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Jan 13, 2021
Thought Leaders Episode 9: How to Lead in Tumultuous Times
Play • 42 min

Welcome to a special Thought Leaders episode with V.R. Ferose in which we discuss leadership in tumultuous times and explore what it takes to navigate a crisis successfully.

Ferose talks to us about the leadership challenges and opportunities of 2020/21, explains what we can learn from the empathy and truth of great leaders past and present, and emphasizes why it’s absolutely essential to walk the talk!

Ferose shares his views on a leader’s responsibility in times of crisis, reflects on the importance of creating communities, and explains why it’s important to personally “check in” when everything is uncertain and in flux. We also hear how SAP Academy for Engineering is responding to the pandemic by adapting in-person programs to cater for a remote and virtual experience.

Guest: V.R. Ferose

Senior Vice President, Head of SAP Academy for Engineering, SAP SE

Based in Palo Alto, USA, Ferose heads the SAP Academy for Engineering. The mission of the organization is to create the next generation of engineers involved in solving some of the most complex problems in the world.

Ferose was formerly head of the Globalization Services unit and responsible for enabling the global adoption of SAP products worldwide. At 33, he became Managing Director of SAP Labs India and 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 a “Great place to work” in India for the very first time. 

Ferose is Chairperson on the Board of Specialisterne USA, a not-for-profit foundation with the goal to create one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges. He is founder of the non-profit India Inclusion Foundation, which aims to bring the topic of inclusion to the forefront in India. This foundation’s initiatives include the India Inclusion Summit, The Inclusion Fellowship ,and The Inclusive Walkathon.

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. He also authored “Innovating the World: The Globalization Advantage” and “GRIT: The Major Story”. Ferose teaches “Personal Leadership” at Columbia University, New York and is a columnist for New Indian Express and Mint. 

Honors & Achievements

  • ‘Young Global Leader’ in March 2012 by the World Economic Forum
  • ‘India’s Top 40 under 40’ – 2014 by Economic Times and Spencer Stuart.
  • ‘Rising star’ at SAP by Business Insider in 2016
  • ‘Happiness Hall of Fame’ inductee at Stanford in 2016.
  • Eagle Award by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) 2016 for advancing equal rights for people with disabilities.
  • AUCD award by Senator Tom Harkin in March 2017 for his groundbreaking initiative at SAP – ‘Autism at Work’.
  • Leadership Energy Award, Kuala Lumpur in November 2017 for showing that Diversity and Inclusion makes business sense.
  • Lifetime achievement award for Global Philanthropy in 2018 by Transperfect 
  • India Living Awards for Thought Leadership in 2018 by Global Adjustments

Show Notes:

Additional Downloads

References & Recommendations

  • Jamil Zaki (2019) The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World
    • ISBN-10 : 0451499247
    • ISBN-13 : 978-0451499240
  • Viktor Frankl (2019) Man’s Search for Meaning
    • ISBN-10 : 0807092150
    • ISBN-13 : 978-0807092156
  • Dr Kalam’s definition of “Who is a leader?”:

Social Media

All details about Ferose at:

Follow Ferose on Twitter@VRFerose

Hosted by Elisabeth Riemann – Senior Knowledge Consultant & Product Manager, openSAP

Social Media

Twitter: @ElisabethRiema1


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