Article: HR warriors - The winners of Are You in The List 2013


HR warriors - The winners of Are You in The List 2013

The winners of Are You In The List 2013 Awards were announced on January 30, 2014, at a gala night in Gurgaon
HR warriors - The winners of Are You in The List 2013

Experiential learning has become the buzzword, and organizations need to build an immersive learning ecosystem


Thoroughness, objectivity, transparency were some of the words used to describe the four-stage process of identifying the winners of Are You in The List Awards


The top leaders of all most organizations agree that people matter to business. Without people, no organization can hope to scale the ladders of success. So, it is imperative that the people who look after the people then become important cogs in the wheels of the organization. And who better to celebrate that other than People Matters who undertook the initiative of launching the second edition of the Are You In The List Awards in Gurgaon on January 30, 2014, in partnership with DDI, Career Builder, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Video Recruit and NHRD Network.

Seven months of round-the-clock preparation and tonnes of hard work culminated into a stunning, lively gala night on January 30 where the country’s Future Emerging HR Leaders were identified and lauded. The Are You In The List 2013 Awards were announced by their predecessors and members of the jury and witnessed by the HR fraternity in full attendance.

The Awards Evening

The keynote speaker for the evening was 
D. Shivakumar, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo India. He had the audience spellbound as he talked about global competition, the war for women talent, and inclusiveness in organizations. While giving the analogy of an airplane where the CEO and the CFO were the pilot and the co-pilot and the HR manager the navigator, Shivakumar said it was time for the HR manager to be part of the action inside the cockpit rather than outside.

According to Shivakumar, the three key people in the organization today are the CEO, the CFO and the CHRO. “All talent today are global talent. The world is their stage. It is a me-generation that is coming to the workplace, it is not a we-generation. My challenge is to transform the me-ness into we-ness. We have to ask people to volunteer for the cause that we have and not to the job, salary or the job description.”

Exhorting HR to look beyond the symbolism, he said, “CHROs must focus on the behavior of the employees. Break the hierarchy, break the language and let’s get far more inclusive.” He also mentioned that HR, which was in the olden days known as Personnel Management, must make efforts not to look impersonal and said the function has evolved over the years. He said, “No organization will have a hire to retire employee in the coming times,” amid laughter from the audience.

Co-host for the evening, Andrew Warren-Smith, Director of Affiliate Operations (DDI), said, “It was nice to be a part of the jury this time and see how much passion and energy was brought to the robust discussions and the roundtables. It is a clear demonstration of their desire to see this profession grow from strength to strength and most importantly get better at engaging people to be better at their jobs, in their engagement towards the organization and helping them to ultimately make the world a better place.”

Amongst other distinguished guests, S. Varadarajan, Executive President – HR, Tata-SIA, said Are You In The List Awards were the Oscars of the HR world. “The beauty of the Are You In The List Awards is that it is not only the youngsters who learn but also grey haired veterans like me.”

Noting how wonderful it was to hear the young HR leaders, jury member P. Dwarakanath, Advisor – Group Human Capital of Max India, said, “All functions are equal. I don’t agree with the view that HR alone should know business; every other function should also know business.” He signed off saying, “You should be very proud of your profession. You should be able to contribute to the organization, the community and the society, and enjoy it.”

The Competencies

So what are the qualities the 21 winners scored over the 1,400 others who competed for the awards? The four critical competencies were identified as Driving Execution, Strategic Acumen, Business Acumen and Emotional Intelligence. It was a comprehensive yet elaborate process that was entirely targeted at the competencies that business needs in the emerging HR leaders tomorrow.

Thoroughness, objectivity, transparency were some of the words used to describe the four-stage process of identifying the winners of Are You In The List Awards.

In Stage I, candidates filled a very integrated application form where s/he shared not only demographic information but also specific achievements & successes, targeted at critical competencies like their learning agility, the ability to adapt, drive change and the ability to execute.

