Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- International Director 2013-2015
- Second Vice President 2016
- Region 13 Advisor 2011-2012
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
- Club Extension Award (D82) 2009-2010
- Leadership Excellence Award (D82) 2009-2010
- President's Distinguished District Award - #1 in the World (D82) 2009-2010
- Excellence in Education & Training Award (D82)2008-2009
- Excellence in Marketing Award (D82)2007-2008
- Distinguished Toastmaster 2007-2016
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
I am one of nine partners in a professional accounting firm with 90 employees, servicing a multi-national clientele. I specialize in accounting services, financial advice, strategic planning, and general business growth and development. Leading employees has expanded my leadership skills and entrepreneurial knowledge. I would use these skills, including 31 years in accounting, to help members of the Executive Committee/ Board to work on tactics to implement our strategic plan, develop policies and protocol for our membership, and ensure our organization remains sound while expanding.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As Second Vice President, I am presently assisting the Board of Directors in prioritizing implementation of the various aspects of the 2015 Toastmasters Strategic Plan. As International Director, I assisted in creating and developing the Strategic Plan that was launched in August 2015. In my professional career, I assist multinational clients in developing strategic plans for their business growth. My specialization in international taxation, direct taxes, cross-border taxation, and transfer pricing helps my clients remain compliant with international law, and stay financially sound.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I am a student of finance and commerce, with over 30 years of finance and accounting experience. I help manage the budget and financial stability of my accounting firm. For three years, as a part of the district trio, I helped manage the finances of a geographically large district, and gained insights in Toastmasters budgeting and finance. As International Director and now as Second Vice President, I assist in the review of the annual budget of Toastmasters, and exercise ongoing fiduciary oversight over the organization’s finances.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
I have helped many clients, both commercial and not-for-profit entities, in developing policies for various aspects of their businesses, including those for setting up their business, and for finance, accounting, human resources and administration. As International Director, I had reviewed Toastmasters International Policies and Protocol with the intention of amending existing policies, as well as developing policies to help in improving the governance of the organization. In my accounting firm, we continually review, update, and add policies to make our organization stronger.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I have learnt that leadership is all about people. It is essential to understand the needs of the people and the organization, and to bring harmony between these two needs. The other aspect I have learnt of leadership is to empower teams so that they learn essential leadership skills and grow into effective leaders. Ultimately, as a leader, it is important to have a clear vision and values that should be kept in focus every step of the way. In the words of John C. Maxwell, ‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.’
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
I would bring long-standing experience and comprehensive knowledge in strategic and financial management gained through my accounting background, along with a thorough knowledge of the functions of Toastmasters International, and its operations and strategy. I possess experience in club growth and program implementation, especially in emerging markets. I am certain that my ability to lead groups of diverse people, work as a team member, discern when to use which skill, and compatibility in working well with multiple cultures will help me with my role.
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
My primary motivation is people. In the last fourteen years, I have observed, firsthand, the positive impact of Toastmasters on peoples’ lives. There are still billions deprived of the benefit of Toastmasters. I believe that Toastmasters International is poised for rapid growth through its strategic plan by building awareness and serving people around the world using contemporary tools. As one who helped build multiple districts in an emerging market, I have the requisite knowledge, experience and skills to serve our organization and its members by helping us achieve our Toastmasters’ mission, and envisioned future.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
As Chairman of the Chandra Charitable Trust, New Delhi, a not-for-profit organization, I have helped in providing access to education and medical relief to the underprivileged sections of society. During a three-year term as the Secretary and Executive Committee Member of the Old Columbans Association (OCA), my school alumni society, comprising of about 10,000 members, I helped develop its policies and procedures. Also, as a part of the core team, I helped organize an alumni event that was attended by over 3,000 persons.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
In addition to serving as a partner in my accounting firm, I am presently a non-executive director on the Board of a number of corporations that have diverse businesses such as hospitality, real estate development, publishing, and financial consulting. Some of these corporations include Gurgaon Recreation Park Ltd. (hospitality); Ambi Knowledge Resources Pvt. Ltd. (publishing); and Trak Consolidated Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (consulting). As mentioned above, I am also the Chairman of Chandra Charitable Trust, a not-for-profit organization that works with the objective of providing education and other aid to the underprivileged.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
In my opinion, the main objectives are to spread the benefit of Toastmasters to the largest number of people, and to ensure that members gain these benefits through a robust educational program, helping them become better leaders and communicators. As an International Officer, I will work with the Board to plan strategic initiatives, and develop long-term marketing strategies for emerging markets. I will also work towards strengthening existing markets, improving the educational program to promote high quality meetings and retention of members, as well as achieve global electronic outreach and enhanced online training.
Additional information about candidate:
I have worked with the American Center in New Delhi (a department of the US Government) in conducting the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program across six cities in India for 700 underprivileged youth, involving over 100 active Toastmasters. This attracted press coverage and built awareness about Toastmasters in these cities, leading to the growth and development of Toastmasters clubs. I have been married to Kavita, an educationist, for 28 years, and have two daughters, Rajita, 27, a PhD Candidate in Boston University, and Ramita, 22, pursuing an advanced program in Movement Arts & Mixed Media at Bengaluru, India.