Sapna Masih Advani, Founder and MD, MasihWhite Pte Ltd.

Sapna Masih Advani, Founder and MD, MasihWhite Pte Ltd.

  • Sapna is a C-Suite Coach who helps executives to manage complexity and lead change effectively.




Sapna is a C-Suite Coach who helps executives to manage complexity and lead change effectively. She is also a Corporate Culture and Leadership Consultant to senior leadership teams of multinationals – helping them maintain productivity levels during times of stress and change.

Having lived and worked in Singapore, Japan, and India over the last 25 years, Sapna has deep experience of business practices and leadership culture around the Region. She is based in Singapore and Japan, and her work fans out across the Region and beyond.

She is the Founder of MasihWhite – a culture consulting and executive coaching practice focused on the C-Suite, helping multinationals nurture global leaders with an Asia focus. MasihWhite also works with business schools around the world to design and deliver Asia immersion programs that allow C-Suite executives to deep-dive into the Asian business environment.

00:24- About Sapna Masih Advani

  • Sapna is a C-Suite Coach who helps executives to manage complexity and lead change effectively.
  • She is also a Corporate Culture and Leadership Consultant to senior leadership teams of multinationals
  • She is also the Founder of MasihWhite

00:45- What do you do?

  • Sapna’s broad spectrum of work is primarily fourfold.
  • She does CEO coaching, which is consulting around culture, so she helps clients to diagnose and curate their culture around their aspirational culture and values.
  • She does leadership consulting.
  • In addition to this, she does leadership programs for senior leadership teams of companies trying to make them high-performance teams.
  • And lastly, she works with European universities to create and deliver Asian leadership programs for them so that they and their students have an idea of what Asia looks like, in terms of leadership.

01:40- What does leading in a hybrid workplace mean?

  • Considering the prime concern of how fast the external environment is changing, along with fast-changing workplaces.
  • With the hybrid workplace where things have not really gone back to pre-pandemic reality, but a new reality.
  • CEOs are finding new challenges and how to lead in this new workplace where some employees are working remotely, some are in the office, some things are happening in person, and some are not, and it’s very hard for them to find their balance and to reinvent and refocus their leadership on meeting these challenges of the new workplace.
  • So she is concerned with issues around that, and she is coaching on issues around how to lead in a hybrid workplace.

02:51- Why do you focus only on CEOs?

  • The coaching journey started in Japan almost 15 plus years ago, when she was coaching all levels of the organization, for multinationals for Japanese companies.
  • With time, she realized that her vision and my mission is to help organizations to transform and the best way to transform is to transform the leadership and then culture.
  • She also realized that her own professional goals would not be fulfilled unless she worked with the actual change makers in the organization.
  • So while change can be made at every level of the organization and everyone is a leader in their own right, the CEOs have a unique ability to make change happen very fast.
  • And as the external environment moves faster and faster, there is a need for commitment and change from the top and cultural shift from the top.
  • So all of these realizations over time brought her to the conclusion that working with CEOs would help her to help organizations better and that it would be a very effective way to help organizations transform at speed.

05: 19- How has your background supported your coaching philosophy?

  • Everyone is shaped by their background, their upbringing, and their personal journey. The same is true for her. On a personal front, she is influenced by her parents and husband.
  •  Her parents were both educators, she was raised on a college campus in a very academic environment, her first lessons in coaching came from her parents.
  • Her husband, who is a tech industry leader, influenced her to try out new things.
  • Along with that, her own professional journey, her first corporate job, where she reported to a CEO, and all around her were very senior, seasoned leaders.
  • So that influenced her thinking, on what effective leadership can do to transform an organization, and what effective leaders can do to shape the culture and set a culture in place in the organization.
  • The third influence is her cross-cultural journey. She has lived and worked in India, Singapore, and in Japan. And today as a coach, and as a consultant, she is able to cut through the cultural layers, and quickly get to the core of the issue because of this background.
  • She realizes, there are many ways to solve a problem because every culture has a different response to the same situations. So she coaches to look at a position in many different ways. If one thing doesn’t work, use another approach. Don’t be afraid to change your approach and have many tools in your toolbox.

12:18- How does culture impact coaching?

  • The acceptance of coaching is a very cultural issue in Asia. The idea of coaching was alien in Japan as it has on-the-job learning, it was very hard for them to understand why somebody external would know anything more than my seniors might know about being successful in this organization. And over time, that has evolved, and now, executive coaching is quite the norm in Japan
  • Japan is undergoing a lot of change and flux in its leadership environment. It does impact coaching and in fact, coaching is impacting that. That At interface is very much and making things hopefully easier for Japanese leaders in their adaptation.

15:05- What is your perspective on coaching millennials and younger leaders?

  • The younger leaders are very focused on the environment and sustainability, sustainability issues. She advises them about the importance of two aspects.
  • One is self-awareness. So spending a lot of time getting to know themselves, because it is very important that they do that in order to lead their organization.
  • And the second thing is how to put everything together into a coherent culture for their organizations, and how to create culture right the first time because changing and reshaping culture is a painful process, and slow process. So getting it right, the first time, is important.

17:05- What would you say are three key milestones in your life?

  • So the first one was to quit her first job and get into a corporate job.
  • The second was to quit the corporate jobs and get into consulting.
  • And the third milestone was not to quit what she is doing right now.

20:10- What would your advice be to a young entrepreneur?

  • Learn as much as you can about yourself, you cannot lead other people unless you lead yourself. And so focus on leading yourself.
  • Obsess over what you can learn.
  • Do not focus on your weaknesses, hammering away at your weaknesses is not the way to get results, rather building on your strengths and focusing entirely on your strengths is going to build your confidence and capability.
  •  So to all young leaders, focus on your strengths, get to know yourself, and lead yourself.

21:08- What would you say are three lessons we would like our viewers to take away from your journey and from our conversation?

  • The first one would be to rock the boat. Don’t take the status quo as something to be gone, with this have the courage in those 20 seconds of mad courage that make everything happen.
  • The second would be Chase value, not money. Chase value, create value where you create value, money and everything else follows.
  •  And last, be a lifelong learner.


You can connect with Sapna Advani- LinkedIn

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Thanks for listening!


  • Sapna is a C-Suite Coach who helps executives to manage complexity and lead change effectively.
  • She is also a Corporate Culture and Leadership Consultant to senior leadership teams of multinationals.
  • She is also the Founder of MasihWhite.

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