Aparna Piramal Raje, Mint Columnist, Head Office & Author, Working Out of the Box: 40 stories of leading CEOs

Aparna is the Columnist for The Mint. She writes a column titled ‘Head Office’ where she has interviewed over 75 CEOs. Aparna is also an author of a book titled ‘Working out of the Box’.  



“I think if you are happy, you are successful!”

Today on The Brand Called You, we have a very talented professional from Mumbai, Aparna Piramal Raje. Aparna is the Columnist for The Mint. She writes a column titled ‘Head Office’ where she has interviewed over 75 CEOs. Aparna is also an author of a book titled ‘Working out of the Box’. Aparna is also involved with the social sector and teaches at the Anant National University. 

In conversation with host Ashutosh Garg, Aparna shares her professional journey and talks about the many experiences that she has gained on the way. Interviewing several CEOs for her column and her book,  Aparna has learned a great deal about business leaders and their leadership styles. She has a very unique style that integrates design into business and she talks about how people overlook the possibility of design in the entrepreneurial sector. Aparna shares the many things that she has learnt while interviewing these leaders and how she has included them in her book and her monthly column. An individual who also does immense work in the social sector, Aparna believes in giving back to society. She helps with fundraising as well as dedicates her time to one-of-a-kind social organizations. Aparna and Ashutosh Also engage in a conversation around mental health and talk about its increasing need in the country.

Tune in to the episode to know more about Aparna’s work and the many things that she has achieved in a very short time. She is multifaceted and believes in learning new things every day!


Aparna likes exploring intersections – primarily of business, design, and leadership. Her popular column, Head Office, in the Mint newspaper, features the heads of organizations and looks at leadership through the joint lens of workspace design and management workstyles. More than 75 CEOs, from diverse organizations, have been featured in Head Office. The column led to her first book, Working Out of the Box: 40 stories of leading CEOs, which was published by Penguin Random House in 2015.

She has also examined the intersections that shape our cities, writing about urban planning, market forces, and government policy, and featuring some of the world’s most eminent urban thinkers, for publications such as the Mint and the UK’s Financial Times.

Aparna attributes her interest in multi-disciplinary thinking to her undergraduate education at Oxford University where she read Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.  Along with an MBA from Harvard Business School, it helped her travel across sectors. She worked at VIP Industries, her family’s luggage business, led BP Ergo, the family office furniture business, as its CEO, and continues to want to re-invent herself. After a decade in business management, and another in journalism and writing, she began teaching as a visiting faculty member of the Anant National University in Ahmedabad on design and also serves on its Board of Studies. 

She is also passionate about bringing design thinking to the social sector, supporting social enterprises such as the Makers’ Asylum, one of India’s fastest-growing makerspaces, ARMMAN, which works in the area of technology for maternal and child health and the Wonder Girls movement, a campaign to equip young Indian adolescents with relatable role models.

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