What are the challenges faced by advisers 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 a challenge certainly so one has to be resourceful. I have discovered that if you really reach out and tell your employees that they can grow with you, it really helps.
Give us an overview of your HR philosophy and approach.
My approach is very simple. We try to maintain a relaxed atmosphere at the workplace. We don’t operate with an iron fist because people have to feel comfortable to perform at their best.
Who is your inspiration or role model in shaping your leadership style and HR philosophy? How have they influenced you?
I try to learn from everyone whom I have worked with or observed in all my years in the industry, and people from my personal life as well. So I would say the credit goes to all my co-workers and superiors for teaching me in this matter.
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?
Change is a part and parcel of the nature of our business. But in terms of the core philosophy at the workplace, there isn’t any change. We still believe in our philosophy regardless of market conditions and stand by that. Downsizing is something that we do not do, and it is my belief that if your recruitment is spot on, the question of downsizing does not arise. The same applies to compensation.
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?
Naturally, adequate monetary compensation is something that everyone looks at. I am blessed with a team that really buys into our growth prospects and works tirelessly towards that. They truly believe that their individual and collective growth can only happen with the firm's growth.
Client interest is at the forefront of our focus. We encourage and insist on ethical behaviour at all times in an unconditional manner and this extends to the employee compensation.
What activities do you undertake to train and inculcate soft skills, technical skills, etc.?
It is always our endeavour to provide my team with access to resources that equip them best to perform their functions. For this, we encourage participation in workshops, training programmes and industry events. They are free to pursue any academic courses that can add to their skills and knowledge.
Most of your team is client facing. How do you train your employees to be customer centric?
I believe that observation and experience is one of the most important learning tool. Luckily, I have several senior executives who are vastly experienced in client interaction and the newer members learn and take guidance from them. Apart from that, we also conduct regular in-house workshops to fine-tune their capabilities.
How do you retain your employees? Have you faced attrition challenge?
Attrition is an industry wide phenomenon but luckily we haven’t faced it. A mix of nurturing, fulfilling atmosphere and proper compensation has helped us retain a large chunk of our team over the years. Today, I manage a team of 22 people in my company.