Leadership through Covid-19: An interview with Dr Santrupt Misra

Leadership through Covid-19: An interview with Dr Santrupt Misra

I was delighted and honoured to facilitate this interview with Dr Santrupt Misra, CEO of Birla Carbon, Director Chemicals and Director Group Human Resources for the  Aditya Birla Group, a USD 46 billion global conglomerate and Gary Woollacott, Director of Asia-Pacific at Horton International Group,


In this interview, Gary Woollacott and Dr Santrupt Misra share a thought-provoking discussion on the following topics:

  • Changes in corporate governance brought about by the 2020 pandemic
  • The pros and cons of globalization
  • The evolution of corporate attitudes to wellness
  • How to keep your staff engaged whilst working from home
  • How to onboard new team members remotely
  • Cultural differences in response to Covid 19


It was a real pleasure having Dr Misra talk us through his take on the current state and future of work, and we hope that you enjoy the interview as much as we did!





Dr. Santrupt Misra is currently the CEO, Birla Carbon;  Director, Chemicals – and Director, Group Human Resources for the Aditya Birla Group,  a USD 46 Billion global conglomerate.

A Business leader and an HR Professional of standing, with over three decades of experience in —  global business leadership –  corporate governance – organizational transformation –  non-profit leadership – and professional development.

Santrupt has worked at Board level for over two decades – as Non-Executive Director and Executive Director in publicly listed companies, unlisted companies, and not for Profit Organizations both in India and overseas.

  • He is a Director in several companies of the Aditya Birla Group including Aditya Birla Capital Ltd., Grasim, and Birla Carbon Thailand,– which are listed companies.
  • He was an Independent Director on the Board of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. a leading Government of India enterprise, (Revenue US 61 Billion), and the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela.
  • He is also on Governing Bodies of professional organisations/associations such as the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

He was also on the Board of the Xavier’s Institute of Management.

Under his leadership Birla Carbon has emerged as a global leader in the carbon black space.

He has been instrumental in developing a strong employer brand for the Aditya Birla Group, which was named:

  • The Best Employer in India- by AON Hewitt
  • Great Place for Leaders to Work,  by Fortune Magazine
  • Top Company for Leaders by RBL group   

Dr. Misra holds two Post Graduate degrees in Political Science from the UTKAL University and in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations, from  the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

In addition, he also holds two PhDs

In Public Administration from India and Industrial Relations from UK

He also holds an honorary D.Sc. degree from Aston University, U.K.

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR), USA;

Hon. Fellow of the Coaching Federation of India;

an Eisenhower Fellow,

an Aston Business School Fellow,

an AIMA Fellow

and a Commonwealth Scholar.


Gary Woollacott 

Gary is Managing Partner of Horton International in Thailand and Vietnam –  Regional Director of Asia Pacific and
one of Horton’s longest standing Board Members.

Gary has twenty years’ experience in executive search, and extensive experience in the financial sector having spent the first part of his career working in investment banking in London and Sydney.

He has a bachelor’s degree in economics, and a master’s in financial management

He is known at Horton for his “thought leadership” pieces.


Dipy Nigam

Managing Partner & Country Manager for India and SAARC countries at Horton International 

I hold a Masters in Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute – and a PHD

I’ve been with Horton International for over twelve years and prior this joining the group, I worked with VIP industries , American Express, Hay Management consultants

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