18 Nov 2017, 11:40 — 7 min read
Behavioural psychology is a field that is fast gaining traction around the world as a meaningful way to address the challenges facing people and companies. For one engineer, Gopalakrishnan Subramanian, the appeal of the discipline was such that he gave up his corporate job so that he could set up a firm where he could practice behavioural psychology, its principles and also enable organisational development.
Gopal’s firm, The-Enablers, started last year in Bangalore, aims to help both people and organisations write their own script and be in charge when life’s inevitable complexities come calling. Gopal was initially uncertain about making the change in career in his forties but after he has done so he has not looked back.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Gopal Subramanian (GS) shares his business story.
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
GS: I am a computer science engineer and have worked in corporates in areas of engineering, quality, project management, and internal applications. One day I asked myself “why should I go to work?” and more importantly “what do I want to do in life?” This was the time when the question “How do you want to be remembered after you are dead?” made me reflect a lot on what I was doing. I felt I needed to make a difference and even if it is for a handful of people I can derive more happiness and satisfaction because of it.
I developed an interest in behavioural science and completed my Masters in Psychology. Well, if a person comes to me with suicidal tendencies my degree may help understand the theory. However, to address the situation in the here-and-now I felt I need to gain understanding of counselling. Accordingly, I got my Diploma in counselling, NLP and life skills.
I believe each person or an organisation for that matter is capable of writing their own script and be the master of their own destiny. In the process, however, they may need some guidance to understand their potential and maximise their performance. I started off on my journey of enabling people and organisations so they can write their own script and feel liberated. The-Enablers focus on organisational development to enable organisations to create a learning environment based on trust and collaboration with a focus on excellence.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
GS: Coming from an engineering background the first challenge was within me. Am I equipped enough to move into a completely different career altogether and be successful? What if this does not work out? Would I have thrown away what I had for something more ambitious? There was a dilemma within me as to should I go ahead now or continue to do what I was doing. Being from a conservative family background, starting something on my own was considered too risky let alone doing it when I was in mid-forties.Too many questions and with few answers is how I decided to start off. However, my overall purpose and determination allowed me to take this path. Eventually, it is about purpose maximisation.
GL: Do you believe that the ‘ease of doing business’ in India has improved?
GS: Organisation Development, behavioural coaching and counselling for mental wellbeing as an area is gaining focus off late and to that extent there is definitely a market. However, I feel it is not as easily understood given the intangible elements of behavioural change. Moreover, this is more of a transformational process and takes time. It is something like Homeopathy; it takes time to cure but will focus on the root cause to fix things. Organisations, however, tend to look at it in a more transactional manner and want an immediate pain-killer. The challenge is to give them the pain killer and in parallel continue the homeopathic treatment.
In order to bring about the organisational change, the sponsors need to have a change mindset and must be ready to undergo a change themselves. Sometimes they may see change as others falling in line with their decisions which may come in the way of true change.
We are more glued to a hierarchical mindset and get carried away with authority status and prestige. This sometimes comes in the way of cultural transformation. The challenge is to be open to change and think of the kind of organisations one would like to create.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
GS: Having worked in multiple areas like software development, testing, project management, quality assurance and human resources allows me to bridge the gap between the business side and the behavioural side. My prior experience and background allows me to relate to all aspects of the business and hence makes it easy to see all the sides of the equation.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting SMEs?
GS: GlobalLinker provides a perfect platform to network with the SME community and allow us to create awareness about various topics. It is like a mastermind group that helps each other since most of us would have been in that situation and would have applied our own ways of solving things. Each person can learn from the experience of the other person.
GL: What is your big business dream?
GS: Making a difference to people and organisations. Enabling the organisations to create a joyful learning environment.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
GS: When in doubt follow your heart. What matters is you are able to script your life and be happy about it than being a football and getting kicked around by others.
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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