After a career in law and in business development and change management, award winning public speaker Kaumudi Goda’s commitment to diversity and inclusion led to her founding several companies promoting those aims.
What’s your story?
I am the Chief Operating Officer for MetaMind Training; Co-Chair for KeyNote; and Co Founder of the Inclusive Leaders Institute.
As a trusted business advisor, human capital strategist, and a DEIB expert, I have helped transform organizations in APAC, EMEA and North America. I have extensive cross-border experience in client leadership, business development and change management.
In addition to an MBA from ISB, I have an LLM from the University of Virginia. I practiced as an attorney for seven years in the U.S. and am pursuing doctoral research on the intersection of law, public policy, human capital and business.
I speak on “Bias, Inclusion, Technology and Global Leadership”, “Navigating Difficult Conversations” and “Business for Good”.
I was recognized as the “Business APAC Influential Women Leader of 2020” and am an award- winning public speaker, executive coach, trainer, and facilitator.
What excites you most about your industry?
People (Human Capital) are the most important asset organizations have. There is a huge opportunity cost in overlooking Human Capital. Whether it is sustainability, innovation, productivity or profits, work and investment must begin with the people.
I am excited to being my perspective and experience in law, people and business to the clients I serve whether they are organizations or individual clients
What is your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in India. I moved to Singapore 7 years ago. I live here now with my family. My work is global. I travel across APAC primarily.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is the best city in Asia for business. A stable and transparent regulatory system that facilitates business and entrepreneurship. Best in class digital and physical infrastructure, a rich talent pool and a very cosmopolitan demographic. The rest of Asia is a stone’s throw away and Changi is consistently rated the best airport in the world. You will be in and out of the airport in 45 minutes no matter the destination. You may not want to, Changi is also a highly rated hub for restaurants and retail stores. Singapore has a brilliant F&B scene, a wide range of venues, event spaces and accommodation.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have had the privilege of many wonderful mentors and have received a lot of great advice over the years. What I hold close to my heart right now is a Michelle Obama quote: “It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others.”
Who inspires you?
People who think for the long term with a big picture perspective; are willing to ask the hard questions, listen to others, learn with genuine interest, work hard and act for the collective good inspire me! Luckily, there are many inspiring people all around the world doing great work.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently learnt how a fig is formed!
Robert Lamb “Are figs really full of baby wasps?” 30 April 2008.
HowStuffWorks.com. 14 October 2020
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Looking back, I would:
1) Believe in myself more
2) Challenge the status quo more
3) Be more compassionate towards myself and others
How do you unwind?
I am an avid learner and reader. As a matter of fact, I budget the learning programs I take or books I read as treats or I will go overboard indulging on them. I also love taking long walks with my family.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Asia is such a treasure trove of wonderful locations for nature, art, culture and fun. We have loved exploring Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and each visit has been unique. We still have a long list of places we want to explore here.
Everyone in business should read this book:
I have a huge pile of works on my to-be-read list. There are some I re-read and keep handy because they are relevant and helpful personally or professionally.
I recommend trying different genres, diverse writers, fiction and biographies of interesting people in addition to reading up on things relevant to work. There is so much power in being able to see the world through someone else’s eyes and so much to learn from other people’s journeys.
One series I keep handy for a fun and always interesting read is Larry Gonick’s Cartoon History series.
Shameless plug for your business:
KeyNote Women Speakers Directory began in Singapore in December 2017 with a handful of speakers. Our mission is to bring greater diversity to speaking stages around the world. Today, KeyNote has about 150 speakers on the directory from a wide range of domains, expertise and focus areas. We have a popular speaker training program to help women own their authentic voices and speak up at work, at home and on stage. In addition to our speaker community, we have a large and vibrant community of allies, advocates and audience. KeyNote is active in North America, Europe and APAC and we have more countries and regions in the pipeline.
No segment of the population is a monolith. Every continent, region, country, community and individual is different. It is important to take into consideration the historical context, current environment, future needs and develop solutions that are customised and localised. It is based on this insight that six D&I experts from around the world came together to form the The Inclusive Leaders Institute. ILI focuses on thought leadership, raising awareness and bringing customised, sustainable DEIB solutions to
organizations in every corner of the world.
How can people connect with you?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.