Technology Products and Services
When Thoughtworks India wanted to develop a India specific Leadership Development program couple years ago, that was when I first met Raja. Since then he has been a constant part of our LD focus. Raja's ability to connect with a diverse set of senior leaders, draws the best out of them, and yet show them a mirror when needed (constructive criticism and helping them see multiple perspectives), has helped us tremendously. His systems thinking approach coupled with real life examples makes working with him fun. I have seen him mix the concepts and theory alongside hard actionables in a very effective manner.
Raja has also helped us consider specific coaching interventions for some of our senior leaders. He himself is a great coach / mentor / guide (with ability to go all the way to therapy, as and if needed). I wish him luck in his new endeavor and certainly hope that we continue working together. (2018)
Raja has the rare combination of deep conceptual understanding, a pragmatic and practical approach to its application and a genuine concern for participants' growth, that directly results in a high level of personal change and learning in people development interventions.
During his engagement with our organisation, I have found that his approach is collaborative, his focus is to enable the organisation towards a sustainable journey of learning, and his perceptive observations have provided the leadership with valuable insights into organisational dynamics and culture. Never hesitant about sharing his knowledge, he is also a generous mentor and teacher to anyone who is eager to learn from him. (2018)
I have been working with Raja for nearly 18 months now and very closely on several of my Leadership Development programs at ThoughtWorks Technologies, India. Very rarely will you find OD consultants who have the depth, clarity and insights in human, organisation and social psychology - and Raja is one such. Simplicity, Depth, Focus, Value for Money, Action orientation, Intuitive design, Maximising the strengths of all the stakeholders he works with, strong client relationships, co-creation, being a container allowing for learning to emerge - are just some of the many wonderful elements that Raja brings with him.
It has been and continues to be a great pleasure working with Raja - not just on the organisation mandates that we held together, but also at a personal level, he brings out the best in me. I hope you get to experience the magic of Raja, just as I did. (2018)
I was part of a Leadership Development programme that Raja Chidambaram facilitated at Thoughtworks India, back in 2010. Apart from helping me understand myself better he enabled a deeper sense of connect and purpose towards my organisation. It has had a lasting impact on me as a leader. So when I decided to run a similar programme in my office early this year, I knew whom exactly to rely upon.
Raja brings years of valuable experience in the space of leadership development and coaching. Deeply influenced by Peter Senge's vision of a learning organisation, his methodology on personal development, shared visioning and skills for organisational development are very effective. He is highly engaging and quick to understand problems. He shares invaluable lessons from his own life but makes sure everyone searches for their own answers. It has been a rewarding experience working with Raja. Wishing him the very best ! (2018)
I have the privilege to be associated with Raja as a participant of a (India level) leadership programme and also as a co-sponsor to a programme he delivers for my location.
Leadership is a constant assessment, understanding, commitment and refinement of values, beliefs, mental models, vision, personal strengths & egos. Considering I do have a baggage (sic) of me already spending close to 17 years in the industry and as well as one or more leadership programmes under my belt, Raja has been instrumental in instilling confidence, challenge notions and continues to be a trusted coach, friend and companion to me.
As a sponsor, I feel lucky to get a glimpse of how he goes about the Design process of a leadership programme. He was quick to understand the demands, flexible and at the same time not letting go of non-negotiables, and as well committed to the ask. His enthusiasm and drive acted like a catalyst to bring about the results beyond expectations of me and my Co-sponsor.
Raja’s goes about his vision of touching 100,000 lives like an artisan and not with brute force or arrogance. - 1 amongst the 100,000! (2018)
I attended Raja's OBTA (On Becoming Trusted Advisor) series. Even though it was meant for consultants, I found the four month long workshop to be very informative for anyone in general and especially for people in client facing roles. Raja had very clearly established the expectation that habit formation is not overnight and needs constant practice (along with methods to make it a practice).
The workshops covered a big landscape of micro human behaviours which were explained very well through daily life examples. There was a good amount of time allocated to learning circles which helped in learning from other participants' experience. We were made to try a new habit every week which was fun specially because it not only teaches you something about others but your own self as well. Raja emphasises that we need to constantly retrospect and introspect which resonated well with me. The workshops helped me clearly pick some behavioral aspects I can improve upon and has also helped me understand which one I shall pick first.
While I understand habit formation/transformations are lifelong practices, the workshops gave me a perspective and a lot of ends & odds to tackle situations in life in general (and most definitely in the professional world). (2021)
My association with Raja goes back around 12 years. During my tenure with Sasken, I had heard about the training that Raja used to conduct for people managers and the excellent feedback participants used to give about this training. They used to come back to work quite charged and excited.
When I joined Philips and got an opportunity to design a program for the managers, the first name that came to me to be associated with was that of Raja Chidambaram. We took time to design a completely new program for the managers called Launchpad. This was a refreshing change for the participants who had been used to regular two day training programs. Even after I moved out of Philips to TP Vision, the program continued in Philips and has completed more than 12 batches.
While in TP Vision, we did a similar program for managers and architects called Goal Oriented Leadership Development (GOLD). This program not only helped in improving attitude and behaviour of the participants, but also helped in improving the engagement level of these employees by open discussions with management. Overall, it was a great program.
