Aparna Piramal Raje is one of India’s most original thinkers on leadership, combining her lived experience with deep insights gathered from over 100 interviews with India’s most successful CEOs. Former CEO of BP Ergo, her family’s office furniture business, Aparna led a fast-growing business, before moving to writing and speaking.
She has demonstrated leadership through personal mastery in her inspiring twenty-year journey of learning to live and thrive with a serious mental health condition, bipolar disorder. Her bestselling book, Chemical Khichdi: How I Hacked My Mental Health illustrates how personal mastery of one’s mind, intellect and emotions can help individuals to live to their full potential, turning vulnerabilities into strengths and enabling greater resilience, empathy and improver work performance. Her writing and talks have won accolades from global experts for their authenticity and courage.
As a columnist, Aparna Piramal Raje has developed a unique perspective of business leaders, through the lens of workplaces and workstyles, in her popular column, Head Office in the Mint newspaper. Her first book, Working Out of the Box: 40 stories of leading CEOs, is based on the column, and presents close-up portraits of CEOs and the specific – yet often less visible – leadership traits that make them successful.
Aparna’s practical experience of running a business, overcoming a serious mental health condition and acquiring insights through in-depth interviews with CEOs and founders have enabled her to develop a compelling framework of leadership in the workplace and beyond.
Aparna Piramal Raje also believes in the power of creativity to solve organizational issues and is a thought leader on design. A visiting faculty member at the Anant National University in Ahmedabad, she teaches a module called ‘Netflix and the Art of Design Writing’, and has spoken extensively on leadership, business, design and mental health in various forums, including at companies, business schools and industry associations.
Recent clients include Bajaj Auto, HDFC Life, Abbott Healthcare, Mahindra & Mahindra and the Indian Institute of Management, amongst others. She is a trained and enthusiastic LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator, which is an innovative problem-solving methodology for organizations, suited to varied business areas such as teamwork, communication, branding, innovation, diversity and inclusion and more.
Aparna studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is committed to gender equity and has led and been involved with several women’s networks.
“Aparna has proven expertise in the subjects of Leadership, Worklife, and Career Management. She has spoken on ‘Jungle Gym Careers’ to the MBA students and on CEOs, leadership & workplace design in our Advanced Management Programme at IIM Bangalore. Both talks are unique, engaging & memorable, leading to inspiring and practical takeaways for audience members.”
Gopal P Mahapatra, Professor of Practice-OB & HRM, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
“A wonderfully illuminating session… Aparna shared in length her experiences of living with a serious mental health condition for the last two decades. She also emphasized the importance of mental well-being in the workplace and beyond.”
Siddharth Karthikeyan, Business HR, Bajaj Auto Ltd
“I can confidently say Aparna’s session on how she hacked her mental health was among the most “unique & thought provoking” sessions at our conclave. I personally had good take-aways such as best practices for surviving and thriving with mental illness and how one should keep trying until you find your passion & calling. I strongly recommend her as a keynote speaker on a subject that affects us all.”
Jayanthra Jayachandran, Past President - EO Coimbatore
“On behalf of 360 ONE, earlier IIFL Wealth, I thank you for your significant role in making HERSELF successful. Your session on ‘What Makes a Woman Happy?’ set the tone for the event and the insights provided by you in a free-wheeling manner got our clients to reflect deeply. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful thoughts with our participants. We are sure a lot of clients will benefit from your views and the feedback we received was overwhelming.”
Yatin Shah, co-founder and joint CEO, IIFL Wealth (360 One).
“The session went really well with a houseful show. We received a lot of praise from the audience on the way it was conducted and the insights shared by you. Thank you for showing genuine interest in employee queries and responding with utmost sincerity and patience. It was truly a wonderful session. We have also taken our notes on some of the ways to make it a safer workplace for all the employees. Great learning!!”
Aradhana, AVP-HR, HDFC Life
"Aparna’s module, “Netflix and the Art of Design Writing” is one of the most popular modules in the Anant Fellowship. Our Fellows consistently find the module innovative, creative and directly applicable to their professional lives. The combination of interactive role plays and debates, and academically rigorous writing makes for a memorable and impactful learning experience. Aparna brings tremendous energy, design thinking insight and empathy into the classroom, in all formats"
Pramath Raj Sinha, Founding Provost, Anant National University and Founder and Chairman, Harappa Education
“Aparna Piramal Raje is always a pleasure to work with and to programme as a speaker, moderator or panel chair. She is deeply articulate and a natural communicator, thoughtful and empathetic.”
Namita Gokhale - Author, co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival
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