Article: Assessing potential for future roles: Sudhir Nagaraj

Strategic HR

Assessing potential for future roles: Sudhir Nagaraj

Sudhir Nagaraj, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone India Services Private Limited (VISPL)

As a shared service organization, people are an integral part of our business and we need to constantly leverage the intellectual and human capital for success. Thus, being in a people-centric business, people agenda is one of the top priorities in my strategic roadmap for success of the business. This linkage is established through the levers comprising “effective talent acquisition process to get right talent at right cost within right time”, “driving strong value-based performance driven culture” and “differentiated reward process based on performance and potential”. As an organization, we stay focussed on these levers and imbibe it in our DNA. Hence, our people agenda and strategic levers have direct linkage and impact on the business imperatives and performance.

Attracting the right talent will continue to be a challenge; the essence of organizational development is about getting the right people on the ship and thereafter, creating the right environment on the ship for the right talent to stay on board and feel engaged. At Vodafone, the management process ‘employee lifecycle touch point’ manages the entire employee lifecycle. Employee experience is created even before an employee joins the organization at the hiring stage and continues during his stay with the organization till he/she exits. Besides this, we ensure that all people managers stay focussed on people performance and behaviors. This gets tracked in our people survey each year, which measures manager’s index on all parameters of employee engagement. Based on results, all managers develop their action plan in collaboration with their team, so that the same gets effectively deployed and measured year after year.

The ‘Talking Talent’ initiative at Vodafone helps to assess potential of employees at different managerial/leadership segments. This initiative is owned by me and there is a talent review board comprising senior leadership team, which devotes quality time periodically to discuss on identifying and developing key talents to build robust succession plans for critical roles in the organization. One of our stated people objectives is to manage aspirations and help in building careers for our people.

I spend quality time on a weekly basis with the HR Director on the review and progress of people agenda, key people issues, apart from seeking feedback and supporting people related issues with inputs from other members of the leadership team on a regular basis. I also ensure my personal presence and involvement in all people related engagement events driven in our journey to become an ‘employer of choice’. Talent management, leadership development and creating an engaging culture are the core focus areas, which occupies a large share in my calendar. I feel that my time spent on people related activities has increased, simply because the business focus is around people and as a captain of the team, I am passionate about building an engaged team with a winning mindset. I strongly believe in the need to establish a linkage between purpose of the organization with the heart and minds of our employees.

While I do spend adequate time on people related activities, going ahead, I would certainly like to organize myself better so that I can generate 10-15 percent more time towards upcoming people-centric areas of the organization. Though travel schedules, engagement with customers/service partners and business strategy sessions take lot of time, I have consciously ensured that my time spent on people does not get compromised in any manner.

We are poised for a rapid growth in the next 2 years, which means deploying an effective organization building strategy. In view of this, our top three HR priorities will be viz. build a global and diverse talent base with speed; create a compelling set of employer-employee value propositions to attract and retain key talent; and building a leadership pipeline with global mindset robust succession plan to ensure we have adequate leadership bandwidth to manage this growth and ensure world class delivery to our customers.


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Topics: Strategic HR, C-Suite, #ExpertViews

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