Bhavdeep Singh is a Managing Partner at Whitehawk Associates LLC, an independent business management consultancy specializing in Retail, Human Resources, Leadership Development, and Healthcare. He is also Chairman and co-founder of HealthQuarters, a new destination for curated and clinically-backed health and wellness services at 632 Broadway in New York City. HealthQuarters brings together top medical providers and clinically-backed wellness services in locations that provide connected, seamless, and comprehensive health services.
Over his 30+ year career, Bhavdeep Singh experienced many great successes leading several multi-billion-dollar companies which saw tremendous growth under his watchful eye. In 2021, Singh transitioned from “employee” to entrepreneur with the creation of Whitehawk Associates, an advisory/consulting firm with clients in the healthcare, retail, and supply chain industries.
Before joining Whitehawk Associates and launching Healthquarters, Bhavdeep Singh gained an international reputation as a forward-thinking business leader serving as Head of US Operations for Ahold, a $26 billion business, where he had complete P&L oversight for 800 stores and 110,000 employees. Post that, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Fortis Healthcare, where he led one of the largest private health systems in the world and helped manage a network of more than 30 private hospitals across India.
We had the opportunity to connect with Bhavdeep Singh about how he brings new ideas to life to what the future holds for Whitehawk Associates.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would not do a lot differently- I am a grown adult and have had the good fortune to do many different things professionally. You would think that I would have accepted things as they are by now, but I haven’t. I still find myself waking up on some days asking myself how I got here because I have been given far more than I deserve or need. For a very average guy from White Plains, NY, I am punching way above my weight.
So, what would I change on a professional level? Nothing, absolutely nothing. That doesn’t mean everything has been great – I have made many mistakes and likely done many stupid things. However, every mistake has taught me a lesson I would have otherwise missed. Every delay made me reflect on things I would have otherwise skipped.
On a personal level, I would probably want to change a lot. I would have spent more time with my parents before they both passed away. I would have been kinder and gentler as a young person. While I don’t know if anyone from my generation was, I should have been.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I reflect, validate, analyze, consult, visualize, and implement. Sometimes, the timeline between starting and finishing is a few hours, and sometimes it may take a couple of years or longer.
The interesting thing about idea generation is that it can happen through a very detailed and methodical approach where you have a planned brainstorming session – but, very often, it comes to you in the middle of the night or when you’re eating dinner or watching a movie on TV.
So, once you have an idea, I find it best to allow it to “marinate” for a bit and allow it to bounce around in my head. If it gets through that first piece, my next step is to get a bit of informal validation – and for that, I tap into experts in the space or just smart people with a global view on things and who understand “stuff.”
The important thing with ideas and new ways of thinking is maintaining a level of objectivity around it – and generally, you know if it’s going to work fairly quickly. So, if it doesn’t check the right boxes, be prepared to walk away – fairly quickly.
I suppose there is one more thing I would add . Sometimes, when your gut feels so strongly about something, and even when logic doesn’t support the idea, and everyone tells you it’s a bad idea, you still keep pushing, and you are determined to make it work – well, that’s when you can expect one of two outcomes – disaster and a complete loss of magic or prolific success. I would say that the latter happens less often, but it certainly does occasionally.
What qualities and skills do you look for when hiring new talent?
There are so many good theories on what to look for when recruiting talent – so many screening tools and schools of thought. While I see a great deal of value in many of these resources, I see a huge value in connecting with the candidate when you talk or meet with them.
This is particularly true when looking at senior talent for a key leadership role in the organization. In those cases, my assumption is that skill set and competence are a given, or we would not be meeting with them. So, if that is the case, most of the conversation revolves around values, style, and a broad understanding of “ways of working.”
As I meet with candidates, I also emphasize motivation, humility, confidence, and sincerity. So, if you can leave a conversation with a candidate and check most of those boxes, you can probably start to move the process forward.
What does the future hold for your business?
We live in some very interesting times, and the world is seeing change and transformation in all walks of life at a pace that we can only begin to understand. Regardless of what business you are in or level you are at in the organization, things are changing almost daily. With all this happening, organizations and teams are looking for support and/or guidance on how to keep up with the changes or lead the change. Regardless, there is a general acceptance that external support and/or partnership can add value.
With that in mind, we want to make Whitehawk Associates the solution leaders go to when they want to talk through their challenges, their questions, and/or their solutions. Between our team of managing partners and back office team, we bring hundreds of years of leadership experience in Retail, HR, Healthcare, Supply Chain, Strategy, Change Management, IT/Product Development, and Operations. Our team consists of almost 20 C-suite leaders that have been at the helm of large organizations around the world.
In addition to this team of all-star leaders, we have a support team that has experience in Finance, Marketing, IT, Web Management, Paid Social, and SEO. We are currently set up to do business in the States, Canada, Australia, India, and Thailand, but our expansion plans will see us grow beyond those boundaries as well.
So, as we think about all of these changes, the future is very exciting, and I see Whitehawk Associates growing fairly quickly and adding value to leadership teams worldwide. I see us continuing to do a significant amount of work in retail, supply chain, and healthcare, but I also see us doing a great deal of work in strategy and transformation. Ultimately, we will build a global business consulting and knowledge-sharing network that will support thousands of leaders worldwide.
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