Raja is clear in his thoughts and in his concepts. His sessions bring in practical issues people face in daily life and analysis of the situations. The session on Mental Models will remain in anybody's mind even after several years. I would strongly recommend Raja to any organisation who is looking to bring any kind of change management in the organisation. (2018)
Raja was the facilitator of a management course that was part of my self-development plan at Philips. Going into the course, my feeling was, ‘Yet another soft skills improvement course.’ But I was in for a pleasant surprise. Raja’s sessions brought in a connect between the theory behind your behaviors and why you do what you do. The sessions were so engaging that I did not want to miss a single session.
As this was a course that ran over a period of few months, I also got to know Raja as a person. One aspect that comes out clearly about Raja is his genuineness as an individual. I also liked his strategic application of common sense to daily routines, which made work-life balance a breeze. Basic principles like using someone who provides best value for doing a job you are responsible for and you utilizing the time for other higher-value things (best definition of Delegation as I see it). He is one person who can really explain the fact that IQ and EQ are 2 sides of the same coin and only a combination of both can make you an effective individual especially in Technology intensive industries like mine. (2018)
My reactions to Raja’s workshop, ‘Launchpad’, progressed from ‘That’s interesting’ to ‘That makes sense’ to ‘Those are the things I was missing!’. In essence, his sessions had the effect of throwing light on all the things that hold me back from realizing my capabilities, while making it crystal clear that there are no shortcuts to achieving my goals.
His down-to-earth attitude, coupled with his systematic yet realistic approach, makes it easy to understand him, sometimes relate to him, and above all absorb the content to which he exposes us during the workshop.
The learning doesn’t end there as he makes it a point to remain accessible for discussions and advice well past the completion of the workshop. I have benefitted from my interactions with him and will continue to use the lessons he shared with me in both my professional and personal life. (2018)
I was fortunate enough to be part of one of Raja’s Leadership training which spanned over 5 months with 10 modules and indeed it was an eye opener for me. Every module had something new for me; he explained topics with great detail and a practical approach to it. He just did not explain theory from books, but did compliment with his own experience which adds a lot of value.
Raja’s vast experience and sharing helped me to relate to many topics which was important for others but not noticed if otherwise. His training is one of the most sought after sessions; I am sure many others would agree with the same. Most of all, he is a good friend and a good listener, I still reach out to him when I need help. And the best part is he remembers most of the people who have attended his sessions. Without any hesitation I would recommend him for any leadership courses. (2018)
When I made the transition from a technical to a managerial role, I was fortunate enough to be nominated for a leadership training conducted by Raja at Philips for new leaders. Without any doubt, I can vouch for that training to be one of the best I have ever attended in my entire career. Raja's unique style of imparting the most complex leadership lessons in an easy and practical manner was a key takeaway for me. His personal anecdotes and experiences brought a level of intimacy to topics that are otherwise dealt with at a superficial level.
My experience is not an isolated one and participants through the years have had similar thoughts to share. I would like to thank Raja for embedding in me (and so many others at Philips) key leadership qualities that have enabled me to develop as a leader. (2018)
Raja has been involved with Newgen over 10 years, over the course of this time he has taken on long-term projects that involved a change in strategic direction of the company and aligning the employees and ensuring successful implementation.
Raja has the ability to learn new ways and has the ability to work on projects which are long term. He has a deep commitment to deliver on the results promised and ensures all people are on board and aligned. (2018)
Raja and I met last year, in the attempt to bring about a transformational change in the organisational mind-set. As destiny would have it, we uncovered a connecting thread which had its roots three decades ago. It helped us to bind and anchor memories and get started with trust and respect as the foundation.
During a Covid engulfed world, to embark on an exercise in bringing about a growth mind-set may appear to be audacious. In a digital world, on the one hand, minds are distracted by the bombardment of social media messages and on the other hand, cloistered by the loneliness of social isolation. In this environment, to throw a growth challenge at the minds of around four dozen senior managers, can be a hazardous attempt. To hold the attention and keep the mind focussed on the direction, the goal and the intent, requires enormous fortitude and patience.
This is the situation which Raja was entrusted to help us navigate through. Over the last nine months, the idea was conceived and the foetus has grown with the nurturing done by Raja. Through the maze of the Covid emotional rollercoaster, the engagement held firm and the intent held firmer. Raja was the shepherd who kept the flock together in this engagement and in holding the intent. The journey has seen the occasional meandering by members of the flock. However, the shepherd was observant and conscious and applied just the right quantum of nudging for the wanderers to stay put and stay together. (2021)
பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை …………….our journey with Raja continues…….....
The quote by Heraclitus 'The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change' is widely known. But for us at Newgen, Raja seems to be a Constant. During the latter part of 2020, we decided that it was time to change the way we work and adapt to the new expectations of our clients. Raja had worked with other companies in our group on similar projects over the last couple of decades and he was an automatic choice.
I have been interacting with Raja on a regular basis for almost a year now. His ability to help us identify the core issues and look for solutions as a team is one of the many qualities that I like in him. He is empathetic, practical, honest and makes sure that we are all working towards the planned outcome. If you are looking for a consultant who 'Walks the Talk', I would highly recommend Raja. (2021)
During my stint at Sasken, I interacted with Raja Chidambaram extensively in connection with leadership initiatives for my team. Raja had a very original, down to earth fresh outlook for these activities which have a potential of being too cliched and hence ineffective. He had very well thought out the overall design of OBL (On Becoming Leader) and SELF (Sasken Emerging Leaders Forum) - individual modules, associated documentation and his insistence on forcing the participants to break out of 'comfort zones'. While he had support of other HR team for this; his thinking stamp was evident.
