RELIANCE LIFE INSURANCE
Reliance Life Insurance requested Asif to design and conduct a 3-hour session for 12 of their senior team leaders to help them become more responsive to their customers, as part of a company initiative to inculcate a more people-oriented culture. Asif took the participants back to basics, using theatre techniques to teach them how to listen and observe, to brush aside their conditioning and embrace change. He illustrated how to internalise and make the new company ethos a part of themselves, how to make it intrinsic by knowing themselves better. Asif showed the participants how shedding their corporate habits could help them not only motivate themselves, but also their colleagues, to respond spontaneously and naturally to their customers.
“It’s amazing how just going back to basics can make things so much clearer. In this work environment where stress overpowers your performance, you need something from time to time to know yourself better and motivate yourself and your colleagues.”
“Asif will teach you leadership, integrity and skills in a way that you will remember. He pulls you out of your comfort zone and makes you think outside of the box without you even realizing.”
GLAXO SMITH KLINE (GSK)
When GSK thought of a space beyond trainers, motivational speakers and inspiration givers, their “go to” man was Asif Basra – for energy and rejuvernation in the team, for unique skill sets in employees and, most importantly, to instigate the hidden performers. In December 2014, Asif conducted a tailor-made 3 hour session with 20 senior level managers, with the brief to push the boundaries, and the objective to encourage further excellence, and to demand it from each other. Using theatre techniques, participants were encouraged to break away from their inhibitions, reinvent, and trust in their talent in order to cultivate it further.
“Having attended many ‘motivational’ programs before, I was quite surprised by the intensity of this session. Whilst others talk, Asif does. Then he demands the same of you.”
“Asif reintroduced us to the art of listening. I discovered that listening makes us unfold and expand”
“The workshop was at times demanding. But it unfolds into breaking away from inhibitions, habits and patterns, to discover my true potential.”
YOUNG INDIA FELLOWS, ASHOKA UNIVERSITY
In June 2014, Asif was invited to conduct a theatre-based leadership orientation programme for the new intake of Young India Fellowship (YIF) students at Ashoka University, New Delhi. YIF is a one-year residential programme for recent college graduates selected from a wide spectrum of backgrounds who show exceptional ability, willingness to learn, and leadership potential. As part of Ashoka University’s objective to provide the Fellows with a world-class education, the students participate in leadership and skill building workshops delivered by well-known leadership trainers in different skill areas. Over two days, Asif led 200 students in methods of how to approach leadership from within, equipping them with the skills and confidence to excel in the programme.
“Leadership lessons learnt through activities with a theatre veteran was completely unexpected. His artistry and creativity are personified. He was truly inspiring and surprisingly spiritual as well. He helped shed my inhibitions. I feel very privileged to have experienced this.”
“There were larger takeaways than meet the eye, which I believe was not just incidental, but part of the design. Great stuff.”
“I was a participant in Asif Basra’s Personality Development Workshop during 2007-08, where we — NIFT (Mumbai) — went to Panchgani (a hill station in Maharashtra). It was a transformational trip for many of us! Through four days of simply playing games, we learnt to work together, trust each other, and be a good sport. The ‘teacher’ taught us how to mingle with us as ‘students’. At the end of it all, we had grown to respect each other as individuals. We went back refreshed, confident and rational. This helped us big time during the last crazy last months at NIFT. Now, on hindsight, I realize that a lot of those games allowed me to discover some tools that have helped me a lot in decision-making and to have clarity on one’s goals.”
Bidisha Samantaray, Participant-turned-Entrepreneur, Founder, LivingArt Lifestyles
“Not only an actor par excellence, Asif Basra has the knack to interact and draw people in his vicinity to communicate. Very chirpy, intelligent and coupled with his sensitive attitude, makes him a multi-faceted persona. He is a jack-in-the- box, always full of surprises, so working with him is always a live act.”
Beaula Knauf, PR & Media Consultant, Putzmeister Concrete Machinery Limited
“His ability as a leader was clarified over the years, as he has not only participated in many Seeds of Peace activities, but has launched new initiatives, and participated in several global conferences as he strives to make an impact in India and beyond. For Seeds of Peace, in 2010 Mr. Basra traveled to Lahore, Pakistan leading a group of young adults from India and Pakistan through a series of interactive workshops aimed at increasing mutual understanding and respect among the participants. Further, at various points over the past few years, he has facilitated a process based theater workshops for our program alumni (referred to as Seeds) as they become emerging leaders within their society. Mr. Basra is a person characterized as thoughtful, creative, innovative, and ambitious. He would be a true asset to add to any workshop being conducted for youth or adults.”
Awista Ayub, Seeds of Peace, Director of South Asia Programs Author, Kabul Girls Soccer Club
“Asif did a stupendous job at the workshop by connecting with his audience the right way. It was a unique occasion for the participants to take a different perspective on the cardinal drives of their personal and professional life through a journey depicting various human emotions of life. Imagination, communication and self-confidence are the prerequisites in any professional field and Asif helped the participants understand the finer nuances through theatrical enactments.”
Subhojit Bhattacharya, India Head-Human Resources, Mentor Graphics (India) Pvt. Ltd.
“The workshop was a great success…making women share their feelings and opinions was our objective and you achieved it in one workshop. We are comfortable learning from you. The session was full of fun and activity and it was one of a kind experience to many of the participants.”
Rupa Amolik, President, Chandranagar Mahila Samajik Sanstha, Mumbai
“Asif Basra is a powerful actor and has fine understanding of Nav Rasas i.e. the 9 core emotions in human beings. With this powerful tool in hand, he has successfully created people development modules for organisations that help in breaking inhibitions and in identifying untapped potential in participants. I have had the privilege of working with him on various occasions and not only enjoyed every bit of it but have also learned so much.”
Anupam Sen Gupta