An Engineer turned Human Resources professional, Atma Godara has many feathers on his hat. From starting as Manager – HR Business Partner at Reliance Industries Limited to now Production HR for Netflix in APAC, Atma has come a long way. Read about his inspiring career journey in HR, as shared by him.
Life is a journey and I’m a student
I started my career as a software developer in the Samsung R&D centre and soon switched to be part of one of the largest PSU’s in India. At BHEL, I explored the breadth of my work and engaged in various capacities. One of the most satisfying experiences there was to be a part of the largest technology implementation ever in the organisation. Being a part of the implementing team, my main focus was on how to prepare the masses for the upcoming changes in technology and how to cope with those changes.
While I was working in the space ERP technology, primarily I was conducting plenty of training around change management to the staff at BHEL. As part of the core team, a lot of my work was to interact with the Director Personnel and the entire Personnel department. I already had an inherent inclination towards capability building, and then I also saw what HR can do in any organization. Even when we were working on one of the largest technology implementations across the enterprise, the success was largely dependent on how people were going to adapt to the change. Soon After I was introduced to TISS by a friend, I was in awe of the institution, its history and its value system. Then I had a natural inclination to go to TISS.
The next phase, during my masters: I decided to go for a factory stint. At Reliance Industries, I was fortunate enough to work in almost every vertical of HR. From signing a long term settlement with multiple unions to talent management program roll outs to being a part of a large scale HR transformation project to working as a cross functional project manager, my experience there has been diverse and unique. By that time I was very keen to join a setup where I get the opportunity to not just implement something but build from scratch and add significant value to an expanding enterprise.
I wanted to not only tell time but to build the very clock. Starting from scratch and building people operations capability globally was a winning moment at GreyOrange. That’s where I understood the nuances of a global organisation and appreciated the cultural differences.
From there, I moved to a high adrenaline B2C start-up which was one of the fastest growing at that moment. At OYO, the scale and size was just beyond imagination. Conceptualising and implementing digital transformation across 30+ countries was certainly a lifetime opportunity. Now I am working in a space where HR is taking a lead in the industry and doing some of the things which are very new and pathbreaking.
When I look back, I see a beautiful, diverse and rich career graph. But honestly I didn’t know any of it when I was switching my career at any moment. I was always very hopeful, trusted my instinct and listened to my mentors.
I believe what makes the real difference is either be an entrepreneur for a while or at least work with an entrepreneur/founder once. The perspective which I got when I was at GreyOrange and the way it shaped my thought process is unmatchable and beyond any experience in life. It shapes you not only professionally but personally too.
At every stage, I tried to make a difference. Deep dived into the business problems and tried to address the root cause. This always helps me in two ways. First, I gain the trust of the line managers, secondly, I see a direct impact of HR intervention on the top and bottom line of the business. While building credibility is the priority for HR in any organization, addressing the business problems and solving them without interrupting the BAU is the key to success.
Additionally ensuring the wellbeing of the people along with their development have always been on top of my cards.
Life is a journey and I’m a student. The scope of learning is huge as our existence is miniscule in this world, let alone the universe. As I move ahead on this path of learning, I look forward to adding value continuously and contributing meaningfully to a product, vision, technology, service or nation building.