A report commissioned earlier this year by UAE retail giant, Majid Al Futtaim in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and global advisory, McKinsey & Co. outlined why nurturing future leaders is critical to the success of the UAE and the greater Middle East in the coming years. The report states why upskilling tomorrow’s corporate heads is important for the region’s progress and represents a crucial pillar for a prosperous economic outlook.
In this regard, the work undertaken by Dubai-based Acumen Global Training and Development (AGTD) is commendable.
Creating tomorrow’s corporate leaders
A specialised training organisation, founded in 2018 by Dubai-based businessman Rabi Dasgupta and his business partner, Andreia Martins, AGTD is created with the objective to use bespoke training modules to enhance the productivity and adaptability of working professionals in a continuously changing business environment. The company also obtained its KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority of Dubai) license in 2021, strengthening its platform as a professional learning organisation.
With its motto, Reformatting Mindsets, AGTD has developed several training programmes across the two basic themes of classical and contemporary management. The classical theme covers basic management topics such as leadership, communication, team building, conflict management, motivation, performance management, etc. whereas contemporary management addresses newly bred subjects such as compliance, design thinking, digital marketing, neuromarketing, environmental social governance or ESG, data as a product, sustainable business strategies, etc. All these are highly relevant to the global changes flooding the business world today thanks to the explosion of technology.
The company also offers a bouquet of specialised training solutions. This includes AGTD’s customised training packages such as Corporate Infuse (4-day educational conference coupled with Dubai sightseeing); Fin-Comp (exclusive 3-day training programme on finance and compliance), and Leadership Clinic (2-day training workshop focused to improve the performance of practicing managers).
In the first three years since inception and under the leadership of Dasgupta and co-founder Martins, the company developed rich and relevant content, putting it on a unique pedestal in the field of learning and development. The team is currently developing an audio-visual online learning enabler – Acumen Glow — a website for virtual audiences.
Besides looking into the day-to-day workings of AGTD, Dasgupta is also the Founder and Managing Director of CEM Vision FZCO, a Dubai-based company that offers technical services to cement plants. From modest beginnings, the company, founded in 2017 has since grown in the last five years with approximately 300 employees scattered across the globe. In 2021, he formed another company named CEM Power International LLC, to specifically cater to the power industry.
A graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, one of India’s premier engineering and technology institutes, Dasgupta went on to enjoy exhaustive experience in the industrial and corporate worlds. In an uninterrupted 38-year-long career within the cement and power industries, Dasgupta has had hands-on experience in various functions at different geographical locations in India, the Middle East and Africa including a 20-year stint in factories, and 18 years at different levels in the corporate world.
A journey begins
Dasgupta began his professional career in the field of research and development, followed by an extended and highly successful stint at The Associated Cement Companies Ltd (ACC), the oldest and the biggest cement company in India, across its various factories in India. Choosing the opportunity to test his talents abroad, Dasgupta later worked for the Yanbu Cement Company, Saudi Arabia, and Fujairah Cement Industries in the UAE, at their factory outlets in various managerial roles. These extended sessions in multiple factory outlets abroad saw him engage in various capacities across different functions including Process Engineering, Project Execution, Commissioning, Operation & Maintenance, Quality Control, Training and later General Management.
While Dasgupta was busy handling the day-to-day challenges at these factories, his academic potential and teaching abilities did not go unnoticed. He was selected as a Trainer at the national level by competent authorities for imparting technical and management training to engineers and industry professionals. Later, he was sent to Copenhagen Polytechnic in Denmark to be trained and certified as a Professional Trainer. He developed several training modules for industrial workers, engineers, and managers, while simultaneously sharpening the pedagogical skills of the teachers. With the inherent ability to motivate, energise and empower people to higher levels of performance, Dasgupta has always enjoyed the privilege of being a proficient facilitator.
From employee to entrepreneur
In 2007, Dasgupta stepped into the corporate world as the Head of International Projects and Business Development at ETA Group of Companies, Dubai, marking the last league of his formal career. In 2016, against many odds, he successfully completed the $550 million EPC Cement/Power Project from concept to commissioning in Sumbe-Angola, earning Dasgupta international recognition as an industry expert. Thereafter, he culminated his career as an employee by donning the entrepreneur’s hat.
As the founder of several successful companies, Dasgupta considers integrity, excellence, and innovation as the core values for his brands.
Looking beyond books
An engineer by profession, an entrepreneur by choice, and an educator by vision, Dasgupta has constantly been driven by a passion for education and learning with a dream to join the thought process that refines human civilisation. He believes that while the goal of training is performance, the goal of education is understanding and acquiring wisdom. He realises that excellence in the educational curriculum does not guarantee a successful career or a satisfying life. The overall development of a student comes through life skill lessons derived from various activities in different environments. His valuable experiences and wisdom reflect in his endeavours in conceptualising the Beyond the Books segment of training. This segment deals with the learning of life skills that cannot be guaranteed through traditional school/college curriculum but is extremely important to handle the journey called life.
In line with the concept, AGTD developed Youth Infuse, a specially curated four-module training package aiming at the holistic development of the young generation, which will enable them to deal with the challenges of life and achieve a fulfilling career. The modules cover areas such as behaviour, manner and etiquette, ethics and values, financial mind, career selection, professional growth, personality development, perception management, sustainable lifestyle, work-life balance, and a plethora of tips to prepare a child to face the ever-changing competitive world. However, it cannot be ignored that the first step to raising a child is good parenting.
Parenting the parents
Parenthood demands much more than just being a mother or a father by default. Parents should know their duty in shaping the life of their children and therefore, should act responsibly from the very beginning. They are the first influencers in a child’s life, and knowingly or unknowingly format a child’s mind, which has a long-lasting impact on his/her life.
With vast experience in different facets of his life coupled with his professional approach, Dasgupta guided a team of experts to design and develop a special module named Parenting the Parents that will help parents to enhance their mentoring skills while raising their children through different ages. The module covers the areas like the scope of parenting, parenting styles, grooming, career guidance, parental burnouts and dilemmas, parental aberrations, and many other related issues through audio-video illustration. It also provides tips and guidelines to act as a responsible parent.
The right attitude
Dasgupta comments that any learning process brings about changes in three parameters namely Knowledge, Skill, and Attitude (KSA). While knowledge and skill can be acquired through formal education in schools and colleges, developing the right attitude requires special attention that lies beyond books. A perfect balance of knowledge, skill, and attitude generates wisdom - an understanding that drives civilisations forward. One must aim at acquiring it through the professional process that AGTD tries to provide.