Our next HR Speaks story is about Mr. Rahul Jain, DGM HR, Uflex Group, here’s an insight into his journey as an HR Professional and his take on what lies ahead of us during these unprecedented times when it comes to staying aligned with the HR industry.
We started with a basic question as to how did he start his journey as an HR professional and to which he replied that “I graduated in commerce and diploma in Software engineering during 1995-1998. I was also preparing for competitive exams such as CDS and MBA in HR. At that point in time and still, a few things attract me like respect for people, understanding people, and having a great amount of empathy for people which made me choose two fields for my career. I made three attempts at CDS before and making my career in HR. Post my MBA in HR, I got my first job in Calcutta with the B.K Birla group of companies. My initial training was at Kesoram Rayon and then I was placed into Hindustan Heavy Chemicals within the same group of companies as the first HR person in a manufacturing setup.”
This question was followed by a question asking him about his biggest challenge as an HR professional. He very enthusiastically told us about the time he started working with Coca-Cola. He mentioned “An opportunity for coca-cola worked out for me at the company’s own bottling plant in Jammu. I joined this company when it was bidding farewell to old-timers and introducing new talent and was still transitioning from franchisee-owned bottling unit to company-owned bottling unit in terms of implementation of systems. In 2001 Jammu location had its own hardship due to tension between India and Pakistan and terrorist attacks on Jammu city as well as the Indian parliament and it was difficult to get employable talent despite having the brand name of Coca Cola. I handled annual business plans, cost optimization, productivity enhancement initiatives, employee welfare measures, CSR, engagement and learning and development, and some of the seasonal sale supportive incentive programs and helped the company transition into KO systems.”
When asked about the qualities that make him successful in the HR field he mentioned “As a progressive HR leader, one needs to be very sensitive towards people’s needs or rather be proactive to address them. It is important to create positive and long-lasting experiences for employees which they will remember beyond their employment with the current employer. When you help others and lend out a helping hand, you grow with the person in terms of relationship, and you gain trust. To be successful in HR one needs to know people, understand and love them. Having empathy and the ability to read the undercurrents of people helped me succeed in HR.”
We finally asked him about his learning from the highs and lows of his journey to give aspiring HR professionals insight into his career spanning over two decades. He mentioned “ While I received global recognition for the work I did I also made some mistakes in my career. Once I preferred a locational advantage over the company itself which turned out to be a bad decision. At one of the organizations, I had moved put because of a health issue whereas I wanted to play long second innings there. The learning I got is of course not to repeat the same mistake again and stay humble, adaptive and always keep a plan B ready and keep networking with people to move on.”