Knowledge Institute Podcasts
Ferose on Multidimensional Talent Discovery
Ferose, Senior Vice President and HEAD of SAP Academy for Engineering, discusses talent development beyond basic training, with the goal of driving a culture change across the company. Ferose also describes his formula for measuring the value of a life's work, what changes companies and employees can expect in a post-COVID work environment.
Hosted by Jeff Kavanaugh, VP and Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.
“Our core insight was the best engineers are not just good technologists or good coders, but we call them the multidimensional engineers, engineers who have compassion, who build communities, who have courage, are curious...”
Ferose, you work in SAP, heading the Academy for Engineering, developing the next generation of technology leaders. Can you share an inspiring example of how your Academy is making a difference?
Jeff introduces Ferose
You're obviously multi-talented and interested in diverse topics. What inspires you to go into a technology role every day?
What is unique in your current role as the head of the SAP Academy for engineering? How is it different than maybe a traditional training institute?
Can you share with me the influences that have caused you to be passionate like this and combine or intertwine social with the technology?
You mentioned earlier that you had some background with a book that was on children and helping others. What was the influence for that, and then where have you taken that?
For our listeners who might be fortunate or able to do so, what are the things you encountered, like challenges, and how did you make the most of the opportunity to lead at an early age?
What is the biggest impact [COVID has] had on your business and your life, and what is your takeaway from it?
What's your view on thought leadership and how it can help professionals, not just writers, but others, be more successful?
You mentioned too many people today, today being post-COVID, are focused on recovery, but you want to focus on discovery. Can you go into that?
What is it that an executive, let's say in industry, that might not be in a hardcore tech firm, what can they do to energize and to bring about some of this change for their own organization?
What are some of the favorite books, or other influences that made an impact on you?
Ferose shares is contact information and how to find his publications online
Jeff Kavanaugh: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the big question for many is how to recover and return to work. However, beyond short term recovery, there are leaders looking beyond to longer-term opportunities for growth. Ferose, you work in SAP, heading the Academy for Engineering, developing the next generation of technology leaders. Can you share an inspiring example of how your Academy is making a difference?
Ferose: Thank you Jeff, for inviting me to this podcast. We started the SAP Academy for Engineering last year, so we are in many ways at the beginning of our journey of building the next generation of engineers. Our core insight was the best engineers are not just good technologists or good coders, but we call them the multidimensional engineers, engineers who have compassion, who build communities, who have courage, are curious. This is what we call as really a multidimensional engineer. Our whole idea is to really build the engineers who will solve some of the most complex problems of the world today. Here I would like to quote T.S. Eliot said it beautifully, "The worst thing that you can do, or the worst treason, is really doing the right things for the wrong reasons." Our core idea is, it's just not about building good engineers, but really building good engineers who do the right stuff. And so, being able to share engineers who are deeply embedded in compassion and curiosity and these values, are integral to what we're trying to build at the Academy for Engineering.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Developing multidimensional talent discovery is what we'll be exploring in today's conversation. Welcome to the Knowledge Institute Podcast, where we talk with experts on business trends, deconstruct main ideas, and share their insights. I'm Jeff Kavanaugh, head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute. Today we're here with Ferose. Based in Palo Alto, Ferose heads the newly minted SAP Engineering Academy. His vision for the Academy is to produce multidimensional engineers who solve real world problems that will make the world a better place for all. With over 20 years with SAP, he earlier led globalization services where he was responsible for global adoption of SAP products, and prior he was a managing director of SAP labs in India where he transformed that entity into an innovation hub. In 2012, that company was recognized as one of the “Great Places to Work in India.” Ferose is also a director of the board of Specialisterne Foundation, a not for profit foundation with the goal to create one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges. He has also co-authored a bestselling book for people with disabilities. Ferose, thank you so much for joining us.
Ferose: Thank you. My pleasure.
Jeff Kavanaugh: We have a lot to dig into here. You're obviously multi-talented and interested in diverse topics. What inspires you to go into a technology role every day?
Ferose: I'll kind of rewind a little bit and take you back to my childhood first. I grew up in a place called Kharagpur. This is in West Bengal, Eastern part of India. Bengal is actually a very multifaceted state. It's one of those states which had a long history of communism. It's one of those absolutely culturally rich place. I was very fortunate to grow up with literature, with theater, with sports. If you know, a lot of India's Nobel laureates have actually come from that state. The first Nobel laureate from Asia, Rabindranath Tagore, is a very famous poet from West Bengal. Two economists, Amartya Sen and Abhijit Banerjee, won the economic prize last year, who's also from the same state. I was very fortunate that I had grown up in an environment where I appreciated arts, literature, theater. Now when it comes to technology, I consider myself an “accidental technologist.”
