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The ContraMinds Podcast
99 minutes | Jan 19, 2022
#023: Roger Forsgren on Knowledge Management Lessons from NASA
Roger Forsgren served as the Chief Knowledge Office (CKO) of NASA from 2013 to 2021. As CKO, he led NASA’s Knowledge Management efforts, ensuring that the agency’s workforce had access to the critical knowledge needed for mission success. He also served as Director of the NASA Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership, internally known as APPEL, the agency’s education and training program in the fields of Project Management, Systems Engineering, Engineering, and Leadership Development. Roger most recently is the author of the book, “Lean Knowledge Management: How NASA Implemented a Practical KM Program” where he lays out the principles, tactics, and strategies he implemented at NASA during his tenure as the Chief Knowledge Officer. In this conversation, Roger talks to Swami and Vignesh about his career at NASA, the foundational ideas that underlie the practice of Knowledge Management, and why being at the intersection of history and engineering is a unique competitive advantage.
94 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
#022 : Amit Ranjan on The Source Code for Building World-Class Products
Amit Ranjan is best known as the co-founder of Slideshare, the world's largest community for sharing professional content including presentations, infographics, documents, and videos. In 2012, Slideshare was acquired by LinkedIn and as of 2020, it has been acquired by Scribd. Amit is also an Angel Investor and Advisor to several early stage startups in India, Singapore and the United States such as Open, Tracxn and Khatabook, among many others. Amit is currently the Architect of two projects under the Digital India Mission at the National eGov Division, Ministry of Information Technology. These are: Digital Locker: A national ecosystem for paperless governance by digitizing citizen records & enabling digital usage of these records. Open Forge: An open source initiative aimed at building a national source code sharing platform for collaborative development of egov applications. In this episode, Amit speaks to Swami and Vignesh about crossing the startup-government chasm, what it takes to build a digital nation project at scale and why technology alone isn’t enough to build a great product company.
68 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
#021: Col. Vijay Chadda on Leadership Lessons from a Life of Service
Col. Vijay Chadda served in the Indian Armed Forces for more than two decades, following which, in 1992, he transitioned to the Private Sector. After holding leadership positions in various large multinationals in the logistics, travel and tourism space, he became the CEO of the Bharti Foundation in 2008. Today, he serves as the CEO of the Air Pollution Action Group, a Foundation set up to assist the Central and State Governments in India’s fight against Air Pollution. In this episode, Col. Chadda speaks to Swami and Vignesh about his time at the National Defence Academy, how Leadership Principles do not change whether one is on the Battlefield or in the Boardroom, and his thoughts on what ails the Primary School System in India.
61 minutes | Nov 25, 2021
#020: Allison Hartsoe on Transforming Businesses by Understanding Customers
Allison Hartsoe is a three-time entrepreneur and is currently the CEO of Ambition Data. She is, most recently, the author of the book, "The Age of Customer Equity: Data-driven Strategies to Build a Sustainable Company". In this episode, Allison speaks to Swami and Vignesh about Data-driven Marketing, the difference between Brand Value and Customer Value, and her Favourite Books. Click here to buy a copy of Allison's latest book: https://amzn.to/3FKVD43
68 minutes | Nov 11, 2021
#019: Radhika Dutt on Leading Change through Radical Product Thinking
Radhika Dutt is an Entrepreneur and Product Leader, who is most recently the author of "Radical Product Thinking: The New Mindset for Innovating Smarter". She is currently Advisor on Product Thinking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s financial regulator and central bank. In this episode, Radhika speaks to Vignesh and Swami about setting the right Product Vision, the similarities between Vision Statements and APIs, and how to think about Ethics in the realm of Product Management. Quick Connect Radhika Dutt: https://www.linkedin.com/in/radhika-dutt/ Vignesh S.: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vigneshs1994/ S. Swaminathan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/s-swaminathan-9856501/ Radical Product Thinking Buy the Book: https://amzn.to/3n2oquq Download the Toolkit: https://bit.ly/3kLZYw7 Become a ContraMind LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/contraminds/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/contraminds Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/contraminds/ YouTube: https://bit.ly/30ewrDO Website: https://contraminds.com/
70 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
#018: Bipindra N.C. on Exploring the Defence Tech Landscape
Bipindra N.C. is the Founder and Editor of Defence.Capital, a publication which tracks the business and politics of India’s growing defence, homeland security, aerospace and maritime trade and market. In this episode, Bipin speaks to Swami and Vignesh about the role of startups and entrepreneurship in Defence Tech, the structure of India’s Defence ecosystem, and the Knowledge and Skills Veterans bring to the Private Sector.
64 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
#017: Suresh Shankar on A Founder-CEO's Guide to Company Building
Suresh is the Co-Founder and CEO of Crayon Data, a Big Data and Artificial Intelligence company with a vision to simplify the world’s choices. In this episode, Suresh speaks to Swami about spotting trends, limitations in being only a left-brained or a right-brained company, and the three types of personalities you need to have when building a company.
134 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
#016: Narayan Parasuram on Building a Business on the Power of Stories
Narayan Parasuram is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of the Karadi Tales Company. In this episode, Narayan speaks to Swami and Vignesh about his journey and the lessons learnt in setting up Karadi Tales, the challenges he has faced as an Independent Movie Producer, and why we need to rethink the value of Traditional Institutions in India.
