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Our attempts at Pragati Leadership to foster the best leadership strategies and inculcate new modes of corporate thinking have taken many forms, the latest of which are the Pragati Leadership Inspiring & Successful Leadership Awards 2022. We encourage leaders to base their actions on a consideration of their impact on business, society, and ecology, keeping in mind the Wholesome Leadership principles of Purpose, People, Planet, and Profit.  

We are grateful to the jury comprising Tarun Sharma (Founder, Yodda, Former CEO BMC Software India, Board Member, Global Logic India), Dr. Shikha Jain (Director – IMDR), Vibhas Joshi (Author, Coach, Facilitator, and Former Board Member, SAS Research & Development, India), and Dr. Ganesh Natarajan (Chairman, 5F World, Lighthouse Communities & Honeywell Automation India Ltd.) for picking out this year’s IT industry award winners.

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Ms. Kashish Kapoor, the HR Vice President at NEC Corporation India Pvt. Ltd., was selected as an awardee “for ushering in transformational policies into the HR culture”. Accepting the honor, she commented on the nature of the IT industry fraternity, saying they spent years trying to create complex engagement models to handle one simple human engagement. She added that over the years they had matured and learned that it is just about trust, authenticity, and communication. Often, human engagement for her was being able to sit down across the table and have a conversation. Whether the engagement was difficult, good, hard, or ugly were different facets, but she found that conversation was one mantra that seemed to work.

Love and trust are the values that, in her view, inspirational business leaders must uphold as these are proven to survive the test of time. The tough times in the last two years had shown her the mirror in terms of what works to engage and bind people, both because of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the external factors affecting the market. The one thing that gave her a ray of hope, which gave her confidence, and made people within her organization smile on team calls and in engagements, was getting that passion back to work. She mentioned how Pragati Leadership partnered beautifully with NEC India in these years, being authentic and vulnerable, asking questions, and challenging them to create leadership modules and architectures.

For her, these were moments of truth when she had to pause to reflect, introspect, imbibe, and appreciate the experience. They would fill her with a sense of wanting to give back, given how much she had been able to soak in. She believes that is what she can contribute to someone who can become a leader, who can inspire the people around them, bind organizations, develop collective goals, build a team that thinks alike and strives for a goal, and bring in diversity and a strong sense of inclusivity. She summarized motivational leadership as being “just authenticity, communication, empathy, resilience, trust”, which makes getting back to work, to the people that make and inspire you to work, beautiful.

Ms. Kashish Kapoor, one of India’s most inspiring female leaders in business, is an HR professional with more than 24 years of experience and calls herself an HR Generalist with Practitioner skills. Her strengths include creating robust people practices around talent development, career progression, and rewards and recognition. She possesses a keen sense of metric orientation in building engagement practices for retention and organization impact for anchoring change. Ms. Kapoor has dealt with large and multiple businesses in the HR partnering role in the service industry in strategic and operational roles. Her specialties include Diversity Employee Engagement and Retention, CSR, Compliance & Ethics, Training & Development, and other generalist HR areas.