Srikumar Rao

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Srikumar S. Rao
Dr. Srikumar Rao.jpg
BornApril 11, 1951
Bombay, India
Alma mater
  • Organizational Consultant & Executive Educator
  • Author
  • Professor
  • Speaker
OrganizationThe Rao Institute
Spouse(s)Meena Rao

Srikumar S. Rao (born April 11, 1951) is a speaker, author, former business school professor and creator of Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM), a course designed to effect personal transformation. He is a TED speaker,[1] and has authored Are You Ready to Succeed: Unconventional Strategies for Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life, which is an international best seller,[2] and Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated and Successful – No Matter What, a best seller on Inc.'s "The Business Book Bestseller List."[3] He is also the creator and narrator of the audio-course The Personal Mastery Program.

Youth and education[edit]

Rao was born in Bombay (current day Mumbai) in 1951, and received his schooling in Delhi, Rangoon and Calcutta. He graduated from Narendrapur, the flagship school of the Ramakrishna Mission system in West Bengal. He was a Physics major at St. Stephen's College, Delhi University, and subsequently obtained an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Rao then came to the United States as a doctoral student and obtained a Ph.D. in Marketing from Columbia Business School, New York in 1980.

Professional background[edit]

Rao was an executive at Warner Communications from 1973 to 1975. He worked on the advertising strategy for The Exorcist. From 1977 to 1978, Rao was a financial executive in the mergers and acquisition division of the Continental Group. Rao moved to Data Resources, Inc. in 1978, and was promoted to head their marketing research department. He continued in that position when DRI was acquired by McGraw-Hill, and went over to academia in 1983.[citation needed]

Rao was a marketing professor at Baruch College, City University of New York from 1983 to 1985. He then taught at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he was appointed the Louis and Johanna Vorzimer Professor of Marketing. He was a contributing editor for Success, Financial World and Forbes, and has written hundreds of articles for these publications and others such as Inc., Training and Hemispheres. His article "The Shape of Leadership to Come" was recognized as a "Citations of Excellence Top 50 Papers" winner by Emerald Management Reviews in 2009.[4]

Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM)[edit]

In 1994, Rao created and began teaching a course known as Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM) at Long Island University. He moved the course to Columbia Business School in 1999 and taught CPM at Columbia until 2005. He has also taught CPM at London Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.[5] He has spoken to alumni of other business schools including Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Wharton, INSEAD, Dartmouth, Michigan and Duke.

Rao currently teaches Creativity and Personal Mastery privately, in major cities including New York, San Francisco and London, and in corporate settings. CPM has had its own alumni association since it was a course at Columbia.[6]

Training magazine described the course in its Leadership issue of May/June 2012.[7]


Rao is married to Meena Rao, the Director of Organic Chemistry Laboratories at Barnard College, Columbia University. He has a daughter, Gowri, who has an MBA from Columbia and is married to Abhinav Agrawal, a Harvard MBA. Gowri and Abhinav both work in San Francisco. His son, Gautam, also graduated from Columbia and is a student at Columbia Law School.


  • (2005) Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life
  • (2010) Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful- No Matter What
  • (2008) The Personal Mastery Program: Discovering Passion and Purpose in Your Life and Work
  • (2012) The Happiness Matrix: Creativity & Personal Mastery


  1. ^ TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. "Speakers- Srikumar Rao: Happiness Teacher". Retrieved 8/13/2012.
  2. ^ El Periodico de Catalunya. 07/12/2006.
  3. ^ "The Business Book Bestseller List". April 2010.
  4. ^ "Citation of Excellence, Emerald Management Reviews 2009". Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  5. ^ Van Slambrouch, Paul. "A business course that puts personal growth on the bottom line". July 5, 2010.
  6. ^ O'Connell, Patricia. "Q&A with Srikumar S. Rao." May 7, 2010.
  7. ^ Wu, Amy. "The Search for Self". May 29, 2012.

External links[edit]