Getting to Know our Consultants: Kiran Malancharuvil

We’ve all come to Open-i Advisors from diverse backgrounds. What unique career and personal interests do you bring to Open-i Advisors? 

My favorite projects are always the ones where I believe in the outcome.  One of the primary focuses of my career has been to contribute to the positive experience of businesses and consumers on the internet.  Trust & Safety initiatives are always so incredibly satisfying because there are so many benefits, and they bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to work toward achieving a free, open and safe Internet.  

I also really enjoy projects where I can empower clients, employees and customers to learn more about the “why” behind the “what”.  For example, I worked on a years-long project to educate internet consumers on the dangers of counterfeit goods, and was able to leverage the resources of some top internet-facing brands, industry groups and platforms to help spread the message. It was so satisfying to know that we contributed to keeping people safe, and helped stop the flow of money to terrorist organizations, child traffickers and other nefarious groups who we know benefit from the sale of seemingly harmless counterfeit goods online.  

In my personal life, I have such a weird mix of interests and achievements.  I am a classically trained opera singer, I can bake a pie from scratch, I have run races, I was a tap dancer.  The thing I’m most proud of is being a solo parent to my five-year-old daughter Lily, who is the most amazing person and my greatest teacher.  

Outside feedback is enormously important for businesses. What’s some feedback that you’ve received personally that helped you grow?

“Be yourself.”  It took me an embarrassingly long time to learn how to be myself, and when I did, I flourished in my career and in my life overall.  I think women in particular get a lot of “advice” from people when they are young and coming up in their career, and while it’s mostly given in a helpful well-meaning spirit, I found that I was twisting myself into knots to follow that advice and present myself and my ideas in a way that didn’t always feel authentic or genuine.  I eventually learned that educating myself fully on an issue and following my intuition gave me the confidence and credibility I needed to establish myself as a unique and valuable voice in the industry.  

We all try to bring a lot to the table at Open-i Advisors. On the Open-i Advisors team, what’s your superpower?

My superpower is surrounding myself with all the smartest, coolest people, and being a sponge for everything they are willing to teach me!  I love making new friends and professional contacts. There is so much to learn from the different experiences of people I come across in my work and travels.  Connecting clients with my network to help them achieve their goals and expand their own perspective and understanding of a particular topic is my favorite way to use my “superpower”. 

We’re fond of the saying, “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” What’s one thing you think an organization should immediately start measuring that they likely aren’t?

The impact of diversity on the working experience.  I have been so inspired by organizations that are leading the way on understanding how gender, race, geography and socioeconomic factors affect how employees excel and advance in the workplace.  Measuring this can help organizations ensure a diverse workforce and develop a flexible environment to accommodate the unique needs of different groups. I think that this is the single most important step to achieving equality and ensuring that employees can individually achieve balance, wellness and happiness. 

What do you love doing in your spare time?

My favorite things are reading, playing with my daughter, and cooking for family and friends.  I cherish the memories of big dinners with people I love. My mom and grandma taught me how to cook and bake.  Putting a meal on the table fills me with nostalgia and a sense of history, belonging and community. My happy place is stirring a pot of something with one hand and reading a paperback novel with the other.