Karthikeyan Damodaran – Leader, Culinary Connoisseur & Family Guy

Two decades ago, I ran a medical shop for three years. Let me clarify that. It was actually a veterinary pharmaceutical distribution firm. My primary interlocutors in this previous life used to be poultry farmers, sheep breeders and by the evening very passionate (and sometimes very good looking) pet owners.

So, today when I look around and see where I am, even I can’t believe the transformation that has happened. The only rational reason I can attribute to this is that I must be blessed with an extraordinary amount of luck!

During my MBA, I repeatedly flunked in Statistics…badly! And then one day, like a divine intervention, I devoured an entire textbook in one night and it just came to me. I departed the final exam hall like Moses’ return from the Temple Mount, and haven’t looked back ever since. I am extremely fortunate that a couple of interviewers from GE took a chance on me and equally generous supervisors overlooked all my inadequacies in the first few years of my first job in analytics.

The very exciting thing in this field is that it is filled with really, really intelligent people. For more than a decade now, I have enormously enjoyed interacting with them and the associated learning that comes with it. As an individual contributor, I was a very mediocre resource. But in a very twisted way, that has turned out to be a blessing when I took up people development as a responsibility. I have had many, many people in my teams who have been far superior to me and their brilliance and success has taken me along as well.

Moving to BRIDGEi2i was a decision I took in about two seconds. This is because the only reason I have made two job changes in my life was to actually prevent any change in my job. I was very clear that I wanted to work with the same people and just kept moving along with them. In hindsight, this now looks like very strategic and brilliant career planning. Since joining as the first non-founder employee, it has been an amazingly fulfilling journey to see the baby bird we birthed, has now taken flight. Every day I come to work, I am reminded of how far we have come even though there are “miles to go before we sleep”(apologies to Robert Frost).

My workplace is fun and I thoroughly enjoy working with bright young minds who come to work with such energy and enthusiasm. I have also been very fortunate to have formed very rewarding friendships with some of my colleagues and therefore have embraced very challenging work-life balance situations with open arms.

Outside of work, I really enjoy sleeping like a log and pottering around in the kitchen, whipping up some very tasty and oily dishes. Another masterstroke decision that I made in two seconds was to get married to the person I did. She simply gives and gives, without expecting anything in return. There are also these two delightful monkeys in my house in human form that call me daddy, who can simply light up even the most horrible day with their mere presence.

One of the diseases of middle age is giving out unnecessary and irritating advice. This is mine: In all of life’s great endeavours, never ever let go of any opportunity to have fun.

Meet Karthikeyan Damodaran: Leader, Culinary Connoisseur & Family Guy


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