MN Radical CEO #2 - Ashish Gadnis (Forward Hindsight/Koozala)
August 18, 2010 — 8:42am
Ashish Gadnis, Radical CEO (Forward Hindsight; Koozala)
Born in India,Ashish Gadnismoved to Minnesota in the 1990’s where he has since built a successful consulting firm speaking truth to power (Forward Hindsight), recently launched a personal electronic medical portal for consumers (Koozala) and(in his spare time) travels the globe working to end world hunger. Just another day’s work for this radical CEO who clearly understands the connection between business and social progress.
Ashish Gadnis Facts:
Born in India, moved to Minnesota in 1990s. Attended college in Bombay and received MBA fromCarlson.
Co founder and CEO of Forward Hindsight (management consulting firm) and founding CEO of Koozala.
Has history withTIESand Fourth Generation Inc., which he left in 2004 to create Forward Hindsight, offering aggressive enterprise tech consulting to clients like Best Buy, Caribou Coffee and AirTran.
Started Koozala in 2009 to let consumers have an easy way to manage and access their personal medical records. Currently in use, with the University of Minnesota as an initial enterprise partner.
He has an express “no ego” philosophy. If you hire Ashish, expect him to listen carefully and then tell you what needs to change in your organization in unvarnished terms (even if it means firing the CEO).
Nominated and selectedas one of a few hundred Young Global Leaders for the World Economic Forum in 2009 (the gathering in Davos, Switzerland attended by Bono, Bill Clinton and others).
Has a stated goal of retiring by age 45 so he can focus exclusively on solving world hunger and sustainable business in emerging markets.
Author of workbookSustainable Disruption, which shows how the use of sustainable disruption can bring focus into an organization.
Ashish Gadnis Quotes:
“There are so many smart people [in Minnesota] buried in large corporations.”
3 Things that will make MN more innovation-friendly are: (a) “CEO’s here need to get balls to take risks”; (b) “get the local investment money in motion”; (c) “try incubators and innovation zones” to get new businesses started.
“My reputation is pretty polarizing. 50% of the people hate my guts.” “One time a CEO introduced me to a group and said I was hired to be an asshole. I think that’s a compliment.”
Minnesota has a “passive, lukewarm business environment” dominated by “an old boys’ network,” but also has “a lot of cool people who can build cool companies” and a “very strong education baseline that absolutely needs to be highlighted.”
“Within the next decade, Minnesota could be like Silicon Valley, but it will take a mix of people from outside and inside Minnesota [to make it happen].”
Ernest Grumbles III is an IP (intellectual property) and business development attorney at the Minneapolis firm Adams Monahan, where he works with entrepreneurs and early stage, tech-oriented enterprise. He is also Co-Founder of MOJO Minnesota, a collective supporting entrepreneurs and promoting innovation policy and community in Minnesota. He enjoys fresh air and lots of caffeine and is constantly trying new things (instead of sleeping). He may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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