Ferose: The reason I say that is that being from a middle class family in India, the only way to have a meaningful life was to study hard and either become an engineer or a doctor. I would faint even if I saw a drop of blood, so being a doctor was out of option. So I became an engineer. I was also obviously inspired by my father, who was an engineer. My brother went to IIT. In some ways I just followed the most common path towards making a meaningful life. I really don't consider myself a technologist, even though I did computer science engineering, and I worked in technology for more than 20 years. I consider myself deeply a problem solver and use technology as a means to solve the problems, whether it's in SAP, it's for our customers, it's for our society. What I'm really interested is really complex problems and how to solve them.
Jeff Kavanaugh: An accidental tourist, accidental technologist. It's not just a journey, but I'm sure it's a refresh journey here very often. What is unique in your current role as the head of the SAP Academy for engineering? How is it different than maybe a traditional training institute?
Ferose: You kind of used the word training institute so beautifully, because this is what I told our CEO. When he asked me to build this Academy, I said, "This is not a training institute." We said, "We are trying to change the engineering culture within SAP." Let me give you some context and some numbers to it first. SAP as a company, we have a hundred thousand engineers, 440,000 customers, and 30,000 of the hundred thousand employees are actually engineers. So, I would say 30% of the population is engineers; 70% is sales, operation, and other things. The big question that our CEO asked me is, "When is the next breakthrough product going to be coming out of SAP?” SAP is a product company. Our last breakthrough product was HANA. So the big question is, when is the next breakthrough product going to come? Do we have the right engineers to build that product for the future?
Ferose: That's actually the challenge he gave me. He just gave me a 15 minute brief and said, "Do we have the right engineers? Do we have the right engineering culture? Are we attracting the best talent?" And he asked me to build a proposal around it. So I went to him, Christian Klein, who's our current CEO, and built a proposal. I said, the idea is not to build a training institute. The idea is to drive a culture change across the company. The basis for driving that culture change is social movements. I've been studying social movements for the last 20 years. I looked at how do large scale changes happen, whether it is Gandhi's independence movement, MLK's civil rights movement, the Women's March. How is it that a few set of people able to drive large scale change?
Ferose: What we did at the Academy was to build around that core idea that a few set of people, if grounded in the right value systems, if deeply embedded and committed to the success of the company, can drive large scale changes. Just to give you some numbers, through the Academy in a typical year, we could probably have just 200 engineers come to the Academy and graduate out ... just 200, and we are talking about 30,000 engineers. The idea is not to make 30,000 engineers go through the Academy, because that will… you can do the math. That will take you hundreds of years. But the big question is, can these 200 drive culture change across the company? And so we based a lot of our theories around, how do we drive social change? That's the core idea of the Academy for Engineering. It is not a training institute. It's not about training people for Python and ABAP and Java. I think that people can do on their own. But it's really to embed them into core ideas where they act as multipliers across the company.
Jeff Kavanaugh: That did not come from a textbook. Obviously it's coming from something deep within you and very likely there's some influences there. Can you share with me the influences that have caused you to be passionate like this and combine or intertwine social with the technology?
Ferose: As I said, I think a lot of it goes back to my roots. My father, who's retired from public service, now runs a hospital, a school and a college, all free of cost. But this is to drive social change. Somewhere, when I look at myself, I think I've been deeply influenced by my parents who have always believed that your true success is what you do for others. People often ask me, "How do you measure your life? How do you measure impact of what you've done?" While there are thousands of book, I have a very simple formula. It's such a simple formula, and I teach, I end all my MBA classes by giving this formula.
Ferose: That is, impact is equal to service, which is called “seva” in Sanskrit, divided by ego, which is “ahankara.” It's a very simple formula. On the numerator you have service, which is nothing but, what have you done for others? And on the denominator, you have ego. If you have really touched a lot of lives, but if you have a big ego, your numbers are not that great. But if your ego tends to zero, your impact tends to be infinite. Everything else adds up to zero if the only thing you've done is served yourself, so your numerator is one, and that's it, right? But if you actually served even one person, but in the process have gone through an internal transformation where you are able to manage to reduce your ego to zero, you would have infinite effect. That's the philosophy that I've lived my whole life with.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Well done. Well said. Yeah, I've tried for a corollary more on grateful service being the attitude, but formulaically, that really strikes a chord because of the relationship between the two. Absolutely. You mentioned earlier that you had some background with a book, and that was on children and helping others. What was the influence for that, and then where have you taken that?
