Ashu Khanna, Founder and CEO, Arka Leadership

Ashu Khanna, Founder and CEO, Arka Leadership

Ashu Khanna is the founder and CEO of Arka Leadership. She is an authentic leader and an author to four books where she talks about different shades of life.



Arka leadership is an institute focused on inspiring people to grow into Authentic Leaders.

Ashu Khanna is the founder and CEO of Arka Leadership. She is an authentic leader and an author to four books where she talks about different shades of life. She is also a member of the Young President’s Organization. She talks about why it is important to listen to our inner voice. She calls it the sense of knowing that something is right for you. Further in the discussion she talks about different experiences of her life which suggest that one should be at peace with oneself.

Ashu Khanna discussed how she is inspired by Lord Krishna and his mentoring style. She suggests the mentors to mentor like him. She says he listens to Arjun without being judgemental and shows him the right path all with maintaining the temperament of the coachee. She says that you need someone who can tell you the truth and mirror that attribute in you.

Later in the conversation, she talks about her books in details and we get to know how writing has helped her clear her mind and grow as a person.



First we see Ashu and Ashutosh Garg discussing the Mantra of Arka Leadership which is, “our relationship with our inner voice is the key to live joyfully”. She says it is just a sense of knowing what is right for you. She gives a couple of examples of how she fell in love with her husband and decided to marry him and about leaving the corporate world and jumping into coaching which was a complete leap of faith. She tells it was difficult and challenging yet her inner voice has never failed her. 

She describes it as being at peace with her inner self and a gentle voice which has been given power. 


Foundation of Arka Leadership 

Talking about starting Arka she said that being successful yet remaining human is an art which she misses in the corporate world. This inspired her to start Arka, as she wanted to be an authentic leader. 

Talking about authentic leadership, she says, an authentic leader is a person who doesn’t lose touch with oneself and who provides a feeling of trust and comfort to other people. The authentic leader should not have any agenda in mind while coaching, he should have an ability to connect in the core. 


Lord Krishna as the first coach 

She is quite inspired by the wisdom and the way lord Krishna coaches. He understands Arjun and gives him space without being judgemental, but when he sees him getting carried away in his emotions he steps up and shows him the right path, which pierces through his ego and makes him realise the truth. Krishna also does not leave any question unanswered in the whole Mahabharata and answers every question with compassion. He goes through the entire conversation keeping the temperament of Arjun alive. He is very focused on the objectives of the conversation and he does not get derailed. 

Speaking of what would have happened if Karn would have been given a chance to choose Krishna she says that Krishna is not just a religious figure, he is the symbol of our consciousness, Karn had both consciousness and ego within him and he chose ego. 


Evaluation of a good coach 

She says a good coach needs to have comfort in chemistry with you, but he should understand you as well. He should know what you actually want to clear within yourself. You need someone who can tell you the truth and mirror that attribute in you. 


How can coaching set up the millennials and generation z to thrive in the workplace. 

At this she says, generation z and millennials are intelligent and fearless and should not be underestimated. 

She gives an example of how her own son wanted to do something which she wanted to support, but he was not letting her mother overengage. She told us that this generation is open to engaging, just don’t keep nagging them about the same thing everyday. They are respectful and also demand respect for themselves. 


Books of Ashu Khanna 

Ashu Khanna says the books she has written are the personal account of the insights of her life journey. 

I am freedom 

It is a book about a young girl who got caught in the societal beliefs about right and wrong and how she learnt to listen to her inner self. 

I am Life 

It is a book about questioning one’s identification and getting deeper into knowing oneself. 

Another book of poems  

She compares herself as a child she says it is like a child emerging out of her who penned down the poem in the minute. She has dedicated the book to her parents. 

I am Perfection 

It is about the pathway of a mind and how the consciousness works within you. 

Her next book is about the miracles of life, whether you perceive your life as a series of miracles or as a series of problems. 


Later she was asked about what success means to her, she says being true to herself is what success is.  

On being asked who and what inspired her she says that she knows that there lies a puzzle she cannot solve and to answer that she keeps going on. 


Ashu Khanna – Founder & CEO Arka Leadership
“Our relationship with our inner voice is the key to living life joyously”

Ashu Khanna is the Founder & CEO of Arka Leadership, a leadership institute focused on promoting, developing and inspiring people to grow into authentic leaders to unleash their potential to the fullest. An authentic leadership expert and master coach, she is highly perceptive, light hearted and bold. Highly spiritual in her approach to leadership, she has designed a one page framework, that reflects the essence of Bhagavat Gita and encompasses the coaching and leadership core competencies. Ashu has partnered with many CEO’s and senior management teams to unleash potential and redesign their life successfully. She has been ranked # 29 by Your Story amongst the 100 Emerging Voices in India. She is a member of the YPO Gold Mumbai Chapter Board and Della Leaders Club. She has published 4 books, to share her journey of transformation and elucidate the road map to happiness and authentic leadership. Her books include, I Am Freedom, Live Life with Awareness; I Am…Life Is…Live Life with Mastery; To That…with Love and Reverence; I Am Perfection, Live Life Joyfully. Her perspectives on leadership and life have been featured in reputable publications such as Forbes, Times of India, Entrepreneur, Speaking Tree, Economic Times, YourStory, The Inc, The Hindu, Thrive Global India, People Matters, Business Today and several blogs. Ashu is the Founder President of the Mumbai Chapter of International Coach Federation (ICF). During her tenure of 2 years, the Chapter published a book, The Power of Professional Coaching and won an award for pro bono coaching at NGO’s. She has also served on ICF’s Global and Regional Strategy committees and jury member for selection of speakers and awards at ICF Global. Her clients include, Tata Motors, Viacom 18, Citibank, Ernst & Young, Barclays Capital, UBS, Oil Tanking India, Clover Infotech, SD Corporation, Hitachi Rail STS, BCG, Credit Suisse, UTV Group, Standard Chartered Bank, RBS India, Deutsche Bank, Essar Steel, Datamatics Business Solutions, Ravindra Energy Ltd, Brescon&Allied Partners, Max India, PI Industries, Trident Hotel, Lemon Tree Hotels, Aircel India, Adidas India, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Fitch Ratings, Reliance Mutual Fund, Halcyon Advisors, BMR Advisors, Birla Sun Life Asset Management, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Young Presidents Organization. She is a sought after speaker at Leadership, HR and Coaching webinars and conclaves. To name a few, she has presented at Sodexo, Airtel, L&T, Jet Privilege, CEAT, IBM, Siemens India, NHRD India, Isha Leadership Academy, NHRD Mumbai, ICF India Chapters, IMC Ladies Wing, FICCI FLO, ISB Hyderabad, NM Institute of Management Studies, IES College, SP Jain Management Institute (Dubai), IIM Indore (Mumbai Campus), Asia Pacific Alliance for Coaches, Centre for Transformational Coaching, L&OD Roundtable, Global College International, Nepal, Social School of Entrepreneurs. She also featured in podcasts on topics related to authentic leadership. Passionate about empowering leaders, she volunteers at Ascent Foundation, Aspire for Her, Sheroes, Akanksha Foundation, Give India Foundation, SNEHA Mumbai, Jai Vakeel, Annamrita Foundation, Acumen India, Times Foundation. An explorer at heart, she enjoys pushing her boundaries to express innovatively and exploit new opportunities. A chartered accountant, Ashu has formerly worked in South East Asia and India with Arthur Andersen, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Kotak Bank. She currently lives with her family in Mumbai.

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