Raja also acted as counsellor for many a managers / technical leaders in the organization who were confronted with 'how do I shape my career' issues! He can be brutally frank and honest without appearing brash at the same time, ensures a great support to think differently. Raja carries a great sense of humour and even more interesting set of experiences that guide his 'discourses'! It was a pleasure working with Raja and benefit from his thoughts. (2018)
I was engaged with Raja on Building Essential Leadership skills. While I was going through the training and post the training, I got to explore more about myself like my perception, where do I need to focus more to improve myself (be it professional or personal) and how to handle people with different mindset & behaviour. This training helped me to differentiate between my natural & adapted style.
What I liked the most is the training concepts which Raja has presented; to name a few are - thought process, communication, understanding the stakeholder, feedback, conflicts, everything is covered when you interact with another person. I would like to thank Raja & his team for taking me through the sessions and answering all the questions. (2021)
I have known Raja for most of the last two decades. To me these four words describe him - Audacious, Sensitive, Committed and Converging. Raja brings with him an audaciousness that is infectious. It makes you shed your inhibitions and say things that you wanted to say but normally did not. This is a great asset when you are in a creative or problem solving workshop, making even the most silent voice their opinions. He complements the audaciousness very well with a sensitive approach, sensing people's feelings spot on and ferreting them out pointed questions. Unlike most advisors and consultants who tend to go all over, Raja is extremely closure oriented. Those who have worked with Raja would vouch for the fact that they always got out of a meeting with him with clear goals, actions and measurables.
Raja makes long term relationships and they are a proof of his holistic approach and commitment to work and customers. The holistic approach, as he does not draw artificial boundaries, makes people who have worked with him professionally also tend to turn to him during times of uncertainty and personal trauma as well. (2018)
I worked with Raja when I was the Chief People Officer of Marlabs to help us bring the leadership team together. I found Raja to be very experienced and mature as an executive coach and facilitator. He was very open and his methodology and ideas were very customised to our specific context, and he was able to quickly get the respect of the entire leadership team.
His spiritual outlook brought depth and integrity to his coaching and therein identify key issues and solutions. During the course of our interactions I personally also built a good foundation of trust and friendship with Raja. (2021)
I have been fortunate enough to work with Raja on several leadership development initiatives over the last few years. His approach to leadership development is unique, and his ability, as a facilitator, to connect with the audience is phenomenal.
The program for first time leaders in Siemens which was conceptualized and facilitated by Raja was a huge success and close to 100+ Managers were part of this program in an engagement period of close to 2 years. He does not just stop at facilitating, but ensures to follow up with the participants on a regular basis through the learning phase and beyond.
I have also worked with Raja to initiate behavioral changes in the Senior Management team at 2adpro and the result of the intervention got the entire team to work together as one organization. I was also a participant of this intervention where I was personally coached by Raja. One thing that stands out in Raja as a coach is his ability to enable the participant to arrive at the root cause of the matter through internal deliberation and come up with workable / measurable goals as a solution.
There are no two ways once you engage with Raja. He is upfront, frank and he works with the sole aim of enabling change, be it organizational or personal. I have benefitted greatly in this endeavor as a mentee and highly recommend Raja as a coach. Needless to say, Raja’s persona is such that I can connect with him at any point in time, without having to worry about engaging him formally. (2018)
Teamwork and alignment at the leadership level is critical to accelerating growth in any organization. I partnered with Raja to build and create a tightly aligned senior leadership group at 2adpro - a young startup in a hyper-growth mode. Raja structured a customized engagement which was a combination of a 2-day leadership off-site followed by one-on-one coaching for the team. The results were dramatic!
The team became much more introspective and understood their relative strengths and weaknesses better which led to a much more tight-knit and cohesive team. This was crucial to the company's growth plan as we needed to remain nimble and agile in order to respond to market demands. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Raja and would highly recommend him if you are considering a leadership coach! (2018)
Had the pleasure of being part of one of the exercises on teamwork organized by Raja Chidambaram for our organization when we were struggling to work cohesively with each other. The uniqueness of the approach that Raja brought to the table was the blending of personal and professional when some of us had the trouble of separating them. The fact that they don't need to be separated but blended appropriately for a professional environment hit a home with our entire team.
The program significantly improved the relationships between the managerial team and teamwork happened like clockwork. The team did not know any other way to function. Great stuff. In addition Raja also introduced us to management techniques, self-help methodologies, peer-to-peer relationship build approach which continues to influence us at our work. (2018)
Raja is a very experienced trainer. He combines conventional and modern approaches. I attended several of his training sessions during my stint at Sasken at various levels of Leadership and one thing that stood out is his approachability and openness to feedback and dynamic incorporation of the feedback during the sessions.
I remember the SELF modules in particular and in many such long-duration programs, Raja's infectious energy levels never dropped. Raja's training sessions had that curious mix of informal and at the same time, non-lax elements in them. I remember and compare some previous long-duration training programs where the sessions were more like an incarceration and stiff zombies used to conduct those sessions!! Such sessions can be programmed by Robots and AI!
However, Raja's sessions are vastly different as they bring the distinctly different human approach which he derives from his experience and not from bookish knowledge. The post training sessions were fun as well!! (2018)
Raja is extremely hands-on, is constantly connected with the audience and is able to steer the training by feeling the pulse of the target trainees. His ability to think on the feet with a keen eye for detail, while giving examples / scenarios a person can relate to, sets him apart from the other trainers.
His sense of ownership does not end at the training class-room. He goes above and beyond his regular scope to ensure that the learnings of the training are imbibed in the day-day life of the employee thereby taking the organisation to the next level.
Raja honed my leadership skills and helped me focus on the positives while accepting and working on the improvement areas, through his OBL program. His tips related to time management / prioritization helps me get through the daily grind even after 10 yrs of the training. I strongly recommend Raja Chidambaram to every organisation and leader who wants to take the next leap forward. (2018)
Raja! - My daughter says he's the king and has a kingdom even today. That's true in a sense. He is more than a colleague, a 'Manager or Boss', more than a friend, philosopher and guide. Raja is defined by the number and kinds of people he has influenced in his life.
Raja was introduced to me as a Corporate soft skills coach and trainer way back in 2002 and was considered to be reserved and strict when it came to being a facilitator. But these perceptions were short lived when shortly he became my Manager and started working with me, guiding me and pushing me into unknown waters, making me discover my true potential. He provides perspectives on behaviour, gave me insights to emotions, learning, people, power, dreams, culture and the list goes on.
More than a colleague or a boss, he has dedicated time for my personal development and growth. Raja gave me the opportunity to work with him on 'On Becoming a Leader' and many other behavioural interventions. He is very clear and focused on what he wants to achieve and never deviates from the same.
I cannot forget his often spoken words - 'Promise what you deliver and deliver what you promise'. Here's wishing you the best! (2018)
Raja and I were colleagues in HR during my Sasken stint of career. I have had the opportunity to both be part of his programs as a participant (in cross leadership development programs) as well as observer of some programs he delivered, purely as a fellow colleague in HR.
I always admired how he could customize programs and even tweak certain aspects whilst in the middle of a workshop just to ensure the audience was getting the best out of the learning that was expected from the program. He would take the time to give 1:1 attention to participants during breaks or even after a program to ensure that their queries were addressed and hence their learning also at the optimal best! Always focused and committed and in tune with the expectation from the management...and all this delivered with a sense of humour, an ingredient I find so necessary especially in intense workshops! (2018)
I’ve been a big beneficiary of Raja Chidambaram’s expertise since 2000. With his Moderation technique class, he helped me and my team to do systematic brainstorming on complex issues and arrive at optimal solutions. His On Becoming a Leader training program helped my team to become better leaders. I also have taken his help in numerous HR interventions that helped me accurately analyse the deep issues, interplay of complex human relationships and systemic inefficiencies that were causing such issues, and finally come-up with effective solutions to those.
I also worked with Raja when I joined the board of SoL South Foundation, where he was the founding president for 3 years and later was Director of Programs. In these roles, Raja helped articulate a vision for the foundation, attracted to the board diverse but talented personalities from different spheres of life, increased membership, designed and led very impressive programs that has touched and made difference to a lot of people.
I’m lucky that Raja has been very generous with his time for me at a personal level. I’ve sought and continue to seek his guidance on a variety of topics that has helped me become very effective. Raja is a keen listener, senses the underlying issues quickly and asks tough and often blunt questions that helps drive clarity. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Raja all these years and I wish him the very best. (2018)
Raja comes across a great innovator on how to find solutions to your problems. He has a great ability to find the right problem and focus towards the solution. In an endeavour where we were struggling with leadership in Enabling function, he came up with a package to help us understand how to contract, and hence have clear expectations, and also taught us the appropriate facilitation/moderation skills to go about our work. He helped us to design our Strategy session, which was well received by the Management Team. We have now become key designers for the Strategy sessions for the past 2 years.
The kind of work that he does is not the regular run of the mill kind of consultancy, but something that really adds value to the organization. He has in fact been a good mentor in shaping our future. (2018)
My association with Raja dates back when I was just given the responsibility to lead a team. I was a manager but not the leader. I attended his programme - On becoming leader in year 1999. This was the real eye opener for me. This programme of 6 months has shaped the leader what I am today. I still carry those notes and in any challenging situation, enact my conversation with Raja - what would have been his advice to me.
His other programme on managing the change has put me into one higher orbit. The learnings of this programme I applied to one of my teams. This team was in red and in 4 months, we not only recovered but our team grew in size and responsibility. One of his mantra is to rightly identify the problem that wins you half of the battle. None of the other soft skills training have stayed in my memory this long. Thank you Raja. (2018)
I had the opportunity to work with Raja both as a participant in many of his workshops as well as a facilitator in one of the workshops. He is one of the very few coaches I have come across who is very passionate and takes a holistic approach to change management and leadership coaching. He is able to combine vast knowledge in the subject, experience across different industries and deliver modules with unique intensity. He is a true professional and absolute delight to work with and great learning experience.
He has always emphasized on results at individual and organizational level, which is very evident in the way he goes about designing the modules, customizing and working closely with all participants. I along with many of my colleagues have greatly benefitted through his workshops and strongly recommend him for anyone serious about leadership coaching and bringing in change. (2018)
Raja was a consultant at Sasken when I had just become a Project Manager and was new to working within a team. In a first few interventions Raja was able to help me and my team identify our behavior patterns and guide us to overcome our bottlenecks. Raja was always able to help me in finding solutions to my people and management bottlenecks.
In last 13 years after having worked with Raja, in every soft skill workshop or training program, that I attend, I find them having a lot of repeated concept of what Raja had exposed us in a short span of time.
I have gone back to Raja even after we were not in the same organization, and his guidance helped me solve my problems. It would not be an exaggeration if I say, whatever I understand today of management, Raja has a contribution to it. (2018)
E-commerce and Retail
I have had a deep and a long-standing partnership with Raja. Raja is one of those rare breed of consulting professionals who is obsessed on creating lasting impact for end customer and pulls multiple organizational levers to make that happen. He embeds himself into the organization he works, understands its business, customers, vision, culture and ways of working. Most importantly, he earns trust with multiple stakeholders within the organizational system through his humble, affable and flexible ways of working grounded on empathy. No wonder across all engagements he has worked with the teams I was part of, he became a friend, philosopher and guide to his stakeholders not just during the engagement, but also for life.
Of my experience of being in HR and having done numerous assignments in Organizational Development and Change across multiple contexts, I have no doubt in my mind that Raja is an undisputed subject matter authority in this space and is the BEST in the country. (2018)
Having known Raja for more than twelve years he has been associated with coaching, training and adding value to people across functions and businesses. What makes him truly remarkable is his genuine concern and care for the people he is associated with. He connects with his participants emotionally and intellectually and he is ever willing to lend an ear to help them.
His basic tenets of developing habits and transforming people as opposed to superficially teaching, have earned him tremendous goodwill and respect amongst those he trains. And to conclude, to get the true measure of Raja’s success one should speak to people whose lives he has transformed. (2018)
Raja, one of the most warm, open individuals I have met, is deeply familiar with modern coaching practices & theories, yet isn’t bound by them. His openness to ideas & positions allows him to create new journeys for people, organisations and probably even for himself. (2018)
I met Raja when I attended a three-day workshop on Self-development, organised by him. It is part of his not for profit initiative, and based on some of the work Peter Senge of Fifth discipline fame does. For me, this workshop was one of the few life changing experiences. While I remember only a few techniques used, I could write my Personal Vision, something which remains true even 5 years later. The workshop also helped in Mental models and system thinking; an amazing quality, I seem to have acquired in the last few years, which helps me mine deep insights about any issue. It brings so much peace and satisfaction to me, despite all the ups and downs in life.
I have had many such interactions with Raja, who is a great coach, a friend and a philosopher to me. There is so much to learn from Eastern Philosophy, and when you marry those concepts with best in class Western management principles, the results are astonishing. Raja continues to be my anchor, my sounding board, and a source of inspiration and mental energy. And I am sure, he can help an individual, a group or an organisation achieve great successes in life, through his exceptional style of coaching and mentoring. (2018)
I have had a long association with Raja. I have attended programs/workshops on change management which he has delivered. Raja’s understanding of Systems Thinking is of a very high order.
Raja, as I have seen, is extremely passionate about systems thinking and one of the few experts who can marry eastern philosophy with best of the western management principles. Raja is someone whose candid advice will always be valuable to me. (2018)
I have worked with Raja Chidambaram both on building a vision for the brand and myself. Raja's approach to building a vision and a roadmap thereafter is refreshing and unique. It is practical, has a bias for action and hence does not dwell ad nauseam on theory alone. Two unique aspects that stand out for me are (1) going for quick wins (2) passion with which he drives the objectives.
He does not get too concerned about man hours committed and spent...Raja would not rest till the objective has been met. I have thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with Raja and he has enabled looking at things with a unique perspective. (2018)
Raja is a fantastic mentor, coach and consultant. His experience in running a business comes in very handy in finding practical yet stretched solutions. Raja makes it a point to connect at your wavelength and hence establishes a great degree of comfort. He always provides third party impartial views that help you focus on the larger goal.
His unique style of letting you finding the solution, while being a guiding light, helps in stronger development of individuals. In group assignments his style is to involve all stakeholders in the process of chartering the path for the future, helps in laying a strong foundation for the initiative, to be taken forward with zeal and enthusiasm. It was pleasure working with Raja and continue to benefit from this thoughts and good sounding board. (2018)
I have worked with Raja for 2 years in my capacity of Talent Management Leader at Madura on coaching and visioning exercises. Raja has a very high credibility and hence strong demand from the business teams/ individuals he has worked with.
My observation is that this is because of his persistent and aggressive focus on the outcome required. To get results, he uses a combination of common-sense, strong mastery in practical behavioral models/ tools, a conducive environment that he builds on empathy and trust and his unique ability to let clients know that he is invested in the problem as much as they are (translating into weekend assignments, work beyond billed hours etc.).