Ferose: When I grew up, I was surrounded by books. I think I'm just incredibly fortunate that way, that my parents always taught me that the true wealth of a household is measured by the books in the house, not by the money in the bank. It seemed pretty simple, but when I look back, it is incredibly profound. So the books was a measure of success. Today we live in a knowledge economy where the only metric is your knowledge, your intellect, and what have you given for others. In many ways I was fortunate to grow up with a lot of books. I've been a voracious reader throughout my life. Children's books, we all have grown up with comics and so on. I grew up with a lot of comics. One of the deep insights that I had was that if you want to drive large scale change, you have to start early.
Ferose: Here again, I felt this when I was reading the biography of John Lewis. He spoke about how he was motivated by a comic book style collection called Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story that actually triggered his idea of driving civil rights across the country. That's been deeply embedded in my mind, and that is the reason why I wrote my second book, which is called GRIT, in what I call it as a graphical format, so it appeals to both children and adults. Because my core idea was, if you want to drive change, write in a form that children understand and appreciate, because that sticks for a very long period of time.
Jeff Kavanaugh: So MLK as the Ultimate Avenger. Yes. Let's just translate that, take the youth thread for a moment. You were also a fairly junior or young leader. You stepped into a leadership role at a young age. For our listeners who might be fortunate or able to do so, what are the things you encountered, like challenges, and how did you make the most of the opportunity to lead at an early age?
Ferose: I think when I look back, Jeff, I became the managing director of SAP Labs at the age of 33. I had 5,000 engineers. It was a huge responsibility. I'm very surprised at some of the things that I did when I was that young. I'm 45 now. I'm surprised at, how the hell did I do some of the things. Some of the things that I did, I wouldn't do it again. But I think there was the combination of a few things that when I look back.
Ferose: Number one, you're fearless, you're bold, and you're impatient, and in many ways I was idealistic. A lot of things was because of the combination of being fearless and being impatient. I did a lot of things which I wouldn't do now. I think I'm a lot more calmer. I would take time to think. My views of the world have changed. Not that I'm less idealistic, but I'm more practical. I broke a lot of rules when I was that young, and I had some pretty bad consequences for the things that I did. Maybe that's the reason I think I've probably grown in those last 12 years. If I felt that everything that I did right, then I wouldn't have probably grown. A lot of things I did was not right at all. Maybe I'll give you one or two specific examples as to how was I when I was thinking when I was 33, and what do I think now? Two very simple things.
Ferose: The first, I had this great belief that I can change people. So if somebody did something wrong. I went out of my way to convince that person that it was wrong and I felt I could change the person's mind and make him somebody else. I got increasingly frustrated when I was not able to do that. Now it's the exact opposite. I actually think the only person I can change is myself. That's it. So, from changing others to changing myself, this has taken me 12 years to realize. I was incredibly stupid thinking, oh, I can change the world. That's what a lot of youth and idealism, and maybe a lot of arrogance does to you. You think you can change the world, but the reality is you can't. You have to do what you do, but really change yourself. That's the first big difference that I see that has happened.
Ferose: The second, and this is over a period of time. I was not able to articulate this so well, but I had this “ah ha” moment that when I was young, I put a lot of emphasis on effort. I thought the harder you work, the better the outcome. I would literally burn myself to work. I thought the more I worked, the more I did, the more the outcomes are. I didn't put too much emphasis on building relationships. It was all about effort. I would say 90% effort, 10% relationship. My big realization today is actually the exact opposite, it is 90% relationship, 10% effort. Effort is a given. You have to put your effort. You have to do your best. But really the ones who are successful are the ones who have invested in building long term relationships. That's a big flip that has happened in the last probably decade or so.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Applying something very specific now , we were having this discussion. I'd like to say we're at the tail end, but we're in the middle of this COVID pandemic and implications. We've seen the world before. We're experiencing and we're going forward. What is the biggest impact it's had on your business and your life, and what is your takeaway from it?