In Stage II, the candidate went through leadership insight assessment, where the jury was looking for the personality attributes and dispositions that made the individual succeed in a leadership role. They looked for essential qualities such as confidence, drive for results, leadership promise, learning agility before the candidates passed to the next step of the process.

Terming that learning is very critical for everyone, Varadarajan said, “When we were assessing candidates on strategic acumen, I was stumped by the answers that they came up with. I learnt that the youngsters are thinking very differently from how I would think. It helped me learn and also look at the talent available in the market.”

In Stage III, a comprehension assessment simulation measured the HR participants on nine competencies, including judgment, decision-making, problem solving, influencing and partnering across networks, which are critical for emerging leaders. This again was a filter the candidates passed through to the integrated video round.

In Stage IV, the integrated video round, the jury was looking to identify the bright sparks of HR who could take the function forward through Video Recruit’s technology.

Terming it as a tremendous experience, Varadarajan said, “Are You In The List Awards is a very unique way of recognizing HR talent and one of the things that we don’t do well in this country is recognize talent and youngsters. Recognition is important as it plays a very critical role in the growth and development of a person. Are You In The List provides an opportunity for the youngsters to showcase talent. It also provides them an opportunity to retrospect and learn from the whole process. The introspection helps them to fine tune their behaviour and talent. The various stages of Are You In The List bring out the best in the individual. It is critical that such awards recognize youngsters as when they become elders, they start nurturing talent too.”

Jyoti Rai, Vice President – HR at American Express, exhorted the young HR leaders to play the role of the influencer and understand the business. “We didn’t have such initiatives earlier,” she said.

“The initiative has come at the right time because the industry and the economy is going through so much of change. It is the right investment when we think of HR for HR. Most of the time, in any organization, our investment in HR skill building is at the lowest priority. As an industry forum, we need to start thinking about how to build our own community and the capability of our function. This is the future talent for our function. Therefore, it is important that we focus on an intervention like this to start thinking about building the right capability for the future,” Rai said.

Dwarakanath added, “It helps us to identify the right kind of people so that they can develop them.” Aquil Busrai, CEO, Aquil Busrai Consulting, said, “I feel initiatives like this change the very definition of role models. So far, age and experience was the primary driver behind a role model. This initiative brings young people who are just about to start their careers and make them role models. They bring to the surface people who are very high potential, who show early signs of leadership and who can be emulated by their peers.”


To select the list of winners in a scientific and transparent way, People Matters partnered with DDI, a leading global talent management consulting firm.

Profiling the HR leader of tomorrow – We received over 1,400 applications. DDI created a Success Profile, which formed the basis of the selection process. The questions based on the Success Profile were framed using Targeted Selection methodology, and sought specific behavioral examples of these competencies from the candidates.

Identifying future leadership potential – The Leadership Insight Inventory is a critical indicator of leadership talent and uncovers areas related to personal orientation to leadership, making decisions, leading individuals and teams, and working effectively with others.

Manager ready – Manager Ready is a breakthrough leadership assessment that delivers the same quality of diagnosis as a full-blown assessment. Manager Ready participants engage in real-world situations. These real-world situations provide a highly accurate measurement of a participant’s Leadership Readiness.

Video round – In the integrated video round, the jury was trying to identify the bright sparks of HR who could take the function forward by ascertain the behavior of the applicants. The video round was done using Video Recruit’s technology.

Know more about the Are you in the List? 2013 winners.

Aarti Shyamsunder

Aarti Shyamsunder, Director of Research, Catalyst India

Introduction: An industrial-organizational psychologist, she has a rich experience in various aspects of the organizational lifecycle, including pre-employment tests, developing high-potential senior leaders and consulting with organizations on their diversity and inclusion strategy.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: A credible platform to spread my mission of evidence-based organizational practices.

Mantra for the future of HR: HR must become an organization’s strategic rudder, instead of being a burden.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Focus on the “human” part of “human resources” and success will follow.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Stop using forced distributions in performance ratings; Stop paying and promoting based on tenure, time spent in a role, college/institute and other proxies instead of actual capability.

