An Interview with Suparna Kapoor, L&D Leader, Consultant, Happiness Coach, and Chevening CRISP Fellow, University of Oxford, 2022

December 13th, 2023|

John Hoffmire: I sometimes struggle with the notion of a “thought leader”.  In some cases, it just sounds presumptuous for someone to claim they can or should influence the thinking of others.  But in your case, it seems to me that you are a genuine thought leader in the best sense – you are someone who has a positive reputation for helping others expand their knowledge and insight.  In a productive way you share your expertise and insightful ideas and others listen and turn to you for guidance. Would you agree? Suparna Kapoor: That’s a kind thing for you to

An interview with Tushar Vyas, President of Growth and Transformation for GroupM South Asia

January 4th, 2022|

John Hoffmire: I find it fascinating that you have been both an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in the field of digital media. You’ve started companies from scratch, and you created new business enterprises within a multinational corporation. Tell me about your journey from start-up entrepreneur to a GroupM intrapreneur. Tushar: In many ways, there is not much difference between the mindset and skills of an entrepreneur and those of an intrapreneur. The difference between the two is that an intrapreneur is already an employee of an established company, and an entrepreneur is the founder who designs, launches, and manages a new

An interview with Paramjyoti Chattopadhyay, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, NITI Aayog

December 16th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I remember when I met you at Oxford in 2015, feeling like you and I had similar interests and unusual career tracks that bounced us back and forth between working to alleviate poverty, management consulting, and public policy. Am I right about the unusual career paths? Param: I’ve always been interested in both development finance and market opportunities that develop sustainable solutions to social and economic difficulties faced by low-income communities at the bottom of the pyramid. Like you, I’m interested in the intersection of business, economics, and poverty alleviation, as well as the ways in which governments,

Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka to foster tech entrepreneurs

November 8th, 2021|

The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the apex ICT institution of the Government and a catalyst in driving the startup ecosystem forward, launched the ’10,000 Ideas’ national tech innovation program recently to empower the next generation of tech entrepreneurs along with startup ecosystem enablers. Facilitated in collaboration with startup ecosystem enablers and partners for entrepreneurs, ‘10,000 Ideas’ sets the tone to achieve ICTA’s vision of setting up 1,000 tech startups by 2024. ICTA through this initiative supports anyone with an innovative technology-based business idea, from school aged children onwards,who are willing to kick start their entrepreneurship

An interview with Dr. Kasturi Das, Professor of Economics at the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad (IMTG)

September 29th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: Kasturi, you have covered multiple fields in your work life so far. Tell me about your professional journey, if you will. Kasturi: That’s right, John. In my professional journey spanning more than two decades I have worked in multiple capacities – conducting research, advisory, advocacy, teaching, academic administration, and community service. My journey has spread across various countries where I have had the opportunity to engage with entities like government agencies, research think tanks, inter-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, development sector organizations, media groups, corporates, management schools, and communities. John Hoffmire: That’s a lot of ground indeed! Tell me

An interview with Kaushik Bose, Co-founder and CEO of SustLabs (a consumer IoT company in the energy space)

September 27th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I remember when I first met you during your time as a fellow of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP). You were so passionate about energy conservation and had recently cofounded SustLabs. Is SustLabs an energy saving or a data analytics company? Kaushik: At the moment, we are primarily a consumer IoT company. We license the tech-stack to the global OEMs, telcos, utilities and others. We are able to talk about appliance level consumption without deploying additional sensors inside homes. The larger story is about consumer-big-data analytics related to energy consumption. As we unlock the

An interview with Vinita Srivastava, Executive Director (Heritage) at Railway Board

September 1st, 2021|

John Hoffmire:  You’ve had an interesting career that spans mechanical engineering, the transportation sector, and cultural preservation. That’s an unusual mix. I’d love to learn more about how that came about? Vinita: I don’t see it as such an unusual mix. I’ve always had a love for the Indian railroads. You see, a railway isn’t just tracks and trains. It’s the backbone of the country, connecting people and goods with the various remote parts of our country. The Indian rail system is the fourth largest network in the world. Beyond the immense utility of the railways, there is also a rich cultural,

An Interview with Meghna Apparao, Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) Fellow, 2018

August 5th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: Since your time as a fellow at the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP), you’ve taken on new roles and responsibilities as a leader of brand awareness and customer experience. I’d love to hear more about that? Meghna: I came to Oxford in 2018 as part of the CRISP program at St. Cross College. I had been working with some of the biggest names in India such as Hindustan Unilever, Amazon, Godrej Consumer Products Limited and Licious - a food-tech space startup. My responsibilities included strategizing for growth, launching new categories, building business verticals, leading pioneering

An interview with Shilpa Pandit, Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Founder of Dreampath Foundation (which works with adolescents and youth as they navigate their careers)

August 2nd, 2021|

John Hoffmire: When I first met you in 2018, I remember being impressed by three things: 1) You seemed like a very wise soul – like someone full of hard-earned wisdom; 2) You radiated joy and fun – happiness just spilled out of you; and, 3) You’ve worked in such a wide variety of ways and means to make the world a better place, especially for young people. This might be an awkward first question but will you expand on my impressions of you? Shilpa: I think I’ll skip your first impression. You are entitled to it, of course, but

An interview with Michael Jayawardana, Assistant General Manager at Mitsubishi Corporation, Sri Lanka

July 30th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: When you were a fellow of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) at Oxford a few years ago, we spent a lot of time talking about entrepreneurship. You’ve taken those concepts in an important direction as an intrapreneur - behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Please tell me more about that. Michael: Being a part of Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) allows me to explore opportunities that can make a significant difference to Sri Lanka. This could range from power sector solutions that could bring down the power generation cost, thereby making it

An interview with Reena Dayal, founder and CEO of Benzaiten Advisors, and Chair at Quantum Ecosystems Technology Council of India

July 27th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I understand that you have been a strong advocate and promoter of the field of quantum computing in India, that you have a new position as Chair at Quantum Ecosystems Technology Council of India, and that you founded a startup focused on innovation management and future tech consulting, called Benzaiten Advisors. I’d love to know more about all of this. Reena: Thank you, John.  I am very passionate about quantum technology and computing and the potential it has to change the world in many positive ways. Society, industry, and ecosystems have the opportunity to shape and point this

An interview with Basava Purushottam, Private Secretary to Union Minister of Education, Government of India

July 22nd, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I met you when you were a scholar in the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) at Oxford in 2016. If I remember right, you were creating a plan for a more effective cruise industry in India at the time. I believe that was the assignment you had taken on for the Government of India. Please catch me up on what you’ve been doing since your time in the CRISP programme. Basava: You remember right. I have been a career civil servant belonging to the prestigious Indian Administrative Service for over 16 years now. I took