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Meet the business strategist and transformation expert in transformative approaches to corporate stewardship

Founder(s) Kaustubh Sonalkar
Date of Establishment 10th January 1995
Industrial Sector Business Consultant
Headquarter Mumbai
Presence Southeast Asia, UK, US and UAE
Awards and Recognition Top 100 Global Leaders - World HRD Congress.
HR Tech and Innovation - Malaysia (Global Tech)
Golden Peacock.
Govt of Maharashtra : Corona Warriors by Governor.
Diversity & Inclusion pioneering initiative award.

A Well-Rounded Leader who believes in going beyond and above



Mr Kaustubh Sonalkar, Director at IAHRIM (International Association for Human Resource Information Management). Mr. Kaustubh is a London School of Economics alumni, with over 26 years of experience in the corporate sector in India and overseas. A business leader who believes in the philosophy of ‘going beyond and above’. An out-of-the-thinker, he has been a culture reformer battling for India, both literally and figuratively. A multifaceted personality, Kaustubh, besides being a champion of uniform laws at work place is also an established leader known for his philanthropy and unique point of view.

Carrying a 360 vision of the business and having worked in different sectors he has created an enviable background for himself that helps him play multiple roles – that of a Senior Partner/Executive Director at PwC and Senior VP & Head of HR at Essar Group with aplomb. His earlier long stints with Airtel, Vodafone (Innovation & Marketing), in the UK and the United Nations (UN) stand testimony to his most impressive track record. He has visited 78 countries and out of which 48 countries he travelled during his tenure at the UN.

As a mentor he has been helping people with striking work life balance and understanding ways to live a far more accomplished and full filling life amidst corporate work pressure and demanding city life like of Mumbai. He has led the designing of HR policies that strive to synchronize business objectives and people growth, cutting across geographies and sectors. His policy designs have been proactive and predictive, with a technology-first approach.                                                 

Progression in HUMAN RESOURCE: The ‘New Normal’ Way

He synergises with the fact of time turning unprecedented but also explains the silver lining to the dark cloud of human crisis because of his strong belief in HRs who can come out of the shells and be really visible. Kaustubh is optimistic of this opportunity of being at the forefront for HRs and as Winston Churchill also quoted, don’t let a good of crisis go waste. The role of HR has evolved over a period of time from being a back-office payroll supervisor to a management personnel and progressively as a brand ambassador, a marketer, a data analyst, a super communicator and a classic behavioural expert.

He strongly believes that desire to succeed and win keeps anyone hopeful and full of belief. He thinks this is the root of all progress, the insatiable desire to overcome difficulties and succeed in one’s endeavours, for obstacles abound, both in the surroundings and within. The urge to apply new approaches to scale seemingly insurmountable obstacles has never failed to excite him.

Taking challenges and innovating solutions with minimal resources brings the best out of a person and Kaustubh is firm believer in this phycological theory.

He believes that you must not tell anyone your weakness! Not because they may judge you but because leaders are looked up to for direction and guidance, and they are the ones who are at the forefront of sailing the team through volatility and uncertainty. A leader with perceived weaknesses would not be able to inspire confidence.

Work and Belief System Post Pandemic:

To this, Kaustubh’s thought process favours the youth who are more likely to bring in new thinking and digital skills. The work culture has been optimised such that passive income is looked up as a necessity, something that was never taken seriously before. The ‘war for talent’, as termed, has been a reality, much earlier than pandemic and will continue well till its conclusion. He believes that constraints have been resolved for the orthodox availability of the limited pool of talent in a geographical area, hereon.

Mr. Kaustubh believes that leadership has to accept that this is more a permanent shift than a trend and this is a demand of change in mindset in particular, for the brick-and-mortar segment. Some leaders are still believers of working under one roof as a pertinent productivity hack but there is always a gradual acceptance amongst others who focus on ease of work and flexibility to achieve the most out of a resource’s skill set.

Last but not the least, the biggest driving factor for success according to Mr. Kaustubh is passion and thirst! He is very passionate about his work and finds it as an enriching experience and achievement of being an enabler for a common man to pursue small milestones to successfully administering vast business operations. He reinforces the fact time and again that learning never ends and possessing the mindset to constantly grow from seniors and peers grooms one’s personality, holistically.

The Memory Safari: Sneak-peak into the Best Seller

His debut book Fetch Your Own Coffee’ recently became a ‘National Best Seller’. As an ardent proponent of empathy, human connections and the wisdom that lies in everyday experiences, Kaustubh decided to pen down his thoughts through a blog which synergised with the masses. His debut book is a compilation of all those personal experiences as a Business Strategist, Transformational coach and A People’s leader which sky-rocketed his journey to become the National Bestseller!

His co-authored second book, ‘In the Shadows’ is a work of fiction that revolves around murder, intrigue, and realization. The book revolves around the life of the protagonist, Kabir Sen who dreams of becoming a successful cricketer. The dream that maps his entire life goes awry when an unexpected catastrophe takes place.

As an ardent M&A expert and a change maker, Kaustubh's versatility from being a state level cricketer and a musician to having worked with the United Nations makes him an accomplished leader.

The modern belief and need for community establishment has always been at the epicentre of Kaustubh’s business strategies.  He has believed in women, transgender and youth empowerment, and aims at empowering these segments within the society. For the same, a trust called WISE (Woman of India Sustainable Empowerment) that works for these focused segments, has been established by his team.  TransKonnect, WISE’s latest initiative, is a new-age social media platform designed to bridge the gap between the Trans Community and the ‘mainstream’ society while ensuring a digital safe-space for Trans users who can express themselves without inhibitions.


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