Article: What firms do to develop HR leaders

Learning & Development

What firms do to develop HR leaders

A People Matters & DDI initiative, Are You In The List? is back. Here we feature 3 stories that celebrate young HR leaders.
What firms do to develop HR leaders

ARE YOU IN THE LIST?, India’s first initiative to identify HR leaders in the making, is a platform for young HR managers to get recognised for their talent and potential future HR leaders. After a resounding and successful debut in 2012, this flagship initiative of People Matters and DDI is back for the second year in a row. If you have it in you and want to better yourself, here’s your chance to compete to be amongst the chosen ‘Future 25’ HR Leaders in India. Bringing together senior leaders and upcoming ones, Are You In The List? is testament to the commitment of the HR community in India to develop its next generation of leaders. We asked three members of the Are You In The List Jury & Advisory Committees what their organisations do to develop an HR leadership pipeline. Here are their responses:


Sonali Roychowdhury, Country Head - Human Resources, Procter and Gamble India

“P&G is a leader in talent development and successfully leverages its ‘Promote from Within’ philosophy to build a strong leadership pipeline. Our initiatives support us in attracting, recruiting, rewarding and advancing the finest people in the world. HR actively partners with business in critical strategy related decisions, thus developing HR talent as holistic business professionals. From the first day of joining to every stage of one’s career, employees are entrusted with early responsibility – independently leading business initiatives and having 100 per cent empowerment with knowledge-based leadership. Working with the finest and a diverse talent pool gives employees an opportunity to emulate industry role models and broaden their perspectives. We leverage our global scale to ensure that employees at different levels in their career trajectory get diverse exposure both locally and internationally. With on-the-job learning, employees also undergo critical focused capability programmes at the right time of their career to build technical and behavioural mastery.”


Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies

“Zensar has great conviction in the power of youth and we have a number of channels for their ideas and development. To begin with, the role of our young HR team, who attends to all the needs of the associates from induction to retention and development, is one that compels taking leadership. They take ownership for their specific business units in terms of engaging and retaining their associates. They also come up with their own ideas for fun at work and run a number of cultural events, games and activities. We encourage and enable them to be trainers where possible and facilitate Train-the-trainer programmes for them. They are fully involved in all the HR innovations that are run in the company. For example, we have an initiative called ‘JUGNU - Passion for Excellence’, which is rolling out across the organisation, and the HR team will catalyse this movement. Aside from these specific HR-team related initiatives, our young leaders have an opportunity to participate in Zensar-wide initiatives such as Vision Community, which offer a formal platform for presenting innovative ideas to the leadership team. All in all, they are truly business partners to Zensar as they have a pulse of Zensar’s associates like nobody else does.”


Gajendra Chandel, President - Human Resources

TATA AutoComp Systems Ltd

Our mission statement with respect to employees is defined as: “To create an organisation that promotes excellence by providing pre-planned avenues for development and growth with freedom to experiment and having a work-life balance”. We build a talent pipeline by hiring fresh, young talent straight from school for various functional areas in HR and provide them exposure to multiple segments of the people facets of business during a three-year long training & education programme in Employee Lifecycle Management. This period is interspersed with various project assignments under guidance of senior HR leaders acting as mentors and coaches. The rotation includes stints among various business units of the company as well as in operational and strategic areas. Such employees are invited to be part of an off-campus programme to undertake the company-sponsored Masters Program. This will put them on a fast track to occupy critical positions in the HR organisation structure over a period of time.

The projects include those at the corporate headquarters where the outcome of the project influences and impacts the entire organisation, thus helping the individuals gain significant exposure into making recommendations, which have wide reaching impact. They are encouraged to try design and/or implement next practices and processes. The mistakes are looked at as investment and as a learning experience. In addition to this, we mandate the horizontal and vertical movement of the HR executives and educate them that such shifts are stepping stones to their growth in the organisation. We encourage our HR executives to become part of external networks and forums in order to gain an external perspective in the industry.

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Topics: Learning & Development, #AreyouintheList?

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