Rajesh Padmanabhan shares his vision as the Chairman of Board
Rajesh Padmanabhan, a corporate whizz and transformation specialist with over 3 decades of experience and an exemplary reputation for being the agent of transformation shares his thoughts as he takes charge as HONO’s Chairman of Board.
Get a sneak peek into Rajesh’s perspectives as he gets candid about his aspirations and vision to build the future of HR tech with HONO.
How would you describe your role as Chairman of HONO?
Rajesh: I would split this role into four sharp buckets.
Bucket number one, it's to guide the leadership team clearly through the next step and the next journey as we evolve ahead.
Number two is since I come from the other side of the industry, is to deepen the customer insights it's important to realize what is the need today and what is the need tomorrow and really help the entire team including the customer relations & the product team to relate to the customer world.
The third is that the people’s space is getting disrupted but I don't think this is going to be a transition phase. It's going to be something of a permanent nature, we will see more and more accelerated disruption and a large amount of transformations. I keep saying people transformation is a space by itself so how do we really deepen the entire HR practice as people space is something that clearly needs a lot of thought leadership.
The last one which I have been extremely passionate about and which is where the conjunction with HONO also comes around very sharply is the convergence between people and technology. I think they both are so complimentary to every single business enterprise of today that's where the entire sharpness would come from.
What is the change you would like to bring? Any new direction or trajectory?
The difference one needs to understand is something that we have also seen very closely in the last couple of years, post the pandemic. The number one biggest realization humankind will see is the shift from balanced work-life to life-work. Now let me elaborate a little more about this, all we always assumed was that we'd want to work and we balanced life as possibly as a secondary objective. I think the realization has crept in so sharply that people understand that work has got to be a subset of life - that being true, I think the evolution of the entire people's space is so rapid now that there is a massive shift from a life cycle management to lifestyle which is possibly going to co-exist so that's the space and that's the challenge. So you know whether you're riding a camel or a horse or a tiger one doesn't know, but we need to ride. That is where I see that this entire aspect of how we really drive HONO as a company right from a point solution to a full suite HRMS. I think all of this becomes relevant.
What do you see as similar and what is different in your role in HONO compare to your previous roles?
I have been fortunate that I have done seven different roles in seven varied industries.
I didn't script it, it happened. I think the one point of similarity in all my roles was that they all have consciously included, very focused attempts in terms of building skills and capabilities for the future. It's essential that every business enterprise understands what are the points of relevance, and how you really build skills and capabilities for the future, particularly in this digital world it's important to embrace technology and adapt to it much ahead of time so that it stays relevant. I think that's something which I have consistently done.
The difference is that I have been completely on the other side. I have been a three-decade industry guy and now I am on the other side. So I would like to actually help businesses adopt this entire convergence of people and technology through product solutions and offerings and that's the excitement.
What are the three steps in terms of the HONO journey?
First and foremost from a HONO standpoint the idea is to help the client world really accelerate their business through people, I think that's the primary focus. You have always heard that businesses grow through customers and everyone does it any which way but the point is how you really drive a people excellence platform play through people and that's where HONO sharpness will come in.
By the question of how to make the entire HRMS co-exist along with point solutions, what I mean is that right from the life cycle to the lifestyle how do we really make different solutions coexist and help businesses accelerate.
Sometimes you work for the client, sometimes you go with them, but in our business, we would even try to be ahead of the game so that we are able to see businesses scale ahead. We want to be able to see some of the features of the people who are coming ahead of time so we can advise and help the client world anticipate to get them ready for the change.
The sharpness of the convergence so far as technology and people are concerned needs a considerable amount of research and innovation which we at the HONO world are committing to, to really gather momentum and build a good amount of pace. HONO's vision is to help the customers accelerate their business - if I were to give it out in one sentence. What this really mean is that we partner with the clients, help them create winning enterprises, and particularly drive businesses through people - that's the vision.
The frequently asked question here is then how do we ensure that businesses get to the people excellence platform play?
We work towards taking people to the next level whereby they accelerate business - that is the vision of the journey.
If I were to look at people’s disruption then it is detailing the industry status by itself. This is where the room for HONO to grow is. There are a lot of places but there are also a lot of different players and different buckets and categories but the market is pretty large so we will attain our goals. We really have an advantage in terms of considerable investments having been made at the back end in terms of products, innovation, and research. Along with the entire life cycle solution like the hire to retire, we are catering to the idea as a lifestyle point solution, to build the capabilities of predictive analysis. That’s where the power is coming from. So we are not defining that you need to be in a particular situation to adopt this. We are more than happy to customize our product offerings to the liking of the enterprise world whether you're a start-up, a mid-player, or a large corporate.
As a brand that believes in technology, how do we reconcile the adversarial position of technology and people?
First and foremost I am a believer that people and technology are two sides of the same coin. All along in the corporate world, the enterprise world, and the business world, technology has been an enabler of the business. We have lived with that mindset. The time has now come to put the horse ahead of the cart.
How can technology really help you pull the businesses ahead and take them to the next level?
That is where HONO comes into play. So we are a believer in the fact that technology is ahead and we let it lead us to the next level for the right convergence of technology and people. This is where we draw our energy from - constantly moving from one end of the spectrum to the other. Technology will continue to be an absolute, consistent common denominator as it was, as it is, and as it shall be. As far as the adoption by the people is concerned, let it be seen as a numerator that sits on top to be adapted.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in people’s space today?
Let us take you through a visualization exercise here. If you were to visualize the entire aspect of work, workers, and the workplace, we will notice the importance of evolution that has taken place. Earlier, workplaces used to be physical while in the world of today you live on the Internet - it's completely virtual, so the Workplace definition has changed and its practices have changed as well.
To begin with, let’s talk about the worker. The worker is somebody who is a human being. The idea of a worker coexists in today's world like it is between humans and machines.
Third, the work. Work is something that has been defined as an intangible flow in terms of achieving common business objectives. That is what enterprises believed work to be. But work today is completely an energy flow right up to the cloud in terms of how you feel about it. Other key factors involved are backed by the question of how you drive it. So a lot of stuff comes into this entire workflow which has evolved into a cloud solution today. The entire evolution of the work, the worker, and the workplace has rapidly gained momentum
and we are certain that this disruption will continue to grow. As enterprises start fitting their entire people model into this, I would categorize them under three categories.
One, survivor - survivors are those who are always trying to cope with this change. They are always making a humongous amount of effort.
The second people are the levellers - who will always be right on time to adapt to the changes, right in time to display their respective agility to understand the needs and provide for them.
The third set is of those who are aspired to be in the lead stack. They are the winners. I call them the excellers. They are the guys who are the disruptors - those who always think ahead of time.
HONO actually positions and makes the journey from a survivor to an exceller possible, wherever you are in the value chain we can fit in and help you with the journey of change and that's where the sweet spot of what HONO can do to people’s transformation is where the customer world will need to possibly come together. This is what HONO does and with our partners and clients to build winning organizations.