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Prakash Iyer is a best-selling author, motivational speaker and a leadership coach. Before he officially became a member of the “Gig economy”, he was the Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark Lever. Prior to that he the Managing Director and CEO of Infomedia India Limited (formerly Tata Infomedia). He is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and he spent the formative years of his career with HindustanUnilever Limited. He has authored three books – The Habit of Winning and You too can.

This conversation was published around April 2017.

Playing in the gig economy

Moving a corporate world to becoming a gig-economy player can be a tricky decision for a lot of people. There are question marks around timing and what the portfolio should look like. Prakash shares some insights around how he thought about it when he took the plunge.

The art of story telling

Prakash talks about the role of story-telling in the context of building culture and how one could think about building that muscle. Sometimes, people think that there is a trade-off between story-telling and brevity. He talks about that being a false trade-off and discusses how one could employ both to drive effective communication

Building a Personal Brand

Prakash discusses how one could learn from how FMCG companies build brands in the context of personal brand building. He discusses how authenticity, consumer centricity and choice are critical in building a powerful enduring brand in a certain area.

Selecting a Coach effectively

Selecting a coach for a leader can be a reasonably ambiguous task. Prakash talks about how we could learn from the world of sport in ensuring that we get a coach who is fit for purpose.

Picking the first job after IIM

Campus placements are often a pressure cooker situation with significant sub-optimality in how students end up making career choices. Prakash discusses how one should pick the first job after campus based on some reflection on what they like doing.

Career in Consumer Goods

People often equate Consumer Goods with Sales and Marketing. Finding your first job after an MBA can be confusing with people often resorting to using compensation as the sorting factor. Prakash sheds some light on how people could think about a career in Consumer Goods

Shifting your goal post over time

Prakash talks about how he has thought about his goal post at different points in time and how he finds his True North. He shares a nuanced view on how one should think about value in the pursuit of the sweet spot in which one could consider operating.

Unlocking the potential

Prakash talks about what sometimes comes in the way of people achieving their full potential. He talks about the importance of hard work (however clichéd it may sound) but also talks about the key element of enlisting others on the “bus”

What they don’t teach you at IIMA

B-school education can often be focused around picking up the “tool-kit” that makes students ready for the world of employment. Prakash talks about some of the non-academic elements that end up mattering so much in the long run.

In Summary – Playing to Potential

Prakash shares his definition of a PHD for people to play to their potential. He talks about the role of Passion, Hunger and Discipline in going after a goal for people to perform at their best.

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