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From Humble Beginnings to COBE Success

Ajith Krishnankutty Finds Purpose in Encouraging Others to Seek Education and Learning

Ajith Krishnankutty, Vice President of Experiential Marketing at Capital Group

Ajith Krishnankutty is Vice President of Experiential Marketing at Capital Group, he Heads Marketing Events, Capital Studios and Institutional Design and Journey teams, a team comprising 50+ marketers and 30+ contractors who create world-class client experiences.

With a gaze of modesty and a glisten in his eyes, Ajith Krishnankutty says that since receiving his Certificate of Business Excellence (COBE) from UC Berkeley Executive Education, he is deeply committed and intentional in encouraging others to pursue education and learning as well.

“I never thought that going to Haas and getting a COBE was possible. I’m from a very small town in India and something like this was remarkably out of reach.” Ajith is very grateful and humbled, he says, to have had this opportunity.

Ajith also encourages his team members to have educational goals and to seek learning opportunities. He spends dedicated time mentoring others and allocates a significant portion of his Capital Group budget for professional development and education for his staff. “I have a senior manager on my team who has been at the organization for 26 years. I encouraged him to take the Product Management program, and he absolutely loved it!”

His intentionality in helping others find the value in education, Ajith explains, “is a way I can pay it forward, for all that I’ve been given.”

Leveraging What He’s Learned

Ajith came to UC Executive Education in 2019 and set his sights on a COBE. He says the most interesting thing he learned was the storytelling skill set, which is a component of the Product Management program. Ajith leveraged the storytelling framework to develop a blueprint and roadmap for the team he took over at Capital Group, and says he still runs the strategy utilizing the same framework to this day. He has even presented at many conferences on the value of the framework, and how it continues to serve him in his day-to-day work.

In his passion to advance education and learning for those in his sphere, Ajith is currently in conversations with UC Executive Education faculty Dr. Sahar Yousef and Faculty David Riemer to present to his team at Capital Group. “I really want my team to benefit from the wisdom and the learning that Dr. Sahar and Professor David can provide. We are partnering to develop a workshop that will be specific to my team and our goals.”

Invaluable Cultural Insights

Learning about cultural differences, and sharing his journey with a diverse group of cohorts from China, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, India and more, was a huge benefit and learning experience for Ajith. He stays in touch with many of them through WhatsApp and LinkedIn, and says he is appreciative of how much his network has grown because of his COBE journey. “I’ve made many meaningful and valuable connections.”

Overall Takeaway?

Ajith says that earning a COBE transformed him as a person, and gave him tools that are applicable in his daily work life. “I never valued education until coming to the United States. But since then, I have never stopped learning, and I never want to stop. I want to encourage others to do the same – my encouragement is one way of giving back.”

Ajith’s COBE Journey: