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Dr. Pramath Sinha has worked in diverse fields spanning business and strategy, consulting, leadership and academia. He spent 12 years with McKinsey & Company in North America and India, heading leadership and media practices. Passionate about education, he forayed into the field as the founding Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB) and was instrumental in building ISB into a world-class business school in India. He is the Founder and Managing Director at 9.9 Mediaworx Pvt Ltd. He is the Founder and Trustee of the recently launched Ashoka University (ashoka.edu.in), India’s first liberal arts university. The Young India Fellowship (youngindiafellowship.com) launched under its aegis in 2011, was another first of its kind scholarship programme in the country. He has recently started the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women with a vision of creating a cadre of successful women professionals for the 21st century. Pramath mentors and advises various educational groups that seek his expertise. In addition, he is currently a Senior Counselor with Albright Stonebridge Group, helping international businesses set up operations in India. Pramath holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BTech degree from IIT, Kanpur.

In this conversation, he shares his perspectives on consulting as a career path, how people should think about transitioning from consulting, education in the context of building future leaders, his views on authenticity, building women leaders, entrepreneurship as a way of life, his personal Board of Directors and much more. This conversation was published around July 2017.

Current portfolio of initiatives

Pramath talks about the portfolio of initiatives that he has today. More importantly, he talks about the underlying principle behind how he has assembled this portfolio together. He gives us a peek into how he thinks about success using internal and external metrics.

Consulting (McKinsey) as a career option

Pramath talks about how he ended up joining McKinsey in Canada instead of pursuing a career in academics which he had originally intended when he completed his PhD. He also talks about how students should think about evaluating consulting as a potential career option including the common mistakes people make when they consider a career in consulting.

Transitioning out of Consulting (including views on entrepreneurship)

A career in Management Consulting in a firm like McKinsey can be immensely rewarding but also inexorably intense. Pramath talks about how he thought about a career in McKinsey versus pursuing something else. He also discusses some of the common misconceptions people often have when they take the plunge into entrepreneurship.

Authentic Leadership

Authenticity is a word that is often used by people in different contexts. Pramath shares his perspectives on Authentic leadership and talks about what it takes to get there. He also talks about how he thinks about flexing his leadership style across diverse contexts.

What Consulting doesn't prepare you for

Management Consulting often provides a whirl-wind exposure to multiple problems across industries and topics. However, one needs to significantly adapt the style while moving from a consulting environment to the Industry. Pramath talks about some of the adjustments consultants have to make when they enter the corporate world.

Vedica Scholars Programme - Nurturing Women leaders

The fact that we need to have more women leaders at the top is well-known and there has been enough commentary around it. Pramath talks about the unconscious biases that still exist in the society and his attempts at making a difference through the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women.

Educating ourselves (and link with leadership of the future)

We are growing into a future where there are several unkown unknowns. Pramath talks about what sort of leaders would flourish in the new paradigm and how one should think about education in the context of this broad trend.

Building leadership capability in entrepreneurs

Staying relevant is one of the key challenges that is facing the leaders of this generation. A few decades back, they could check into a career on graduation and check-out at retirement. Pramath talks about how leaders (entrepreneurs and otherwise) should think about scaling up their capability as they go through their journey.

Personal Board of Advisors

We all benefit from mentors at different points in our careers. Pramath talks about his approach to configuring his personal Board of Directors. He describes how he has leveraged his Board of Directors at various points in his career.

Reflecting on the past and the future

Pramath reflects on his journey till date and talks about what has enabled him to get this far. He discusses the role of staying grounded and authenticity in building trust and developing alliances. He also shares his thoughts around where he wants to drive impact and make a difference in the years to come.

In Summary - Playing to Potential

Pramath talks about his perspectives on how people could play to their potential. He highlights how helping others realize their potential often leads to all kinds of benefits that often enable your success.

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