Article: ‘Experience across demographics is my core differentiator’


‘Experience across demographics is my core differentiator’

In his 8 year-career, Ali Imran Syed has had the opportunity to work and contribute to cultures very different from his own.
‘Experience across demographics is my core differentiator’

In his own words, this is what the ‘Are You In The List’ 2015 winner has to say about himself.

Ali Imran Syed, Global Learning & Organization Development Manager, Avery Dennison

I realized the criticality of business acumen in HR professionals early in my career and focused on learning about a company’s business. When I moved into a Sales HR role, I frequently visited the market and completed a full beat of retail outlets working with the Sales Officer and the Distributor Sales Rep (DSR). The outcome of my business exposure is that now I understand and speak the language of business and also understand the customer needs directly which in turn help me contribute better to HR programs.

Core differentiator: Experience across demographies

In my experience spanning eight years, I have had the opportunity to work and contribute to cultures very different from my own. I have lived and worked in East, West, North, South and Central India, Bangladesh; and have also worked closely with teams in Sri Lanka and Pakistan; and I am now working with HR Leaders in Europe, Americas and Asia. 

This has made me more empathetic and reduced the amount of stereotyping in my thinking and decision making. It has made me question my own mental filters and has made me more open-minded and more tolerant to diversity of thoughts and opinions.

Biggest talent priority: Talent retention

There are both tangible and hidden implications of replacing employees who leave organizations. The estimated cost of replacing an employee ranges from 30 percent to 400 percent of their annual salary depending on their level/skills in the organization.

I believe talent selection, career management and building capability are pivotal in talent retention.

The one thing I will:

- Change in HR: Lack of focus on and attention to the external customer

Most, if not all, HR professionals consider employees as their only customer. But the business’ customers are also HR customers. Every time a process/program is changed or introduced, one question which should guide HR professionals’ approach is “How is this going to create value for the external customer?” 

-Continue in HR: Focus on talent retention

The war for market share will be increasingly won by winning the critical battle for talent

My ideas to disrupt HR:

I would disrupt HR through Technology and Diversity.


Here’s the list of other winners:

JAY THAKKAR - Head - Compensation & Benefits and HR Operations, Aditya Birla Housing Finance Limited

NEHA SHARMA - Senior Employee Relations Manager, ICICI Bank

AMIT PAPNEJA - Manager-Field Readiness, Asian Paints Ltd.

AVIJIT SHASTRI - Divisional Manager - Channel HR, Commercial Vehicle TATA Motors

NIRANJANA HARIKUMAR - Lead- Learning and Organizational Development, Piramal Group

AANCHAL BHUGRA KOTHARI - Senior HR Business Partner, Reliance Industries Ltd.

SOUMITRA ACHARYA - Head HR Analytics, Mahindra & Mahindra

KUMAR ABHIMANYU - Participant - Career Acceleration Program, Reliance Industries Ltd

RICHA SINGH - Senior HR Officer, HPCL

VARUN TANDON - Associate Consultant, Salto Dee Fe Consulting

BHRIGU JOSHI - Head - Talent Management & Development,

SHAILY RAMPAL MISRA - Associate General Manager, HCL Technologies Ltd.

ABHINAV IYER - Senior Manager - Leadership & People Sciences, Wipro

BENJAMIN RAJKUMAR - Manager - Leadership Development, Titan Company Ltd 

NEHA SAXENA - Senior HR Business Partner, Adobe

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Topics: Leadership, #AreyouintheList?, #FutureHRLeadership

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