We interviewed EADA alumnus Vibhu Sinha, professor of the MiM Personal Inspiration Week course Personal Branding and the Art of Pitching with Authenticity. Vibhu is an intrapreneurial and bottom-line driven senior investment and strategy professional, published author, and awarded public speaker, with over ten years of experience in leadership roles advising institutional investors as well as early-stage ventures on go-to-market strategy, product development, pitching and branding, M&A, investment due-diligence, and asset management.
What do you think inspires today’s next-generation managers?
It was Milton Friedman’s view that corporations have a responsibility to generate the highest possible returns for its shareholders, and I believe that corporations and the managers working there have adhered to Friedman’s ethos and worked diligently towards shareholder value maximisation globally. However, in the third millennium, the viewpoint has shifted, and corporate social responsibility has emerged as an undeniable motivating factor in addition to the shareholder value. Therefore, what inspires today’s next-generation managers is what I call “meaning making” – value creation while doing good.
What is the biggest take away as an alumnus coming back to EADA?
EADA has a thriving alumni community – not just in Spain, but globally. I feel fortunate and grateful that I have the opportunity to visit the campus again and share my experience with current students. I think of my role as a facilitator and a coach, bringing fresh, relevant and new perspectives from the industry, and leveraging them to augment student’s academic experience and theoretical constructs. It is also an opportunity for me to brainstorm ideas and opinions with the new minds of EADA.
What role does networking play in personal branding?
Networking plays an important role in personal branding, but what is even more important is introspection. The analogy I like to use is: imagine that you feel a bit hungry, and you decide to go to the grocery story. The store sells ingredients for making all sorts of meals – from pasta to sushi. But you don’t know what you feel like eating. So what will you buy? More than likely, you will spend unnecessary time circling around the store in the hope that it would offer you some clarity on what you feel like eating.
Networking is like that. If you attend a professional association or networking event, you meet all sorts of people in a very short period of time – it’s up to you to be opportunistic in communicating your personal brand in the most genuine way. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for in life due to a lack of introspection or clarity, you will miss out on communicating your personal brand effectively to the right audience.
What does it mean to be “authentic” and how important is authenticity in today’s professionals?
We play several different roles in society and become involved in different relationships depending upon where we are in our respective lives – a son or a daughter, a husband or a wife, a father or a mother, a student, an analyst, a manager, a director, an entrepreneur, an athlete, and a volunteer. But there is one particular relationship that we always have, no matter what stage of our lives we’re in, and this is the relationship with ourselves.
To withstand being brutally honest and sincere about who we are, our core, and our values at any given moment is authenticity. Authenticity is not only important, but it is required – no matter what we go through in our personal lives or no matter what situations and circumstances we face in business, our authentic relationship with ourselves gives us the courage to do the right thing.
How would you define personal and professional success?
The measurement and definition of success, be it personal or professional, is subjective. People can define success in terms of the wealth that they have accumulated, the number of followers they have on Instagram, the number of quality hours they spend with family and friends, and the list goes on. Different definitions and measurements work for different people. The way that I define success is more spiritual – if you can look back at your life, and affirm out loud with the utmost authenticity, “No regrets!”, then that is success!