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The Pragati Leadership Inspiring & Successful Leadership Awards 2022 continue our decades-long efforts at enabling corporate leaders to recalibrate their thinking along ecologically and socially responsible lines, in addition to excelling at strategic business leadership. Through these awards, we honor today’s leaders whose actions reflect their espousal of the principles of  Purpose, People, Planet, and Profit that we see as the crux of Wholesome Leadership.  

The winners from the IT industry for this year’s awards were chosen by fellow giants Dr. Ganesh Natarajan (Chairman, 5F World, Lighthouse Communities & Honeywell Automation India Ltd.), Dr. Shikha Jain (Director – IMDR), Tarun Sharma (Founder, Yodda, Former CEO BMC Software India, Board Member, Global Logic India), and Vibhas Joshi (Author, Coach, Facilitator, and Former Board Member, SAS Research & Development, India).

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The jury selected Mr. Krish Shankar, the Group Head HR Development at Infosys, “for developing his key success strategy of unlocking people power”. Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Shankar spoke of inspirational leadership as being all about understanding human beings. He thought it was “simple common sense”, and living to human values. Disagreeing with those who described leadership as some kind of rocket science, he felt leaders needed to be authentic and aligned with their values, beliefs, and behavior. Once they achieved that, he believed everything else would fall into place. In his more than 38 years of working in different companies and on different campuses, his key realization is that you cannot know everything and that many people know more than you, making humility a useful trait.

He noted that most inspirational leaders of today might not make too much of their leadership success; they might simply say it is about being human, using your common sense, respecting people, and staying true to your values. But, he added, making change occur requires getting people together, which is always a challenge that leaders have to face. They have to build bridges, often showing their humility and showing that they are inclusive. Good strategic leaders could make a difference in this world, and in organizations, he concluded, if they realized that their responsibilities include ensuring that they leave the organization and the world a better place and tried to work towards that.

Krishnamurthy (Krish) Shankar is an Executive Vice President and the Group Head of Human Resource Development at Infosys. In this role, he is responsible for envisioning the roadmap for HR, driving strategy, and implementing operational priorities aligned with the overall organizational mandate. He has over 30 years of experience leading several global HR functions in organizations like Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever, and Unilever. Before joining Infosys, Krish was the Head of HR for South Asia at Philips. 

In his wide-ranging experience in these organizations, he has led the transformation of HR into a strategic partner, facilitated organization-wide transformation and capability development, and was instrumental in building a strong talent pool through a series of leadership development initiatives. He is passionate about teaching and exploring new ideas in HR and organization development.