Devansh Rohatgi | Senior HR Business Partner | Amazon
For Devansh Rohatgi, Senior HR Business Partner, Amazon, one of the most effective ways to develop HR capabilities is to have that breadth of thought, which usually comes when one goes through multiple experiences and exposure. In his prior stints, where he managed industrial relations, campus program, business partnering a startup and even implementing an HRMS, his aim was to always develop solutions for the business with a holistic view.
Other than that, building a diverse team, which has been a part of varied industries and functions can help with designing comprehensive HR solutions that are scaleable. He is a staunch believer that one shouldn’t let the core team only focus on HR deliverables but broaden it to lead strategic programs for the business. During a tectonic shift in the working model of the business, he understood how important it is to be a change agent but also act as a business consigliere and take back the learnings to share with the team. In the end, to build continuous capabilities within a team, there is a need for a culture where knowledge and learning is shared. As an HR leader, setting up intentional mechanisms for not just sharing progress and updates but success stories and failures from different projects is essential. Devansh believes that amid change, one needs to build HR capabilities for in-depth understanding of business and tech.
Going Back To The Basics
His first inclination towards a professional career in HR came when he observed the impact that an HR department without vision can have with a transactional approach, on business, customers and employees. As he started researching, he came to realise that a thorough understanding of the labour laws form the basic foundation of a strong HR leader. That’s why he consciously chose his first stint in industrial relations for a manufacturing plant to build his character and understand employee concerns at the grassroots level, while maintaining a balance between employee advocacy and business delivery governed by law.
Overcoming The Challenges To Create Impact
According to Devansh, the key challenges for HR today include designing flexible work arrangements, attracting and retaining talent, driving workforce capability and developing organisation structures to support the work model.
As more organisations are preparing to return to physical sites, at Amazon, the operations were structured around employee preference of work location. The idea was to expand the talent source and explore new horizons. Retaining a flat organisation structure was to help make faster decision and design and cascade integral review mechanisms across all organisational units. A mental shift was made to ensure that key people metrics were looked at through the lens of actionable insights to initiate corrective measures.
If he has to think about the top learnings from the year gone by, HR leaders should continue to expect high degree of change in the business context at any given point of time. With volatile currency, stock price movements, geopolitical issues and policy shifts by the government, there is a need for leaders to become agile in creating and re-creating business strategies to navigate the changing contexts and sustain success.
With emerging business models and tech, the overlap between an HR leader’s role and CEO’s role is gradually increasing and a successful HR professional will need to understand tech and analytics, manage change and familiarise themselves with multiple industries and disciplines. We need to build HR teams, who understand economic context, business and competitor strategies, macroeconomic changes as they translate them into talent insights and strategies.
Highlights From Are You In the List
For Devansh, one of the reasons he applied to People Matters Are You In The List awards powered by Aon was to get an evaluation through the scientific tools such as ADEPT 15, functional and situational assessments and working memory challenges. He shares that “among all journals, we see that successful HR professionals identify as tech savvy with data deep dive capabilities, who obsess over customers, ie, employees and prioritise business value with the ability to adapt and bring forth outside-in view." Through the various assessments as part of the awards, he was able to assess himself on how he fared on these five attributes that define a future ready HR. It also served as a guide to design a well-thought out and targeted plan aligned with the insights from the development report.
During the CHRO coaching, the experiences leaders shared helped him gain some of the best practices and ways to build effective partnerships with stakeholders. In its entirety, the six stages armed him with a thorough and comprehensive assessment of himself that helped him develop actionable learnings to juggle responsibilities in day-to-day work.
Vision of 2024
As he gears up for the upcoming year, he wishes to ‘build agile HR teams effective at combating the disruptive landscape’ as he keeps raising the bar.
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