THE POWER OF STORYTELLING IN BUSINESS
Storytelling with a sense of authenticity, that’s what theatre and the performing arts have taught me: Peter D’Almeida Peter D’Almeida became a household name when he featured in prime time television and a movie in the early 90s and 2000s: including Giraya and Ira Mediyama. His most recent portrayal was the deviously manipulative Maldeniya in the cult online show Koombiyo. Less well known is that D’Almeida is chief executive of N*Able, a multi-million dollar Hemas Holdings-controlled tech company working with the financial sector that he built in a little over a decade. D’Almeida is a storyteller and discussed how the ability to tell authentic stories is relevant at every stage, from theatre, business and life in general.
TELLING STORIES, MAKING CONNECTIONS
N*Able, a leading technology company that helps businesses improve through innovation, is thriving because it knows how to craft a good story. And not just a good story, an authentic story. N*Able started with a great story, told by D’Almeida. “When you’re trying to attract investors for the company, you have to believe in the narrative you’re unfolding. You need your investors to believe in you and what you’re saying, which will lead them to trust you and pledge their money,” he narrates.
Weaving a compelling narrative doesn’t stop there. “When seeking talent for N*Able, you need to tell your potential employees what their role is, in your vision. How their dreams and goals can align with yours to help grow the company.” D’Almeida leads a team of over 220 people who believe in the story of N*Able.
POWER OF STORYTELLING IN BUSINESS
Technology companies invoke the threat of obsolescence of companies that don’t adopt more efficient or transformative new models of business. However, fear alone cannot be the driver of tech adoption. D’Almeida encourages his N*Able teams to conceal the tech and explain to potential clients how its application will transform their business. An ability to explain the innovation in terms of how a business can better serve its customers, be more productive and gain deeper insights usually is capable to convince a company that is otherwise inching along. This is only possible through the power of personal storytelling in business.
AUTHENTICITY AS A VIRTUE
D’Almeida’s been an activist all his adult life. A strong sense of social justice has seen him fearlessly stand against the status quo and strong in his authenticity. “In leadership, this is especially important, as you cannot succeed if you are not upfront and honest,” he adds.
D’Almeida’s authentic leadership has taken his career on a varied trajectory as an entrepreneur, an actor, a chief executive and an activist. At 19, he joined the State Bank of India, and in a few years, was president of the bank’s union. He then moved to the tech industry, was an entrepreneur, dabbled in acting and maintained his interest in issues that affect people beyond those he was surrounded by. People are intelligent and they are able to see through lies and manipulation. According to him, that is why, when crafting a good story, whether it is for investors, employeesor to do business, authenticity is critical. “When you are authentic, you can connect with people in a place that transcends the superficial. You get people to trust you and invest their respect in you. It is an important transaction that forms the foundation of any good business.”
LEARNING THROUGH HUMILITY
“In order to be an authentic leader and storyteller, you need to be humble about yourself and your place in the world. No one is an expert on everything, but everyone is an expert on at least one thing. Which means you have something new to learn from everyone you meet, from the youngest to the oldest,” he says. D’Almeida says he has internalised this curiosity and openness to the world, applying it in his personal and professional life.