Most of his assignments with us have seen success and some have seen early closures – I have rarely seen an assignment, which Raja has taken up, has remained passive or meaningless over prolonged periods of time. I believe this is a huge value addition to any organization, given the domain that Raja works in. I recommend him very strongly for significant, deep-rooted change projects. (2018)
It is his passion and sense of purpose that push all his coachees to eventually achieve more than what they thought they could accomplish. He is able to straddle effortlessly between his role of friend, philosopher and guide depending on the situation. I wish him all the very best for his future endeavours. (2018)
Consulting and Teaching
I met Raja for the first time during a pre-workshop interview for the Eco Systems Leadership Program initiated by the Presencing Institute, back in early 2019. The first impression was actually made by his website, the simple black and white design and illustration. As I am a visual artist, I was intrigued and wondered who is 'Raja'? And the curiosity led me to the first Zoom encounter. Raja was quiet and eloquent when it comes to his work, heritage and cultural background, the ancient wisdom that he grew up with. I saw a human being that has this abundance rooted in his presence, and our friendship and connection was seeded in that conversation and many months and years until present.
We have been through the whole year program of ELP, and also he came all the long way to Jakarta, Indonesia to join the Visual Practice Workshop that I co-facilitated with my mentor and PI colleague, Kelvy Bird in July 2019. I met the 'Artist in Action' Raja during the intensive 3-day workshop.
The artistic thread connected us throughout the 2019 and then COVID hit, which made travel impossible, but we stay connected via Zoom, and co-hosted quite a number of Asia-Pacific Visual Community conversations together.
Raja deeply cares for his people, friends and the Mother Earth. I am grateful to know Raja not only his professionalism in work, but also his deep listening and presence when there's a chance to have a dialogue with him. When he listens, he HEARS you and responds with his whole being; it can only be felt not through minds, but through hearts. I welcome you to make a mark on his calendar, or just send him a message, and the rest of magical moments will unfold. (2021)
As a facilitator and holder of space, Raja is open, grounded and insightful. He is a deep listener with an incredible capacity to hold and support the potential of a group. I greatly admire the way he senses into the needs of the group and offers questions to take the conversation to a generative level.
As a young facilitator, I feel grateful to have worked in a collaborative partnership with Raja, where he brought his wealth of experience and wisdom whilst space for me to learn and grow. Raja's presence and contribution is unique and powerful and I believe he is an invaluable addition to any team or project. Thank you for the boundless generosity and care you bring to your work and the world Raja. (2021)
I had the great opportunity of sharing a learning space with Raja as part of an international Kaospilot program I was mentoring for. In all my encounters with Raja, I was able to realize how focused, engaged and committed he was with every single aspect of his learning process. The program itself required a high level of involvement and dedication to state-of-the-art readings and curated videos, Raja stood out as one of my most devoted professionals.
When you meet a seasoned consultant and coach as Raja, you should enter the relationship unbiased. If that’s not the case, you’ll be surprised to realize how humility and the truthful desire to find new ways to look at the old things will take a center place in his process. Not only did he become part of the team, but he also offered support and his own time for the other participants’ learning journey to be more fluid.
As an international consultant myself, crossing paths with Raja allowed me to also learn more about focus and the depth that comes with the Indian culture. I was impressed with his preparation when coming into our meetings and appreciative of the challenging questions he allowed me to pose, that led him to discover new corners of his own self.
In the journey of life, there are some truly satisfactory encounters, this is one of them.
Thank you Raja and hope to meet again to join forces in making transformation bold & irresistible. (2021)
It is a true gift to have the opportunity to work with Raja. As a participant in his sessions, I have experienced real-time shifts in my beliefs and perceptions. He has a way of making you feel safe to stretch yourself and explore deeper conversations and thoughts. Bringing with him a patient, calm and clear energy when he facilitates, he is able to use multiple tools and approaches suitable for any situation.
A session with Raja is unlike any I have experienced before, you cannot go back to old ways of working once you've been through it. His ability to sense the room paired with his in-depth knowledge makes you feel like you are in trusted hands. Above all it is his ability to translate these deep complex concepts so that others can appreciate and understand it, which is his form of mastery. If you are ready and want results, then you seek Raja.
It is rare and indeed a privilege to encounter a person like Raja, whether as a participant or partner in business. (2021)
I continue to experience Raja as a Mentor, Coach, Facilitator, Business Partner & most importantly Family, and in all these facets he remains congruent and deeply connects with you from his inner sage. Having Raja in your corner is like having the magic mirror who helps reflect back to you the truth that needs to be seen and heard for your long-term betterment. While his work in Change & Organisational Development constantly inspires me, it's his heart and drive to want to build communities who care for their surrounding environments (people & places) that truly shines through.
Raja operates from a profound depth of experience, knowledge, and most importantly generosity with his clients and partners. His nature to listen deeply and readiness to adapt to ensure the client gets the best results even if it's at a discomfort to himself is what makes him a stand-out consultant, coach & mentor. Truly forever blessed with Raja in my corner.
He is an avid learner, with a sharp and inquisitive mind.
More broadly, his approach to life and work solidly stand on the two feet of Western science and Eastern wisdom.
Raja’s style of consulting is rooted in sound theory of human behaviour, which he effectively interprets and combines with the business context. His solutions are easy to understand for his clients and have tremendous business relevance. However, what is not evident is the good mix of intuition and science of human behaviour on which the solutions are based.
Raja does not shy away from trying new things and is open to adapt himself based on feedback. He is able to closely integrate with the client organization without losing his objectivity. He challenges the client but also facilitates them to reach a solution. His approach of doing ‘straight talk’ makes it easy to work with him. (2018)
I have been associated with Raja for a decade now, but my longest association has been in the Learning and Development portfolio while in Madura Fashion & Lifestyle.