90 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
#015: Thomas Kolster on The Unmarketing Code for Meaningful Brands
Thomas Kolster is the Founder and Creative Director of Goodvertising Agency, one of the pioneers in turning environmental, societal and health risks into market opportunities where growing the bottom line goes hand in hand with creating better communities and a better planet. In this episode, Thomas speaks to Swami about the new Unmarketing Movement, why Sustainability has a Storytelling Problem, and his latest book, "The Hero Trap".
67 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
#014: Kumar Vembu on Building a Culture of Happiness and Zero Follow-Ups
Kumar is the Founder and CEO of GoFrugal, one of India’s leading Point-of-Sale solutions for Retail, Restaurant and Distribution businesses. He is also a Co-Founder of Zoho Corporation, one of the world’s leading companies in the domain of Online Productivity Tools and SaaS Applications. In this episode, Kumar speaks to Swami about what it takes to build a great Company Culture, the Importance of an Ownership Mindset, and what it means to be a 'Happiness-first' Company.
86 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
#013: Prof. Manish Jain on How to Enhance Learning Through Creativity
Prof. Manish Jain is an Associate Teaching Professor at Center for Creative Learning (CCL), a lab in IIT Gandhinagar, whose goal is to create and foster makers who can take innovation to the next level. In this episode, Prof. Jain speaks to Swami about how the education system robs children of their sense of wonder, the role of the CCL in training teachers and helping students rekindle their joy of learning science, and his Khichidi Theory of Education.
65 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
#012: Karthik Srinivasan on Using Your Personal Brand to Escape the Rat Race
Karthik Srinivasan is one India’s leading Communications Strategy Consultants and an Expert in the field of Personal Branding. In this episode, Karthik speaks to Swami about how he discovered and fell in love with Advertising, his views on Best Practices related to building Personal Brands, and his latest book, “Be Social: Building Brand YOU Online”.
67 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
#011: Dr. Ashwin Mahalingam on Bringing Interdisciplinary Thinking to Project Management
Dr. Ashwin Mahalingam is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Madras. He is also a co-founder of Okapi Advisory Services and serves as a Director on the Board. He is the Editor of the Engineering Project Organization Journal (EPOJ) and has served on many National Committees. In this episode, Ashwin speaks to Swami about Megaprojects, the multi-dimensional nature of Project Management, and Entrepreneurship at IIT Madras, among many other things.
72 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
#010: Prof. Vidita Vaidya on a Neuroscientist's Guide to Managing Stress, Depression, and Emotions
Prof. Vidita Vaidya is the Head and Principal Investigator of the Vaidya Lab at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. In this episode, Prof. Vaidya speaks to Swami about the Architecture of Stress, the impact of Life Experiences on the Neurocircuitry of the Brain, and how Psychological Stressors affect the growth of individuals from their childhood.
65 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
#009: Karthik Sundaram on Approaching Life as a Collection of Journeys
Karthik Sundaram is an Entrepreneur, Investor, and Advisor. He is the President and CEO of Purplepatch Services, a leading B2B Digital Marketing firm based in Silicon Valley. In this episode, Karthik speaks to Swami about stepping sideways to move ahead, connecting with people to learn from them as opposed to networking, and being comfortable with discomfort.
65 minutes | May 27, 2021
#008: Srikant Sastri on Entrepreneurship and Building World-Class Products in India
This episode features an in-depth conversation with Srikant Sastri. Srikant is one of India's leading Founder-CEOs and Advisors. He is a co-author of the book, The Ventilator Project: How the IIT Kanpur Consortium Built a World-class Product during India’s Covid-19 Lockdown, along with Dr. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay. In this episode, Srikant speaks to Swami about his Entrepreneurial Journey, Innovation during a time of Crisis, and setting up Institutions to nurture High Growth Companies in India.
57 minutes | May 17, 2021
#007: Malaksingh Gill on Meta-Discipline and Sustainable Architecture
This episode features and in-depth conversation with Malaksingh Gill. Malaksingh is a Mumbai-based architect practicing architecture inspired by local, alternative building materials, construction techniques, and crafts. In this episode, Malaksingh speaks to Swami about Learning and Unlearning Architecture under Laurie Baker, Understanding Architecture as a Meta-Discipline, and the Importance of Environment and Culture-Responsive Design.
51 minutes | May 5, 2021
#006: Ashwin Damera on The Art and Pursuit of Disciplined Entrepreneurship
This episode features an in-depth conversation with Ashwin Damera. Ashwin is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eruditus, a worldwide leader in the $280 billion global professional education market. In this episode, Ashwin speaks to Swami about building Eruditus, achieving Product Market Fit, pursuing the Art of Disciplined Entrepreneurship, and democratizing education for all.
46 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
#005: Samit Malkani on Brand Marketing Lessons from Google and the DNA of Creative Teams
This episode features a long-form conversation with Samit Malkani. Samit is the Head of Brand Marketing, South East Asia and India, at Google. In this episode, Samit talks to Swami about the art and craft of Brand Marketing at Google, what he believes will be the make up of the Creative Team of the Future, and the shift in perspective needed when moving from an Agency-side role to a Client-side role.
75 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
#004: Alex Lange on Leaders as Humans
This episode features a long form conversation with Alex Lange. Alex is an Executive Coach and Facilitator with GoInnovation- a global consulting and leadership development organization providing executive and life coaching, team building, organizational development, and society-building. In this episode, Alex talks to Swami about the importance of being human in an increasingly techno-centric world. He emphasises the need for "Work-Life Harmony", managing conflicting emotions, and how it's these things that ultimately makes us human.
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