Individual Heroism is of no Business Value: Sachin Khurana, Happiest Minds Technologies

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According to Sachin Khurana, Vice President & Chief People Officer, Happiest Minds Technologies you can have the best of your people with great skills but if they cannot work together as a team, individual heroism is of no business value. Read the whole interview for his insights on embracing disruptive innovation for success. 

What are the steps you take as a leader to embrace innovative disruption?

Happiest Minds’ twin themes of Disruptive Technologies and Disruptive Culture are what makes us different from other companies. We have a differentiated company culture coupled with a focus on leveraging an integrated set of disruptive technologies to deliver nonlinear benefits to the customer.

We have institutionalized practices that promote innovation at all our functions and business areas:

  • Built two centers of excellence: Analytics/AI and IoT
  • Incubated multiple newer technologies & capabilities such as VR/AR, Blockchain, Design Thinking, Cyber Security, DevSecOps, etc.
  • Building cutting edge IP platforms across industry verticals and these are transforming the way our customers do businesses

All this has been made possible because of the commitment and sponsorship of our leadership towards innovation and experimentation. From a people practice perspective, Happiest Minds is driving change through its Mindfulness and Happiness Evangelism programs. These programs are well ahead of the industry and many progressive organizations are keen to learn about what results we are delivering through them.

As a leader, it is important to understand the environment and accept one fundamental truth that change is the only constant. Moreover, the pace of this change is only going to get faster with every passing year. Towards embracing innovation, I am committed towards:

  • “Being Humble” i.e., accept that there is someone who knows a better way to solve a problem
  • Believing “Age is a just a number” i.e., years of experience can’t be the yardstick to measure success or importance of an individual
  • Being a “Lifelong Learner”, continuous unlearning and learning is essential to survive.

The things that contribute most to my learning are also my personal experiences and how I have overcome obstacles/failures to forge ahead.

What are the strategies you employ to upskill your workforce?

For upskilling our workforce, we have taken 2 approaches:

  • Learning on the Go: We have invested in the lateral hiring of a rich pool of domain experts. We upskill our workforce by assigning them as a shadow/buffer for existing projects. Pilot and internal projects using newer technologies and platforms are also excellent ways to train the workforce on niche skills. Sharing of project success stories via Tech Talks and our internal annual Tech event – Blitz, etc.  helps in peer to peer collaborative learning as well as recognizing both the trainer and the learners in the process. These initiatives do have a cascading effect and the speed of learning is also faster without impacting business.
  • Intervention driven approach: We have created projects for upskilling and enhancing capabilities of targeted members. Some programs include Campus hire / fresher upskill program, Practice or platform wise – multiple week upskilling programs with core teams from CoEs or particular tech practices. We also have subscriptions of online learning platforms and our workforce is free to pick the course and learn it as per their schedule.

Download your copy of Winners Circle to read insights from top HR leaders like Sachin on talent management lifecycle and upskilling ‘for the win’ now!

How do you win at talent management? 

As an organization, we are well funded from day one and this has helped us attract strong leadership and talent at all levels. When such strong capabilities are available at the leadership level, we also need to ensure that this is cascading to the next level; towards this empowerment and coaching. The commitment from our leadership to nurture leaders, and a culture that encourages empowerment and personal growth; helps us succeed in talent management. A significant set of leaders are grown internally and we have also seen many leaders move on to take up greater roles and responsibilities. We are working towards institutionalizing our mentoring and coaching program to ensure that the benefits of the program cascade to all levels across the organization.

What role do you think culture plays in increasing efficiency at work?

It is rightly said that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. It is important to build a strong culture of collaboration that encourages innovation and experimentation. Only then can you achieve higher productivity and build a strong and sustainable organization. Culture is an enabler of your business performance. You can have the best of your people with great skills but if they cannot work together as a team, individual heroism is of no business value.  

We at Happiest Minds are proud to create a culture that encourages collaboration, co-creation, and innovation; structured as our 7C’s framework, with one common mission of creating “Happiest People. Happiest Customer”.

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