Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Sanjay Sarda: The unusual Musical Journey of a Corporate Honcho

Meet the man whose passion is to Spread Positivity and Enhance Engagement through Creative Content

Published: Sep 30, 2020 05:54:43 PM IST
Updated: Oct 7, 2020 12:37:13 PM IST

Sanjay Sarda: The unusual Musical Journey of a Corporate Honcho
Here is one person with the uncanny ability to surprise you and challenge the status quo with regular frequency. What else can you say for a Mechanical Engineer from BIT Ranchi and Post Graduate in Management from IIM Kolkata, leaving corporate life at the peak of his career in 2013, when he was the Executive Director Commercial in Dalmia Cement Group and embarking on a musical journey? Well he did this journey, which he claims to be the most satisfying period of his life, for 4 years, created Music Academies – which were called Happiness Centres and leveraged Music as an Employee Engagement & Employee Retention tool with Corporates, apart from creating an environment for learning of different forms of Music for video games addicted children, bored housewives and stressed out executives. Music Therapy for Autistic children proved to be very effective.

The impulsive streak and “Dil-Se” recklessness is seen in many of his actions and he may appear as a bundle of strange contradictions.

In his personal life, what else can explain his determination of learning a difficult instrument like the Santoor from the Santoor Gharana at the age of 50 plus (and continuing to follow his passion even now) on one hand and playing the Handsonic or Nagara , on the other?

Sanjay Sarda: The unusual Musical Journey of a Corporate Honcho
Or his doing the Airtel Half Marathon with a full ACL tear in the left knee?

Or doing the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, considered one of the most difficult 56 km physically challenging trek, with his wife and two small kids?

Or doing all sorts of High Adventure sports like Jet Sking, Micro Flights, Para Gliding etc at an age where people are thinking of retiring?

Or authoring 3 books – Living Life, Making Mistakes & Refusing to Grow Up, Your Situations – My Story and Jashne Zindagi – with no literary experience before this?

And then in his corporate career, changing jobs to look for more challenging opportunities, whenever the present job became too mundane & comfortable and still being able to achieve success on untrod paths. He was a member of the Birla Management Centre (BMC) from Hindalco, won the CPO Award when he was in Jindal Stainless and won Awards for Break-thru Performance, Value Award, Great Idea Award in Dalmia Cement.

In 2017, the thrill of creating an ecosystem for Start Ups brought him to Kolkata where as Director of Neotec Hub – the Incubator & Accelerator of the Ambuja Neotia Group and as President Corporate Strategy, a Cohort of 25 young entrepreneurs was created. In 2018, Neotec Hub was recognized as the Best Company in the Incubator Category and in 2019 he was shortlisted amongst top 50 CEO’s in India.

If you have to describe this person by 3 attributes, they will be Fiercely Passionate, Contagiously Positive and Fanatically Optimistic.

Let us now in his own words know what is his new adventure that he is embarking upon.

“In 2020, when the Pandemic engulfed us, everything changed irreversibly. The Pandemic has given us hard lessons that we must practice moderation and leave our over-indulgent life styles. It has brought in stark reality the frailty of the human species and how insignificant and inconsequential we all are in the greater scheme of things.”

“One greatest lesson that we have learnt is that in these unprecedented challenging times, apart from the severely damaging impact on human health by the virus which has spared no one, it is the downturn in the economy worldwide leading to businesses struggling for survival, unimaginable human tragedy of lost livelihoods, business ventures going bust etc, that has affected us all. To fight for our Survival and be in a position to Thrive when the situation becomes close to normal again, what is most important is our Emotional Quotient, Spiritual Quotient, Mental Health & Wellbeing. These are our only saviour.”

 “If building Immunity is the only way to fight the virus, which is clearly going to be with us for some time now, then it is obvious that for building this Immunity, we need to be Positive and without Positivity, no number of supplements can give us this shield. And one way to enhance Positivity is by Music.”

 “I realized that it was again time to restart the Musical journey I began in 2013 and had stopped in 2017. I am not a Professional Artist and only know how to play some instruments, which I am still learning – specially the Santoor. I claim no expertise on any of these. There are millions of more talented Artists – many in my own network, who I greatly admire & respect. Where I can value -add is that I have the luxury of time, I have the passion to take the initiative, the ability to create meaningful content, of building a musical bond with an audience, of compiling & composing in various genres/styles, of encouraging other music lovers for unleashing the performers in them, to aggregate music interests and to inspire them to “connect” with their inner selves. All this is able to create an Engagement with people in Groups from which communities of music lovers can be created, who are all bound by their common interest in Music, who get energy & inspiration from each other. The end result is that this generates, the much-required Positivity. In this process, by insightful, theme-based content, the required message is meaningfully conveyed – be it on Family or Work Life Balance or Healthy Lifestyles or Nature & Environment or Ikigai or Religion or Meditation or EQ/SQ etc. The present-day technologies make this possible to be done effectively on-line, with no need for physical meetings”

“To give you an idea of the work already done in the journey so far, till now about 65 Musical Videos were created and were shared with my network: These can be seen in my You Tube Channel

This is an ongoing endeavour and more videos will keep on getting added.”

“This is something which gives me a great deal of satisfaction and the music thus created seemed to be helping many people to “connect” with their inner selves, to introspect, to have mental peace and to emerge stronger mentally, to face the challenges. It helped to enhance their Emotional & Spiritual Quotients.”

“Till now these Groups were from my own Network and the messages/themes being musically conveyed, by engaging the Group, were from my side only and sometimes on the request of a Group Member. My plan is to extend this reach to a much wider audience by entering into engagements with Corporates/Organizations/Clubs/Institutes/Bodies who have a specific target Group with them, who they want to Positively Engage and convey whatever message they have and I with my creative team, can make the required Content and compose the Music and start engaging with the Group Members and convey the required message in an interactive, creative and artistic way and  by this enhance engagement  and generate Positivity.”

This is indeed interesting as Content which Connects is the need of the hour and when used effectively, can not only convey the desired message positively, but can also inspire individuals and Groups to become more productive and create meaningful synergies.

You can know more about this Engagement, by contacting Sanjay on his e-mail:

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.