People + Principles = Sustainable Success

–with special guest Mathias Imbach

Episode Summary

Mathias Imbach’s career has spanned the globe and a wide spectrum of organizations — and unique approaches to business. Discover what he’s learned about at every step of the journey

Episode Notes

People + Principles  = Sustainable Success (ft. Mathias Imbach) (ft. Mathias Imbach)

Mathias Imbach’s journey from Switzerland to India and back — and what he’s learned along the way.


A key success factor for us to check whether we are successful is whether people or stakeholders enjoy working with us. And that is not just the clients or investors. It’s also the media, it’s the suppliers we’re working with on the IT and other ways. It’s the people that help us in the office management, help clean, et cetera. Anyone.

—Mathias Imbach


Mathias Imbach began his journey with his degree at St. Gallen University, where his involvement with the school’s international symposium led to growing contacts in India that kickstarted his career. He spent time in India with Tata and then completed his MSC at London School of Economics and Duke, then worked with Bain & Company for six years where he led advisory projects for private equity funds, family offices, and technology companies.

Mathias then returned to Tata as general manager at RNT Associates, Mr. Ratan Tata’s personal investment platform, where he led multiple venture capital and private equity investments and participated in global, blockchain-related equity deals. In March 2018, he became CEO of Sygnum Bank, the first digital bank in the world. Mathias also holds a Ph.D. from the University of St. Gallen.


[14:06] – Love What’s Before You

Lessons learned in the military and India

A saying in India roughly translates to the idea that whatever is before you, make it into the best outcome for you— even be grateful for it. In his time in the military, Mathias learned that adaptation is about endurance and persistence. Whatever comes, move through it and make it a part of your journey. That’s the best path toward success.

[16:56] – Data & Instincts

From Bain to Tata, from numbers to the entrepreneurial spirit

Both Bain and Tata brought Mathias priceless insights into organizational leadership and entrepreneurship. At Bain, he learned the importance of professionalism and precision in task management, communication, and stakeholder relationships. At Tata, he learned that facts and data won’t get you all the way when running a business. You need trust, instincts, and a willingness to lead with your heart at times.

[21:54] – A Culture of Entrepreneurship

Discussing the societal startup spirit of India

As a culture, Mathias speaks to the Indian people’s willingness and skill at coming together and building something from the ground-up. It’s made the country one of the most incredible incubators for new startups in the world, to the point that many people are leaving established enterprises to work in riskier roles at startups there.

[25:02] – Leading Big & Thinking Small

Implementing startup principles in large enterprises

To Mathias, the difference between big-business thinking and startup thinking is imagination. When you don’t have established processes, cultural inertia, and other roadblocks, you can turn your organization into anything you can imagine. By bringing some of that open-mindedness to established businesses, we can reinvigorate them and perhaps discover opportunities we might otherwise have missed.

[40:16] – Key Principles for Business Success

Mathias on attracting investors & inspiring people

Be genuine, Mathias says. “I’m just really trying to be myself and to be genuine, and to also have the willingness to show weakness when I am weak or when I don’t like something to just be honest and transparent and direct.” He also says that you have to truly believe in what you’re doing as more than just a path to profits. Your clients and stakeholders will embrace your passion themselves. Finally, put culture above everything. Cultures create legacies.

[45:51] – People First

From top to bottom, focus on how people experience your organization

From employees, clients, and investors to the media, suppliers, IT, and people who clean the offices— if you’re successful at making positive experiences for people, then your organization will be successful as a whole.


Follow Mathias Imbach:


Discover the secrets of success for you and your organization shared by the world’s leading thinkers, doers, and trailblazers. Join Chris Roebuck, Honorary Visiting Professor of transformational leadership, leader in military, business, and government, inspiring global keynote speaker, one of HR’s Most Influential Thinkers, bestselling author, and your host of Perspectives from the Top. The show reveals a treasure trove of insights from mega trends to practical strategies and actions to take your career up a gear. From government world shapers and business mold breakers to evidence-driven academics and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, each episode shows you how you can immediately use these new ideas and actions to drive your success.

Learn more at:


Chris Roebuck
Chris Roebuck
Chris Roebuck is a speaker, advisor and executive coach who has a unique approach that helps leaders, teams, and organisations reach their full potential and be successful in just three steps. This is proven to add investor value, deliver better customer service, build the brand externally, develop innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, optimise risk and boost the bottom line by 10% + at no cost. Chris unique experience as a leader in the military, business, government and as a Hon Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership has enabled him to develop this innovative, entrepreneurial and highly effective new approach for leaders and organisations to achieve success: I CARE Leadership. It’s simply about you being the leader people always give their best for empowered by authentic and inspirational servant leadership. Chris shows how building on leaders current knowledge via simple, practical day to day actions can immediately deliver real improvements at all levels; individual, team, and organisation. One organisation who implemented it increased the number of staff happy to recommend it as “a great place to work” to friends or family in 2 years from 40% to 82%, an exceptional change, and increased revenue by 40%. When Global Head of Leadership at UBS, 70,000 staff & 100 countries, his team helped the bank transform organisational performance to increase profitability by 235%, market capitalisation by 50% and win awards. This is now a Harvard Case Study. Chris experience spans many sectors and geographies; from having held senior roles in UBS, HSBC, KPMG & London Underground to advising legal firms and construction, from the UK National Health Service of 1.4m staff and UK Government to the Red Cross in Myanmar, from Investment banks in London to Middle East Telecoms, from the Chinese Space Programme to retail in USA and many more. Chris has been quoted as a business leadership expert globally in the Harvard Business Review China, FT, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, New York Times, Business Week, Time Magazine, Washington Post, Times of India, Straits & Gulf Times and many other titles. He has been interviewed on TV over 350 on leadership and business issues on BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and other channels and his books have been translated into 11 languages. Chris has been recognised as one of the Most Influential HR Thinkers regularly since 2011 by the HR profession.

SOLD OUT! JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE