Article: Are You In The List 2016 winner: Salil Raheja


Are You In The List 2016 winner: Salil Raheja

Salil Raheja of Essar Steel aspires to be a leader with a lens where he could question practices on how they will or will not add value to the business topline.
Are You In The List 2016 winner: Salil Raheja

With more than 7 years of rich HR experience across varied roles, I strongly believe in making Human Resources function relevant to the Business and driving initiatives which would add value to the Business. He relaxes by reading biographies of renowned leaders and sportspersons and also loves to play Cricket.

Salil Raheja, Deputy General Manager, HR, Essar Steel India Ltd.

One thing you will:

Start in HR: Cross Functional stints for HR Professionals to get a better and deeper business understanding. 

Continue in HR: Personal Connect with Ground level people through continual dialogues and two way Communications, in spite of technological tools available to communicate.

Stop in HR: HR should stop being uncomfortable with being viewed as unpopular at times and should instead drive any action with full conviction.

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

In my 7 years of professional HR journey, I have always strived to ensure alignment and clarity among all business teams I have worked with, in terms of well-defined performance scorecards, job descriptions, career paths. 

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

Many Organizations blindly copy the practices of other organization considering them as ‘Best Practices’ without understanding that whether their own Organization Culture would support it. As a Future HR Leader, I plan to be a lens to my leadership team, to make them see clearly the ‘if’ and ‘but’ of adopting any new practice and how that practice ‘will’ or ‘will not’ add value to the business.

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

Ability to facilitate change and drive business by influencing the ecosystem around the leadership, the team one leads, and the peers; without being authoritative and theoretical. 

In 5 years, you see yourself as:

5 years down the line I see myself in a leadership role and being an accelerator to the business I am associated with, by creating a competitive edge through a pool of passionate and inspiring talent which is engaged, aligned and empowered.

The ‘Are You in The List’ Journey:

My “Are You in The List” journey has been a steep learning curve. Clearing each stage at a time has been a boost to my self-confidence. I personally liked the “Manager Ready Assessment” tool by DDI and now look forward to some valuable feedback on the assessment data.


  • As an emerging HR leader, what keeps you up at night: Self-Limiting thinking among few HR professionals on the value they can add to the business

  • Describe today’s HR in one line: Strategic enabler to the business by creating a winning culture of an aligned team and engaged individuals

  • Who is your inspiration to be an HR professional: My Family inspires me to always be genuine and empathetic towards everybody and the leaders I have worked with or I am currently working with always inspire me to go extra mile and innovate. 

  • Qualities which differentiate you from other participants: Sharp Business Acumen and ability to contextualise problems before recommending solutions.

  • A stranger’s first impression of yours would be: Calm and Composed 

  • Who or What are your biggest strengths: I am a quick learner with high attention to detail

  • One weakness you can do without: Ability to market my work

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

  • Your Favourite book: My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi

  • Your Hobby: Reading Biographies of renowned leaders and sportspersons and playing Cricket

  • One word that describes an HR professional: Indispensable

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

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

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

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

  10. ADITYA ADYAR, Chief People Officer, Faasos

  11. NIYATI GOEL, Regional Rewards, AMEA (Asia Middle East & Africa), Mondelez International 

  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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