The CEO PathHistorically, heads of HR haven’t been contenders for the CEO’s post as theywere perceived to be lacking in financial acumen and business knowledge.Are HR heads ready for the transition to the top job, now that organisationsare open to the idea of CEOs from HR? People Matters gathers insights fromindustry leaders and experts on what it takes for a CHRO to become the topexecutiveBy Esther Martinez Hernandezand Deepshikha Thakur
Why don’t we see many CEOs who have come from an HRbackground?
“If you survey the smartest kids in college whowant to do an MBA, most of them won’t chooseHR. The social identity associated with the roleas a support role influences the kind of peoplewho get into it”Santhosh Babu, Managing Director, OD Alternatives Consultants
What are the challenges that CEOs face in today’s times?
“CEOs face four key challenges in India today.Business growth is the first. The second challenge ismargin pressure and improvement in profitability.The third is intense competition and fourth isglobalisation”Ajay Soni, Asia Pacific Practice Leader-Leadership Consulting, Aon Hewitt
What does it take to be a CEO? Here’s what the coacheshave to say……..
Ganesh Chella, Founder, Totus Consulting“Commercial acumen, understanding of thebusiness context, natural orientation towardsnumbers, appetite for risk and a strong executionfocus are the prerequisites to being a successfulbusiness leader or a CEO”“Early on, HR professionals must have a crossfunctional exposure and understand how torun a line function. They should get out of theircomfort zone. They need to work on buildingfinancial acumen and understand the businesscontext”Anil Sachdev, Founder & CEO, School of Inspired Leadership
HR Heads who made it to the CEO position reveal thesecret recipe of their success…a glimpse into theirstories…
“Multi-functional experience should be an essentialpart of your career development even if it slowsdown your promotions.”“Pay attention to business processes and how theyoperate and most of all learn how the businessmakes money.”John Hofmeister, former President, Shell Oil Company and Founder& Chief Executive, Citizens for Affordable Energy Consulting
Dr Anil K. Khandelwal Ex-CMD, Bank of Baroda andChairman, Anugyan Consulting“In order to move to the CEO position, HRprofessionals need to have a deeper understandingof the business”“Transition from HR to business role and viceversa is seamless when HR plays the role it is meantto”Navnit Singh, Chairman and Country Head, Korn/Ferry India
Dr Santrupt Misra, Director, Group - HR, Aditya Birla Group &CEO of Carbon Black Business“HR gives you a 70 degree view of the businesswhereas when you are a CEO you need to have a360 degree view”“You must have the humility to acknowledge thatyou don’t know and have the willingness to go outand learn from anyone”Pratik Kumar, President, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, Member ofCorporate Executive Council and Executive Vice-President-HR, Wipro
Elango R., Executive Vice President, Emerging Geography SBU &Global Chief Human Resources Officer, MphasiS“In HR, nine out of 10 things are under your controlbecause our area of influence is within the company.But, business is driven by many factors which are notunder your control I have been in a business role”“HR professionals should go back to classroom tolearn about the business. In order to succeed in abusiness role, you have to re-skill yourself. Nothingin HR trains you for that”Smita Anand, Senior Partner and Managing Director, LeadershipTalent Consulting, Korn/Ferry India
And the journey of those who went on to set up their owncompanies…..
Pankaj Bansal, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PeopleStrong“HR professionals have low-risk taking abilitiesand are reluctant to step out of their comfort zone”“One of the challenges that I keep coming acrossoccasionally is that we get too process orientedin dealing with people”Ajit Isaac, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IKYA Human CapitalSolutions
The few who took the reverse journey from being abusiness head to an HR Head….
Rajeev Dubey, President-Group HR, Corporate Services and AftermarketSector & Member of Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra“While strategy, metrics and processes arecritical for a company’s success, they are not sufficientbecause it is people who bring ideas to life”“Having worked in the technical field, I knew eachactivity of the company: How it is done, theissues and problems with those activities”Dr A.K. Balyan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Petronet LNG
To read the complete story click here “The CEO Path”
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