Ferose: I like to start by giving a caveat upfront that I've seen so many predictions for the future that I don't want to sound, yet another person giving yet another prediction. I'll go back to a term which is called the “unknown knowns,” which was used by Donald Rumsfeld very beautifully, I think in this documentary. I don't know, Jeff, if you watched it, but it's an amazing thing. When he was asked, "Why did you go and bomb a whole country and didn't find anything?” We attacked a country saying they had weapons of mass destruction and you've literally finished off a country with actually no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction. He uses a word called unknown knowns. But he said, "We assumed based on intelligence, that they had weapons of mass destruction. Only when we went in, we realized there were none." So we assumed we knew, but the fact was, when it happened we realized we did not know.
Ferose: I think we the COVID is a classic example of that right now. Everybody's making predictions. Everybody has already said what 2021, or a post-COVID world would look like. That includes myself. I'm not saying anything against anybody. I have made my own predictions. But the reality is, it is a classic unknown known. We can make our predictions, but many of us may be proven wrong, as in when COVID happens. With that caveat, I see two or three interesting trends that have happened.
Ferose: The first thing is that there will be what I call as a decentralization of power and the centralization of purpose. I've been talking about this even before, but I see that as massively amplified during COVID times. Maybe I'll give you an example of what I mean by that. The power structures that existed before COVID and after COVID will be completely different. If you look, if you went into an office, there was a certain power structure. There was a corner office. There were symbols of power. Today, everybody's office is the same three inch by three inch laptop. Doesn't matter if you're the CEO of the company. You don't have a corner office. Your corner office is exactly the same as mine. Some of these power structures are completely breaking down. I'm not saying there will not be any power structures. What I'm saying, there will be new power structures. But we should be aware that the old power structures will be broken in many forms. That's the first insight.
Ferose: The second insight is that trust really becomes central to management and leadership. I'll give you a specific example here. Four years back I used to, when I was heading globalization services, I had 300 engineers in Bangalore. I used to feel the pain when my colleagues in Bangalore used to spend four hours traveling and commuting to office. I said, "Guys, once a week everybody can work from home. Nobody needs to commute." I had a lot of pushback from the managers who said, "Hold on. What is the evidence that the productivity will not go down, or that the managers are not going to misuse the freedom?" We tested it for three months. Guess what? The productivity increased. The funny thing is, we did it only for 300 employees, even though SAP labs has 10,000 employees right now. Nobody bothered to roll that out, even though I had evidence to show that it makes sense. I mean, Jeff, if you've been in Bangalore traffic, spending four hours is not fun.
Jeff Kavanaugh: You could walk faster than you can drive, yeah.
Ferose: But you are amazed to think, why does people not do it, when it's good for the employees, good for the company? Because a lot of managers raised their hand and said, "I don't trust my employees." Guess what? Now everybody's working from home. I haven't seen data to show that the productivity has gone down. People are still delivering as timelines. What has happened is that trust has now become a necessity. You can't say that I don't know whether people are working from home, because you don't have a choice. I think COVID has in many ways amplified that idea that trust becomes central. You cannot do micromanagement. That's, I think, a second important insight.
Ferose: The third is that what I call as the whole world is predicting that post-COVID, you'll not need office spaces. We are all going to work from home. I think that's greatly exaggerated. The reason for that is because of our language. We say we go to office to work. That's the language we use. But the reality is, we go to office to work, to socialize, to have lunch with our colleagues, to go to the gym, to meet people, to party, to have friends. But our language says, we go to office to work. Suddenly everybody is saying, okay, now that you can work from home, you don't have to go to office. Not true. A lot of people want to go to work because there's so many other things that you go to the office to do, and not to mention that many people cannot work from home. They don't have the office infrastructure. They have kids. They have one room.
Ferose: Very interestingly, our homes were not designed for working purpose. Our homes, when I'm in my room, my kitchen is next door, and so people cannot cook. We didn't design our homes thinking that it will become places of work. I think the view that post-COVID, everybody is going to just work from home is far exaggerated. While we live in a digital only world today, post-COVID I think we'll live in a digital first, but we will still have the need for social interactions. Human beings are social animals. We will meet as friends and colleagues. It may not be every day nine to five.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Once again, you're listening to the Knowledge Institute where we talk with experts on business trends, deconstruct main ideas, and share their insights. We're here with Ferose, HEAD of SAP Academy for Engineering. Ferose, you've spoken very eloquently on several aspects of leadership. There's one other area of leadership given that you like to write and publish. What's your view on thought leadership and how it can help professionals, not just writers, but others, be more successful?
