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Business APAC Influential Women Leaders of 2020

Kaumudi Goda: An Intrepid Leader Daring To Take The Leap


The Microsoft founder Bill Gates observed that success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent. The first step towards thriving in this rapidly changing world is to accept and embrace change. Embracing change is tough. The journey can be overwhelming when what is familiar and true becomes irrelevant and the new normal feels alien.


Kaumudi Goda, (COO of MetaMind Training) was born and raised in India and trained as a lawyer. She moved to the United States to pursue further education. After 10 years of living in New York, wanting to explore a career beyond law, Kaumudi moved back to Asia and switched to a career in human capital management. Whether switching careers or navigating different cultures, industries and systems across the world, Kaumudi has sought and embraced change.


Kaumudi Goda: Business Advisor, Human Capital Strategist, Inclusion Advocate

With an LLM from the University of Virginia, Kaumudi is licensed to practice law in India and U.S. After getting an MBA from the Indian School of Business, she switched her career to people development. Kaumudi is a senior certified HR professional, trained executive coach and has over 18 years of client and project management experience. She has helped to transform Fortune 500 companies globally as a talent strategist, culture builder, program manager and trusted business advisor. Kaumudi skillfully leverages her multi disciplinary perspective and international experience to deliver industry-leading results in strategy consulting, people development and management.


Being an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, Kaumudi is the Co-Chair of KeyNote, a global non-profit speaker directory on a mission to bring diversity to speaking stages across the world. As part of the leadership team, Kaumudi has helped KeyNote grow from a Singapore-based initiative to a global movement with more than 100 speakers and a vibrant community of partners and volunteers. Kaumudi is also an active contributor to other organizations.


People Side of Leadership


MetaMind Training, a boutique training consultancy specializing in the people side of leadership, was established with a goal to help transform the workforce into a team with world-class leadership and management skills. Kaumudi serves as the COO of MetaMind focusing on C-suite advisory, keynote speaking, training and executive coaching. At Metamind, the learning journey is optimized by designing bespoke learning programmes in close collaboration with the client, and adding elements like pre-programme preparation, highly interactive and hands-on workshops, in-classroom exploration, follow-up learning support & 1 on 1 coaching, mentoring, and “accountability”.


Value of Multi-Disciplinary Integrated Perspectives


As organizations become more complex, employees become more specialized, siloed and risk averse. This isolation of the talent pool stifles creativity, innovation and problem solving abilities, which in turn negatively impacts productivity and profitability.


Diversity is about more than gender, race and ethnicity. It includes employees with diverse education, experience, socioeconomic background, religious and political beliefs, sexual orientation, cultures and even disabilities just to name a few. A recent Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.


Kaumudi strongly recommends a multidisciplinary and integrated career development for professionals. “Explore what excites you. Be curious. Learn new things. Take on challenges that take you beyond your comfort zone. Do not fear failure. Disruptive innovation is only possible when you integrate knowledge across fragmented caches to harness imagination and creativity.”


Power of Leading with Purpose and Speaking Up


Kaumudi shares that initially, she had not been focused on the problems of stereotyping. However, when she moved back to Asia eight years ago, she realized that little had changed for women since her childhood growing up in India. She decided to stand for her values and speak up against bias and discrimination. Recalling this experience, Kaumudi observes that it transformed her from being a successful senior executive to an inspirational change leader. She realized that in taking a stance and speaking up for her values, she was able to inspire, motivate and give courage to others around her to similarly act with purpose.


Today, Kaumudi is an award-winning public speaker and published author who combines her passion for her subjects, in-depth research, and insights from her cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural experiences to deliver rich, textured and interesting keynotes that not just inform but also inspire. She is an experienced panelist and moderator able to skillfully explore a range of topics to elevate any panel discussion.


Key pillars to becoming a better Leader


  • Prioritize Self-Reflection and Acceptance. Own your story and always be absolutely honest with yourself. When you are authentic and purpose driven, others will follow you.

  • Work Hard and Stay Agile. There is nothing more powerful than consistent hard work. It is entirely within your control no matter what level you are at. Train yourself to have an adaptable, learning mindset.

  • Practice Critical Thinking. Don’t be afraid to question the status quo. Be curious. Welcome failure as a stepping stone. Explore new ways to do things. Search answers for yourself rather than accepting what is fed to you.

  • Embrace Empathy. Everyone walks their own path and has their own burdens. Being tolerant and kind towards ourselves and others infinitely improves the quality of life.


“We live in a world of constant change fuelled by rapidly evolving and pervasive technology. This creates a sense of disorientation and makes us distrustful of anything that is different. Empathy, critical thinking and learning mindset are important to navigate the VUCA world and build an inclusive, sustainable future. They are the building blocks for future-proofing individuals, teams and organizations for Industry 5.0.” 

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