Brillian S.K., DTM

Brillian S.K., DTM

Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 8

Toastmasters member since: 2009

Education: Doctorate in Management Studies, Masters in Human Resources Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Computers, Bachelors in Engineering.

Employer and/or position: TimesPro, Executive Vice President & Head of People, Places and Processes

Served as District Director of District number: 98

Term of service: 2015-2016

In term as District Director, District achieved: President's Distinguished


Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):

  • 2013-2014 Lieutenant Governor Marketing, D41
  • 2014-2015 Lieutenant Governor Education and Training, D41
  • 2015-2016 District Director, D98
  • 2019-2020 Region 13 Advisor

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):

  • 2013-2014 Excellence in Marketing
  • 2014-2015 Excellence in Education and Training
  • 2015-2016 President's Distinguished District

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board Member:

1. As the Executive Vice President and Head of People, Places, and Processes at a cutting-edge technology-driven higher EdTech company, I also hold additional roles in student success and quality. My track record includes helping define our core purpose, vision, mission, and values for the company, contributing to our journey towards becoming a world-class organisation. My background in overseeing global, multi-generational teams in diverse cultural settings has equipped me with proficiencies in policymaking, financial risk mitigation, budget management, and team leadership. My role involves working closely with the CEO, providing advice and consulting expertise in team building, strategic planning, leadership development, and brand alignment with the company's purpose. These skills would prove valuable in serving on the Board or its committees.

2. I hold top-class coaching certifications from Gallup as a Strengths Coach and from Dr. Marshall Goldsmith as an Executive Leadership Coach, which are highly relevant and aligned with working with multigenerational leaders.

3. I began my career as a teacher and subsequently transitioned into roles as a software developer, business analyst, and pre-sales analyst. These diverse experiences immersed me in multicultural settings, enhancing my ability to oversee critical aspects of business and technology while nurturing the growth of emerging leaders.

Throughout this journey, I've effectively spearheaded transformations in organisational behaviour and culture. I am confident that these experiences, skills, and competencies would complement and enhance the capabilities of the Board.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

1. Collaboration with CEO and Senior Leaders:

  • Played a pivotal role in fostering a growth-focused business with an annual turnover of approximately 70 million USD.
  • Responsible for defining the organisational structure and ensuring the strategic alignment of policies and practices with the long-term vision.
  • Experience managing people, policy, and growth strategy at a Global Higher Education School:
  • Developed and executed a comprehensive people plan, strategically aligning it with our growth objectives.
  • Oversaw cross-country hiring budgets to optimise talent acquisition.
  • Spearheaded initiatives to promote diversity in our hiring practices, fostering an inclusive work environment.
  • Managed local contracts and ensured compliance, contributing to streamlined operations.

2. Toastmasters:

  • Played a key role in shaping the district strategy for District 98.
  • Crafted an efficient, resource-conscious strategy in the first year, enhancing the member experience while upholding quality standards.
  • Successfully organised two conferences as a District Director, that not only achieved profitability but were entirely self-funded, demonstrating exceptional financial management skills and event planning expertise.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

My role involves a comprehensive approach to managing and optimising the financial aspects of the company's human capital.

1. Responsibilities as Executive Vice President and Head of People, Places, and Process:

  • Budgeting and forecasting for manpower, technology, infrastructure, and facilities.
  • Cash flow management, variance tracking, and monitoring to influence profitability.
  • Core Financial Responsibilities include cost management and control, expenditure monitoring, and reduction of unnecessary spending.
  • Successfully reduced costs by 30% across people, infrastructure, and facilities during the pandemic through controls and strategic budget planning.

2. Key member of company's Financial Excellence Group:

  • Review and assessment of Profit & Loss accounts for various business units.
  • Meticulous scrutiny of costs and variances against budgets in a timely manner.

3. Chair of the Compensation Committee, providing oversight of the long-term incentive plan for the company.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

1. I have a rich background in globally monitoring, reviewing, and implementing policies. These policies respond to various factors, including government directives, local regulations, global mandates, and competitive pressures, driven by the need for agility and responsiveness.

2. I have closely collaborated with finance, legal, and compliance teams to establish globally applicable, financially risk-free, gender-neutral, inclusive policies aligned with the company's strategic objectives.

3. I am currently engaged (pro bono) with a local university, contributing to the development of their ethics, harassment, and safety policies.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

1. Engage: Inspiring and involving team members in our shared vision is instrumental in shaping the future and fostering the organisational culture we aim to cultivate.

2. Listening: As a leader, I've realised that the single factor that makes all the difference is listening.

3. Prioritising What's Right: For a volunteer leader, prioritising what's right over what's popular is demanding but crucial. It enables us to navigate challenging times while steadfastly upholding the core values of IRSE.

