Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis Space Solutions started Awfis Space Solutions with the vision of revolutionizing the office space delivery ecosystem in India through technology – backed just in time solutions. Amit also serves as the Vice-Chairman & Strategic Advisor of NCUBE India which is a leading group in Asia providing design and real estate consulting services with resources of over 120 people and 3 locations in Asia.
Prior to establishing Awfis, Amit was the COO of NELSON Global leading 37 global locations and over 600 people leading the group to be recognized as the one of the top five global design firms. He has over fifteen years of experience in areas of master planning, strategic planning, design management, workplace and business process improvement, six-sigma based strategies and facility planning.
In an exclusive conversation with People Matters, Amit shares his insights and advice for leaders as they design the future workplace and work towards “building a culture of execution excellence, high performance and ownership”.
The rise of coworking spaces has led to a visible shift in the concept of a workplace. As global organizations redefine themselves to acclimatize their way of functioning to the workplace expectations of tomorrow, how is this transformation impacting the future landscape of the coworking industry?
With the new generation at the helm of joining the workforce, it becomes a necessity for corporates to redefine their practices and workspaces to suit the newer generation’s style and needs. A well-designed office space that supports communal growth and work ethics, which goes beyond a single category of population and is helpful for all the generations, will eventually make coworking spaces the go to choice for many professionals across segments.
How do you see job roles evolve in the coworking space? What roles according to you will face a greater demand in the near future?
Evolution is the key for development, even within the coworking sector. As it is perceived, coworking setup is very different from the traditional office setup. In traditional offices, the HR is equipped with the task of managing the employees of the company. Awfis is a customer-first organization, where servicing client needs is the foundation of our business. Hence, we have roles that are focussed on identifying tacit and latent needs of clients, servicing these needs in an efficient manner and building systems and processes that will ensure sustainability of such offerings in the long term.
Future should see great demand for roles in innovation, IT and risk management.
How is automation impacting decision-making regarding the HR function in the coworking space?
Automation has made HR more efficient, so that our HR can focus its time and energies on strategic decisions while the operational parts have been automated. We are already using systems and technologies in hiring, performance management, learning, time and attendance and employee communication. Such an approach has allowed our distributed workforce to have real time information, tools and access that gives them the required support for high-performance.
As a CEO, how do you envision the future of work redefining the role of HR?
Technology has redefined the functioning of every business. Similarly, technology has enabled HR practices to be more efficient, systematic and organized. Automation has changed the way HR contacts employees, analyzes data and recruits employees. Furthermore, data can be analyzed to create actionable insights and ultimately drive decisions pertaining to promotions and compensation. Technology trends in HR are gaining momentum, which are shaping the growth opportunities in the field. In future, HR will need to focus on creating a more customized environment for its workforce, so that our diverse and distributed teammates have the required support and ecosystems that inspires them to give their best to work, every single day.
How do you see the CEO-CHRO relationship evolve amid a series of technological innovations disrupting the way the HR function operates?
The CHRO is and will be a business partner to the organization and the relationship between the CEO and CHRO will continue to be focussed on business objectives and how HR adds value on the business front.
With most operational parts being handled by automation, HR has a greater focus on strategic objectives of the business. This is the direction in which the CEO – CHRO relationships will move, in near future.
What makes HR an indispensable function for you?
We are a service company and hence, our entire offering is built through the support of our teammates. Our HR function helps us bring in, manage, inspire and retain right talent and hence, is key to our short and long-term success.
What are the top three challenges you are dealing with at the moment?
Big or small, challenges are a part and parcel of being an entrepreneur. While right now we do not have any major challenges from an HR perspective, we are constantly working towards building a culture of execution excellence, high performance and ownership.
What are you most looking forward to in 2020? What do you think will be your next curve this year?
We are looking at increasing our footprint not only in tier I and metro cities, but also in tier II. We are looking to open new centres for deeper penetration in markets, gain momentum and maintain a strong foothold pan India. Apart from the above initiatives we are also looking at better accommodating the requirements of individual professionals, small teams as well as large companies. 2020 is the year of expansion for us!