2023 BAFG Awards – Meet the Judges Interview Series #2

Hearing from Kaushik Burman, MBA’11Dec – General Manager & Managing Director at Gogoro India Pvt Ltd)

What were your key takeaways after graduating from INSEAD in relation to having a positive social impact on the community? To build businesses which have a deeper purpose, and lead by example. Next, contribute to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals example access to affordable and clean energy and climate action. Lastly, corporates and start-ups need to build an inclusive society, with deep empathy and care.

What do you believe are the critical elements for a business to act as a force for good? Businesses/Corporates need to spend time and efforts in better understanding of the key issues facing societies and communities, fissure points which may be lurking within societies as these have long term implications on people. Develop business models which dovetail solutions, which can solve some of the most pressing issues faced by communities – for e.g. ed-tech product offerings which can provide access to affordable and high quality remote learning solutions to the underprivileged community – thereby upgrading their incomes and livelihood. Focus on the UN SDGs and develop a set of concrete actions which would lead to achieving the SDG goals.

What actions from companies have you seen which has been a Force For Good? Leadership action to create an overall positive impact on life of citizens; Organizational wide cohesion to believe in deep purpose, where employees are fully committed to the vision and mission; Building the cognitive engine with well defined OKRs (Objectives and Key results), with a robust measurement and monitoring process; Diverse mix of board members, with strong governance protocols in place.

What are some examples in your profession/ company where you’ve experienced BAFG first-hand? Shell have led business teams with a well defined charter of SDG goals to solve the topics around sustainability, clean energy and energy access. As for Gogoro, this is NASDAQ listed firm, intersection of sustainability, electric mobility, innovation, clean energy infrastructure – solving the urban mobility, smart grid and clean energy topics aided by an AI driven battery swapping platform. Intellect, a Digital platform, which is solving mental health and wellness problem in a scientific and structured manner – got few of my colleagues to try out the product with excellent benefits.

What were the main reasons for accepting an invitation to be an IAA Singapore BAFG judge? As an INSEAD alumni and IAA SG member, I feel accountable to champion the values of INSEAD, which stands for diversity of thought and action. As a business leader, having led multi billion dollar businesses across diverse international markets, have contributed to the delivery of SDG outcomes, therefore have relevant experience in evaluating business models which are designed for BAFG outcomes. I have been mentoring startups, and angel investor in BAFG driven startups, I feel this is a great opportunity for me to explore and evaluate the companies who are in the fray.

What would like to see in the upcoming review of the companies who are nominated?  Those with bigger and bolder plans to solve SDG goals, capable to embracing innovation in problem solving issues faced by the communities; and societies and be inclusive and diversity in team composition, thoughts and actions.

Meeting our 2023 Judges – Interview series

Post #1 – Diana Gan – Founder of Elementary Capital

Post #2- Kaushik Burman – General Manager & Managing Director at Gogoro India Pvt Ltd)

Catch-up with 2022 Winners – Interview series

Post #1 – Michelle Woo, VP Venture Build, ENGIE Factory Asia Pacific (Corporate Winner)

Catch-up with 2022 Judges – Interview series

Post #1 – Li Lian Liew GEMBA’13 – Director, Corporate Planning at Tan Tock Seng Hospital & Central Health

Post #2 – Apo Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S – SVP Commercial & Regional Head, Asia Pacific, Accelya