Chitra Anand


Chitra Anand

Expert on Intrapreneurship, Innovation and Marketing

Chitra Anand is at the forefront of an important new movement in the workplace: intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs are the people within your organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit — driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas. The former head of PR for Microsoft Canada, Anand has been an intrapreneur for her entire career. Her engaging talks reveal how to foster that spirit, and how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behaviour.

Anand is an influence and social marketer who is currently completing a PhD focused on the study of intrapreneurship, and is a professor at the Forbes School of Business and Technology. Her research examines the traits of intrapreneurs, how they navigate organizations, and why they are the key drivers of innovation. She also studies shifts in technology, and how the way we communicate has created a massive change in consumer behaviour: the power has transferred from the business to the consumer, and marketers need a whole new perspective on content creation and storytelling.

Anand was Head of Public Relations, Communications, and Corporate Reputation for Microsoft Canada, where she created stories and experiences by engaging with key influencers, media, and in the digital space. Projects she guided there have been awarded IABC Gold Quill Awards and Canadian Public Relations Society Awards of Excellence.

Prior to Microsoft, Anand was Director of Marketing at TELUS Corp. During her tenure there, she led some of their award-winning brand, social media, and sponsorship campaigns, winning rave reviews and massive media attention.

Anand has been named as a “bridge builder” for women in tech by the A-list, a yearly publication that features 50 prominent Indo-Canadians have helped foster relations between Canada and India.

She has an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management and is currently pursuing her PhD at Bradford University. Her work has been featured in several media outlets, such as The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, Marketing Magazine and on the CBC.

Deliberate: How To Foster The Power of Experimentation and Innovation within Your Company

In this indispensable talk, Chitra Anand uncovers the power of intrapreneurship, explaining why and how it’s important that today’s corporate cultures shift toward intrapreneurship to maintain their relevance in the modern, highly competitive marketplace.

Chitra shows leaders how they can practice intrapreneurship within their organizations, how they can identify the true agents of change within their companies, and how they can mobilize these agents to act.

The talk begins with three big, bold ideas that organizations need to re-imagine:

  1. Why and how consensus thinking will limit innovation
  2. The role of curiosity within an organization and how to harness it within yours
  3. First principles theory: how organizations need to shift their mindset toward this to drive real breakthrough thinking

Chitra provides applied principles on how to take your innovation efforts from “accidental” to intentional within your organization.

She also draws upon her learnings from interviews from the  worlds top leaders, who include:  the Global CMO of Mastercard, Raja Rajamannar; the Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, Nicholas Thompson; the CEO of  Forbes, Steve Forbes; the CEO of Omers, John Ruffolo; and tech entrepreneur, Michelle Romanow.

Women in Tech: Trends, Realities, Misconceptions and How to Lead

Chitra Anand has worked in the tech space for over 20 years with some of the worlds most notable organizations. Women who want to study, work in, and lead businesses in science and technology have much to add and should be proactively empowered to do so.

Only 18 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees and 26 percent of computing jobs are held by women. It’s worse at the top of the corporate world — just 5 percent of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women.

A better question might be, how can we collectively work to improve women’s participation in the tech industry at each key stage of their careers?  The problem is far deeper than stats.  They are embedded in our culture, language and unconscious biases that we all hold; both as men and women.  How do we uncover what these are and how do we take those insights to drive real sustained change?  How do we continue to trailblaze knowing these challenges in a hyper competitive market?

The Greenhouse Effect: How Intrapreneurs Are Changing the Face of Innovation

What is an intrapreneur? An intrapreneur is an entrepreneur within a large, complex organization: a startup within a company. These people spur innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas, driven by passion and genuine love for their work. But how to you identify these people within your company, and encourage their good work? Chitra Anand is a lifelong intrapreneur and top researcher in the field.

In this talk, she breaks down the traits of an intrapreneur—fearless; agile; “greenhouse” thinkers who sprout and germinate ideas, plans, and execution strategies; and can easily navigate an organization—and how to find and mine talent within your company.

She explains how to bridge the gap in organizations that are set up against intrapreneurship. And, she provides practical takeaways for your company, focusing on deliberate innovation that rapidly responds to market trends.

In today’s global market, consumers are more empowered than ever. Intrapreneurs know how to meet consumer demand quickly, and ensure your company doesn’t get left behind.

The Future of Marketing: Trends, Technology, and Consumer Behaviour

How has technology changed the way we buy? What are the prospects for retail stores? How can we reach increasingly challenging markets?

In this comprehensive talk, Chitra Anand looks at the future of marketing. The old school methods of print advertising and general campaigns are no longer sustainable. The surge of information and the digital space has given rise to new mediums of communication. We are interacting differently; we are referral-based buyers; we have greater access to information and influencers; and the power has shifted from businesses to consumers.

What is the impact of this, how do we make sense of it in a meaningful way? What trends can we predict and how will this impact the role of marketers?

Anand lays it all out and provides hands-on, feasible solutions for this next gen of sales and marketing.