The HR Conclave held at the Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida saw participation from eminent leaders from the HR landscape of India. Of the 10 panelists who represented their industries in unravelling the ‘HR Practices and Challenges During Downturn’, the one who spoke for the Banking industry was Mr. Anil Rathore, Zonal HR Partner, North East and West, ING Vyasya. Mr. Rathore’s career as an HR practitioner is prominently split into two halves. The first half was as a distinguished naval officer, who rose to be the Joint Director Manpower Planning & Recruitment for the Indian Navy. The second half is in the corporate world, with a major chunk belonging to ICICI Bank, where he started out as the Head of Talent Acquisition & Recruitment Service, and grew to be the Recruitment Head of North, before shifting to ING Vysya.
Campus journalist at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, Priyanka Priya, found the opportunity to quiz Mr. Rathore on the future of the HR domain, and the best way forward for MBA students of Jaipuria Noida.
Priyanka: At the outset, Sir, what made you chose HR as your domain of expertise? Is it something that you chose as a career right from your college days?
Mr. Anil Rathore: Not exactly! It grew on me instinctively. As you know, the Indian Armed Forces are completely manpower intensive. I have been managing people for the last 20 years, but only for the last 6 years have I been focussing on core HR functions. I did venture out into business for some time, but I came back to HR, because I enjoyed being a ‘People’s Person’. My stint as a businessman has helped me understand the challenges of business better, and today, I obviously view HR from the business perspective as well.
Priyanka: The challenges in HR for present-day managers are often said to be very different from those that existed till about a decade ago. What qualities do you think B-school students like those at Jaipuria Noida should imbibe to be good HR professionals?
Mr. Anil Rathore: In HR, at times you have to be at the front in communicating some hard decisions, but a majority of the time you have to play the role of a friend, philosopher and guide to the employees. The HR is the department that employees in an organisation should look forward to speaking their hearts out to. Today, organisations need imaginative and creative employees on their rolls, and HR departments cannot ignore or take the feelings of an employee in a negative vein.
Priyanka: Sir, why is it that HR jobs are mostly available in metros? Do you see this environment changing? Are there any opportunities in the rural space or smaller cities?
Mr. Anil Rathore: Very few. 80% of the jobs will be at metro level, as HR is a support function and business leaders will like their support functions to be right next to their heart, for communication purposes. For example, ING Vysya will have 30 branches in metros and 2-3 branches in smaller townships. Therefore, the HR functions where the concentration is more.
Priyanka: How about the nationalised banks, who stress equally or sometimes more on the grass-root levels of the economy? Are there no opportunities in those banks for HR in smaller cities?
Mr. Anil Rathore: Yes there are. For instance, Bank of Baroda has started taking people for core HR jobs, which they call specialist recruitments. Even PNB is doing so.
Priyanka: We’ve all heard you speak about how the banking sector dealt with the global meltdown. The insight you provided was clearly based on things you observed at close quarters. What would be your message to the students of Jaipuria Institute of Management?
Mr. Anil Rathore: A very short one, really – Market Awareness. Be more aware. Don’t restrict it only to today’s session; there is enough and more available in the media today for you to keep yourself upgraded.
Priyanka: Thank you, Sir. We hope to see you more often at Jaipuria Noida, to gain from your wisdom.