Head of Human Capital Management, Sopra Group India, and speaker at HRIZON world congress.
What do you do?
I am head of human capital management at Sopra Group for its Indian offshore operations. Sopra Group is one of the top IT consultancy companies in Europe and Sopra India Group helps deliver projects to key clients from India. I am responsible for driving overall talent acquisition, development and management strategy, aligning HR and training needs, and conceptualising and implementing organisational development interventions.
What challenges do you deal with in HR that are unique to business in India?
While the Indian economy has slowed in the past two years, the IT industry has grown, with many global IT companies basing more than 30 per cent of their workforce in India. This has created a fierce war for talent. A limited talent pool and low employability has led to high training costs, especially in the IT and BFSI industry. One of the biggest challenges being faced by HR is the effective training and up-skilling of youth, while creating a talent pool for a sustainable economy and business growth.
You have been a pioneer for gender equality in India and have been awarded many accolades for your achievements. What do you think still needs to be done before India can achieve true gender equality in the workplace?
We have come a long way, but there is still work to be done. We need to make it a business requirement to advocate for gender diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Setting a minimum 30 per cent quota for women on corporate governing boards and ensuring more women employees are included in the top management councils will help to influence and encourage gender equality policies.
It’s essential to mentor, coach and support female employees so that they can reach senior level positions. Senior female employees also need to support their peers and employees through personalised coaching, guidance and the sharing of personal experiences. Sopra Group is proud of ‘WOW’ (world of women); the main objective is to retain female employees by providing day care, flexi-hours and work-from-home policies for working mothers. Our Women in Leadership profile constitutes 25 per cent of Sopra Group India, which is a
You have done a lot of work around talent management. In India, how much emphasis is placed on training staff and up-skilling?
Training and up-skilling have become buzzwords owing to low employability and a shrinking talent pool. RTD (recruitment, training and deployment) has become an important tool for organisations that are really focused on growing by tapping human potential. The Indian government has also been supportive in terms of skilling youth. Organisations are focusing more on staff training by taking a combined approach in terms of on job, e-learning, coaching and classroom. L&D has emerged as the most crucial arm of employee development initiatives.