Start: Introducing more flexible work arrangements and a culture that promotes work-life integration; using scientific methods of hiring and promoting employees (such as structured interviews, standardized tests, assessment centers).

Continue: Innovative rewards and recognition systems, especially those that encourage team-work and creativity; developing leaders before they reach middle management.

Arushi Kakkar

Arushi Kakkar, Manager - HR, ITC Limited

Introduction: Consistently recognized for her academic and professional achievements, she is ambitious, diligent, and resilient; and has excelled in everything she has taken up.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: An opportunity to network with industry leaders, providing me a greater exposure and in turn, helping me grow as a leader myself.

Mantra for the future of HR: In my opinion, HR could be the strategic function that has an immense potential to impact business profitability, provided it’s managed well.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Understand the business strategy extremely well and ensure that each element of it has an impact on the business profitability.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Spending time and effort in managing administration of employee benefits and policies which can be automated for easy handling, and in organizing small social events in organization, which can even be handled by committees formed by employee groups.

Start: Measuring business impact of HR interventions and making line managers accountable for anchoring people processes for their respective teams.

Continue: Being the ‘employee champion’, spending time with employees through one-on-one interactions to understand their grievances and using data analytics for tracking progress of all HR interventions deployed in the organization.

Chandini Kamal

Chandini Kamal, Global Lead- Employee Engagement, HCL Tech

Introduction: A dedicated and skilled HR professional, she really admires Nitin Pande, Senior VP, HCL Tech for being a perfect blend of a people’s person having a business focus at the same time. Her parents are her role models as they lead by example and taught her ethics, commitment, hard work and never-say-die attitude.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: A reassurance that my efforts are focused in the right direction and an affirmation of the confidence, for myself and others around me, in my abilities to do well. I want to build a better workplace with the experience gained.

Mantra for the future of HR: Never forget the ‘H’ of ‘HR’ and also remember and work in accordance with the fact that systems and processes are meant to facilitate and not dominate.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Evolve with the times and don’t confine yourselves within any boundaries. Just go ahead, experiment, execute and create something new.

Hitesh Agarwal

Hitesh Agarwal, Corporate Business HR, Tata Power Company

Introduction: An IT engineer, an MBA from Xavier’s Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, and a successful HR professional, he enjoys movies, books, dance and travel.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: A platform to help me attain my goal of becoming a business leader. Mantra for the future of HR: Know your People, Know your Business, Know Your Function

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: HR Managers should partner with business managers to design processes to increase the HR capability of line managers

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Annual (Tenure/Performance Based) Promotions

Start: One-to-One Employee Connect: It will be meaningful only if HR systems & practices have the ability to deal with individual; Multi-skilling: Candidates with multi-skilled capabilities will help the workforce to be flexible and self-managed.

Continue: Performance Management System: PMS system is the pre-requisite for effectiveness of other HR systems & thus also a precursor to sustainable growth of business

Succession Planning: Building long-term organizational leadership capabilities plays a crucial role in business sustainability

Satyadeep Pothapragada

P. Satyadeep, HR Business Partner (New Product Development), TVS Motor Company

Introduction: An engineering graduate who later did his MBA, Satyadeep has interests in music and plays the tenor saxophone. He counts Sathya Sai Baba as his role model.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: It is the first award on my ladder to the sky and will help me climb towards greater professional heights

Mantra for the future of HR: HR has to work WITH business rather than FOR business by being more strategic, proactive and forward thinking, and deliver that which the business expects, rather than that which the business demands.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Never feel that the work assigned is not in line with our academic credentials as every responsibility is an opportunity to learn. Remember that “education is for life, not to merely earn a living.”

