Article: I have an entrepreneurial personality: Abhinav


I have an entrepreneurial personality: Abhinav

Abhinav Iyer believes in identifying talent is a business imperative because it keeps the funnel filled.
I have an entrepreneurial personality: Abhinav

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


Abhinav Iyer, Sr. Manager, WIPRO


I am part of the Leadership & People Sciences team in WIPRO HR. My role entails designing behavioral interventions for business units and developing non-training solutions. I design and facilitate leadership development as well as capability-building modules for senior executives.


I am an engineer with a management education and a zest for life. Prior to WIPRO, I was a Project Leader in Grow Talent (now Right Management Pvt Ltd). My professional voyage of nine years has encompassed stints in three industries (telecom, consulting and IT) and three domains (engineering, workforce strategy, L&D).


Core differentiator: Entrepreneurial personality


This comes from my journey in incubating novel ideas and products. These range from creating the first games-based platform for values deployment or leading the special projects team that created the first ever online learning module in WIPRO. 


These initiatives required me to work amidst severe ambiguity, devise creative solutions, chase audacious targets – and do all of this by influencing people despite several operational hurdles. 


Biggest Talent Priority: Identifying and nurturing


Identifying talent is a business imperative because it keeps the funnel filled. However, this is not about numbers, but quality. So, through conversations and observations, I look for lead indicators of talent such as intellectual curiosity, drive, risk-taking and resilience. 


Nurturing is about letting people fly – this entails matching people’s skills to the work, creating opportunities that stretch the individual and lots of white spaces for people to reflect and draw insights. 


To elaborate, I try to create learning opportunities for people to “build capabilities for tomorrow” via a “projectized approach”. I do this by letting people devise and run projects autonomously with mechanisms for learning conversations. Conversations are less about task review, but more a learning dialogue. 


The one thing I will:


- Change in HR: Bring in data science, systems thinking and economic theory to the field. 

HR can reap wonders by thinking about supply-demand of talent, providing people insights through social experiments & Analytics and using learning-led models to drive organizational development. For instance, helping the business identify the critical quality in an interviewer in order to improve the quality of hires is one example of an area where HR can work with Analytics to offer proactive insights for decision making. 


- Retain in HR: The unshakeable belief that people are core to the enterprise


My ideas to disrupt HR:


To me, there are two avenues of the disruption in HR. One, bringing in a multi-disciplinary rigor and framework to HR, and second, applying economic theory in the area of providing learning & development options to employees in a company. I have, in a way, begun my endeavor to initiate the latter. In my current role, my team and I are blending ideas from social sciences to build a learning community.  We are conducting behavioral experiments, designing nudges & games and using platforms like Yammer to stimulate engagement. 



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

ALI IMRAN SYED -Global Learning & Organization Development Manager, Avery Dennison 

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.

BENJAMIN RAJKUMAR - Manager - Leadership Development, Titan Company Ltd 

NEHA SAXENA - Senior HR Business Partner, Adobe.

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Topics: Leadership, #FutureHRLeadership, #AreyouintheList?

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