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Top 100 v1.60 Gautam Ghosh

Top 100 v1.60 Gautam Ghosh

In 2002, there were not many people talking about blogging (the term of art was Weblog). The dot com collapse was still front and center. Business was at a standstill following 911. Weblogging was in its infancy in Silicon Valley. There were few international proponents.

In India, Gautam Ghosh was trying to sort out his place in the world. After a series of starts in the hotel industry and pharma sales, he’d picked up an MBA from XLRI school of Business and Human Resources, one of the country’s leading universities, in 1999. While trying to build career traction, Gautam launched his blog in 2002.

By 2007, he was being recognized (by HRWorld) as one of the most influential online voices in HR. Ghosh is busy demonstrating that social media can be a real careerpath. It’s particulary interesting to hear him tell about the use of social media in India. Creating a new career path in a stodgy discipline like HR is less common outside of the United States.

As the democratization of celebrity continues to push through global society, the applecart is being upset all over the place. Much of the reaction to the algorithm generated lists of HR and Recruiting influencers has to do with the unpredictability of new work trajectories. Emerging communications technologies make head spinning career moves possible.

Ghosh rode the blogging trajectory through stints with Dell, Deloitte, HP and Erewhon while coming to the conclusion that his future was in independent consulting. By 2009, Businesspundit.com had him listed as one of the top 75 business blogs in the world. It’s pretty heady stuff.

In my conversations with Ghosh, I’ve always noticed an undertone of something particularly HR-like in his approach to developing his vocation. “I was always looking for my place in the world,” he said in a recent phone call. This emphasis on ‘fit’ is at the heart of what social media makes possible.

He told me about a large Indian company that has a Chief Beliefs Officer. The CBO is responsible the way that rituals, beliefs and myths are deployed in the workplace. Ghosh used the example to illuminate some of the differences between Indian HR and it’s more Western implementations.

“We are not investing in fundamental research and are just blindly applying Western HR concepts to work. But, as you can imagine, in a land where a ‘CBO’ is a good idea, there are some hiccups. Work, compensation, community and motivation are all different culturally. We are in the early stages of discovering what is Indian about Indian HR”.

That’s part of the reason that Ghosh joined the startup 2020Social, where he heads the talent practice. The company’s clients are mostly in the marketing space. 2020Social has Ghosh in its ranks because they understand that the difference between custmers and employees is mostly theoretical.

Gautam Ghosh is a role model in his home country and around the world. A decade of demonstrating that alternate career paths work while focusing on big ideas and implementation gives him a platform for influence all over the world.

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