Gaurav Bhosle (M.07)
The Dance Partner
Mumbai. We met Gaurav in the basement of a nice little restaurant in South Mumbai. From information technology to executive coaching through McKinsey, he has not been afraid to shift career to do what he wanted: help people reach their full potential. And there is still a world of ideas in his guru pipeline !
Read full transcript…
HU: Hi Gaurav! We are going to start with a quick Chinese portrait. So, if you were … a color?
HU: An animal?
HU: A meal?
HU: A song?
GB: Hotel California
HU: A movie?
HU: A sin?
GB: Being afraid..?
HU: An object?
GB: If I were an object I would love to be a watch.
HU: A sport or a game?
GB: I would be … yoga.
HU: A book?
GB: Any book of Dan Brown.
“I decided to pursue something that was very close to my heart, something that gave that self actualization, and I decided to get into coaching”
HU: A little challenge now, could you sum up your professional background in just 30 seconds?
GB: I am engineer by background, then I did my MBA at HEC. After my MBA I joined McKinsey as a strategy consultant, I worked in Europe, Africa, Asia for six years. Coaching has always been a passion so I started to get into coaching in 2013. And since then I have been working as executive coach, primarily in the area of career transition. So I work with CEO’s and business schools and recently I started to do mentoring for start-ups.
HU: Have you ever been faced with a difficult choice during your professional life and what have you learnt from it?
GB: Multiple times. Right out from HEC I had multiple job offers and getting into consulting or industry, or investment banking was a real choice. But the most critical and difficult choice was to quit consulting. I loved being a consultant, I had a very good time there. But suddenly in 2013 I felt empty. I felt that I was not enjoying it as much as I used to. I could not feel the impact coming out of it anymore. Hence I decided to pursue something that was very close to my heart, something that gave that self actualization, and I decided to get into coaching.
Of course that was a very difficult decision, from a financial implications perspective, from a complete career shift perspective… The one thing that I have learnt being a coach in the last two years, being on my own: if you really follow what you want with passion the entire univers conspires to give it to you – as Paulo Coehlo says in the Alchemist. You should follow your passion, you will find the ultimate mojo! And then you will love it I would say (laughs).
HU: Why did you choose to do an MBA at HEC?
GB: Before my MBA I used to work with a very reputed IT services company called Infosys. I worked with them for 3 years. I was part of the team that started Infosys in China. So very early on in my career I got exposed to the pure technology work and also the management side of it. And I realized in that particular scenario that I preffered the management side of the business rather than the technical side. Hence I decided to go for an MBA. HEC was a conscious choice, I have been raised in an Anglo-Saxon country and I wanted to explore other cultures through my MBA. That’s why I was looking for an MBA in continental Europe. And HEC being the best, the choice was not very difficult. Plus, I got a French government scholarship so the decision was even more beneficial for me.
HU: What makes you happy to go to work every morning?
GB: Even if you wake me up at 2am in the night I would be super happy to work. That’s what has triggered my carrer move in fact. I love doing coaching, I love talking to people and helping them take critical or difficult decisions in their life. Sixty per cent of your time is job related, so it is a very critical part of life. And if I can facilitate some of those decisions I get an immense pleasure out of it.
HU: What are your day-to-day tasks?
GB: So I’ll tell you how my ideal day looks like. And some of my days do turn out to be ideal. First going to a workplace for reading and writing – I write on a blog – for three hours. And then having two or three very impactful coaching sessions.
“I want to touch fifty thousands lives with my coaching skills until I turn 50”
HU: How would you explain executive coaching to a five year old child?
GB: That is very difficult to define. Actually I have done only those jobs that are very difficult to define, like consulting. I struggle to explain it to my four year old kid! To put it simply, it is a job of teaching and dancing with a partner. You have to be with your partner all the time, to respond to his needs. And – if he requires it from you – tell him to take the turns that could be good for him.
HU: To keep on with the analogy, what subject do you teach? What music do you dance on?
GB: There are predominantly three aspects of the job. The first one is reflection: making the client understand his own self and capabilities. Second is the strategy: he is there because he wants to achieve something and he wants to build a strategy for that. And third part is the capabilities building: to walk on that particular strategy some skills are required and the third aspect of my job is to facilitate his capabilities enhancement.
HU: What is Prolaunchpad’s strategy? What do you want to achieve with it?
