"Human Resources are the Firm’s Distinguishing Factor"
Basesh Gala, Managing Director, 39 Solutions, has a strong base in financial & risk analysis, strategy & planning, consulting and general management. A Gold Medallist in MBA (Strategy and Financial Risk Management) from Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, USA, he mentors and coaches young managers and leaders. In an interview with Aamir H Kaki, Editor, , he shares his valuable thoughts on the role of HR in organisations, employer as a brand and future plans of 39 Solutions. Excerpts:
It is always a challenge to effectively train and develop human capital. What methodology you follow/followed to manage these responsibilities in your organisation?
We view our employees as prospective leaders and potential partners in the firm. Training of employees begins since joining, where every manager and above mandatorily executes HR function. We have shadow job opportunities, internships and pilot projects where potential employees or new employees work with experienced team members. This helps us evaluate them and also for them to understand, learn and adapt to 39 Solutions’ culture.
In this tech-savvy world, how is technology changing the way HR does its job?
Technology is pushing HR to become more dynamic, fast, real time and action-oriented. Compliances, social media and digital media management, confidentiality, privacy and quality checks have become tougher and expensive due to technology.
Also, company culture, policies and pay scale information becomes public, making the brand and perception management a challenge.
Strategic workforce planning is one of the most important for organisations, but often overlooked. Do you think that planned growth or shrinkage requires new recruitment strategies, selection techniques, or training programmes?
Strategic workforce planning and strategic management of human resources is an undervalued but extremely useful management tool that a firm can have. We firmly believe that having a professional, effective and yet Indian-values compliant firm culture is possible.
Organisations must be sure when to expand, and only then, they hire. Abrupt and frequent downsizing is a bad signal and negatively impacts the firm’s brand. As we believe in working with a pool of prospective employees, internship programmes and great networking platform and presence serve as an excellent proxy for the bench workforce.
It is always said that people are the most valuable assets for an organisation. How do you see human resources contribute to the organisation’s aim of shared development?
Human resources are, more likely than not, the firm’s distinguishing factor. A winning culture is a sustainable competitive advantage, and is not possible without people and leaders. People should not only be looked as assets, but also as future leaders.
39 Solutions partners with clients to create a strong brand. How critical is ‘brand as an employer’ for an organisation?
Brand of the hiring organisation and the role offered are the most important factors for a potential employee. In some instances, brand name is more important than the remuneration offered.
Firms with a strong brand have a winning culture, excellent mentor and support system, great learning and development environment, and ability to impact the world. People usually give a limb to be part of great brands such as J&J, McKinsey, P&G, among others.
What’s different about 39 Solutions when it comes to develop ‘research-backed customised strategies and to build a strong brand’ for its clients?
In our line of work, 2+2 = 4 does not always apply. We customise strategies based on simple rules and proprietary models, supported by market research, employee engagement and customer engagement analysis.
We have created our models and processes customised for Indian markets and environment. We have a mindset of partnering with our clients, and at the same time, maintaining an independent and neutral perspective.
What are the most important decisions you take as a leader of your organisation?
As the founder and managing director of 39 Solutions, I personally take last round interview of every employee before inducting them.
I also head business relationship management and quality control to ensure that our clients are satisfied and happy, creating positive impacts and high chance of tasting success.
Our philosophy reflects in our tagline: With You. For Success!
Finally, what are your biggest achievements and priorities for the future?
Our biggest achievement is to have a product mix of great client-partners: MNCs, technology giants, SMEs, real estate, educational institutes, hospitality and food players, as well as start-ups.
Every single client, we work with, enables us to learn something new and gives us an opportunity to positively impact the world.
Our priority for the future is to have an unwavering focus on excellence and impact creation. We want to ensure that our client wins. Always!