Raja has deep understanding of Behavioural Sciences and has an innate ability to bring to awareness of the games the conscious and the unconscious mind plays. I have experienced him using this awareness in his coaching conversations as well as in his interactions with the client system (HR as well as other Business leaders).
His ability to see the goal with razor sharp focus and ability to help the client system see it has always amazed me. His delivery was simple yet profound with a layer of spirituality and humanity. His ability to connect with the guard to the Director and strike a conversation at their level reflected to me his groundedness. The Leadership interventions delivered by him in Madura have remained a hot favourite as it has stood the test of time and relevance, needless to mention Raja's ability to constantly align the design to the changing needs of the participants.
I have personally learnt and grown a lot in my interactions with him.(2018)
Raja Chidambaram is a fantastic human being with an innate ability to connect, coach and change the way a leader or an organization functions. I have greatly benefited from the learning & visioning sessions anchored by Raja.
In spite of being in the same group, my fellow participants and I had varied and personal influences & changes that came about from the program. The time I invested with Raja has changed me both as an individual and as a business manager. Raja's ability to stay connected with the individuals and groups he has mentored, and his continued support by way of extended conversations, reading recommendations, emails and follow through meetings, is exemplary.
In short... Raja is an important member of the influence group that has made me better. Highly recommend Raja and his work for bringing about paradigm changes to the self and the organization. (2018)
I met Raja in 2003 at a leadership training program called OBL (On Becoming a Leader) facilitated by him at Sasken, as soon as I had joined the organization. Looking back, it turned out to have been a very momentous opportunity to sincerely look within and nurture the inborn leader within each one of us.
Raja blends solid knowledge and skills, with an immense sense of commitment to the cause at hand, and he is surprisingly able to draw out similar high commitment from others as well. He establishes a deep and powerful personal connect with each of his participants, down to the very soul of their individual struggles, and through such a strong empathy he is able to enlist their involvement towards transformation in an unbelievably powerful way. I had personally never experienced such an impactful HR intervention before.
I further had opportunities to co-facilitate other training programs with Raja and had excellent learning experiences. The organizational visioning exercise facilitated by him spoke to every employee and was unwittingly instrumental in shaping my own personal vision. Raja is truly gifted, he approaches his work with true spiritual fervor, and I wish him the very best in fulfilling his life purpose. (2021)
Worked with Raja at a time when I was at the crossroads in my career and he helped me think through things clearly and systematically till we reached a logical conclusion and helped me take some radical decisions. He was empathetic yet firm and just did not let go till the end goal was achieved.
With a coach now also have a close friend for life. (2018)
The Raja I Know…In my consulting career of over a decade, and in a corporate career of two decades before that, I have encountered very few consultants who can combine erudition with an equal ability to turn it into application. I do not recall meeting anyone else who wears that combination as unpretentiously as Raja does!
Raja defines for me the term integrity in its fullest sense. The word is often equated with just honesty, but it goes much beyond that: it is a manner of living where one’s beliefs and stances do not have to be articulated verbally because they speak out loud through one’s action choices. Raja believes in touching hundreds of lives and making a positive difference through that touch; he believes in working with organisations in ways that create optimal conditions for desired changes to take effect.
I know this not because he has told me so: I know because I have seen him turning down lucrative work opportunities because they are one-off engagements that won’t lead to any meaningful change; I know because I have seen the way he makes himself available and accessible to people way beyond the defined scope of the engagement; I know because I have seen how tirelessly he works to refine modules that already work very well till they best serve that specific client’s context; I know because I have seen first-hand, the regard with which individuals and organisations hold him, years after he has worked with them.
Another defining trait in Raja is his immense generosity: he shares knowledge without holding back anything and – a much rarer quality – shares himself unsparingly with the people he works with, be they colleagues, clients, or participants in the many different kinds of workshops he facilitates. He is also a strong proponent of ecologically responsible and sustainable living. There is a commitment to making the world a better place that, yet again, speaks out loud through actions more than words. He represents the personification of the beautiful sentiment expressed by Sahir Ludhiyanvi:
maanā ki is zamīñ ko na gulzār kar sake
kuchh ḳhaar kam to kar ga.e guzre jidhar se ham
[Yes, I may not turn the earth into a blossoming garden -
At least I’ll clear the thorns on every path I pass!]
More power to your elbow, Raja – may you achieve your dream of touching a hundred thousand lives!
More power to your elbow, Raja – may you achieve your dream of touching a hundred thousand lives! (2018)
I have known Raja since 2017. We have worked together as colleagues, as fellow-travellers on learning journeys and as collaborators. Into every circle of engagement and leadership, I have entered with Raja, I have always stepped-in with excitement, comfort, joy and anticipation for what is to emerge. Raja brings to any gathering of people, wisdom mined and shaped by personal journeys across cultures, fine aesthetics, creativity and art, courage to cross boundaries, willingness and eagerness to bridge people, ideas and cultures and their artefacts. Raja embodies these elements as if they reside in him every so lightly as he is always open to learning something more.
Raja also has a wonderful capacity to listen, offering space for something new to take form. These qualities certainly bring clarity and direction to any process which he facilitates or participates. Above all Raja's humility, grounding and humour energises a field of conversation and participation.
