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Females returning to work come with a lot of innovation and creativity, says Raju Foujdar, CHRO, RK Pharma

New Delhi: Human Resources leader emphasizes proactive workforce planning, identifying high-potential individuals and aligning them with future roles through a meticulous training process. The organization prioritizes employee well-being through comprehensive engagement, career progression, and stress management initiatives, along with an unlimited leave policy. 


For aspiring HR professionals, the advice centers on becoming business partners, fostering deep understanding, entrepreneurial thinking, and emphasizing accountability. The path from CHRO to CEO is not a distant dream, and success lies in a holistic approach that combines business acumen with empathy and humility. In this Regard Shreya Singh, ObserveNow Media interacted with Dr. Raju Foujdar, Global Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO), RK Pharma.


Here are a few excerpts from the interview:


What’s your organization’s approach to talent strategy and hiring? Is there a perfect recipe to get it all right or is it always a balanced view?

RK Pharma group has a balanced Talent Strategy. Generally, organizations use the Build V/S Buy Methodology. Our organization has got more focus on Build. This means developing in-house talent for new future roles. Our organization has aggressive growth plans. Building in-house talent to cater to the needs in such an environment is not always feasible. In such cases – we go by mapping of High Potential (Hi-Pot) of our competitors in business and acquire talent from outside. Because the development of in-house talent is a continuous process and takes reasonable time.


As an HR leader, how do you ensure that the workforce you have today is the one you need tomorrow? What is your master plan for the skills update of the team?

The value of Gold always remains the same – let it be old or new. The only difference is shine in both cases. We map the future roles and future requirements of the organization. Map our existing human capital against those roles. Training Need Identification (TNI) is mapped against the strengths of the talent available v/s requirement of the new role. Then train them to take up those positions. The visionary HR Leader can make a big difference in the future requirements of the organization. He can keep his old gold shining at par with new. We just don’t believe in vertical growth of knowledge, which comes with years of experience – rather helping our Hi-Pots to acquire horizontal growth to explore their capabilities in cross-functional verticals.


What innovative approaches are businesses adopting to retain top talent in an increasingly competitive market? How are they prioritizing employee well-being and career growth?

Employee Engagement since profile shortlisting for the interview process, career progression, succession pipeline and alignment of own human capital, Training and development, horning of skillset to ensure employability, Stress management sessions, work-life balance, flexible working and last but not the least – we have unlimited leave policy.


How do you approach diversity and inclusion in your hiring practices, particularly in the context of hiring veteran workforce or Women returning to work?

Diversity and inclusion are the requirements of today’s time, wherein we have the talent and expertise available. Absorption is purely based on the job profile. Females returning to work many times come with a lot of innovation and creativity. They outperform their other counterparts. Veterans have in-depth knowledge and experience available to youngsters. Even the Government is willing to extend a helping hand to organizations to make diversity and inclusion implementation a Success story for both parties to arrange.


In what ways can your organization support and empower freshers to understand work life, chart a path for them, and find their sense of purpose in alignment with the company’s vision?

Whenever we go for any campus placement, we just see that the students should have basic knowledge of what they have learned, some discipline, and attitude & aptitude to learn. Every year – we hire interns across the organization for different departments. These interns are nurtured to be future leaders. We are working on 3-layer succession planning to maximize utilization of our in-house talent. The target in the next 5 years is that if one personnel above General Manager retires – that will be filled with the position of a Trainee/fresher. The talent framework for this initiative is under finalization.


Is there any advice you would like to give to the new HR Professionals entering the industry?

HR is no longer going to be an enabling function. We need to be frontline partners in Business Partnering. You might have observed during Covid. Once we took the lead during VUCA times – we should explore our expertise in normal times. The journey from CHRO to CEO is no longer a dream. 

We have many set examples. What you need to do, is focus on the following:-

Business deep understanding, Business Orientation, entrepreneurial mindset, Building people capability w.r.t Organizational needs and alignment, Team Leadership. Last but not the least – holding people responsible and accountable. Have an eye on the department’s individual performance and the organization as a whole. Humility and empathy should be front runners for us – we deal with human beings. This is the Mantra for success.

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