BANGALORE, INDIA: “It all started because of my passion for training and people management and the book Tough Times Never Lasts But Tough People Do by Dr Robert Schuller, given to me by K Dinesh, co-founder of Infosys.
“This prompted me to start my own venture, which is unique in India. I think an Indian would understand an Indian better, and this prompted me to do this,” says Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, director of e2e Business Solutions, HR services and training provider.
Ramaswamy was working as a senior management consultant with Infosys BPO, where she delved in policy formulations, people structuring and audits, leadership training and talent acquisition before moving out to start her own venture in people management in August 2005.
Ramaswamy, in an exclusive interaction with Dheeksha Rabindra of CyberMedia News , speaks about the role played by the HR in the growth of an organization especially in the current scenario of rupee appreciation and the company’s role in HR services and training.
What are the kind of services does your organization provide?
We offer HR services and training. We do a lot of Organization Development (OD) activities, which primarily consists of HR audit. This model is based on People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM), which most of the organizations have today.
We do P-CMM consulting and training. We follow the econometric model, which is linking HR process to very tangible financial results possible. Under HR services, we also provide BOT (Build Operate Transfer) model – we take on the whole HR function for organization and then transfer it back to the client. We call it HR for HR.
What worries organizations apart from attrition?
Attrition is not a major issue that bothers organizations now. I think organizations now are more worried about how to increase productivity.
With rupee appreciation and US recession, business has to leverage on current situation and get productivity up. This calls for tightening the reins. If you walk into an organization, it is more bothered about how do you carry people along, and how do you retain them to achieve business objective and increase productivity, in an environment which is getting tougher and competitive day by day. Attrition is a very one-dimensional thing. Unless and until HR appreciates the business they are in, I don’t think they can retain employee.
What do you do to increase the productivity of an organization?
We have TRIM- Talent Retention Intervention Model. It lays emphasis on succession planning. It forces the organization to look at its organizational chart – drills the management to think on what it has to do to achieve higher revenues. We assist them to structure it. Then there are critical roles in an organization, if people are not stable on those roles, business will get affected.
We identify those critical roles and try and build a tier under them. So, even if there is turn over, the business will not get affected. We have other modules like Team Effectiveness Across Multiple (TEAM) and Creating Ownership and Responsibility (CORE). All the modules are customized according to the client requirements. However, the main theme remains the same.
TRIM operates from six to 18 month period depending on the organization’s complexity. Further, it was important for me that when we go to the client we not only help them see the direction that they have to tread on, but also help them walk along the path which brings in accountability. We get into a kind of partnership.
What do you think that most organization lack in HR practices?
Lack of understanding the business. It means simple things like the recruitment team - they give a job description that goes to head hunters, even on online portal, certain key words are given and wash off their hands.
They really do not understand the business. When you go to an organization the first disconnect we see is here, the head complaining of not getting quality resumes. To address this we recommended HR induction. One thing is appreciating the business that they are doing in and other thing is lack of training.
I think HR is a facilitator and we found huge lack of training for HR professionals themselves. Further, we see that attrition is higher in the HR fraternity itself. We also see lot of non-HR people taking up HR as profession. We find a lot of army people, operations people moving to be HR heads. So are you preparing them for HR, especially the training bit of it?
Can you elaborate on your future plans?
We want to get deeper with the kind of associates we are getting, and we want to triple our turnover in the next year. We are focusing on emerging industry like energy and pharma. We are concentrating on IT-ITeS, infrastructure developments, media and educational institutions. Very clearly I am seeing infrastructure development, education coming up.
Can you elaborate on the work undertaken for educational institutions?
We do what is known as education employment. We talk to students who are in the final year especially in Tier B and C cities, and take them on to a course for personality development, corporate etiquette and interviewing skills.
This, we will be starting in a college in Trichy very soon. We are talking to institutions and universities in Tamil Nadu, Mangalore universities and Tumkur and couple of autonomous body in Mangalore too. I find that students in Tier B and C cities are sincere and they won’t know too much English, and given training they will shine.
They have the tendency to stay longer in an organization and don’t look at six months jump. You don’t find this in metros. We are also talking to company’s HR to recruit people from these colleges. We can’t keep hiring from the same pool, as you tend to jack up the salary.
The job role remains the same but an employee becomes costlier. So the pool should be expanded, which would definitely help organization in this rupee appreciation scenario. This calls corporate to move into small towns. We are also planning of starting an institute for HR professionals to graduate from.
Which IT company do you think have the best HR policy in place?
There is a clear differentiation in IT between public and private companies. When you are public, it automatically calls in for certain amount of discipline. Because, your financials are public and you have to hold your annual AGM. Companies like Wipro, Infosys and others come under that because that is the discipline they have to follow.
There are private companies, they don’t need to share information but they want to innovate. There are companies with good practices in a particular area. For instance, Infosys has the best succession metrics. They never really have dearth of talent when you look at succession planning and Wipro has best Learning and Development practice in place. Each company is good in a particular area, and that is why I say that HR should understand the business. It is not important that I should be great in everything, but I should be good at what my business mean.