South Asia Leaders Programme
A programme for exceptional leaders from across South Asia

The South Asia Leaders Programme is an annual, two-part leadership development programme that seeks to bring together exceptional leaders from across all South Asian nations onto a common platform where they work together to address pressing issues relevant to the region.

Overview of the Programme

The programme will create a new generation of South Asian leaders from all sectors and walks of life. It will give them the Cultural Intelligence to work together across the region, the skills to address the complex issues in the region, and have extraordinarily broad regional and global networks.

The challenge for the South Asia Leaders Programme 2017 is “How can we reimagine our cities in South Asia to reduce our water footprint?”

President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Former President of Sri Lanka and Member of The World Leadership Alliance Club De Madrid, Keynote Speaker, Common Purpose Africa Venture 2016

“To become a leader, one has to have a set goal, a vision, the commitment to work towards it and the courage to face challenges.”

What will the programme entail?

The programme will be held in two parts and will follow a blended learning approach.

Part I

Part I will be held in India. Over four days, participants will be guided through a process of creativity and innovation. They will visit organisations across the city and engage in discussions with senior leaders from across sectors. Participants will then work up practical ideas in response to the challenge, which they will present to a panel of senior leaders from across the region.

Part II

Part II, which will also run for four days, will be held a few months later in Colombo, Sri Lanka and will give the participants an opportunity to explore the challenge from the perspective of a different country and city. Here the South Asia Leaders Programme participants will be joined by their counterparts from our Africa Venture programme - a truly amazing opportunity to see the challenge through the eyes of others and build global networks.

The participants will join Common Purpose 360 - our alumni platform which connects all Common Purpose alumni across the world.

Why take part?

Many of South Asia’s challenges and opportunities transcend different boundaries. The ability of South Asian leaders to meet these challenges and navigate boundaries will define the region’s future. The programme will provide an excellent opportunity to exceptional leaders to impact South Asia’s cities and realise the immense potential of the South Asian Community.

In addition, the programme will:

  • broaden leaders’ horizons and enable the transfer of knowledge, know-how and inspiration
  • enable them to develop Cultural Intelligence; the ability to cross boundaries and thrive in multiple cultures
  • equip them to build long lasting relationships across the region and the globe
Sudhakar Rao, Chairman, Bombay Stock Exchange and Chairman, Common Purpose India

“Bridging the worlds between civil society and government through effective leadership is the need of the hour. Through its unique proposition of bringing together leaders across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors engaged on leadership, Common Purpose helps innovate and builds on the strength of the cultural diversity that exists.”

Who is it for?

The South Asia Leaders Programme will bring together exceptional leaders from across the region. The participants will be drawn from the many sectors and backgrounds across South Asian cities. 

The successful applicants will be: 

  • Exceptional leaders operating at a strategic level in their organization and/or society
  • Able to demonstrate significant influence in their current role 
  • Close to the midpoint of their career, with ambitions to achieve more, grow and have greater influence. 
  • Committed to the region and have deep interest in engaging on issues impacting South Asia and its cities.

 All applications will be reviewed by the South Asia Leaders Programme Selection Group, composed of senior leaders from organizations across the continent and across the sectors.

How to apply

When and where?

Part I  : May 2017 - Mumbai, India

Part II : August 2017 - Colombo, Sri Lanka


Participant Fees: INR 400,000.

The fee covers all accommodation, meals and local transport during the programme.

Ability to pay is not a criterion for selection. Partially funded places are available for applicants who are genuinely unable to meet the fee criteria.

If you are interested applying or want more information about the South Asia Leaders Programme, please get in touch here.