4. Consistent Service Quality: Consistently serving everyone with unwavering passion is crucial. As a leader, it's essential that everyone experiences the same high service quality from you.

5. Embracing Diversity: Embrace the 'agree to disagree' mentality, encourage debates, and avoid the 'my way or the highway' approach. Cognitive diversity is essential for delivering the best for our members and the organisation.

What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?

1. With over 25 years of experience in strategic business partnering, cost management, and talent management, I am deeply committed to empowering members and leaders on a global scale.

2. My extensive experience spans global strategic partnering and policymaking across various domains, making me well-suited to enhance the capabilities of a forward-thinking Board.

3. I hold a Doctorate in Management, which has provided me with profound insights into organisational dynamics and effective leadership. My expertise in research, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving equips me to identify and assess innovative solutions, always with the best interests of our members in mind.

My rigorous learning journey coupled with my work experience has deepened my understanding of organisational dynamics and effective leadership. This capacity for research, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving enables me to contribute innovative solutions, prioritising the interests of our members.

Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?

I believe we can build an inclusive organisation keeping member needs at the core of all decisions. I aim to offer innovative solutions to rebuild member confidence amid changing needs. My diverse experience as a teacher, technologist, and people strategist brings complementary skills to the Board.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

1. Advocacy for Women's Education and Empowerment:

  • 15-year association with a women's university in Mumbai.
  • Currently serving as a Program Advisor and Academic Content Advisor.

2. Served as Deputy District Rotaract Representative at Rotaract District 3140 (Youth Wing of Rotary International) (2004-2005):

  • Actively involved in building a community service mindset.
  • Worked on building membership and young leader development.

3. Active volunteer with an NGO in Mumbai, supporting children and women through:

  • Fundraising efforts.
  • Program planning and coordination.
  • Mentorship initiatives.

4. Served as General Secretary of the Electronics Engineering Students Association (1996-1997):

  • Responsible for curating programs to benefit fellow students.
  • Organising placement and lecture activities.
  • Nurturing engagement with industry partners.

5. Served as Zonal President, National Human Resource Development Network Mumbai (2016-2019):

  • Skilfully curated thought leadership events.
  • Passionately promoted a culture of sharing, learning, and coaching.

Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.

I am associated with various organisations beyond Toastmasters.

1. Start-up Mentor at Spark Incubation Centre:

  • Association as a Mentor with an initiative under the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Providing guidance and support to budding entrepreneurs.

2. Member of Corporate Advisory Board:

  • Affiliation with a private university.
  • Active involvement in bridging the gap between industry and academia.
  • Collective aim to prepare students for future career success.

3. Member of Curriculum and Program Development Advisory Boards:

  • Serving as a member for two private universities.
  • Contributing to the enhancement and development of academic offerings.

In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

1. Given the ever-changing dynamics, enhancing service levels for our members is paramount. With the potential for membership growth, we must establish more robust service standards, expedite turnaround times, and formulate standardised operating processes (SOPs) that promote both member and organisational development.

2. We should actively explore new avenues for outreach and strategic partnerships, similar to the Rotary engagement. These initiatives have the potential not only to bolster our brand recognition but also to drive global membership growth and expand our network of clubs. We can create powerful synergies that could leave a lasting impact on our organisation's growth and reach.

3. We could establish a Professional Development Credits (PDC) system. This system could provide our members with valuable credentials and foster partnerships with institutions such as PMI, CIPD, SHRM, and others. Leveraging our extensive knowledge base and experience to create "off-the-shelf" learning modules could establish a strong brand connection and potentially attract new members. There is a growing demand for quick certifications across skill sets, and offering such modules can cater to this need while promoting lifelong learning and skill development. It's a strategic move that aligns with our mission and could yield significant benefits for the organisation and its members.

I bring expertise in strategy formulation, building service teams and crafting policies. I have been involved in strategising outreach initiatives for brand building and brand promotion. This positions me to contribute significantly to elevating our service standards and ensuring a seamless experience for our members and the organisation.

Additional information about candidate:

I am a dynamic and adaptable individual, driven by a profound passion for service, ongoing learning, and creating a lasting impact. My upbringing was grounded in a family ethos that cherished ethics and community service. I am a staunch believer in the significance of giving back to society.

I hold a firm conviction that the amalgamation of my diverse service experiences, spanning my professional career, involvement in Rotaract, volunteer work, and my transformative journey with Toastmasters, has uniquely equipped me for a pivotal role on the Toastmasters International Board. Together, these experiences have honed my leadership skills and deepened my commitment to making a meaningful difference.