Secrets of successful entrepreneurs: Prasad Kaipa CEO of the Kaipa Group

Prasad is the CEO of the Kaipa Group in California and a frequent speaker in conferences and retreats and co-author of critically acclaimed book “From Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom” published by Jossey Bass in 2013. He works with companies and senior executives in the areas of innovation, leadership development and coaching. He has been a visiting professor at Indian School of Business (ISB) since 2003 and was the founding Executive Director of the Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change (CLIC) and raised multi-million dollar funding to initiate two research cells–SBI Cell for Public Leadership and Biocon Cell for Innovation Management in CLIC. He was a Smith Richardson Visiting Fellow at Center for Creative Leadership between 2010-2011 and was an advisor to Business FAC of Fetzer Institute (2011-2013). Prasad taught executive education programs organized by INSEAD, LBS, USC, Dartmouth and IIM Bangalore in addition to ISB.

Prasad has been an advisor and coach focusing on innovation and leadership since 1990 for about 120 C-level executives in Global Fortune 500 companies. Clients included Adobe, Boeing, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Maxim and Oracle as well as global/entrepreneurial companies like Aztec, Advanta, BAE Systems, Lunar Design, Mastek, Olixir, Polaris, State Bank of India and Scintera Networks. The purpose of Prasad’s innovation/leadership coaching is to ignite the genius within individuals. Prasad’s unique competence is in helping his clients find their next significant step and take it. He found that unless he helps clients to examine their signature strengths that have turned into “core incompetence” and kept them stuck, it is difficult to ignite and channel their creativity to come up with innovative decisions, products, and services. He assists clients in becoming effective in managing people as well as oneself (personal mastery), getting reenergized and building new capacities, and taking more risks, in addition to innovative and strategic decisions.

Prasad co-founded the Entrepreneur Institute for TiE in the Silicon Valley in 2002 to assist entrepreneurs develop soft skills and connect, engage and co-create effectively with others in the ecosystem. Over 13,000 entrepreneurs have gone through TiE Institute programs. He is a part-time faculty member at the Saybrook University and works with students in the areas of creativity and innovation, transformational learning and leadership. Prasad is/was on the board of directors/trustees for International Leadership Association (ILA), Marico Innovation Foundation, Samskrita Bharati USA, Integral Leadership Review, Lead India 2020, Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), Aankhen, Mentor Cloud, Intertec Communications, and Hindu University of North America.

Prasad also worked as an educator/consultant with 100+ companies like Areva, AT&T, A.P. Moeller Maersk, Canara Bank, Exxon Mobil, Ford, Pepsi (Quaker Oats), Navteq, Sasken, Sun, Syngenta, and Union Bank in the areas of leadership, change management, innovation and management team development. Cisco and HP have worked with Prasad in developing innovative business models for creating a successful new business and in innovating unique, “brandable” product designs that are consistent with their culture.

As a senior manager in Apple, Prasad was asked to create an educational menu for Apple engineers using innovative learning approaches. In 1999, as a research fellow in the Apple University, with a charter to help design ‘a learning processor that augments human intelligence,’ Prasad interviewed high achievers and exceptional people researching how they learn (and ‘unlearn’), create, communicate, relate and lead.

Prasad got his doctorate in physics, and as a professor in the University of Utah helped build an international research laboratory with Dr. Ed Haskell. Athena Interactive released three award winning CD-ROMs for leaders based on his learning interface concepts and his pyramid building (thinking in three dimensions) methodology.

In addition to ‘From Smart to Wise’ (http://www.fromsmarttowise.com) Prasad published an e-book ‘Discontinuous Learning: Igniting Genius Within by Aligning Self, Work, and Family’ and many of his writings and tools are available at http://www.kaipagroup.com. He writes a blog regularly on innovation and leadership in HBR.org and has published articles in Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, and New York Times. He twitter handles are @pkaipa and @fromsmarttowise. Prasad is married to Dr. Vinoda and is father of Pravin (27) and Vidya (23). He enjoys exploring and reinterpreting ancient wisdom (and its application in developing highly effective and authentic leaders), photography (http://pkaipa.smugmug.com), listening to classical music, and playing tennis.