Uncommon Transitions

Rathish Balakrishnan: From IT to the Social Sector

October 15, 2020 Manohar Season 1 Episode 1
Uncommon Transitions
Rathish Balakrishnan: From IT to the Social Sector
Show Notes Chapter Markers

My guest today is someone who chose to become a Social Entrepreneur after about a decade in the IT industry.  Rathish Balakrishnan started his career as a researcher at INSEAD in France. After a couple of years he returned to India and joined the software company SAP in Bangalore, where he worked for over a decade before co-founding Sattva, a consulting firm focussed on the social sector.

Rathish and I have known each other since his days at SAP, where we were colleagues. In this conversation we talk about his career arc spanning two decades. We explore his love for writing and theatre, his passion for creating social impact, and his work in the corporate world. Rathish didn’t leave the corporate world because he disliked it; on the contrary, he says he loved working at SAP. Then why did he leave it? What decision making framework did he use for important personal decisions in his life? Why does he believe that a growth mindset is key to success as an entrepreneur? How did Rathish’s interest in writing and theatre lead him to his current role, and how do they influence him today? What made him read the Harry Potter series seven times end to end? These are some of the many questions you’ll find answered in this episode.

Read more here

Book mentions in the podcast:

  • Farsighted, by Steven Johnson
  • Factfulness, by Hans Rosling
  • Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker
  • The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldrat
  • Poor Economics, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
  • Good Economics for Hard Times, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
  • Execution, by Ram Charan
  • The Leadership Pipeline, by Ram Charan
  • Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The Harry Potter series, by J.K.Rowling

Music Credits:

Carefree by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3476-carefree
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

About Sattva and Rathish's current role
Origins of desire to create social impact
Other childhood interests
France to India transition
SAP Experience
Engagement with social sector while at SAP
Transition from magazine to company
Working on two jobs in parallel
The decision to move from SAP to Sattva
Any plan B?
Expectations vs Reality
Rahul-Dravid-like Growth mindset
Influence of writing and theater
Types of people joining social sector
Personal changes after the transition
Interest in fiction, Harry Potter example
Book recommendations
Would you have done anything differently?