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?
The biggest challenge for us is not having a brand. There is a huge shortage of qualified advisors in the market. In addition, the other challenge is in matching salaries. Often, advisors trained by us switch to big brands as they are able to offer higher pay packets.
Give us an overview of your HR philosophy and approach.
HR philosophy stems from your knowledge and how one wants to build the business. My philosophy is “partnering for growth”; means make your employees are partners & owners of your business.
Who is your inspiration or role model in shaping your leadership style and HR philosophy? How have they influenced you?
My HR philosophy is based on the best practices that I observed during my work-experience of over 15 years with leading financial companies.
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?
I guess yes, one can have a consistent HR policy. If your business model is pro-customer, any market movement or regulatory change will not affect it. In fact, all regulatory changes are favouring customers; therefore, I do not see regulator as an issue.
For me, a few challenges are technology, distribution & advisory formats. In fact, we are building our company brick by brick on all these formats.
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?
If one wants business to grow, one needs motivation and reward. The head of any advisory firm (promoter) would want to see his firm’s income grow year on year and would want to take home part of it, i.e. higher profits & higher income.
We all are here to make money. In fact, why candidates like the so-called big brands is the money factor and not the brand per se. If you give rewards to your employees, they are happy and motivated to work hard.
We ensure that our client interest remains foremost through disclosures, regular communication and an open culture.
What activities do you undertake to train and inculcate soft skills, technical skills, etc.?
For soft skills, we make our employees both freshers and experienced, go through mocks, role-play & debates within the team first. It is a 3 to 7 day, full time activity for freshers.
For technical skills, we have a standard training program for fresher with tests. Since we are in a market related business, we have a morning meeting daily, where we discuss markets, products, customers and issues.