On 20th July, TAPMI was graced by the presence of Ms. Hema Rengaswamy, Sr. HR Business Partner for Scope International, Standard Chartered Bank, Chennai. She has gained her experience of diverse work cultures having worked in big-shot companies like Infosys and Amazon.com before joining Standard Chartered.
She began the session with the clichÃ©d question that all MBA's and budding MBA's have faced at some point or the other in their lives - Why MBA? And the answers ranged from gaining a new perspective towards a job to salary raise to better chance to show entrepreneurial abilities. Ms. Hema, being their at a student's position herself a few years back, owing to her Alma Mater, NIT Trichy, understood clearly what the students thought at this point of time. She explained that how MBA helps in one's growth in the Corporate Ladder, at different stages:
At every stage, there is one attribute necessarily to be present predominantly, for example - At the first stage, being energetic is important, since one has to roll up his sleeves and get down to work. Moving up the ladder, the requirements change from being able to manage resources efficiently to managing time (time among customers, employees, family and self) and then lastly, to be able to manage all the attributes effectively. The last stage is particularly important in terms of management because whatever the top management does, same is reflected on the middle management which trickles down to the lower levels. She stressed at the fact that it's important to achieve all the developmental milestones of the Corporate Ladder, in order to be successful at the top; unless and until one understands who a team works through to fulfil the project objectives, one can't be a successful People's Manager.
Moving further she explained the 4 C's of the Corporate World:
Challenge - One needs to be challenged at every step of his Corporate Ladder, even if it's C-Suite to ensure that he's on the right track.
Collaborate - Power of collaboration is of primary importance in management. One may not be a good People's Manager, but he should focus on induce his power of collaboration - manage politics, influence people to work with you etc.
Communicate - Communication should grow with the one moving up the Ladder. Over-communication is a myth.
Culture - Company culture defines a lot about the company. Hence, it needs to be nurtured carefully.
Further in the session, she explained what a manager really needs, that can be summarized as:
According to her, Visibility and Delivery is a rare combination but achievable and should be strived for at each stage so as to establish oneself as a strategic HR partner. And her 11 Commandments of Success has helped her in achieving the combination and to be at the position she is today.
From her experience, she deduced that the need and required qualifications of an HR has changed drastically from what they were a few years back, than to what they are now. HR's today need to be a step ahead of their leader. They are required to go beyond the HR metrics and substantiate the data with their value-addition.
In the final moments of the session, she journeyed the audience through the Health and Wellness Initiatives she undertook in Scope International - SHAPE, SEED and ELITE. And her efforts have been recognised by the company through awards such as Organisation Award for Excellence. She believed that company's health in the long run is directly proportional to its employee health today. Hence, it is viable for a company to invest in its employees' well-being. The session ended with her answers to many of the inquisitive minds in the room and her receiving a token of appreciation from the Placement Team at TAPMI for her visit.