I am very fortunate to have started my professional career in mid of the 1990s, while India as a nation got into liberalised and open market model. This shift to ‘globalisation’ made the economy more market-
oriented and increased the growth rate of the economy. This gave me the opportunity to work with various large Fortune 500 companies in the early part of my professional life and help global brands establish and grow in this part of emerging markets. After working with various Fortune 500 European and US (Philips, ABB, Johnson Controls & UTC) companies for over 16 years and being in country leadership roles moved to a large Indian Business Group for transformation. After completing 25 years
in corporate leadership and authoring my learning in my book “Reimagine High-Value Sales” a
must-read for all B2B (Business to Business) professionals, started my next phase of life with
getting on boards as an Independent Director since 2022.

There have always been a strong desire and ambition to be part of the company’s board, which had compelling reasons. While working for 25 years in corporate life, I always liked and wanted to focus on the big picture of the company’s business. I enjoy dealing with intellectual challenges – complex and multifaceted subjects and helping in creating global brands.

As a Board Director gets exposure to different companies and industries, this kind of opportunity
is well suited to my working style. The other strong persuasion was joining the boards to help Indian companies create global brands and help the nation in the economic transformation which we rightly deserve. I believe this decade is the decade of India and we will have many trillion-dollar companies getting created from India. This feeling can be looked at as a feeling of giving back and creating greater value for companies together and helping in developing India as an economic superpower.

My ambition and thoughts were aligned with the objective. This journey started with first ensuring
I move from just being an aspiring Independent Director to being a qualified Independent
Director. In this direction undertook the IICA certification program in Corporate Governance. Appeared
and successfully qualified for the online proficiency self-assessment test for Independent
Directors by the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) in 2021. This transition was not easy
as Covid had struck in the 2020-21 period, and we all had been connected digitally more than
physically in F2F (face-to-face) mode.

Now armed with all the experience, expertise, and certification, I was actively looking for the right opportunities. A few initial ones came from a public sector organisation, moved forward for some steps and I was still looking for the right opportunity. I decided to focus on high-growth sectors and the IT sector seemed more lucrative. Then one day I got an invite to meet and discuss the option to join as Non-Executive Director on the prestigious board. After a few meetings and I understood the vision – mission, and evolution of a 39-year young organisation. The company is now into the disruption phase and that excited me!! I immediately thought this is an opportunity to drive global digital transformation and focus on B2B, smart cities & other emerging technology based solutions. The formal acceptance and introduction to the corporate compliance team were soon done when both the chairman and self agreed to move ahead. The corporate compliance team then proposed the postal ballot notice for the appointment of an Independent Director and shared all details with the shareholders. Post approval, they shared more details about the organisation along with the sitting fees as a token of appreciation towards my valuable contributions. Once I gave the consent and the declaration was signed, I was invited to attend the Quarterly board meeting. For a few meetings was a board member and not part of any specific committee and now moving forward got the opportunity to be part of the CSR/ESG committee.

Prior to the fi rst board meeting, there was a detailed onboarding meeting that was taken through
a formal orientation of the company, its business units, challenges, and business plan. The formal
orientation was key as it helped me to know and understand not on the products and solutions of
the organisation but also understand markets of the organisation.

I am fortunate to be part of this Tech for Good company, (Allied Digital Services) which is on an
accelerated growth path thanks to the great team and work culture which is inspiring. It’s a company
that is led by all corporate leaders who walk the talk!! The start for me has been quite humbling and
I am proud to be in the Company of Disruptors who are all aligned to make change happen for good.

To all my fellow aspiring Independent Directors, my advice would be that the fi rst break will always
come via your network and reference as you transition from an active corporate role to a Key Management Professional. Please note that you cannot accept a board position in the organisation which
you served in the last 3 years, hence you need to stay connected with the network and past reputation
will only help. Once you get your board position, please deliver value and be the torchbearer of good
governance!! Next few decades Indian corporates will be global leaders and we all will be the change,
we want to see in the world.
In the end would like to summarise that we all need to aim for real success!

(includes stability, happiness & peace within)
Reference- Pramukh Swami Ji

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