I always look forward to opportunities to learn and grow with Raja. (2021)
I've attended three of Raja's workshops - each of which have left an indelible mark on my understanding and on my professional journey.
The most impactful one was the three-day workshop on personal visioning based on Theory U - Presencing. It changed my life in a very personal way and also changed the trajectory of my professional aspiration. His Leadex workshop on leadership was very self-affirming while also introducing valuable skills. The workshop on 5th Discipline/Systems thinking he co-led was another awakener. I am sure Raja is a silent but significant force in the changed career journeys of hundreds of professionals in South India, if not more! (2018)
Rest of the World
Raja, the coach, mentor, trainer, facilitator... friend.. weaves social philosophy and management principles seamlessly in his engagement with people, the deep drawn exploration of the 'self' that he facilitates challenges even the most cynical of managers to reflect and appreciate the power of co-creation.
I feel at ease to leave my best people with him as he never strays from the business agenda while getting the best out of them, a valued partner in taking the company from good to great. (2018)
I have professionally known Raja for the last 15 years. He has over this time worked with a variety of clients across diverse sectors to deliver customized HR solutions. In addition to his experience, Raja’s strength is his razor sharp focus in understanding the exact need of the situation and working with the relevant stakeholders in developing the required intervention.
At the personal level, what you see is what you get as Raja is authentic and a straight talker. Unfailingly Raja brings in a lot of value addition to the assignments he handles. (2018)
My association with Raja is just a few years old, yet I feel very comfortable with his very engaging coaching style. Not only has he become a favourite among our Leaders, but he has also helped us develop a strong internal mentoring program. His command over ‘Mental Models’ and understanding of psychological needs of employees, makes his contribution significant to our organization’s development.
His discipline with structure and timeliness, together with well researched content give me the confidence that we can fulfil both current and future developmental needs of our Leaders. Raja’s long years of experience and high-quality understanding of organizational aspects make it easier to work with him. As an individual, I find him warm and friendly, showing great flexibility in the face of uncertainties. (2021)
What I know about Raja as I worked with him for an intervention in my organization, he is a change agent who is radical in his approach with human process sensitivity and goal consciousness. He knows his game well, and is excellent in managing both the objectives.
‘Change’ is not just his agenda, but also his method of approach! His agility and flexibility makes it clear that one size doesn’t fit all. I have in fact witnessed how he is able to unassumingly pull out process models out of his sleeves just in time when least expected by participants, bringing out clarity, conviction and of course Change… Change starting from self! (2021)
Raja has been instrumental in transforming lives of those who wish for it. He desires nothing except for one’s well-being & progress on this path. His depth of human experience & mentoring techniques, helps one to discover & recover.
I had this great opportunity to learn & apply Mentoring from Raja. His insightful approach, selection of techniques & application theories, role playing, coaching, bias for action etc., all worked towards developing a strong mentoring foundation in me. I wish Raja to carry on this noble journey of transforming lives. (2021)
The impact of Raja’s sessions on me has been truly intense and it has changed my perspective on two important facets of an impressive and true leader i.e, Mentoring and Coaching. His sessions are full of life and both content as well as pace of the program are just perfect. Some of the thought provoking topics were mental model, trusted advisor, giving and receiving feedback. The session has honed my skills and now I can link the learnings from his session to my real life scenarios. I am very confident that this will certainly help me in further mentoring my team successfully and will further enhance my leadership skills.
Raja is a true coach, mentor and facilitator who can help you in imbibing some of the most modern management principles & leadership style in a very subtle manner. He seamlessly combines both conventional & modern approaches of coaching to facilitate managers and leaders to introspect themselves. His pragmatic and practical approach keeps the participants fully engaged in the dialogue inducing high level of learning. His communication skills are par excellence and it cascades down to each participant. (2021)
We worked with Raja over the last year at two levels - at a senior group leadership level and also at a divisional level. In both instances, I found Raja to be a person with a deep understanding of human behavior and an ability to assess the situation quickly.
His use of the Mental Models from Peter Senge's, Fifth Discipline, opened a whole new world for us at a leadership level. It brought out nuances within the group and started us on a journey towards integration of departments. It allowed us to introspect, understand the reasons for our behavior and see the possibility of how we could work together if we 'broke down' our mental models about each other / the divisions we headed up. This started us on a path towards giving and receiving straight feedback from one another. His ability to work with a team at the senior most levels was very impressive and courageous!
Raja worked directly with our divisional team to drive a strategic initiative that would encourage us to think out of the box! I have seen the results in so many of the team, who have now taken hold of their own lives to impact those around. Raja has an ability to go down to the 'lowest' levels to be understood and to help integrate the team towards a common goal. The dream of achieving targets that have never been seen before have not been fulfilled yet, but we are on the road towards achieving greater heights because of his timely intervention and direction. He has truly left his mark on our organization! (2018)
I have been part of three very different consultation programmes with Raja. One was a set of leadership training/coaching sessions as a part of a 1 year programme on getting managers of managers to be aware and efficient of their leadership roles; the second was a 2-day intensive moderation skills training; and the third was when he facilitated an off-site brainstorming session with the senior members of our business unit on a lessons learnt and future action workshop.
Raja has an amazing amount of experience and with his unique way of coaching and facilitating, leaves a lasting impression of the principles he expounds on the learners. After several years, I still remember and practice the concepts that I learnt from him. (2018)