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Episode 7&8 resources

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Special Guests

Episode 7

Akshat Harbola

Akshat heads strategy and operations at Spotify India, and is responsible for strategic planning and cross-functional operating rhythm for the business. He has been instrumental in shaping the market entry strategy, ensuring product-market fit, and setting up the India operations. He is responsible for local operations and leveraging Spotify’s global leadership in product development for India. Prior to Spotify, Akshat worked at Google for nearly three years, where he collaborated with the global sales leadership to enable top-tier customers to maximize ROI from their digital spending. Before that, Akshat spent nine years at McKinsey & Company working across India, Europe and Southeast Asia. Akshat lives in Mumbai with his wife and three-year-old daughter. When he’s not with family, Akshat can be found discovering new music (most recently Jazztronica) and rediscovering old favorites (classic rock)

Parmesh Shahani

Is the author, LGBTQ inclusion advocate and Vice President at Godrej Industries Ltd. where he heads the Godrej India Culture Lab. You can buy his new book Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace right here (it was released in August 2020, from Westland Business) and also do check out the updated 2020 edition of my 2008 book - Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India (Sage Publications).

He is the creator of The Godrej India Culture Lab is an award winning experimental ideas space. You can read our Culture Lab blog, listen to a podcast, see a video that MTV India shot at the Lab, check out the Elle photoshoot with our Lab team, view my conversation with Sir Ian McKellan, my Twitter Blue Room summary with Sonam Kapoor, or download a white paper that emerged from the Lab - all part of the different things that comprise work.

Episode 8

Devraj Sanyal (born 21 March 1975) is an Indian businessman and musician. Since 2011 he has been the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group & EMI Music, India & South Asia, based in the company headquarters in Mumbai.He is also the Managing Director of the group's Publishing business "Universal Music Publishing Group" for the same region. He is charged with the management and operational running of all Universal Music Group businesses in the region. Sanyal runs the Universal Music Label, Universal Music Publishing, EMI Music and their allied businesses as its MD and CEO. In August 2019, he co-founded Mass Appeal India, the first ever global imprint for Indigenious HipHop in a joint venture between Mass Appeal USA, the label cofounded by legendary hiphop artists NAS (Nasir Jones) and founder CEO Peter Bittenbender.

Sanyal has differentiated the Indian & South Asian opco of Universal Music Group by aligning it with a host of profitable allied non-traditional businesses such as Live, Merchandising, Branded Content, Artist Accelerator & Intellectual Properties.[citation needed]

Sanyal has been a performer in heavy metal band Brahma since 1994[1] which has led to some media dubbing him "the heavy metal CEO".[2] Sanyal is also a judge on TV talent show The Stage.[3]

  1. Sgobba C. ​Here’s When You’re Most and Least Likely to Have a Heart Attack [Internet]. Men’s Health. 2017 link

  2. In the study, researchers analyzed data from over 156,000 hospital admissions for a heart attack over seven years. They discovered a few surprising differences in heart attack timing.

  3. When looking at the day of the week, the most heart attacks occurred on Mondays and the least on Saturdays. In fact, the risk of heart attack was 11 percent higher on Mondays than control days, which the researchers defined as Tuesdays through Fridays.

  4. Young, working people seemed most vulnerable to the Monday increase—their risk of heart attack was 20 percent higher on the first day of the workweek.

  1. Zinnov-Intel India Gender Diversity Benchmark Study Released link

  1. Women in the Workplace 2019: The State of Women in Corporate America Lean In link.

  1. Women Bear The Brunt Of Coronavirus Job Losses link

  1. Why the Differences Between Women and Men are Great for Business link

  1. Study: Men are more emotional than women at work link

  1. Ready to combat gender bias at work? link

  1. grant-thornton-women-in-business-2018-report.pdf [Internet]. [cited 2020 Feb 7]. Available from: link

  1. Corporate India: At only 3%, Corporate India is still struggling to bring women to the top link


  1. Coronavirus in India: Did men do more housework during lockdown? - BBC News link


  1. High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It. Harvard Business Review link


  1. Turban S, Freeman L, Waber B. A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work. Harvard Business Review link

  1. Duhigg C. What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team. The New York Times link.

  1. CNN AW. 1 in 4 men think it’s OK to make sexual jokes at work, link:

  1. . Stigma of sexual violence and women’s decision to work. World Development link:

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