What are the challenges faced by advisors in hiring and attracting the right talent, given that you are competing for the same pool of talent as banks and national distributors which are better known brands?
It is certainly a challenge. There are two approaches to grow this business. The first is to focus on adding more clients with less personalised services and second to on-board less clients and focus on giving holistic solutions. We follow the second approach where we want to add value in our clients’ lives instead of focusing only on AUM growth. So it is difficult to find employees who share the same vision and goals.
Give us an overview of your HR philosophy and approach.
My HR philosophy stems from the core purpose of service. We need people who are service focused and have the urge to do something meaningful to people around them, be it client or peers. This in our view goes a long way in building a strong culture where like-minded people can work together.
Who is your inspiration or role model in shaping your leadership style and HR philosophy? How have they influenced you?
Prof Ram Charan is my role model. He is a renowned business advisor, coach and a speaker. While speaking, he addresses issues in depth which appeals to me. Over the years, I have been following his work and try to adopt his leadership style. In his book, ‘The Leadership Pipeline’, he stresses on the model that in every organization, seniors should encourage juniors to take leadership in the business. According to this model, senior leaders in the organization should mentor their junior managers through each leadership transition.
In a business which is affected severely by market volatility and regulatory changes, is it possible to have a consistent HR policy? Have you rationalized/downsized staff or cut salaries in response to the many changes that have taken place in the environment?
My approach has always been to take the tougher path in short term which is consistent with my core philosophy and one which in the longer run has been more rewarding. This style has helped us to be ahead of curve instead of being reactive; therefore, we have not downsized or cut salaries for this reason.
How do you incentivize them? Do you think monetary incentive is good way to motivate your staff? How do you ensure that such incentives are aligned to client interest?
I have always believed in incentivising through a mix of monetary and non-monetary incentives that are aligned to client interest.
What activities do you undertake to train and inculcate soft skills, technical skills, etc.?
We arrange an in-house training only if required, else it is more on day-to-day learning based on observation and best practices.
How do you retain your employees? Have you faced attrition challenge?
We are a high human quotient driven organisation. We understand the value of respect. This does help in retention.