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Pragati Leadership has a lengthy track record of enabling and encouraging corporate leaders to unlock new capabilities and achievements. Our sustained belief in Wholesome Leadership, underpinned by such values as  Purpose, People, Planet, and Profit, informs all our programs and activities, including the Inspiring and Successful Leadership Awards (ISLA), which we have now given out for the second year in a row. With winners chosen by a jury of eminent peers, the ISLA awards bear an unerring stamp of authenticity as recognition of capable and eminently emulatable leadership. 

Dr. Apoorva Palkar (Vice Chancellor, Maharashtra State Skills University); Pradeep Mallick (Chairman, The Listening Post, and Former MD, Wartsila India); Dr. Niloufer Aga (Facilitator, Consultant, and Coach, Pragati Leadership); and Ninad Karpe (Founder and Partner at 100X.VC) comprised the jury that chose the 2023 ISLA awardees.

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The winners picked by the jury included Mr. Karan Khanna (Vice President, BharatPe) for masterminding the fintech firm’s accelerated growth and linking up with merchants in crucial Indian cities. Mr. Khanna thanked the jury and acknowledged their respect for the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) ecosystem. He reflected with pride on the fact that he was BharatPe’s first business head and is continuing successfully in that role and recalled how the firm was among the first to facilitate UPI payments in India. 

Innovation, Mr. Khanna noted, had been a constant throughout his journey which, at times,
“makes you learn”. This continuous innovation, he said, was a key feature of BharatPay for the past 5 years. He felt that the presence of people in his team who had worked with him over the past decade and more, in other firms and presently at BharatPe, attested to his leadership. Although he was awarded as an individual, he dedicated the award to his team for their unwavering belief and trust in him, which he finds motivating. 

Mr. Karan Khanna joined BharatPe in 2018, as the firm’s first Head of Sales. Within six months, he added 5 lakh merchants and, over the next three years, widened BharatPe’s presence significantly to more than 250 Indian cities. In FY 2018-19, with Mr. Khanna at the helm, BharatPe’s transaction volume hit the incredible 10 lakh transactions per day mark. Mr. Khanna’s sales and marketing savvy, along with his visionary leadership nous, has seen BharatPe’s user base surge from three million merchants to three billion merchants in a short span of three years.