aka The Career Guy
Amediocre student who failed his final year of school… to CEO of Sutton & Maxwell at 30… is what has made Sawan Kapoor ‘The Career Guy’ – A globally renowned, award-winning Career Coach who empowers working professionals to build exceptional careers.
After passing high school in his second attempt, Sawan joined an undergraduate twinning program at Christ College Bangalore, where he spent the first two years and then finished his Business Administration degree at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, US. While in college, he enabled a study abroad program from The University Of Stirling, Scotland, where he obtained a Master’s in Retail & Brand Management.
Going out into the world proved ‘liberating’ and brought about a profound sense of responsibility in Kapoor. Spurred by ambition, he ended up with 8 job offers and finally joined Daymon Worldwide – the world’s largest private label broker in the FMCG industry.
Progressing from entry level position to managerial roles through Daymon at (a) Wegmans Food Markets, (b) Meijer Stores, and (c) Safeway Stores, he landed at Palm Bay International – America’s largest privately held wine and spirits business in 2006.
As VP-Enterprise Planning & Business Development, Sawan was directly responsible for revenues in excess of $300 million, a role he excelled at. In 2009, when he was just 30, Palm Bay named him CEO for their Private Label Division – Sutton & Maxwell. In his four years leading the company, Kapoor grew the startup to a multi-hundred million dollar business, making it the most profitable player in the industry.
His business acumen was justly rewarded with the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award at the Consumer Products Marketing Conference in 2011, the industry’s highest honour for his contributions and accomplishments.
Having conquered the American dream, Sawan returned to India after the birth of his first child and joined his family business – Kapoor Lamps Pvt Ltd, founded by his grandfather in 1948. As Executive Director & CEO of India’s oldest lighting firm, Kapoor built the project lighting vertical and has served clients such as Infosys Technologies, Sobha Developers, Embassy Group, Paypal India, Netflix India, ITC, Marriott, IHG, Manipal Group, Radisson Hotels, Government of India, and many more.
Yet now his goal is to empower India’s most important asset – its diverse and talented workforce. Even while he was in the US, Sawan had begun helping professionals find their dream jobs, increase their salary, and climb the corporate ladder. He is a Certified Career Coach with Success Gyan and has trained with Jack Canfield, Byron Kate, T. Harv Eker, Blair Singer, and many more esteemed global giants in the personal development and coaching industry.
When he moved to India, Sawan continued this work by establishing DIRE TO HIRE SOLUTIONS (earlier TruNorth Solutions) – a job search, job application, and career management firm. In 2020, he extended the oneon-one coaching model to a digital coaching program that allows more people to benefit under his guidance.
Today, he is universally sought after for his flagship course – The A.P.E.X. Program. The term APEX stands for Accelerated Professional Excellence in ‘X’, where ‘X’ is any industry, any function, at any level of experience. His system is the only service that works for the jobseeker, the candidate allowing them to not only target published opportunities, but even generate offers where there is no job opening. Additionally, his ‘Power Up Your Career’ Masterclass has benefitted over 2.5 lakh people since the lockdown.
In acknowledgement of his superior methodology, Sawan was awarded the ‘Outstanding Leadership’ award by The Education 2.0 Conference in Dubai, UAE for the Best Career Coaching System in June 2023.
His mission is to help 1 million working professionals find their dream job while making significant and rapid gains in their financial remuneration, professional satisfaction, growth opportunities and their work-life balance. And his vision for the industry is to double the number of Indian CEO’s leading global firms in the next 5 years.
“Our students have generated offers from over 27 countries across 60 + industries. Having impacted over 2.5 lakh plus working professionals, we are well on our way towards our mission,” says Kapoor.
“India is the place to be, and in the coming two to three decades we really have a shot at becoming the leading economy in the world. The changes that are sweeping India are an unprecedented transformation that is taking place, socially, politically and economically. We are the largest and the youngest workforce globally and account of 20% of the world’s middle class. And we are further strengthening our position as the world’s talent factory. The Indian dream today is the most powerful socio-economic construct that has ever pervaded,” adds Kapoor.
Regularly quoted as being ‘inspiring’ and ‘life-altering’ in reviews across the board, Sawan’s knack for finding a person’s winning ability, their “X” factor has helped him elevate thousands of careers all over the globe. He is widely published across major publications and magazines like the Economic Times, Financial Times, Times of India, Money Control, HR World, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Outlook, and more. In addition, he has shared the stage as a Keynote Speaker with many distinguished speakers across several industry summits and events, speaking alongside the likes of Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Nick Vujicic, Brian Tracy, Robert Kiyosaki, Gaur Gopal Das, Chetan Bhagat, Robin Sharma, and others.
Currently based in Chennai, India, with his wife and two children, Sawan looks back on his journey and sums up, “I have learnt far more from failure than I have from the successes that came my way. It takes a village to raise a child and I am just fortunate to have a brilliant support system of people around me, from my family, my team, my inner circle of mentors and my community of students. We are all works in progress and feedback has allowed me to continually re-invent myself for the next chapter of my career and life, it is humbling and I am profoundly grateful.”