With the objective of bridging the gap between the corporate and social sectors, the third edition of the American Express global leadership programme took place in Gurgaon recently. Having the theme ‘collaborative leadership and innovation in the development sector’, the five-day programme brought together 45 emerging leaders from 22 NGOs across India.
According to Shailesh Baidwan, country manager and head of consumer services at American Express, the vision behind this forum was to create a “broader pool of word-class leaders” in the welfare sector. “We are using the values of our company to create good value among emerging leaders,” he said.
Taking about the initiative, Shrutipriya Dalmia of Central Square Foundation, who took part in the programme, said, “I always had thoughts in my mind but never could express myself because there was no one to give me that kind of confidence. I have gained lot of confidence here at this programme and my perception about leadership has changed, which will benefit me in the work I do.”
The sessions addressed subjects including the nuances of managing multiple stakeholders, customer service orientation, innovative thinking, expanding spheres of influence, bridging the gap between the social and corporate sectors, and collaborative leadership practices.
Sukumar Ray of Aangan NGO said, “The Masterclass on ‘Ocean in a Drop’ was really good. It gave a new perspective on youth work. I also learnt about designing an intervention plan and that it’s high time NGOs introduced the concept of excellent service in their organisation.”
The American Express Leadership Academy is a joint initiative of the American Express and Common Purpose, a not-for-profit organisation. Participants to the programme were a mix of men and women leaders from diverse backgrounds and regions, selected across the length and breadth of the country. The participating NGOs have been working on a variety of issues ranging from education, health and livelihood to youth development, human rights, community development, waste management, agriculture and microfinance.
Vibha Bajaj, the head of public affairs and communication at American Express, and who has been heading the India Leadership Academy for the last three years, said, “The third chapter of American Express India