Speaker: Prasad Kaipa

Death, Vedanta and Business Leadership

Prasad Kaipa was a thought leader in innovation, leadership, and change management, and a top Management Thinker of Indian origin till 2019. Prasad’s unique approach was in integrating business approaches with brain research and spirituality/wisdom models. In addition to having advised and coached 130+ C-level executives at Fortune 500 companies, he used the Bhagavad Gita framework and several interviews with CEOs to co-author a best-selling book “From Smart to Wise” in 2013. He founded the Center of Leadership, Innovation, and Change (CLIC) at the Indian School of Business (ISB) as well as co-founded TiE Silicon Valley's Entrepreneur Institute, with 13,000+ participants over 10 years. float:right



Early in his career, a chance meeting with an Israeli entrepreneur working with people with Down’s syndrome nudged him into holding deeper questions about life. He said “Prasad, all that you are learning is from the outside but you have forgotten your roots." That led Prasad towards an unconventional journey of leaving a high paying job at Apple and diving deep into Indian spiritual traditions and integrating them with modern management theory and practice. “At the time, my daughter had just been born, I only had $22,000, and I had no other job or form of income lined up. I didn’t know anything about organizational change and there was no such field as executive coaching. I was asking myself “Can I do what my heart tells me to do even though it might not look good?”

Since then from 1990 onwards, he has worked with leaders in companies like Apple, Adobe, Arevo, Boeing, Disney, Intellect Design, J & J, Lunar, Microsoft, BMS, Nokia and Oracle. He’s also served as an educator/consultant in the areas of leadership, change management, innovation and management team development for 100+ companies. He wrote for HBR, Business Week, Forbes, and the New York Times, and in 2016 published “You Can: Be Smarter and Wiser” with Meera Shenoy. 

Amidst changing roles, he says the only constant in his life has been a desire to delve deeper into his essence and sensibility. This essence has been shaped by other roles he has played, like those of a father, brother and husband. Recently, reflecting on inner transformation, he poignantly shared "First 60 years, I focused on changing the world and I wanted to impact a million people and had the opportunity to interact with 70,000 people in my classes, talks and programs. Then I realized that I have not transformed while I am so busy focusing on others and I chose to retire from changing others to totally focus on changing myself. Interestingly it is having more impact on others than my first approach." 

Prasad holds a Ph.D. in physics from IIT Madras and taught at the University of Utah where he helped built an international research laboratory. Later at Apple, he served as a technology advisor, manager in Apple International Product Marketing, and a research fellow at Apple University. Since his retirement, he is working with several non-profits (focused on education and youth) and enjoying reflecting on his learnings from Indian spiritual wisdom and focusing on inner transformation.

More of Prasad’s writings and talks can be found on his website.  


In this talk, we will explore Indian Vedantic Wisdom on Death and Dying; the questions it raises for leaders; and also hear some powerful stories from his life and the lives of leaders he has worked with.  The conversation will be moderated by Deepak Goel, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Karma Circles; and Claudia Vega, a yoga practitioner, who after years of being a "yogi infiltrated in the medical software business", plunged into full-time volunteering as a labour-of-love. 

Please RSVP below, to join us in conversation with this inspiring leader and seeker of truth and wisdom.  

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