Praveen Mantena

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Co-Founder, Leadership coach &
Culture advisor

I’m a tech entrepreneur turned leadership coach and business culture consultant. I help leaders of successful and highly-innovative companies scale their rapidly growing companies the right way and dramatically increase their own capacity to lead in the process.

My personal journey in all this started at age 7, when I wrote my first piece of computer code and saw a whole zeitgeist of the future open up before me. I hit an early stride as an entrepreneur in my teens when I ran a commercially successful Bulletin Board Service (BBS) that provided a number of services we now take for granted in the online space in a pre-internet era. It peaked in my twenties when running a rapidly growing web hosting business (8 to Infinity) that hosted nearly 1/4 of all the websites in my former home of Singapore. I left and sold my ownership in the business as I stopped enjoying the work after a period of rapid growth. I didn’t realize it at that time, but I was witnessing the effects of the loss of company culture and my personal motivations as the business ballooned, hired too many of the wrong people too quickly and became bureaucratic. I didn't know enough back then to do it any differently.

I experienced a similar trajectory in my early 30s working as a consultant at a giant mortgage company on the cusp of a real estate bubble and saw first-hand how big enterprise translated in this case into too many disempowered and disengaged employees operating under an increasingly stultifying hierarchy. Conditions that hit the fan as the bubble turned into a crisis. Realizing the solutions and innovation I was seeking lay in working directly with people and their growth, I left the tech world and began the journey into human and cultural development.

In the past 10 years I’ve coached, consulted and trained startups, medium-sized businesses, Fortune 500 companies and mission-driven non-profits in the realms of purpose, leadership development and cultural transformation. During this period I studied everything that was valued or innovative in the field and tested what worked and what didn't. I learned many lessons along the way, perhaps most significantly how many large scale culture transformation projects fail because the buy-in was forced or poorly rolled out. I have also had the privilege of working  with a number of extraordinary leaders who were extremely successful and resourceful in bringing meaningful change to their culture and business.

Many of the leaders I work with care deeply about their business and employees but face some similar challenges - as their business grows, it can become harder to hold on to the fruits of the original vision that sparked success. As complexity increases and the management responsibilities pile up, the business can lose focus and direction which paves the way for competitors to chip away rapidly at market share. Often this outcome is justified as an inevitable result of changing market conditions or the price of growing into a much bigger, less nimble company with more employees. 

But it doesn't have to be this way. I have found that by helping the business stay aligned with its higher purpose and real strengths, growing the leadership team in their capacities and effectively transforming all aspects of the culture in steady micro-stages, an entirely different outcome is possible. One in which growth means a doubling down on what is already good and opening up new realms of possibility where the business can successfully scale and innovate to make a much more significant impact through all its workforce.

It is with this discovery and desire to help many others to grow the right way that the vision of Syntropy was born in collaboration with the rest of our founding team.


Education and Other Relevant Trainings:

  • B.Sc (Computer Science & Communication Arts), University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MBA (Management & Organization), University of Maryland
  • Newfield Network Coach Training and Professional ICF Coach
  • Facilitator and Train-the-Trainer in Circling for Group Coaching and Conflict Resolution, Circling Institute
  • Embodied Leadership, Strozzi Institute
  • Certified Purpose Guide, Purpose Guides Institute
  • Vision Quest Guide, School of Lost Borders