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Spending time on administrative and transactional activities; quoting policies drafted years ago and maintaining status quo

Start: Leverage social networking sites to reach out to candidates and internal communications channels among employees; Measure process effectiveness rather than process efficiencies

Continue: Invest on farming talent rather than fishing for them by increasing collaboration with universities

Shivin Tikoo

Shivin Tikoo, Manager - OD & HR Strategy, Mahindra Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors (AFS)

Introduction: With an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, Shivin wants to become a globally renowned Organization Development expert.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: The recognition will help me network with other HR and OD experts and create transforming HR solutions for entire community.

Mantra for the future of HR: With an increasing young workforce and evolving employee perceptions, ‘One size fits all’ offerings will no longer work. HR needs to really customize solution for individual needs, predict employee behaviours and become a ‘true’ business partner.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Interact with employees and gather inferences, which would help them devise meaningful intervention. They need to wear multiple hats – strategist, credible activist, talent, emergency responder, advisor on people processes.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Continue: Usage of data and analytics in people processes and decision making and creation of people practices for next gen employees

Tooba Modassir

Tooba Modassir, VP & Lead - HR Strategy & Planning, Citi

Introduction: Prior to Citi, she was with Wipro Technologies-Talent Engagement & Development & holds a PG in HR from Goa Institute of Management

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: A prestigious platform for HR professionals and also a re-validation of the fact that HR adds tremendous value to business! Additionally, this is a great forum to meet and collaborate with HR peers and leaders across industries!

Mantra for the future of HR: Perceive, understand and pro-actively deal with change. Build managerial capability and empower managers to make pragmatic yet empathetic people decisions.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: A good understanding not only of human behavior but also the external business environment & financials/commercials of running an enterprise are critical to be a sound HR professional. Strike a balance between business interests and employee advocacy.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

I can’t really suggest specific practices to stop/start/continue in HR since practices are relevant (or not!) in light of what the situation or environment demands. Thus, if one stays in tune with the environment and basic principles of doing what is right, in line with the principles one values, the right practices will follow suit!

Anu Anand

Anu Anand, Manager - Talent Acquisition, Reckitt Benckiser

Introduction: Passionate about enhancing HR’s role in organizations to change agents and facilitators of business, while helping individuals realize their potential at the same time.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: A feeling of contentment and a hunger for more.

Mantra for the future of HR: Align and influence the three H's of Human Resources – Head: Informing minds through logic; Heart: Moving hearts through emotions and; Hands: Enabling action through right tools and processes.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Believe in yourself, always!

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Taking talent/employees for granted and believing that HR is a support function.

Start: Leveraging technology and social media in various facets of human resource management and believing that HR is a facilitator of the business and the organization.

Continue: Employee advocacy and demonstrating impact of HR processes/practices/programs on business through right analytics.

Kaustubha Parkar

Kaustubha Parkar, Assistant Vice President, Axis Bank

Introduction: An avid chess player and an amateur painter, Kaustubha holds a Masters in HR from JBIMS

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: An opportunity to network and interact with young talented professionals across share our thoughts, ideas, experiences and build perspectives

Mantra for the future of HR: Develop and build agility within organizational processes and people mindset

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Hunger to Learn and Humility are qualities that aspiring HR professionals should always try to inculcate in themselves

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: The focus on retention as a singular measure to control the outflow of talent should stop and an ecosystem should be created where Talent Management and Engagement go hand in hand

Start: Focus on talent management and HR analytics

Continue: Integration of people practices with new age technology would continue playing a critical role but at the same time people processes need to build humanness around them. Capability building would continue to support the way business grows within the organization.

Prashant Kumar

Prashant Kumar, Senior Manager – HR, Harrisons Malayalam

Introduction: After completing his B.Tech in Electrical Engineering and MBA in XLRI, he joined the RPG Group in 2008

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: It means that I have proven myself against the country’s best HR young talents.

