A True Leader Paving the Way Forward
A lifelong learner, Bala V Sathyanarayanan has adorned many hats in his life which have fused together and made him the trailblazer he is today. Acquiring skills from each global company he worked for has made the world his playground. Comprising his innate learnings in the various fields, he remarks, “I have learned that the key to thriving in any industry is having the four foundational elements of leadership. These foundational elements include empathetic communication skills, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability.”
Starting his career in a hardcore multinational engineering company like Otis Elevator made him acquainted with the engineering industry, which demanded strong technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and attention to detail. This served as a huge learning experience. He set out to explore more industries like Coca Cola which honed his marketing, branding, and customer operations skills.
He did a stint at Hewlett Packard, which was a giant tech company that was a different stretch altogether as the industry is unarguably known for its fast-paced, constantly evolving landscape. This is where he channelised his analytical and strategic thinking skills. Thereafter, he joined Xerox Corporation, which is a tech behemoth where he endeavoured to learn about operational efficiency, process improvement, and product development.
Bala currently works for Grief, a global industrial manufacturer, and he serves on boards. This being a new industry for him, he is navigating each facet and working constantly to adapt and learn to achieve resounding business success. His career graph is a firm testimony that a combination of hard work and perseverance is the right ingredient to achieving endless possibilities.
Talking about his passion, he states that “ A burning passion for learning and growth fuels me. Nothing excites me more than the prospect of developing people to achieve their full potential and make a lasting impact in the organisations we work for. I am driven by a deep desire to leave a legacy of success and excellence wherever I go, and empowering a culture of growth and development is the key to achieving that goal.”
Being a well-rounded leader, he thrives on ensuring the success of his peers and team members, which is both professionally and personally fulfilling. He does this by coaching, mentoring, and simply leading by example. This philosophy is engrained in him, which makes him do wonders for the many organisations that he has worked for. He says, “I consider my greatest achievement is my ability to inspire my peers and the next generation. I achieve this by coaching and mentoring individuals from diverse backgrounds to become CXOs in major global firms and sponsoring future talent, providing them with hope and opportunities for growth.”
Leadership comes naturally to Bala as he watched his father as a Commander of Home guards in Chennai, India. He witnessed first-hand the dynamic, positive influence that leadership has on people. This was instilled in him, which has made him a leader who wishes to empower others to rise and become agents of change in their own right. He continues on this path by inspiring the many people he meets on his journey and influencing them in order to bring out their best.
Bala feels that his parents have been the greatest source of inspiration for him. He saw his mother’s insatiable appetite for learning, which became a driving force in his life. His parents always prompted him to work harder with conviction and dedication, which made him feel that he could strive for anything. It is due to their support he feels blessed that he has become the person he is today.
Being a recipient of numerous awards and commendations, he was recognised as one of the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business by AABDC in 2014, received the HR Hero award for Elevating the Strategic Role of HR award in 2018, was named Executive of the Year by Columbus CEO Magazine in 2019 and is recognised as one of the Top Inspiring Business Leaders of the year in 2020, as High Flyes 50, Global Indians in 2022.
He shares his valuable insight and states, “You, my dear reader, you have the potential to be a true leader in your own right. Embrace your inner strength, tap into your boundless creativity, and unleash your full potential. Believe in your ability to make a positive difference, and let your passion for excellence be your guiding light. You too can become a shining example of leadership through your unwavering commitment and steadfast determination, inspiring those around you to reach new heights and achieve their wildest dreams.”