change the world or were extremely passionate about the cause. Wanting to be an entrepreneur for the right reason is a key building block for success.
  2. Timing is critical – he explained how mindful one should be about timing and not being impatient when starting something new.
  3. Detachment to outcomes  – This was a common theme we heard from multiple speakers throughout the week. He talked about how most successful leaders are detached from outcomes and are relentlessly focused on the input or work, not the result.
  4. The only resource we have is time – life is a marathon and not a sprint, so it is extremely important to use your time wisely
  5. Profitability before scalability – Ashish talked about how he sees most startups make the mistake of trying to scale before they are profitable and the important of being profitable first.
  6. Having a collaborative mindset vs. controlling – He explained how failure often makes one humble and how there is a place for both mindsets in your leadership journey.

After hearing from Ashish, we headed to the IPL (Institute of Personal Leadership) office where Professor Wadhwa hosted us for an amazing local lunch before heading to meet out coaches at AbsoluteData. The AbsoluteData coaching program is a partnership that pairs each CBS student with a coachee from the company to give CBS students an opportunity to provide one-on-one coaching to our partners. Most of us have received quite a bit of feedback over the course of our careers or time at CBS but have had very limited opportunities to provide feedback and coach others. The program included first having an initial call with our coaches to hear more about their careers and goals, then spending a half day observing our coaches in action and interacting in the workplace, and on Friday we will provide our coachee with feedback that we had taken time to put together today. Feedback includes topics such as the science of motivation, strategic influencing, giving effective feedback, coaching and finally mastering difficult conversations. Today we went to the AbsoluteData offices and observed our coaches interact with clients and with each other to better evaluate areas we could help them with. In the evening we went to Ciber City a beautiful outdoor mall to enjoy dinner and drinks on an outdoor patio.

Looking forward to sharing more of our coaching journey tomorrow,

-Sarah Spear ’18



Our amazing TA Prateek Jain at the AbsoluteData Offices



Learning local Dance moves in class
Orissi Dance Performance


AbsoluteData Office for our day of field work



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