Deep Purpose is the chart-topping podcast that’s been featured on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Amazon, and named one of the “best business podcasts” by 316 Strategy Group.

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Deep Purpose

A Series on Courageous Leadership presented by Harvard Business School Professor Ranjay Gulati

“What is your ‘why’?” While we often hear this question asked of individuals, an increasing number of companies are now tasked with identifying what drives them. How can you use the power of purpose to unlock hidden potential — within ourselves and our companies? 

Enter Deep Purpose, an all-new podcast hosted by best-selling author and Harvard Business School Professor Ranjay Gulati. The debut season goes behind the headlines and success stories of top global CEOs. By diving deep into industry leaders’ personal stories, Ranjay reveals how their personal journeys ultimately connect back to their organization’s purpose. 

Building on insights in Gulati’s similarly-titled book, the podcast also shows how practicing deep purpose can revolutionize businesses and deliver performance benefits to reward employees, communities, and beyond. In the debut season, you’ll hear from founders, leaders, and CEOs of companies, who reveal personal stories that led to their businesses’ extraordinary success. Featured guests include:

  • Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever: a multinational consumer goods company with a historical commitment to doing good.
  • Rosalind Brewer, Leader of Walgreens-Boots Alliance: a large and diverse health care company that aims to inspire more joyful lives by helping people achieve better health.
  • Mudassir Sheikh, Co-Founder of Careem, a “unicorn” rideshare company in the Middle East that is grounded in lessons learned from a near-death experience. 

Other guests include: Mumzworld Founder Mona Ataya; Arcos Dorados Founder Woods Staton; Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala; Temasek Holdings CEO Dilhan Pillay; Nubank Founder David Vélez; The Mahindra Group Non-executive Chairman Anand Mahindra; and DBS (formerly known as the Development Bank of Singapore) CEO Piyush Gupta. 

Alan Jope Bio

Alan was appointed Chief Executive Officer in January 2019. As CEO of Unilever, Alan is responsible for leading one of the world’s largest and most geographically diverse consumer goods businesses, with presence in 190 countries, serving 2.5 billion people every day. Alan is Chair of the Board of UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited, Vice Co-Chair of the Consumer Goods Forum, and Vice Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Executive Committee.

October 24, 2022

Unilever CEO Alan Jope Maintains a Long History of Doing Good

Alan Jope of Unilever leads a vast company with a historical commitment to doing good. He says navigating with a deep purpose makes for a stronger company and robust financial performance.

Rosalind Brewer Bio

Roz Brewer has been CEO of the Walgreens Boots Alliance since March 2021. She previously held executive positions at Starbucks, Sam’s Club, Walmart and Kimberly Clark. She was ranked No. 6 on Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and was named one of the 25 most influential women by the Financial Times in 2021. She also serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Spelman College, where she was an undergraduate.

October 24, 2022

Walgreens-Boots Alliance Leader Rosalind Brewer Inspires Joy through Better Health

As the leader of Walgreens-Boots Alliance, Roz Brewer leads a large and diverse health care company. Her thousands of stores and medical clinics aim to inspire more joyful lives by helping people to better health.

Mudassir Sheikha Bio

Mudassir Sheikha is the CEO and co-founder of Careem, which started out as a ride-sharing company and has expanded to deliver a range of services to customers in the Middle East. In January of 2020, Careem was acquired by Uber for $3.1 billion. Before starting Careem, Sheikha was an associate partner for McKinsey & Co. A native of Pakistan, he has a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford and spent a decade after graduation working on start-ups in Silicon Valley.

October 31, 2022

How Mudassir Sheikha’s Rideshare Company Careem Became a Unicorn in the Middle East

A near-death experience led Mudassir Sheikha and his business partner to a deep sense of purpose in creating the rideshare company Careem. It became a rare startup “unicorn” in the Middle East.  

Mona Ataya Bio
Mona Ataya, CEO and Founder of Mumzworld, is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the Middle East, with her company reaching more than 2.5 million people across the region since 2011. She previously held positions at Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Ataya was recently voted one of 6 Powerful Women Transforming the Business World in the Levant. The Tamer Group of Saudi Arabia recently bought a majority stake in her company.

November 7

Mumzworld Founder Mona Ataya: Empowering Women in the Middle East

Mumzworld is the largest online baby store in the Middle East. It was created by Mona Ataya, one of the most influential businesswomen in the region. Ataya is driven to empower women, motivate employees, and benefit all of the company’s stakeholders.

