Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » Running the extra mile: how Brahma Sanil’s endurance mindset helps outpace the competition

Running the extra mile: how Brahma Sanil’s endurance mindset helps outpace the competition

Teleperformance India CFO stresses the importance of an endurance mindset, and how running helped him and his team navigate a global crisis

Running the extra mile: how Brahma Sanil’s endurance mindset helps outpace the competition

The world of finance can be a marathon, not a sprint – and Brahma Sanil knows this better than most.

As CFO of Teleperformance India, Sanil has weathered his fair share of ups and downs, from economic crises to global pandemics. But through it all, he’s remained steadfast and focused, thanks in part to the lessons he’s learned as a runner.

“[Finance teams] tend to focus on the outcome more than the process and expect immediate results,” he tells The CFO.

“I think sometimes we tend to move too fast on certain projects, but what is needed is proper planning, patience and agility; you cannot run a marathon overnight. There is a process, and it takes weeks of preparation, discipline and effort to achieve that.”

Sanil took up running six years ago. He says he regularly taps into the endurance mindset he has built during the time spent pounding the pavement, and turns to his running strategies when challenged at work.

Brahma Sanil, Teleperformance India CFO

This was particularly useful during the pandemic, he says, when his team not only had to manage disrupted supply chains but also adapt to new hybrid working arrangements with reduced human interaction and new technology infrastructure.

This prompted Sanil to completely overhaul his management style; he knew that he had to employ his soft skills more during team meetings. He tells The CFO that he would start every morning with non-work-related catchups with members of his team.

“Given today’s dynamic world, having a softer, compassionate view is very important when your goal is managing and getting people together,” he explains.

“Rather than pushing hard, what is needed is a much more collaborative approach.” As the pandemic continued throughout 2020 and into 2021, Sanil says he chose to prioritise his team more.

Fostering innovation and growth

For Sanil, not only has his running experience created the opportunity to positively impact team dynamics and even organisational culture, but it has also influenced additional senior leaders in his network.

“As I shared my running and cycling experiences with the [senior leadership] team, people started to tell me that they wanted to ‘catch up with me’ or had been inspired,” he says.

Sanil says he is now seeing more people within the business participating in sporting endeavours in an attempt to improve not only their endurance, but also their focus and agility.

For his team, adopting an endurance mindset helped them proactively approach challenges, promote resilience, foster innovation and growth, and lead with empathy.

Running, and the mindset needed to go long distances, Sanil says, have allowed him to successfully navigate a global crisis while equipping his team with the necessary tools to tackle the uncertain economic landscape.

By pushing himself to new limits, he not only gained mental clarity but also realised the power of an endurance mindset.

Leveraging technology to drive efficiency

Teleperformance is a global digital business services company; in 2022, it recorded a revenue of US$8.6 billion. The organisation currently employs over 410,000 people who serve 68% of Forbes’ top 25 public companies worldwide.

Like many businesses, Teleperformance has embarked on an ambitious digital transformation program. Automating manual processes, implementing data analytics tools, and leveraging cloud-based solutions are some of the ways that CFOs have streamlined financial operations, reduced costs, and improved decision-making.

Sanil is among those who have embraced emerging technologies with plans to use artificial intelligence to drive innovation and stay ahead of the pack.

“We are looking at using a lot of AI tools to predict possible future scenarios. This is very important considering the rapidly changing economic and social environment in which our customers operate,” he says.

“We have adapted and have become more proactive in terms of how we anticipate the growth of the business and potential risks and opportunities. Based on that, we predict what is required and that helps to build a long-term view of the business’s landscape.”

Brahma Sanil is also a chartered accountant with over 24 years’ experience in business partnering and stakeholder management.


Was this article helpful?

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to get your daily business insights