In Conversation with Sumit Sawhney

Sumit Sawhney

About Sumit Sawhney

Sumit Sawhney is an accomplished senior corporate executive with over 27 years of rich global experience in managing business and learning functions for large corporations and some of the best brands like Taj Hotels, GE, Vodafone, United Health Group, and more. He is currently engaged with another large global ITES organization as its Executive Vice President and Global Leader in Capability Development and Learning. He is known for his transformative role in defining strategic direction and executing best-in-class, future-ready learning and skilling solutions for top Fortune 500 brands globally.

Sumit’s specialty lies in the creation and scaling of large, global learning functions across diverse industries, having successfully built multiple such organizations from the ground up. An innovator in the realm of learning, he has pioneered several firsts in the digitization of learning and skill-building in the digital world. His expertise also extends to Human Resources strategy, Establishing HR COE’s and org wide culture and change programs. Sumit also has extensive experience in 1talent management, leadership development, executive coaching, learning transformation, and creating advanced employee value proposition capabilities.

His contributions to the field of learning and development have earned him and his teams numerous accolades, including four major global awards in 2022–23, the coveted Silver Learning Elite Chief Learning Officer award for 2022–23, and the prestigious ATD BEST award in learning in 2020 ranking 7th globally. Sumit’s leadership has also had a significant impact on his teams, with many of his mentees going on to lead learning for large organizations.

Beyond his corporate accomplishments, Sumit has also played a vital role in social impact initiatives, notably mentoring the founders of a rural BPO on their skillful agenda in Africa and beyond. He was also a key partner in a consulting assignment for the government of Egypt to establish and grow the BPO/ITES industry from a talent availability and skilling perspective.

Sumit holds a degree in hotel management from IHM Delhi, an Accelerated General Management program certification from IIM Ahmedabad, and a Harvard Management Certificate. His extensive experience and robust academic background have equipped him with unique insights and practical wisdom, which he eagerly shares through his writing.” In the past, Sumit has been publishing thought leadership blogs and articles in some magazines and also on LinkedIn.

LiFT: Tell us about your book, the journey of writing it and its content.

Sumit Sawhney: This book is the culmination of my years of experience, research, and insights gained from leading the learning strategies and charters of top global companies. I have witnessed first-hand the power of a well-crafted learning strategy and the impact it can have on employee engagement, productivity, and ultimately, the bottom line. But in this rapidly changing world, we cannot rely on traditional methods alone. We need to embrace AI and other technologies to create a learning ecosystem that is effective, efficient, and future-ready.

Throughout the chapters of this book, I will guide you through the key elements, technologies, and approaches that will transform learning in your organization. We will explore the latest research and recommendations by large consulting firms, giving you a solid foundation to build upon. But this book is not just about theory; it is about practicality. I will provide you with real-world examples, case studies, and actionable insights that will help you customize these approaches to fit your own teams and organizations.

I find so many learning leaders looking for answers on what may be a good approach to integrate digital / AI on their learning strategy. At the same time businesses are expecting learning leaders to deliver outcomes and generate superlative employee engagement and In an efficient, cost effective and effective manner. This compelled me to author this book and share my experiences with the fraternity as the sooner organisations get on board this journey the better prepared will they be for the challenges of the future with a future easy workforce.

LiFT: Why you chose this title?

Sumit Sawhney: The title was aimed to get the attention of those interested in and responsible for crafting learning approaches / strategies for their companies. Everyone in this field is grappling with how best to integrate AI and digital in their learning process and hence the title points to the answers that lie in my book.

LiFT: When did you realize that you want to be a writer and what’s your inspiration behind it?

Sumit Sawhney: I have always written on and off. As a school kid used to win story writing competitions and my stories or articles were a regular feature in school magazines. Also both my parents were educators and my father has been an accomplished and published author in the field of literature with his books prescribed in the delhi university. Maybe something in the DNA acted up as well to get me to write. Lastly I believed I am at a place where I have gained mastery and expertise in my domain at a level where I feel the urge to share it and distribute my learning’s with the wider world.

LiFT: Where do you see yourself ten years down the line in the world of literature?

Sumit Sawhney: I never look that far ahead and believe in a day at a time. But one thing is certain, the writing big has bitten as this is surely my first book but not my last one 🙂

LiFT: How much do you think marketing or quality of a book is necessary to promote a particular book and increase its readers?

Sumit Sawhney: Targeted marketing is essential I believe so it gets to its intended audience. Especially for a book like mine which may have a niche audience. More than the financial benefits, it’s the desire to get my work read and utilised by the wider industry is the key reason why I find marketing as an essential enabler.

LiFT: What is the message you want to spread among folks with your writings?

Sumit Sawhney: Become the best version of who you are. Build your expertise and be a thought leader in your domain. Pioneer the way forward in your field for others to learn from.

LiFT: What do you do apart from writing?

Sumit Sawhney: I love to travel. Much before backpacking became fashionable, I used to backpack on the early 90’s staying in youth hostels all over the world and gaining new perspectives. Travel opens my mind like nothing else. So between my corporate life, family and the recently acquired authoring I find ways to travel solo every year to somewhere new. Have been at it last 24 years without fail.

LiFT: What are the activities you resort to when you face a writer’s block?

Sumit Sawhney: Do something completely different that relaxes me. Like play a video game, listen to music, cook etc. Somewhere suddenly the ideas strike back and I get back to writing.

LiFT: Are you working on your next book? If yes, please tell us something about it.

Sumit Sawhney: Not yet but thinking about going deeper into the subjects of my first book.

LiFT: What are your suggestions to the budding writers/poets so that they could improve their writing skills?

Sumit Sawhney: Read a lot. That will improve your writing like. Nothing else.

Click here to order Sumit Sawhaney’s Book

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