HR Speaks team is back again with another power-packed conversation with a notable leader in the HR industry, Mr. Prosenjit Mukherjee, who is presently serving as the Head of Human Resources at SCIKEY. Prosenjit comes with a vast experience of 17 years in Global HR Practices. During his stint in different corporates & start-up organizations, he had competently handled many core HR functions like Global HR Strategies, Talent Acquisition, Talent Engagements, Organization Development, HR Operations, Facility & Admin Management etc. He also served as an HR partner in a few businesses and maintained profitable outcomes. So, let us summarize our interview with Prosenjit. Read on.
We started the conversation with Prosenjit, asking him how he started his journey as an HR professional. Prosenjit started on a lighter note, saying that his journey towards HR was accidental and not an easy path to walk. He laughed, letting us know that his friends still call him an “Accidental HR”.
Prosenjit shared with us his educational background in which he stated that he graduated in Commerce and Statistics in the year 2004. While preparing for his MBA and further education, his father was diagnosed with cancer. He has to look out for jobs for supporting his family. So, as a fresher, he started working as an Intern. Firstly, he worked in a Sales profile and then in a Marketing profile in Foreign Exchange. He also worked as a Call Center Agent.
While Prosenjit worked in the Call centre, he used to speak with hundreds of people and resolve their issues. Slowly, his passion grows in interacting & networking with people. He was very fond of talking and could talk on any topic for hours without hesitation on a public platform. While working as a Call centre agent in a renowned BPO named Aegis, he received a chance to apply for a training role, so he opted for the same. HR was still not clear to him then.
After his father expired in 2007, the whole world had just turned upside down for him. He was then the only bread earner in the family and used to take home just Rs. 4000 per month.
While he was managing his job, he was also doing tuitions parallel managing all the household chores & supporting his mother’s medical needs. He realized that he was made to do something else and something more. He started turning his pain into empathy, and gradually humility grew deep inside him. So, he started working with Swami Vivekananda Institute by helping people in need. He worked with blood banks and supported his friends in finding jobs. He became a guy who is always available beside you. The thought of becoming a people guy inspired him to choose “Human Resource”.
Prosenjit reminisces his journey to be full of fun, and he enjoyed every moment of it and loved it to the core. Later he became a part of an MDP program at XLRI.
He said that his learning towards HR is, “No matter what happens, never lose your cap. You are people advocate now and will always be. While you move towards a larger role and contribute your bits towards business growth, that cap needs to be worn – always.”
Next, we asked him how he managed to balance his work life as an HR and personal life. Prosenjit said that his family is his strength, and he was blessed to have some very beautiful women in his life – his mom, wife and daughter and his sister’s support made him a family man.
He always prioritizes what’s important in the family. He stated that last week, his wife had Covid, and she had to quarantine herself. While she closed herself in one room – he took charge of becoming a “mom” of their daughter and a “father” to his never too old mother, who is presently crossing her 77.
While his family provides inner strength, support from his colleagues at SCIKEY; (his workplace) are always there. They are a family loving company, so their priority rounds with the happiness and wellness of staff and their family members. So he did not find a challenge in managing the balance between work and personal life.
Also, he likes to work in a complete Flexible Model. Especially during Covid, their organization had adopted best practices of the Flexible Work Model that says, “Work when you are available and try to be most productive then.” So it helps, without binding the employees in a 10-7 job. Also, he follows Pomodoro Technique, which allows him to work 25 minutes at a stretch and take 5 minutes rest. So by adopting this way of working, the balancing task becomes easy for him.
Moving further, we asked Prosenjit about his experiences with diverse roles and his transformative projects. Prosenjit was more than happy to take this question and stated that in his career of 17 years, he has been handling various roles in Finance and Accounts, Operations, Training, L&D, Admin, Transition, HR and Marketing. Also, he has been handling roles from different Industries. From Forex, travel and tourism to BPO and ITES, to Market Research and Analytics and lastly, in Information Technology, he handled various roles from individual contributors to a strategic role. He has played the role of Social Media evangelist where Networking and Branding was his core focus during the Pandemic era.
As HR, he has handled global HR roles and in multiple geographies at various corporates, including some big brands and start-up organizations. He has handled specialized roles from an executive search professional to a Grievance Redressal Expert to a D&I specialist.
Next, we asked Prosenjit about his biggest challenges as an HR professional. Prosenjit replied in no time that the most recent challenge that he can think of is the unprecedented times of 2020 as a Pandemic Era where the HR role has transformed 360 degrees. Talking more on this, he added that the role HR used to play in pre-pandemic has completely transformed and like everyone else, he has also faced challenging times in changing the method of work and teaching the same to grass root level. Enabling flexible policies and work from anywhere was not just the task; engaging people even in the remotest region and ensuring they do not feel isolated was a challenge. He and his team had dealt passionately with their strong minds to face these challenges. He thinks these unprecedented times is never to forget. Losing loved ones, seeing the turmoil in the jobs marketplace and constantly working without a pause to keep a culture that listens and act fast for everyone was difficult but not impossible. He further added that dealing with the challenges during Covid has moulded him as a great listener and an empathetic personality. His humility quotient rose considerably. So eventually, the biggest challenge became his biggest opportunity.
We were keen to know how the Pandemic has affected Prosenjit in a positive & negative way and how he had decided to cope with the same. Prosenjit was very excited to take this question and replied that while the Pandemic had been a curse for several, this acted as an opportunity for him. He has learnt new skills and can nourish his public speaking skills by participating in several national & global forums. As a person, he is extremely positive, so he managed to overcome whatever negative thoughts have impacted him during the Pandemic.
Our last question to Prosenjit was to know about any of his personal stories or vivid experiences that he wants to share with us for inspiring or motivating others in entering the HR industry and the others who are already working in the HR industry. Prosenjit replied to this, stating to his HR friends and our readers -“Never die down. Never feel departed and never feel you’ve chosen the wrong path. This is coming from a guy who’ve sold books to stores and literally lost his shoe sole, like how you’ve seen in Bollywood movies. My life was dramatic, and I did not think of becoming who I am today. But my undying passion and faith towards myself (and not anyone else) for becoming that “People guy” have helped me pass through the difficult phases of life.” So, this teaches us even in the worst of scenarios; if you have the required faith in yourself, you can achieve your goals in life for sure.
We are sure that you have enjoyed reading Prosenjit’s career journey, which is nothing less than an inspiration. We will be back with another interview with an influential personality from the HR industry soon. You can write to us with your views, feedback and queries in the comment box below.