The Complete Human Resource Publication

INTERVIEW

"It Is Our Team Members and their Relationship Skills Which Impact Our Business"

 

Sunaina Mattoo Khanna is the Executive Vice President – HR of Bajaj Capital Ltd, a premier Investment Services Company. In her role, she is responsible for managing all the aspects of HR for Bajaj Capital, including talent acquisition, talent retention, performance management, training, employee engagement, HR operations, designing and implementation of company HR policies, etc. In an email interview with Aamir H Kaki, Copy Editor, , she shares her insightful views on talent acquisition and retention, professional women in India, HR policies at Bajaj Capital and future challenges for HR professionals. Excerpts:

           
 

You are responsible for manifold operations, from talent acquisition and retention to designing and implementation of company HR policies. How challenging it is for you to manage the diverse responsibilities with equal ease?

Every job comes with its own set of challenges and one has to face and overcome those challenges and that is how one gains experience. Managing all aspects of Human Resources has been fun and there is vast learning in each area of it. And the biggest part is that you are dealing with humans who can’t be programmed to behave or act in a certain manner like machines. So understanding their psyche and formulating policies accordingly has been quite an interesting job. I would say if there are no challenges in a job, then it would be really boring to perform it.

Is there any methodology or science you follow or has developed one for others to follow, to conveniently handle multiple functions at a time?

There is no science for one to multi-task rather an attitude has to be developed to handle multiple functions at a time. Only care that one has to take is prioritising and giving equal importance in execution of each function. Believe me, at times, I have been entrusted with performing certain responsibilities which are beyond my domain function but I have never said ‘NO’ to any such responsibility as I feel that it adds to my experience and gives opportunity to explore my skill sets which has helped me rise through the ranks. So it is all about Attitude and not any Science.

What are the three most important talent acquisition and retention strategies which Bajaj Capital practices?

Talent acquisition and retention has been quite challenging in our industry and we need to change strategy from time-to-time in order to cope up with industry changes. Off late, what has worked for us in talent acquisition is forming a centralised TA team, rehiring of good ex-employees and internal job postings. As far as retention is concerned our philosophy of ‘’Write your own Cheque, Ample Trainings and Rewards & Recognition Programmes” have helped us keep most of our key team members intact for years.

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?

I fully agree that people are the most important assets for a company and particularly for service industry like ours. Since we don’t have any product of our own whose features can be marketed, it is our team members and their relationship skills which impact our business. Therefore investing in their training and development is the key. We believe that company can never succeed without aligning team objectives with that of organisation’s. Therefore our entire policies are designed in a way to keep this aspect in mind.

When it comes to acquiring best talent, does brand matter for companies? If yes, what has made Bajaj Capital effective at attracting best talent?

Brand does matter in attracting talent but acquiring talent totally depends on what offerings do you have for a candidate’s career growth and development. Lot of people get attracted to various big names just on the basis of brand but when they get to know about the profile or what that job has in store for their future, they back out. At the same time, I have observed that lot of good talent join smaller names with the expectation that they will have tremendous learning and growth if they contribute in the growth of the company. So it boils down to adding value to one’s career and offering meaningful jobs for acquiring talent.

How would you characterise the opportunities for professional women in India today?

Nowadays, professional women are treated with more dignity and respect in almost every corporate due to their commitment and hard work. Aspirations of women professionals today would be to grow up the ladder and be a part of governing board of the companies. They can handle more challenging roles, international assignments and are willing to have more exposure in terms of trainings etc. We can also see number of women professionals is growing rapidly and in every sphere of business.

What changes have you seen in women’s presence on top over the course of your professional career?

Most of the top women leaders in India are entrepreneurs. If we talk about women leaders who have risen through the ranks are very few, though the number has grown as compared to last 5-7 years statistics. I feel that in every company atleast 30 percent of the Board of Directors should comprise women. If it is made mandatory then we can see more women leaders proving their mettle and making a better impact on the way business is done.

With ever changing business dynamics, what are the challenges, do you think, HR professionals of the future will face?

Talent acquisition and retention has been and will remain one of the top challenges for HR professionals. Moreover, in coming times, managing future generation of workforce will become a bigger challenge. As we can see that younger generation joining the workforce believe in putting less number of hours in work and more number of hours in having fun and enjoy life. And at the same time they expect hefty pay cheques. So maintaining a work-life balance for them is going to be a challenge.

Finally, what are your biggest achievements and priorities for the future?

Biggest achievement for me would be that I have been responsible for designing and implementing all the HR policies of the company which has not only helped it to grow from 300+ employee strength to over 5000+ workforce currently. Joined as an executive trainee, I got the responsibility of heading HR functions within 3-4 years of joining. Company has been awarded with various recognitions basis its HR policies like: Smart Place to Work in India by Acer; Great Place to Work in India by Great Place to Work Inc consecutively for last four years; CNBC 18, Best National Financial Advisors to the Nation Award; and, Best Place to Work in India by Business Today.

On individual basis, I received various accolades and few to mention here are:

• Awarded with ‘’Young HR Professional of the Year’’ by World HRD Congress for the Year 2011-2012;

• Awarded with ‘’ Woman Super Achiever Award’’ by Employer Branding Awards in association with Kingfisher Airlines;

• Awarded with ‘’Young HR Achiever Award’ by Employer Branding Awards for Year 2010-2011.

As far as priorities for future are concerned, I would like to directly contribute in driving business strategies of the company though currently people policies take much of my time. Adding value to lives of clients and team members would be on my personal radar.

           
 

 

Sunaina Mattoo Khanna is the Executive Vice President – HR of Bajaj Capital Ltd

 

      

 

 

 


 


 

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