Mantra for the future of HR: Develop expertise in Employee Relations; develop data analytics; and develop yourself to be a trainer

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Collaborate from within and outside; always be fair and firm and show integrity in all actions

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Copying best practices in other companies without understanding the context; one size fits all engagement practices

Start: More face-to-face interactions with employees and periodic meetings with all groups of employees to listen to their suggestions on improvement of work conditions

Continue: Collaborate with line managers to arrive at policies / practices / suggestions which are implemented, accepted and create a positive impact in the organization

Sourya Sidhhartha Dash

Sourya Sidhhartha Dash, Regional HR Manager, Mahindra & Mahindra

Introduction: An avid reader, sports follower, ardent writer and a social network enthusiast. He has keen interest in art and cinema and loves to write reviews on movies and express his views on contemporary social issues through his blog.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: A special achievement as it was evaluated by industry stalwarts and a platform to connect with lots of young as well as experienced HR professionals.

Mantra for the future of HR: HR has to understand the details of business. It must innovate constantly and be more transparent. There needs to be more focus on empirical data and inference, while not losing the employee connect factor.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: The focus must be on conceptual clarity, understanding the nuances of business, people connect and the conviction to say “No”. They must display the ability to lead people, passion for the function and must adopt a proactive approach. Young professionals must inculcate empathetic listening habit and work on their decision-making capability in order to become a good HR professional.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Being the “prisoner of policy”; instead try and be innovative to cater to the changing needs of employees

Start: Becoming more transparent and be open to change in order to be more effective and acceptable; HR professionals must start work in cross functional roles to get business exposure in order to improve their own business understanding

Continue: Focusing on talent transformation and employee engagement

Subhashini Acharya

Subhashini Acharya, Senior Manager - OD, SAB Miller

Introduction: A passionate learning and travel enthusiast she holds a PG Diploma in Management from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: It is a huge encouragement for my professional development.

Mantra for the future of HR: Develop an impeccable understanding of people one works with, deep understanding of business realities and a genuine connect to drive decision making

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Build a connect and goodwill with people; be agile in learning more about your stakeholders and business

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Looking at employee engagement as a function of fun at work; using post program reactions as the only measures of learning effectiveness

Start: Mentoring high potentials to actually help achieve their potential and rewarding organizational values exhibited by employees

Continue: The practice of managing performance continuously through coaching and feedback and aligning rewards to organization goals

Sunder Ramachandran

Sunder Ramachandran, Senior Manager - Training Academy at Jardine Lloyd Thompson

Introduction: He brings a unique combination of entrepreneurial & internal consulting experience to the learning function. He is passionate about using technology for learning & social learning

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: It raises the standards that one has set & pushes one to consistently meet them

Mantra for the future of HR: HR will be a lean & mean function which will run like an internal consulting unit. It will become an important pit stop for any individual in a High Potential track of an organization.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Modern day HR will expose you to marketing, budgeting, operational nuances & strategy so it’s a great function to build an integrated view of the business. So embrace the function & contribute in building the community

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Accepting below par talent. HR cannot be where people go when they’ve failed everywhere else or when they can’t find meaningful roles; Stop being the party organisers in the name of employee engagement. HR has a real job with real deliverables

Start: Owning the change & collaboration agenda within organizations

Continue: To champion the people agenda & build stronger relationships with business and accelerate the pace of adoption of technology within HR.

Swati Jain

Swati Jain, Head of HR Operations, KEC International

Introduction: A recipient of RPG HR Excellence Award and KEC Challenger Award, she is also the HR professional to make it in the Top 50 ET Young Leaders Contest 2011

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: It has added to my confidence & credibility as a professional

Mantra for the future of HR: To be more agile when it comes to responding in the VUCA world. It will be important to keep evaluating HR practices and building sustainable ones in the ever changing context of business environment.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: To be open to explore opportunities in different facets of HR and gaining in depth understanding of each aspect of the vertical before moving on to next. I think. It is extremely important to soil hands in the core HR activities and not just be inclined to do work associated with so called 'Glamorous HR'.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Co-creating HR practices and processes with business managers and HR best practices that are not adding value to the business.

