Article: Are You In The List 2016 winner: Niyati Goel


Are You In The List 2016 winner: Niyati Goel

Niyati Goel of Mondelez International, believes that HR sometimes is a function where bringing deep Integrity of character to the workplace is crucial
Are You In The List 2016 winner: Niyati Goel

An Engineer from NIT Bhopal, and MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur, Niyati has worked with Cadbury (now named Mondelez) in Mumbai, Singapore, Delhi. Her varied work locations have inspired her to travel and experience the new cultures. Her biggest personal achievement has been to travel to the Arctic Circle and back on a solo backpacking trip! She describes HR professionals as ‘Charismatic’, she is optimistic, easy-going and straightforward.

Niyati Goel, Regional Rewards, AMEA (Asia Middle East & Africa), Mondelez International 

One thing you will:

Start in HR: HR Leaders must be highly self -aware and bring deep ‘Character’ to their role and the workplace. I believe that Human resources sometimes is a function where bringing deep Integrity of character to the workplace and how you show-up is supremely important.

Continue in HR: Excellence in delivery of fundamental people processes  that form a backbone of an organization

Stop in HR: Working on non-impactful areas that can be done more efficiently or not at all

As an emerging HR leader, one thing which brings great pride to you: 

As an Emerging HR Leader, what brings great pride to me is the fact that I have shown and high resilience in difficult situations at the workplace especially when asked to take sides between being a Business Leaders’ partner and an Employee Champion – a fine balance that many HR professionals have faced in their professional journey. Doing the right things in the situations I experienced was hard, but my conviction in those enabled me to stand up and deal and make things rights where they weren’t.

Biggest flaw in the way organizations operate today, and how do you plan to fix that: 

The way organizations operate today is to over-estimate the changes that will occur in the next one year and underestimate those will occur in the next ten. This short-sightedness results in decisions that are unsustainable in the medium or long run and results in non-impactful high volume transactional thinking and processes.

As a future HR Leader, I intend to adopt a principle based approach (as against a reactive approach) on all responsibilities I take on to ensure we keep things simple, effective, sustainable and fair. I also intend to lay-out a clear vision for my organization and take the team along on that journey to make it come true on the ground. Also, bringing the outside-in of corporate cases from the past help make better decisions in the present.

What makes the difference while you are in HR in a corporate set up:  

What really differentiates me from everybody else is my constant drive for excellence and raising the bar in every single accountability that I own and every work delivery I take on. What also sets me apart is my highly resilient attitude, ability to rise above daily trifles and think big, and pair my IQ with a bit of social intelligence and empathy.

In 5 years, you see yourself as: 

I see myself in an HR Leadership position creating impact to the business I partner, truly making a difference to the people who work there and leading boldly from the front. I also see myself having grown as an individual with my diversity and depth of learning experiences and setting higher excellence standards every single day, further building onto my strengths to fulfil my dreams and those of dear ones and hopefully setting myself up for giving back to the society in small and large impactful ways

Your Are You In The List Journey:

The Journey has been truly fascinating! I am impressed by the rigour of the process, the types of competencies it tests in various stages of the process and most importantly, the bar it sets for HR professionals in this country to aspire to!


  • As an emerging HR leader, what keeps you up at night: Short terms success Vs Long Term sustainability of organizations

  • Describe today’s HR in one line: Forward thinking professionals trying to make a serious difference to their organizations and people without whom a business strategy will be incomplete

  • Who is your inspiration to be an HR professional: Rajesh Ramanathan – HR Business Lead, Global Commercial ,Mondelez International, based in Chicago ( previously the HR Director for Cadbury India)

  • Qualities which differentiate you from other participants: Thinking big and boundary-less and being a constant learning enthusiast 

  • A stranger’s first impression of yours would be: Optimistic, easy-going and straightforward

  • Who or What are your biggest strengths: My biggest strength is my self-confidence and the love and belief of my parents

  • One weakness you can do without: Ability to delegate early on

  • If we have to automate you and ask you to keep one human quality, what should that be: Strength of Character

  • Your Favourite book: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

  • Your Hobby: Travelling far and wide

  • One word that describes an HR professional: Charismatic

For the entire list of Are You in The List Awards 2016, please click here.

Here are the profiles of other winners (not based on ranking): 

 Here’s the list of India’s 15 future HR leaders:

  1. ABHISHEK BUDHARAJA, Associate Director, HR (Talent Management, OD & OE) at Snapdeal

  2. ANKITA PODDAR, HR Business Partner, Amazon

  3. APOORVA PRADHAN, Assistant Manager, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd

  4. MEGHA GUPTA, HR Business Partner, Sapient Corporation Ltd

  5. RAVI BAJPAI, Practice Lead Talent Acquisition, Infosys

  6. SALIL RAHEJA, Deputy General Manager, Essar Steel India Ltd

  7. SHAVETA ARYA, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd.

  8. SHREYAS HARIDAS, HR Business Partner, Star India Pvt Ltd. 

  9. SIDDHARTH BHASIN, HRBP, G&A Business, APAC Region, Google

  10. SOUMYA MALKANI, Deputy Manager – Organisation Development, Tata AIG General Insurance Company

  11. ADITYA ADYAR, Chief People Officer, Faasos

  12. APEKSHA JAIN, Senior HR Business Partner, PepsiCo


  14. SNIGDHA SINGH CHAUDHURI, Sr. Manager, HRBP for Sales team, Cipla
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Topics: Leadership, #AreyouintheList?

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