Our episode with the immensely talented Padmakar Kappagantula, HR Director of Bharat Petroleum or BPCL is a wonderful listen. Now, not only is KP or Paddy (as his colleagues call him affectionately) an admirable people leader but also an artist. We explore his love for paintings, photography, people, books, music along with his formative years, career and interesting insights into leadership and people management.
Part 1/7 : Growing Up in a World of Imagination
In this first segment, we delve into Padmakar’s childhood – a wonderful world of imagination as he puts it, surrounded by his favourite books and illustrations which provided a painfully shy boy a cocoon to discover and nourish his artistic skills as a young child. He speaks of his growing years in Secunderabad & Chennai, his first painting of a blue elephant as a young kid, the role of his immediate and extended family in influencing his perspectives and rooting his artistic frame of mind. Happy listening.
Part 2/7 : From Studying Plants to People
In the second segment, we briefly delve into Padmakar’s academic and career trajectory: from graduating in an unusual and interesting discipline – agriculture – to studying human resources in the renowned TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) to working with Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) for over three decades. He reflects how one mustn’t typecast people and the importance of recognising the passions and interests of employees and encouraging them. BTW, if you haven’t yet already, do check our earlier released Keep it Alive podcast with Padmakar and his stellar initiative of rolling out iPassion platform at BPCL for building passion-based communities within the organisation and even the industry.
Part 3/7 : Into the World of an Artist
In this segment, we unravel the mind of an artist. Padmakar speaks on how painting helps to process one’s experiences and the world around. How art bridges the gap between pragmatism and the utopian world one lives within as an artist. A self-taught painter, Padmakar speaks about the brief but significant training he received some years ago from Kashinath Salve, retired dean of JJ School of Art and how it helped him learn some technical rules, which he is prone to disregard. While Padmakar has participated in art exhibitions and shows, including in Paris and UK, they have been largely group shows. So we bring great news when we announce that he is currently working on his first solo exhibition on theme “Framework & Phenomena “ which will be exhibited in Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai in October 2020.
Part 4/7 : An Artist’s Quest
In continuation with my conversation with Padmakar on art and his love for painting, we touch upon, in this segment, an artist’s quest, influence of art on professional sphere, pearls of wisdom he received from an art connoisseur decades ago which he still abides by when painting, his post retirement plans of traveling the world and perhaps setting up a studio.
Part 5/7 : Play of Light & Darkness
In this brief segment, we step into the play of light and darkness as we explore Padmakar’s love for photography especially black and white stills. A passion inherited from his uncles, Padmakar shares how one’s hands need to be strong to capture shots and how he still doesn’t feel the need to use tripods. Street photography and nature, enthuse him the most. So let’s click away.
Part 6/7 : Willingness to Receive
So, what is success? In this segment Padmakar shares how for him, it is about sleeping well without regrets and helping at least a few understand themselves better. He also shares how he moved past his difficulty of receiving, why that is important and his gratitude to God for his imperfections.
Part 7/7 : CXO Fun Facts
Chances are you wouldn’t but did you know that – Padmakar’s greatest fear if of being lost in a room without any openings. Well, not surprising for the man who loves his light and his colors. Listen to some more fun facts on Padmakar in this unmissable CXO Fun Facts segment!