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HR Plays A Pivotal Role In Aligning Employee Values With Brand's Purpose

Can you share some key milestones and experiences from your over two decades of experience in the wealth and asset management industry?

Over the past two decades, the wealth and asset management industry has undergone transformative changes. Fintech innovations have disrupted traditional norms, and cost pressures have been relentless. During this period, we've witnessed a profound shift toward technology-enabled transformation, focusing on operational efficiency and enhancing client experiences. A culture that emphasizes performance, engagement, and trust is at the heart of this evolution. HR plays a pivotal role in aligning employee values with our brand's purpose.
HR at 360 ONE has undergone significant strategic shifts during this transformative journey. First, we realigned our priorities to meet the changing needs of the workforce. We also reinvented our HR operating model, emphasizing value creation for clients and stakeholders. These strategic shifts have set us on an exciting path filled with opportunities, challenges, and promises for the future, where people take centre stage. We’ve also shifted our focus towards adapting to a more sustainable, inclusive, and business-oriented future and aligning with our overall business values and purpose.  
Could you elaborate on the specific elements of the human resources strategy you are driving at 360 ONE, especially in terms of culture, talent management, learning and development, and diversity and inclusion? How do you balance and prioritize these focus areas to create a cohesive HR strategy?

At 360 ONE Wealth, our people strategy is deeply rooted in our company ethos and brand purpose. Our core principle, "Performance Plus," is the guiding force behind our HR strategy. If we expect our employees to deliver "Performance Plus," our People function must also deliver it to our employees. If we expect our employees to deliver "Performance Plus," our People function must also deliver it to them. Our company culture is built on an entrepreneurial mindset, and our people strategy revolves around seizing early market opportunities and fostering a culture of ownership and autonomy.

Diversity and inclusion are integral to our "Performance Plus" ethos. We recognize that diversity brings diverse ideas, enhancing the client experience. We view success as a journey, not just a destination. Therefore, our people strategy aims to build a journey of excellence, emphasizing institutional excellence over individual success. We aim to instil a culture of collective success within our organization.

Managing a large HR team and overseeing functions across multiple legal entities and countries is complex. How do you ensure consistency in HR practices while adapting to regional differences?

While managing a large HR team across diverse regions can indeed be complex, we believe diversity of thought enriches our perspective. The key is to maintain consistency while respecting differences. This becomes achievable when the core values on which our institution is built remain consistent and we hire talent that shares this vision.
Clear articulation of our strategy, objectives, targets, and expectations is essential. We ensure structured feedback and communication channels to review and engage with employees openly and transparently. Our policies are designed to be meritocratic and transparent to all, promoting fairness and consistency.
We rely on a robust HRMS platform, structured KPIs and targets, and a clear career progression framework to uphold transparency and consistency across regions.
How do you measure and demonstrate the success of your talent development initiatives?
Effective talent management initiatives begin with establishing a common language in our performance assessment. We focus on both "what" and "how." The "what" encompasses clearly defined business scorecards, while the "how" focuses on behaviours that reinforce our desired organizational culture.
We place a strong emphasis on rewarding potential and traits that facilitate a growth mindset and align with individual career aspirations. People development is an ongoing process, and we maintain a continuous dialogue with individuals critical to our value-creation plans.
Institutionalizing a culture of feedback and development is a guiding principle for us. This approach ensures that our talent development initiatives not only measure success but also contribute to the continuous growth of our most valuable assets—our people.

Managing ambiguity and conflict is part of any leadership role. Could you provide an example of a situation where you successfully navigated a complex network or effectively managed ambiguity and conflict?

Leadership often involves responding to a wide range of situations and challenges, fostering partnerships across functional, cultural, organizational, and global boundaries. It requires connecting with key stakeholders to achieve common goals.
As an HR leader, I've encountered situations where the organizations I have been with underwent rapid transformations. During such times, our responsibility is to drive change seamlessly, aligning with business objectives without creating disruptions. This requires leadership styles that encompass negotiation, influence, anticipation, and appreciation of diverse viewpoints. It involves skilfully persuading stakeholders to shape opinions and work toward common goals.
Navigating ambiguity and conflict is an integral part of leadership, and my experiences have taught me the importance of maintaining a clear focus on our organizational goals while facilitating smooth transitions. Throughout my career, I've encountered numerous challenging situations, and what has consistently aided me in navigating these complexities is demonstrating compassion. Acknowledging and empathizing with the emotions of those involved in these situations often paves the way for finding mutually beneficial solutions to even the most difficult challenges.

How do your core values of social leadership, energy, agility, balance, and collaboration guide your decision-making and leadership style?

Our core values are integral to our leadership style, shaping our responses and approaches to challenges and opportunities. These values are the compass that guides our decision-making and leadership style. Our values emphasize the importance of adaptability, innovation, resilience, and collaboration, especially in situations of ambiguity and risk.
In a highly cohesive culture, these values enable us to influence, collaborate, and remain socially aware. They encourage us to adapt to changing circumstances, maintain curiosity, think innovatively, and exhibit resilience and a drive for achievement, even in the face of obstacles.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, what do you see as the key challenges and opportunities in the wealth and asset management industry, and how does your role as CHRO address these?

India's wealth and asset management industry is experiencing rapid growth, driven by evolving socio-economic factors. This growth presents numerous opportunities, but it also comes with challenges. The industry is witnessing the entry of new players with diverse solutions and boutique mindsets. This can lead to talent fragmentation and changing skill requirements.
We must keep an open mind and experiment with emerging trends to address these challenges. Personalization, wealth creation opportunities for the sales force, and investments in technology and digitization are key areas of focus. Building a sustainable ecosystem with robust products and solutions is crucial.

Early market penetration and the creation of sustainable teams are critical success factors. Additionally, nurturing a strong leadership pipeline that can shape the future growth of our organization is of utmost importance. My role as CHRO involves ensuring that our people strategy aligns with these industry dynamics, enabling us to seize opportunities while addressing challenges effectively.

What according to you is the biggest development in the HR and business landscape and what would be your one prediction for 2024?

The most significant development in the HR and business landscape is the growing emphasis on fostering a holistic organizational culture that embraces shared mindsets, brand purpose, and firm values, all rooted in a high-performance orientation, which we refer to as "Performance Plus." This cultural shift strongly focuses on engaging employees with a clear understanding of the company's strategic unity, purpose, and business goals. Moreover, it involves an unwavering commitment to aligning actions and mindsets with these overarching objectives.

In addition to culture, customer centricity is emerging as a pivotal aspect of HR and business strategies. Organizations are actively working to cultivate enduring relationships of trust with their target customers. This customer-centric approach extends from ideation to execution, incorporating key metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and market share as indicators of success.
Collaboration is yet another integral facet of this landscape transformation, emphasizing cross-functional teamwork, alliances, and partnerships.

Organizations are increasingly recognizing the power of collaboration in achieving shared objectives and driving innovation.

Overall, this evolving landscape places a premium on clarity, shared agendas, and a collective mindset that fosters a deep commitment to strategic unity and purpose. These developments represent a profound shift in how businesses operate and succeed in today's dynamic and interconnected world.

As for a prediction for 2024, I foresee a bold shift towards a more balanced and harmonious alignment of interests among employees, companies, and stakeholders. This shift will leverage the flexibility gained in recent years to create a resilient and sustainable business ecosystem. It will be marked by a renewed focus on the well-being and alignment of all parties involved, reflecting the lessons learned from the challenges and changes of the past few years.

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