Article: Changemakers: Celebrating the unsung HR heroes with SME Emerging Talent Awards 2023

A Brand Reachout InitiativeTalent Management

Changemakers: Celebrating the unsung HR heroes with SME Emerging Talent Awards 2023

The first edition of the People Matters and Keka SME Emerging Talent Awards, which recognised emerging leaders for their contributions in improving HR’s impact on the business, witnessed eleven SME leaders win the coveted title.
Changemakers: Celebrating the unsung HR heroes with SME Emerging Talent Awards 2023

Modern businesses are built on agility. Their ability to adapt to new challenges and opportunities forms the bedrock of informed decision-making.

Amidst the rapidly evolving work dynamics, Human Resources (HR) plays a crucial role and is today standing at the cusp of a bigger breakthrough. This breakthrough entails recognising and rewarding the power and potential that emerging businesses bring to the table. 

To capture the remarkable journey of leaders from the small and medium enterprises (SME) space and their contribution to creating an impact with their initiatives, we started our search for unheralded HR luminaries who have demonstrated exceptional resilience and adaptability, navigating through turbulent waters and positioning their businesses for success with their future thinking and innovative approach.

Conceptualised with the objective of identifying emerging leaders from SMEs and growth-oriented companies, the People Matters and Keka SME Emerging Talent Awards 2023 focused on technologies and strategies undertaken by these leaders to drive growth, attract top talent, and catalyse innovation within their fast-growing companies.


The People Matters and Keka SME Emerging Talent Awards featured a three-step process that began with online registrations for nominations. The candidates registered online, provided their details, and followed the online application process. In this phase, they detailed their initiatives and their impact, emphasising the SMART format.

Upon approval of the submitted applications, a six-member jury panel evaluated the nominations based on the impact and scalability of the initiatives implemented. The initiatives highlighted in the applications were required to have been implemented in the last 18 months.

The shortlisted candidates then attended one-on-one video interviews with the jury members, where they responded to predetermined questions, showcasing their competencies.

After the three rounds of the evaluation process, which lasted over two months, the winners were announced through a grand awards ceremony at the People Matters and Keka HRTech Conclave for Emerging Businesses 2023

The celebration acknowledged their innovative contributions to the field of HR within SMEs, reflecting their past achievements and adaptability in the ever-evolving workplace landscape.

The SME HR Awards Jury for 2023 featured a distinguished panel of eminent CXOs from forward-thinking companies, all poised to play a crucial role in identifying the Emerging Future HR Leaders. This esteemed panel included:


Jury of SME Emerging Awards

Here are the eleven recipients of the SME HR Emerging Talent Awards, selected from a highly competitive pool of over 400 applications submitted during the nomination process.






















The winners were facilitated at award ceremonies held in Mumbai and Bangalore. To stay tuned for the latest updates on HR Tech for SMEs, visit the SME Corner powered by Keka!


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Topics: Talent Management, Leadership, #SMEcorner

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