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Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with

Ravishankar Gopalan

helps you in your leadership.

Ravishankar Gopalan

Ravishankar Gopalan

Name: Ravishankar Gopalan

Title: MD & CEO

Organisation: Execute Partners and Consultants LLP

Ravishankar Gopalan is a qualified Chartered Accountant who was a banking professional turned entrepreneur who lives in Mumbai with his wife and two grown-up kids. Apart from working with his clients in transforming their businesses, he is an avid sportsman who owns his own local volleyball team. He loves travelling and listening to music. You can check out his website

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Creating leadership in the organisation in the middle of managing people and their aspirations.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

When I started my career I was managing self (individual contributor) and from there I evolved into a manager who managed people and subsequently I evolved into a leader who managed through people.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I wake up at 5.45 pm everyday and spend time reading some book. After that I spend time with my spouse over some masala chai. I then exercise for an hour and then get ready for work by 9.30 am. Apart from the meetings that I have, I spend an hour atleast on some self development activity like online courses etc. I am back from work around 7.30 pm and try and have my dinner before 8 pm. Spend some good time with my kids and go to sleep by or before 11 pm.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

People are awesome.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The one book that has had an impact on me is not a book on leadership but a book called “When Breath Becomes Air” by Dr. Paul Kalanthi. Through the chronicles of Kalanithi’s life, the book delves on what makes life worth living in the face of death? The way the book has impacted me is to realise that as leaders the biggest legacy we can leave much after we are gone is by grooming more people as leaders who are humane and who care people, for society and the world at large.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Be honest but dare to dream.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

When I took over as the Capital Markets Ops Head role with Citi in Indonesia I had to take care of an acquisition of a new business from another Bank. This took a toll on the employees and as a result the employee survey score was low at 39% leading to a low customer satisfaction score from our clients as well. So instead of just working on customers we started working on our employees by engaging with them and empowering them genuinely. A motivated and a highly charged set of employees can do magic and that’s what happened the next year. Out employee ratings improved to 93% and without any surprise we were the top rated Bank for our clients in that country.

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