GB: Prolaunchpad is the name I have given to my coaching practice. My goal is 50 by 50, which means I want to touch fifty thousands lives with my coaching skills until I turn 50. So I have 15 years to go… That’s the goal.
HU: And you are willing to achieve these 50 thousands coachings by yourself!?
GB: I have started by being an individual contributor but I do have plans to make this as a one to many platform very soon… I also plan to run programs where I can collaborate with other coaches. I want to build a team that is working towards a goal rather than just me doing it myself and that is why I have branded my activity as a company and not just Gaurav Bhosle dot com. I want people to join the adventure and create new formats. But I am not willing to say more about it just now.
HU: Ok! So talking about Mumbai now. What do you do on your free time?
GB: Whenever I have a day off I would love to read or roam around. I would go to some places like Juhu beach. There is also a national park where there is a big jungle in the middle of Mumbaï, I like to go there sometimes to introspect and be closer to the nature.
“The sens of resilience and bouncing back is deeply ingrained in Mumbayites lives and that’s what I love about them”
HU: If you only had 24 hours left in Mumbai, what would you do?
GB: Mumbaï is a big city, it has lots of facets, it is very multicultural so I would spend 4 hours extending my visa to have more time… But still, if I had 24 hours left then I would visit two places for sure. One is the Kanheri Caves in the national park which is in the northern part of Mumbaï. It is a big jungle, something similar to central park in New York. And then I would visit some of the beaches in Mumbaï western coastline. I am a foodie so I would also spend half a day to explore the local cuisines. We would go to different restaurants and have some vegetarian and non vedge dish especially fish in Mumbaï.
HU: What do you like about people from Mumbaï?
GB: What I prefer about Mumbayites is their resilience. As you may have seen it is pretty multicultural, people of different walks of life live in Mumbaï. Starting with the poorest of poors and richest of the rich. It is also a city where many natural and man made calamities have happened. But people always bounce back. The next day Mumbaï is as lively as it was before the calamity or the incident. That sens of resilience and bouncing back is deeply ingrained in Mumbayites lives and that’s what I love about them.
HU: What’s your best memory from HEC?
GB: The best memory is that of MBAT. HEC has this MBA tournament where the best schools in the world travel to attend a sport competition. We have so much fun, and that week in 2007 is one of the best week I have ever spent. I have visited HEC multiple times after MBA – as a coach or for other reasons – but I cannot forget that MBAT week, that was just absolutely amazing.
“The non-french alumni chapters across the world – and I have visited a few – are increasing in size so they need their own fair attention. And this might mean some funding and some contact with HEC Alumni teams in Paris”
HU: Why would you advise to someone to go to HEC today?
GB: As a career coach this question comes to me in a different shape. You need to choose very wisely any institution in which you are going to study because it has to fit into your career strategy. I used to say that everybody’s Harvard is different. So the candidates that are looking for a variety of experiences, of cultural perspectives, of industry knowledge perspectives should be looking at HEC. Secondly from a career perspective as well if you are thinking about changing industry, HEC is a very good school. And thirdly if you see yourself working in a Francophonic world HEC is the best school that you can actually think about.
HU: As the Mumbai HEC Alumni chapter president, do you have any message for HEC Alumni in Paris?
GB: What I want to tell them is that the non-french alumni chapters across the world – and I have visited a few – are increasing in size so they need their own fair attention. And this might mean some funding and some contact with HEC Alumni teams in Paris. In Mumbaï we have 50 people, we try to meet as many times as possible, helping out people that are coming back from HEC, helping out HEC alumni that are here for work. But we really need support from the HEC Alumni association as well so we can keep the flag high. We need to share our effort to grow the HEC brand in Mumbaï and other parts of India!
HU: How do you feel about the way the HEC network is evolving in India?
GB: I feel like we need to do more. The number of HEC alumni is increasing but the the events and projects we should do to bond them together are not enough. The risk is that people might have an HEC MBA or an HEC masters but they might not be motivated to do something for HEC. And if that loop is broken then the brand doesn’t grow. So it is important to invest into this so the HEC brand grows.
HU: For what reason would you like to be contacted by someone from the HEC network?
GB: First, anybody from HEC who is travelling to India or passing by Mumbai is free to contact me to understand what they can do in Mumbai from a business or personal perspective. Then, me being coach, people can contact me in the perspective of a coaching.
HU: HEC’s moto is “the more you know, the more you dare”, what is your own moto?
GB: Do your best.
… or pick a category…
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