Start: Creating job designs, which add greater meaning to work, for people to contribute in a more productive way.

Continue: Measuring the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of HR practices on business and constantly seeking feedback from employees and business leaders to course correct, if required.

Anunay Shrivastava

Anunay Shrivastava, AVP – HR, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

Introduction: Having worked in small and big organizations, he gained exposure to varied HR practices. He is also passionate about football, reading and travelling.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: A feeling of achievement and endorsement of the fact that my learnings and efforts resonate with the senior leaders of the HR fraternity in some or the other way.

Mantra for the future of HR: I believe the HR function is evolving very fast and moving in the right direction. The future of HR in its best sense would be to have HR provide a greater number of CEOs to the organization and maintain the momentum it has got into.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Be open-minded about accepting any kind of work as it comes, at least in the first five years. Have a strong execution focus and possess the intellect and courage to question things.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Procrastinating and being a postman

Start: Driving data-based human capital decisions and thinking about increasing the “employable” population base; driving the BUILD mindset

Continue: HR should never let go of its sensitivity and continue believing that transactions are not hindrance to the work, they help build people connect.

Ashissh Kapoor

Ashissh Kapoor, Manager, Ernst & Young

Introduction: With a rich academic and professional background, his prime focus is on developing emotional intelligence in the leaders of today while making self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills as core attainments.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: Not just an achievement, it is a restoration of faith in what I do and how I do it.

Mantra for the future of HR: Have more learning and probably less control. I believe HR will do well in the role of a 'facilitator' (facilitating the employer - employee connection through technologies that ensure employee self-service and managerial independence) of a 'designer' (designing and helping implement high performance people strategies); and an 'educator' (introducing fresh thoughts and ideas by constantly adopting best practices and ensuring extensive communication).

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Focus on achieving financial success by emphasizing on employee well-being and highlight the same to the management in terms of numbers, ratios and return on investment figures.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Over automation of processes to enable employee connect and ignoring ergonomics and mandatory government regulations.

Start: Developing advanced workforce planning capabilities and induce extensive and transparent communication.

Continue: Developing HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) and healthcare benefits and wellness programs.

Deepa Chandrasekhar

Deepa Chandrasekhar, Process Head- Talent Acquisition, ING Vysya Bank

Introduction: A behavioral and organizational psychology enthusiast with a rich industry experience, she is an articulate speaker, and is much sought after to speak on HR forums and at management institutes.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: An opportunity to benchmark self against the best in industry, an inspiration and a launch pad for the next phase in my career.

Mantra for the future of HR: The success of organizations lies in the value its employees generate. HR needs to take up this position with confidence and authority and be the key contributor to bottom line rather than being a mere support function.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Humility is the key to learning and as long as a young aspiring HR professional is humble enough to learn, there is an exceedingly bright future ahead for the individual and the HR community on the whole.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Being seen as a control function rather than a key facilitator in the organizational success and stop considering only internal requirements while framing policies and processes, rather than including information on macro-economic trends as well.

Start: Employee involvement in people policy formation, increased utilization of social media in communication and gamification of policies.

Continue: Using data and analytics for framing policies and decision making; and technology to automate processes and empower the employees and managers.

Divya Jain

Divya Jain, Program Manager, Right Management

Introduction: An emerging leader with high aspirations and a strong business focus, she believes in doing impactful work for organizations while consistently learning and excelling at it.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: An endorsement of my leadership potential and an opportunity to explore further through an intrinsic awareness and conscientious efforts.

Mantra for the future of HR: Be the implementation partner of the organization’s strategy, as it’s only the people of an organization who actually make a strategy succeed (or fail).

