Arun Wakhlu

Founder Director, Chief Mentor Consultant, Coach and Facilitator

Work Specialization

Arun Wakhlu (born 8 August 1955)

  • Arun co-founded Pragati Leadership Institute Pvt. Ltd. (PLI),  a spiritually based Leadership Development firm over 35  years ago. During its journey PLI has touched the lives of 127300 leaders in over 930+ organizations and development agencies all over the world;
  • He is a member of the Global Executive Board of the Charter for Compassion (CfC). The CfC (inspired by the Dalai Lama) oversees the work of 430+ Compassionate Cities and a network of Compassionate Schools all over the world;
  • Arun is the co-originator with Initiatives of Change India of the 30-year young movement Education Today Society Tomorrow (ETST). ETST has touched the lives of over 5000 Educators in India. In 2019, he organized an online international conference for educators on Creating a Compassionate World;
  • As the initiator of Poorna Pune or Compassionate Pune, Arun has begun a process of Collaborating for Compassion between schools in Pune and Karachi/Sindh, Pakistan. These interactions using Zoom will be extended to many other schools in the Indian Subcontinent so that children (who are our future leaders) can write new stories of compassion in action ;
  • As a writer and author, Arun has written several books and papers. Managing from the Heart and the  book One Wholesome World are both about Leading and governing from a space of wholeness and compassion;
  • As an inspiring Teacher and Facilitator, Arun has taught two batches of PGPX students on Corporate Ethics at IIM Ahmedabad. He has also served as the Honorary Course Director for the course on Ethics and Values in Public Governance for the Government of India from 2005 to 2012. A part of this movement was the development of about 40 trainers in Ethics;
  • Arun has organized three Peace Conferences and has been involved in Peace initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Arun has co-founded the NGO Pragati Foundation  (PF) and the Not for Profit Company, Foundation for Peace and Compassionate Leadership(FPACL)PF works on catalyzing sustainable livelihoods for underprivileged youth and women. FPACL, a global partner of the Charter for Compassion, works to develop young global leaders and Peace Pioneers who Collaborate for Compassion across borders;
  • He has conceptualized, designed, and facilitated many innovative interventions like I-Catalyst®, Wholesome Leadership®, Enjoying Challenges Together®, Bonding for Greatness®,  and Awakening to Abundance®.


Arun Wakhlu has been certified in the following Large Group Facilitation Methodologies:

  • Open Space Technology(Goa, 1985)
  • Art of Hosting(Alpbach, Austria, 2017)
  • Design Shop Methodology(Ahmedabad, 2018) by Rob Evans, who has mastered the MG Taylor Approach (the basis of Accelerated Solutions Environment); and
  • Sociocracy(Online, 2020) (a new form of Organizational Design and Governance relevant in the Post CovidWorld)

Work Experience

Arun’s career began with Nelco (1976-78) and he continued his stint with the Tatas post 1980 as part of the Tata Administrative Service (TAS), worked for Tata Motors, Jamshedpur, and MAP Consultants, Pune, before eventually starting Pragati Leadership in 1986. Arun has close to 30 years of national and international experience across 20 countries, with over 25,000 hours of experience in facilitation and coaching. He is the Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Pragati Leadership. 

Sectors Served: 
FMCG, Retail, Banking and Finance, IT & ITES, Manufacturing, and Pharma to name a few, besides Government. 

Customers served:

  • As a Facilitator: Arun is a globally recognized trainer and facilitator. His wealth of experience includes the facilitation of Senior Leadership workshops in India, France, USA, Australia, Singapore, Dubai, Sweden, South Africa, Finland, The Netherlands, and several other countries for leading Indian and international organizations like Unilever, BP-Castrol, Philips, HDFC, Reliance Retail, Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group, Wӓrtsila, AXA, ICICI Prudential, and Olam to name a few.
  • As an Executive Coach: Some of the corporate clients he has worked within coaching are Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered Bank, Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd., Foseco Limited, Morgan Stanley, Principal Global Services, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, Sudarshan Chemicals, Nihilent Technologies, Forbes Marshall, Bayer, and  Deutsche Bank.

Academic Qualifications

  • B. Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) in Electrical Engineering 1976;
  • PGDBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM Ahmedabad) in General Management and HR 1980.


Arun is a true believer in the concept of One Wholesome World: a world that is joyful, socially just, and healthy for all (including future generations) co-created by communities of people who are living and leading consciously. It is this passionate desire to reach out to others that led Arun (along with his partner Anu) to start the Pragati Foundation, a Non-Government Organization based in Pune.

The Foundation works towards realizing this dream. He also leads project “Awaken-I” committed to the vision of “Great Work for all”. A man of varied interests, Arun is fond of long treks and walks with his four dogs Zorba, Zozo, Seefu, and Simba. He also enjoys conversations from the heart, meditation, graphic recording, dancing, and creative writing.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Awards: Winner of the prestigious Learning Luminary Award at the Best Change Interventions of Asia Study & Awards, organized by the L&OD Roundtable, 2013.
  • Recognitions: He has served as the Course Director for a programme on “Ethics in Public Governance”, designed for senior members of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS). It was conducted under the auspices of the Initiatives of Change Centre for Governance (ICCfG) in New Delhi, India.
  • Arun has taught “Corporate Ethics” in the PGPX programme;  and “Managerial Oral Communication” in the PGP programme at  IM, Ahmedabad.
  • Arun was a member of the Tata Administrative Service(TAS) from 1980 to 1985.
  • He was also elected as the Leader of the Student Affairs Council (SAC Coordinator) at IIM Ahmedabad (1979-80).
  • Publications: Author of the award-winning book “Managing from the Heart”, co-author of four other books, publisher of over 30 papers, Arun has also has co-authored, the book “One Wholesome World” along with his late father Prof. Dr. Omkar Nath Wakhlu.


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