Woods Staton Bio
Woods Staton is executive chairman of Arcos Dorados, which employs nearly 95,000 people in 2,000 restaurants across 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Staton was previously a joint venture partner of McDonald’s in Argentina. He founded Arcos Dorados when McDonald’s sold its Latin American operations to Staton and a group of investors in 2007. The company went public in 2011. Staton is on the Global Board of Advisors of the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington, as well as on the Chairman’s International Advisory Council of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.

November 14

Arcos Dorados Founder Woods Staton: The Importance of Core Principles

Arcos Dorados (“Golden Arches” in English) is the world’s largest independent McDonald’s restaurant franchisee. Founder Woods Staton says purpose is a work in progress for his company. But having core principles helped Arcos Dorados weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simpiwe Tshabalala Bio
Simpiwe “Sim” Tshabalala joined the Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group in 2000 and was appointed CEO in 2008. He was born in Hlabisa, a poor area of South Africa, and grew up in Soweto. After initially training to be a lawyer, he switched to a banking career. He serves as vice president of the International Monetary Conference and vice chairman of the Institute of International Finance.

November 21

How Higher Purpose Guides CEO Sim Tshabalala of Africa’s Standard Bank Group 

In South Africa, CEO Sim Tshabalala of Standard Bank Group worked his way up from the Black township of Soweto to lead one of Africa’s largest financial institutions. He says believing in a higher purpose guides his bank to do the right thing for shareholders and society. 

Dilhan Pillay Bio
Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara is the top executive at Temasek, a Singapore-based investment company with a portfolio of around $400 billion. Before joining Temasek in 2010, he was a lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and corporate law. He is a member of the Future Economic Council, sponsored by the Singapore Government; and a member of the Financial Centre Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He also serves on the boards of the National Research Foundation, Enterprise Singapore and the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

November 28

Dilhan Pillay Leads Temasek Holding’s Ongoing Purpose Journey

Temasek Holdings is an investment firm owned by the Government of Singapore. CEO Dilhan Pillay says the firm’s ongoing “purpose journey” helps it keep an eye on the long term while navigating the tricky tides of current events. 

David Velez Bio
Since David Vélez started Nubank in Brazil in 2013, it has grown to nearly 50 million customers worldwide. Vélez received venture funding from his former employer, Sequoia Capital, to help finance Nubank, and proceeded to challenge banks in Brazil and beyond by eliminating fees and improving customer service. Nubank, whose investors include Warren Buffett, went public at the end of last year.

Episode release December 5

Why Brazil’s Nubank Founder David Vélez Plans to Give Away Billions

David Vélez is a founder of the world’s biggest digital bank: Nubank in Brazil. Having a core purpose helped him build the business – and will lead him to give away billions of his own wealth. 

Piyush Gupta Bio

Mr. Piyush Gupta has been Chief Executive Officer and Director of DBS Group since 2009. Prior to joining DBS, Piyush had a 27 year career at Citigroup, where his last position was Chief Executive Officer for South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, he is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals, Singapore’s Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data, and the McKinsey Advisory Council.

Episode release December 12

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta Aims to Lead the Best Bank in the World

Like many successful enterprises, DBS (formerly known as the Development Bank of Singapore) is obsessed with the customer experience. Piyush Gupta says DBS’ mission to be the best bank in the world pays huge dividends for employees, investors and communities.

Anand Mahindra Bio
Anand Mahindra is a third-generation member of the family that started the Mahindra Group. The group’s 20-plus industries range from automotive to agribusiness to information technology. Anand Mahindra was included on Barrons’ List of Top 30 CEOs worldwide (2016) and Fortune Magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders (2014). In 1996, he founded Nanhi Kali, a group that provides educational support for underprivileged girls in India.

Episode release December 19

Anand Mahindra: The Rise Philosophy at The Mahindra Group

The core purpose of The Mahindra Group is to help people “rise.” Non-executive Chairman Anand Mahindra says the “rise” philosophy guides how this sprawling enterprise makes money, motivates employees, and strives for a better world. 

Ranjay Gulati

Ranjay Gulati is the Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor and the former Unit Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. Until recently, he chaired the Advanced Management Program, the flagship senior leader executive program, at the school.

Professor Gulati has been ranked as one of the top ten most-cited academics in the fields of economics and business by ISI-Incite and has received similar recognition from

Professor Gulati studies how “resilient” organizations—those that prosper both in good times and bad—drive growth and profitability. His work bridges strategy (establishing clear strategic pillars for growth), organizational design (reimagining purposeful and collaborative organizational systems), and leadership (fostering inspired, courageous, and caring execution).