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Aspiring HR professionals should broaden their horizons as it’s only about people with a purpose of executing strategies for the organization. Only those with a strong business focus can help create a strong brand identity for HR in the organization.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Don’t build rigidity around HR policies and processes and don’t mimic ‘Best Practices’ blindly

Start: Ensure that the HR leadership is present in the executive management team and is part of strategic planning process Ensure that the organization has an end-to-end HR consulting partner than having a piecemeal approach

Continue doing: Shared services and/ or outsourcing for HR operations so that the HR team has bandwidth to focus on strategic work for the organization Enhancing brand of HR using technology, innovation and interventions to continuously improvise on reaching out and aligning people with the dynamic strategy of the organization in multiple ways.

Geetika Mehta

Geetika Mehta, Head-HR, PUMA Sports India

Introduction: A self-driven and result oriented HR professional, her mother is her role model. She has previously worked with Cadbury India and Trilogy E-Business Software India Pvt. Ltd.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: It gives me a sense of achievement. The award is a reinforcement of my efforts to build a strong HR function in this organization.

Mantra for the future of HR: Building an entrepreneurial environment and redefining the concepts of work life for the young dynamic employees joining the workforce

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: The journey from a MT to a good HR professional requires a lot of focus and discipline and self motivation. So introspect and see for yourself if this is what you really want to do and if yes then prep yourself of continuous learning process in your career.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Being clinical about the people orientation Not taking a stand in conflicts between management and people. It's not about siding with either parties but it's about standing up for what's right for both the business and the people

Start: Thinking out of the box to align HR processes with the actual requirements of the business and the workforce Thinking one step ahead of the business to anticipate the future requirements as well as provide the solutions for the problems anticipated

Continue: Being people champions since the basics of the roles will not change and if you are unable to connect to the people, your impact will always be limited Redefining the HR processes and systems based on the changing workforce dynamics

Pooja Chawla Sanghavi

Pooja Chawla Sanghavi, Senior Manager, Tata Consultancy Services

Introduction: She is also a Gold Badge Tata Business Excellence Model expert and a part of the high potential fast-track program of TCS. She has been responsible for designing the end-to-end Employee Recognition program known as TCS Gems

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: The award is a reassurance not only of my passion and dedication to the HR field, but also the competencies that I have developed with my experience in managing and leading people.

Mantra for the future of HR: Upgrade to the Business Integrator level and become equally responsible for delivering business results

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Work towards making a difference in your areas of influence rather than getting influenced by the situational challenges at work

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Paper-based outcomes i.e. printed resumes, compensation letters. Go green; eliminate inflexible HR policies and practices

Start: Upgrade the HR sub-functions to delight Gen Y workforce through options like gamification and build capabilities of business managers who in turn are representatives of effective deployment of HR practices.

Continue: Use of technology and data modelling to support effective decision-making and strategically outsource non value-adding or monotonous work

Rashi Anand

Rashi Anand, Senior Manager - Human Resources, Lupin

Introduction: A Symbiosis alumni, Rashi has expertise in Organizational Development & Transformational HR and has worked in IT and manufacturing sectors across India & China.

‘Are You in the List’ award for me is: It’s an acknowledgment and recognition of my work, something that I hold very close to my heart. The award is also a testimony that whatever I’ve achieved is valued in the HR fraternity and across industries.

Mantra for the future of HR: Be a true partner to your business. I think when your business leaders (including the critics) have the confidence in consulting you on people decisions, you’ve made a mark.

Advice for aspiring HR professionals: Never give up learning, be a subject matter expert and constantly move the bar upwards. Remember even the best can be made better! Don’t be in a hurry to bag titles.

The practices that HR needs to stop, start and continue?

Stop: Taking up all activities that comes under ‘no man’s land’ (that no other department wants to do) and non-value adding work

Start: Understanding the business and follow the industry; also add value to the customer satisfaction index by picking up and owning ‘people aspects’.

Be a true business partner by providing solutions or playing a consultative role to business, also orient managers towards owning their team and becoming ‘people managers’.

Continue: To improvise on the processes at least once a year and moving up the value chain as a function; to be able to work towards the future of HR and leverage HR analytics in a big way.

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Topics: Leadership, #AreyouintheList?, #Updates

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