D N Prasad is an Executive Coach (PCC, International Coach Federation), transformational HR Leader and Mentor/Advisor with expertise in leading scaled transformation, building and scaling organizations & functions (in-country, region and global) and shaping & nurturing cultures and careers. In his current appointment, Prasad serves as Senior Director at GovTech, Singapore responsible for Corporate Strategy, Human Resources, Workplace, OD & Culture. He is also a Public Service Coach with Public Service Division, Singapore.
Given his role with Singapore Government, Prasad now works with select leaders and on pro-bono coaching engagements.
His progressive career leadership experiences span seven and a half years with Infosys (where he was the global head of early career hiring, campus relations and HR Operations) and close to 12 years with Google. He also brings extensive experience with coaching (in-market, regional, functional and ambassadorial) leaders across APAC, Middle-East, India and US, across a range of industries – Technology/Digital, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Transport, Consulting, Media, Insurance, Healthcare, Education, SMEs and start-ups. In his last corporate stint, he served as Director and Head of Google People Services for APAC and as a Leadership Coach, at Google Inc (one of the 12 internal coaches globally, and, the only one in APAC, on the executive coaching roster with distinguished external coaches, coaching leaders and managers across Asia Pacific and in US).
A trained and practicing Ontological Coach (Newfield Certified Coach), Prasad has extensive experience with coaching (in-market, regional, functional and ambassadorial) leaders – at CXO levels across Asia Pacific (Including India and SEA), Middle East & US, in diverse industries including Technology/Digital, Investment, Insurance, Start-Ups & Scale-Ups, Media, Manufacturing, Shipping, Banking, Transport & Mobility and E-commerce. He believes in and models himself for continuous development – a journey that has taken him towards several Coaching related developmental programs & certifications – Performance Coaching (The Coach Partnership), ECQ12.0, Hogan Assessments and Marshall Goldsmith Certified Coach for Stakeholder Centered Coaching & Team Coaching. He is also a Member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and Forbes Coaches Council.
Apart from coaching CXOs, Prasad is a strong proponent of strengthening Coaching Cultures in teams and organisations; he designed and facilitated a program to build a coaching culture for a global team of (50) people leaders and facilitated “Coaching Fundamentals” & “Coach as a Leader” workshop at Google and also with his clients during his entrepreneurial days.
Prasad was conferred as a Master Professional by the Institute of Human Resource Professionals(IHRP), Singapore in November 2019, and is one of the 27 HR leaders with this recognition. He serves on the Advisory board for a Bespoke HR Solutions company Ad Astra Solutions , on the Board of Management Studies of T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal – India and as a member of The Professional Practices Committee for IHRP, Singapore.
Coaching as a journey was an organic evolution – initially as a student of coaching and a beneficiary and later, as an intentional practitioner. Starting with coaching kids in the age group of eight to eighteen, and personally benefiting from mentoring and coaching from a few of his role models, Prasad started his own journey as a coach more than a decade ago, and has since been active as a career, manager and leadership coach across several platforms and regions within and outside Google. As a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, he has over 1200 hours of coaching experience and over a 175 hours of investment in his own development as a coach.
Prasad’s interventions are founded in the time-tested principles of collaboration and building trust. His own “battle scars” and a challenging, yet respectful coaching style guides clients along the path to become keener observers of their own context/behaviour and consequently, their actions. The experience gained over two decades in progressive leadership and coaching are catalysts that have helped Prasad assist his clients in taking meaningful strides towards their envisioned future.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
About Prasad’s journey towards coaching, in his own words:
A flashback (or a journey in continuum) to my past, and three defining experiences that shaped my values and approach as a person and a coach.
Schooling: I spent six years in a very respected Jesuit Institution – St. Joseph’s Indian High School – and, growing up in a very competitive, yet, collaborative atmosphere – be it in studies, sports or other extracurriculars – instilling early, formative lessons on collaboration, inclusivity, team spirit, and the importance of holistic development. And, even better, one of “nurturing”.
Basketball: There was an interesting start to the story. Growing up as a bit of a sick child, and having severe problems with flat footedness (without access to easy remedies back in the days), I was sitting at home most times, wearing a pair of heavily strapped leather boots to rectify the issue – and, I was really an obese pre-teen. My grandfather decided it was time I got back to shape, and took me to this sports club near my place and got me to enroll. The rest, as they say, was history. I spent close to 12 years, with single minded dedication – as a player (played national level, in age group championships), coach (spent a lot of time coaching youngsters – aged 7 through 18, a bunch of them went on to represent India, but, most of them turned out to be good and successful human beings) and administrator (managed the club with close to 300 kids and was tournament director for some of the best run tournaments in the state). It was here that the early seeds of coaching and HR were sown.
Role models and Mentors: I have been lucky and blessed to have seen, interacted, grown up with and been mentored by a few role models. I speak fondly of five of them – my two grandfathers, a grand uncle, my basketball coach and my first mentor at Infosys, the company I joined soon after my grad school. And, there were several managers and mentors along my career…I have learned from them beyond what books and schools could teach. I have borrowed inspirations for values and work ethics, and my founding principles around work relationships, connecting with people, focus on individuals, teamwork and more, as I was forming my own. And realizing the value a mentor can offer, I molded myself to be a manager/mentor to all I work with. People management came early to me in my career, and, I made sure I was managing, mentoring and even coaching, from day 1.
Moving forward 19 years to 2015…
I was an active Guru and an internal coach across a few platforms at Google, and was in a happy space – and then, I was at a point of (self) reflection. By now, I was clear that coaching was not just a passion, but a calling. I knew I would be a full-time coach someday and I also knew, I had to sign up for a continuous journey of evolution and growth as a coach… this quest took me to Ontological Coaching with Newfield Asia. Ontological coaching focuses on changing the “observer” we are as individuals, and I experienced it first hand. I had moved to US, for a global job, with Google.
But, there was something missing in the puzzle. I wanted to be in Asia, I wanted to coach, I wanted to touch lives and create impact by nurturing them. I had grown beyond large globals team(s) and titles. I wanted to be in an emotional equilibrium myself so I could guide others. And, I was back in Asia, again, with a clear eye on the future as a coach. Truth be told, I would not have taken this decision, had it not been for the changed “observer” I had become.