HR Talk : Standing TALL

He is a man of few words, but his career speaks volumes about his persona. Ranjan Mishra, who is the Senior Vice President – Human Resource, Vodafone India, has been representing Vodafone at various forums. He was part of the panel where a key topic was under discussion ‘Do organisations encourage gender diversity at workplace?’ Talent is what he believes in and drives him every day. He has done his Masters in HR from Jiwaji University, Gwalior and his Executive MBA in General Management from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Corporate Citizen caught up with him to know more about him and what he sees as the future of HR and emerging trends…

Tushar Mane
Enlighten us with your background.

My childhood was spent in Gwalior and post my studies I have worked across India where I have worked across industries and handled various spanning across from Talent Management, Operations and Business Partnering. Personally, I have been committed to build a performance culture that emphasises on trust, respect and innovation.

One of my core interest areas which I am also passionate about is that of Talent and Diversity. In my view these are core to any organisational strength and has a longterm impact on the business. I started my career with Gajra Bevel Gear Limited and quickly picked up tricks of the trade. Post which I have worked in Reliance, Coke, Gillete and Delphi Automotive Systems before my stint with Vodafone.

You mentioned that you have played a pivotal role in providing employee-oriented and high-performance culture. How have you managed to do that?

Nothing in this life can be attained individually and no task can be completed single-handedly. I have always believed that ‘you are as good as your team’ and hence feel very proud that have been able to create and sustain this culture. What makes me more proud though is when I see my own team members continue to build on this philosophy.

In my current stint at Vodafone which is now almost 10 years, we, as an organisation, foster a culture, which is enabling for the right talent to flourish.

How has your experience been so far and what are the challenges you’ve faced?

Frankly, it has been a humbling experience and personally rewarding for me. I have been lucky to be part of such great organisations which have facilitated my learning under great leaders, which has made me what I stand here today. The one challenge that has been constant though is about building an organisation which can be future-fit and ensuring that we can continuously cope up with the changing dynamics of the country, industry and the people.

How does the right talent acquisition benefit the company?

At Vodafone, our mission is to on-board world-class talent that is right for the future of our business. Because talent that we acquire shapes our organisation’s culture. That impacts what our consumers’ experience and thus defines business success. Bringing great people into the organisation is one of the most important things we do at Vodafone besides creating a strong employer brand, building enablers to key metrics, setting up standard processes for success.

We have rightfully positioned ourselves as a credible business partner proactively addressing their emerging needs, especially in the area of talent.

Let’s talk about your love for car rallies.

I love all kinds of adventure sports and never miss any opportunity to experience a new sport. Though my heart lies in riding and driving, exploring new terrains and participating in rallies. This is deep-rooted and since childhood I wanted to participate in rallies and I am glad that I have been able to achieve it.

Can you compare the two—being a racer and your role as an HR?

Actually it is quite similar and I can safely say that learnings from both have helped me to make decisions both on track and off it. You come across a lot of unforeseen challenges, locations are not the same, you visit different track, which are unexplored in every rally. It is similar to dynamic environment, industry and trends. But in both ‘Human Touch’ is prime and I personally believe it is the man behind the machine and there is no compromise.

“Nothing in this life can be attained individually and no task can be completed singlehandedly. I have always believed that ‘you are as good as your team’ and hence feel very proud that have been able to create and sustain this culture”

Is the HR the backbone of every organisation?

I strongly believe so. Because at the end of the day, neither the technology nor money makes a difference but the people who make it happen. It is important for all of us in HR to be the beacons of culture and play a role of a catalyst in providing a sustainable environment.

What is your philosophy in life?

Do what you like and like what you do!

What is the toughest part of being an HR person?

All jobs are tough and HR is no different. If you like your job then you will look at situations as opportunities to learn rather than obstacles.

Any suggestions for the youngsters?

You have a plethora of options, choose the ones that will grow you both professionally and personally and don’t opt for easy shortcuts. Be yourself as you are the future!!

By Ekta Katti