Ferose: There are two very opposite views of thought leadership. A lot of people think thought leadership is a lot of blah, blah and no real work. It sounds good, but there is no clear outcomes. There's another view which says that it is very integral to the long term success of organizations. I know some organizations do it in a very structured manner. Many of them don't necessarily have a structure. My personal take is that you need thought leaders more in today's times than before, because we live in an extremely complex world. Many of these thought leaders have the ability to really articulate the complex world in simple terms that everybody else can understand, whether it is technology, whether it is the society. I think that's the real space of thought leadership. Whether it's in a community or in a corporate, I think they are super integral.
Ferose: There are two things that thought leaders do. One is their ability to show you things that you wouldn't have seen otherwise, and the second is their ability to connect seemingly disconnected things. That comes from a breadth of understanding of the complex world that we live in. I actually toggle between the art world, the science world, the creative world, the technology world, and then I'm able to share with my team an insight. Which, they're like, "How come I didn't see this? I didn't even realize these things were interconnected." I think that's what the role of a thought leader is. Whether you are able to bring that to your teams, to your work, through your writings, I absolutely see a need for it. I think if people oversimplify the world, then we are in trouble. We live in a complex world, and people have to be able to articulate the connections between these complex things.
Jeff Kavanaugh: As simple as possible, as complicated as needed.
Jeff Kavanaugh: You had a phrase… we spoke beforehand. You mentioned to many people today, today being post-COVID, are focused on recovery, but you want to focus on discovery. Can you go into that?
Ferose: You know, I've been talking to a lot of people and I would say I would classify 99% of the people whom I've spoken to, whether it's in the corporate world, in the business world, in the nonprofit world, all of them are looking at going back to a pre-COVID world. They're just hoping for it. There's a beautiful term, which says that “hope is not a course of action.” To hope that we will come out of this COVID and be exactly where we entered COVID is such a flawed assumption to make. People who are stuck in that world will probably not make enough progress. I had this long discussion with John Daniels, a professor at Berkeley. His analysis was, organizations and individuals who will come out of this successfully will focus on discovery, not on recovery.
Ferose: The first thing that I did when I was at the Academy, we have a small team of 14 people. We said, "Everything that we did the last one year, let's forget about it and rethink how we are going to build for the current situation. Which means we changed our KPIs. We said we will radically experiment. We will deliver content in a fundamentally different manner. This was very hard for the team to grasp, because you are basically going into the unknown. Yesterday, it was interesting. Harvard said that they're going to do the entire 2021 class virtually, but they will charge the same tuition fees. I asked my team, "How do you justify that?" How do you justify that you can do a virtual program and charge the same tuition fees. I don't have the answers, but the idea is to ask these difficult questions. 50% of the engineers who came to the Academy, they told me they came because they wanted to spend three months in the Silicon Valley.
Ferose: Now that doesn't exist. The question is, why should anybody join the Academy? What is the experience that we can provide in a virtual world which still entices them to spend significant time to do a program? That's a very hard question to ask. The easy thing would have been to say, "You know what? In January, everything will come back to normal and we will have everybody flying in across the world and come to this space." That's a pipe dream. As much as we wish it would happen, I don't think that is going to happen. So can we recalibrate ourselves? The core idea here is, let's do rapid experimentation, not focus on content, but focus on curating for attention. That I think is the hardest part in today's world. There's a beautiful saying that “when there's a wealth of content, there's a poverty of attention.”
Jeff Kavanaugh: Let's think about for the executive listening. You obviously have a unique insight into technology leadership. You're in the Valley. You're a software company. You're doing very well. What is it that an executive, let's say in industry, that might not be in a hardcore tech firm, what can they do to energize and to bring about some of this change for their own organization?
Ferose: It's a complex question, Jeff. I'll tell you what SAP did. We said we will use technology to support the COVID situation. One of the first things we did was, we built a tracing app in Germany. We released it last week. It had 14 million downloads in a week. We used the power of technology to drive a positive change in the community. I think that's a classic example. The easiest starting point is to say, "What are my strengths? What is it that I can do in the service of the community?" You're not trying to maximize it for profit. You can always argue that it creates brand value and so on. But the core idea is, how can I contribute to the improvement of the society?
Ferose: You can do it in so many different ways. I was very inspired by what I read about Wipro in Bangalore. This was fascinating. They have actually given their entire office space in Pune, converted into an hospital, and given it to the government till the end of the year. It's a very simple idea. The office spaces are empty anyway. I'm like, "Why can't every company do that?" Right? You look at the Valley, all offices are empty for the rest of the year. But we still have thousands of people who are homeless. I'm like, we should have solved the homeless problem right now. Empty offices, thousands of people on the street, and you could have solved that problem.
Ferose: Again, this is not a corporate response that I'm expecting from everyone. My deep insight was, every problem in the world is a supply/demand problem. Every problem is a supply/demand problem. Poverty is a supply/demand problem. Wealth inequality is a supply/demand problem. A lot of what's happening in COVID is a supply/demand problem. If we can break all those intermediate steps in between, we can actually solve almost every problem on Earth. To keep that in mind is so important for every organization. Of course, you start with what your core strengths are, but I think if you keep a sense of community, it would be extremely helpful in the long run.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Obviously you're well-read. I also feel that way about books being a better measure of wealth than money. What are some of the favorite books, or other influences that made an impact on you?
Ferose: There's many, but maybe I'll talk about three. The one that I keep next to my bed all the time is [Man’s] Search [for] Meaning. I think every word is a quotable quote in that book. During these times, that book becomes increasingly important. How do we find meaning in difficult times? That is my favorite.
Ferose: Adam Grant's Give and Take really gave me hope. I met him at Davos. He's a fellow young global leader. I was researching on giving, and he had already published his book Give and Take. I realized that his insights were just out of the world. His whole premise, that the most successful people in an organization is givers, and it's a good strategy to be a giver rather than a taker, is so groundbreaking. I've lived my whole life with that whole idea.
Ferose: The last book, which I'm currently reading, is this book called Humankind. I think people are saying this is like the Sapiens of 2020. Rutger Bregman is a very young historian. Maybe I'm overemphasizing the word young, because he seems to have a very idealist, positive view of the world. If there are three books to read that I would recommend, these are the top three.
Jeff Kavanaugh: How can people find you online?
Ferose: I write a regular column for Forbes, so if you just do “Ferose” and “Forbes,” you'll find all my columns. I also write for Indian Express and Mint. But the easiest way is to write me a mail. I'm willing to share my official mail, which is email@example.com. I respond to every email within 24 hours. That's a public commitment I make.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Uh-oh. We got it recorded here. Everyone, you can find details for everything we talked about, including the books and links, in our show notes and our transcripts infosys.com/IKI in our podcast section. Ferose, thank you for your time. Everyone, you've been listening to the Knowledge Institute where we talk with experts on business trends, deconstruct main ideas, and share their insights. Thanks to our producer, Catherine Burdette, Dode, and the entire Knowledge Institute team. Until next time, keep learning and keep sharing.
Ferose: Thank you very much, Jeff.
Based in Palo Alto, Ferose heads the newly minted SAP Engineering Academy. His vision for the academy is to produce “multidimensional” engineers who will solve real world problems that will make the world a better place for all. With over 20 years with SAP, Ferose was previously the head of Globalization Services, and was responsible for enabling the global adoption of SAP products worldwide. The unit consists of 1200+ employees spread across 40+ countries across the globe with a mission of empowering all businesses to run compliant locally and compete globally.
Before heading Globalization Services, Ferose was the Managing Director of SAP Labs India. Starting at the age of 33, he held this post for over 5 years during which he transformed SAP Labs India into an innovation hub. In 2012, the company was recognized as one of the “Great Places to Work” in India for its very first time.
Ferose is a Director on the Board of Specialisterne Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with the goal to create one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges. He is the founder of the India Inclusion Foundation a nonprofit, aiming to bring the topic of inclusion at the forefront in India. The India Inclusion Summit, The Inclusion Fellowship and Inclusion Platform (Incluzone) are some of the initiatives under the nonprofit.
Ferose has co-authored a best-selling book on people with disabilities, GIFTED. The book has been translated into four Indian regional languages. The Kannada translation won the prestigious Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award. Ferose also teaches “Personal Leadership” at Columbia University, New York.
Selected links from the episode
- “The last act is the greatest treason. To do the right deed for the wrong reason.” - T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral
- SAP Engineering Academy
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Amartya Sen
- Abhijit Banerjee
- Christian Klein, SAP CEO
- Donald Rumsfeld’s “Unknown Knowns” "There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know." Courtesy of Scientific American
- “Wipro To Convert Pune IT Facility Into 450-Bed COVID-19 Hospital By May 30” NDTV May 5, 2020
- “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – review” The Guardian, September 11, 2014
- Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story
Mentioned in the podcast