We took the opportunity to interact with our alumni who are currently working at Aditya Birla Group, to get inspired from their side of the stories. We took interviews of people who are at managerial positions within the organization. This initiative helped us to understand their journey and how they have tackled various situations in their career.
Mr. Anunay Shrivastava, Head-HR at Aditya Birla Payments Bank, SCMHRD Batch of 2004.
We connected with our alumnus Mr. Anunay Shrivastava, who is from the batch of 2004. He is currently working as Head of Human resources at Aditya Birla Payment Bank. He helps in creating business plans, organizational structures, ramping up manpower and in setting up offices across the country. The following is the interview of their journey at Aditya Birla Group.
Interviewer - You have been with ABG for a really long time. You have seen generations there. According to you, what is the key change the ABG leadership program had on the performance of the employees or on the company?
Anunay - So, firstly I haven’t been here for really long. I think in the ABG family, I would be a just born child. I just finished 3 years here. As per in generation, yes I think, working with conglomerates, with people with such varied experience is a great experience to have. Specific to ABGLP program, I think the program has come a long way in terms of where it was when it started 17-18 years back to where is it now. I think a lot of structure has come into the program. But I also think that one thing which is very clear and the program has not lost that touch is “how do we get our young management graduates a reality of what happens at the shift floor, what happens on the grounds, how do we give them back the exposure that helps them greatly in their career as they grow up the corporate ladder. That is one truth.
For example: if you look at the HRLP program, the first thing that all these guys end up doing after the one-year induction in a plant. Now that kind of exposure at such an early stage in your career has been at the plant, where it sets you up for a long-run perspective. This is my take on how I look at the program.
Interviewer - So lately, ABG has been using this concept of “Big in Your Life”. So, if you see any of their posts or the website, they have this concept. So, do you have any kind of use for this kind of statement that they put “Big in Your Life”?
Anunay - Of course! So, I think if you look at typically a career, I mean, by the time a person finishes his/her MBA, 25 at the maximum. So, there are good 30-35 years of a career that a person has. And half of our life is spent in building our career in offices. So, the true essence for me personally and how I look at it and it echoes is that “this is a marathon, this is not a sprint”. So, in your life, if you have to aim for something big you need to plan for it, you have to work towards it. Don’t expect that things will happen overnight. Most of us grind, build their rigour and then “Big in Your Life” will automatically happen. So, I think that is my understanding of how I echo that statement.
Interviewer - Also, people at ABG often say “think about tomorrow”. So, how do you think this kind of sustainable development has been incorporated into the culture of ABG or work that a person does at ABG?
Anunay - It starts right from the induction and the context is very clear. If we are not ready, if we are not anticipating tomorrow, if we cannot think of scale, very soon we will end up being one of those “me-too” organisations. I think that is what sets us apart. We giving young people roles which are (maybe in a normal scenario), a bit larger for them; but then giving good exposure early is what prepares them for tomorrow, is what makes them ready, is what forces them to think and act and relate so that, their tomorrow can be better.
Interviewer - How would you say that the work culture, in general, is at ABG?
Anunay - So, the most commonly used words - “a lot of freedom”. I can say that the company is known to build intrapreneurs. So, you choose the assignment and you are given a lot of flexibilities obviously within the boundaries of the organizational realities. But a lot of freedom. And along with freedom comes accountability. So, I think at a cultural level, if you are one of those people who like freedom in their work and are accountable for what they have to deliver, that’s where that kind of people would really do well.
Interviewer - What would you say, you like the most about working at ABG?
Anunay - Very difficult to point at a single factor. I think it would be the quality of peers. It’s truly an experience to work with a group of high-quality professionals all of whom are similarly aligned; more so when many of them are stalwarts of their respective industries. Whether it is HR team or Business Leaders, I think working with these kinds of leaders on a day-in and day-out basis really exposes you to the best that there is to offer. That for me is the key differentiator of ABG.
Interviewer - Any last piece of advice or words of wisdom you have for current students of SCMHRD?
Anunay - Just keep your head down. Focus and all things will happen.
Interviewer - You say that put in your hard work and the rewards will come!
Anunay- Of course! There is no substitute to hard work, I think the focus, not running after short term gains, I think that is something which is very very important in today’s world because the world has changed and today everybody wants to be that unicorn in the next 2-5 years. But then before you become that unicorn, that effort required is tremendous - I always keep saying about Lionel Messi, when he said “people think I became an overnight sensation. They forget the 17 previous years where I struggled day-in and day-out before I became that overnight sensation.”
Interviewer - Great words. So, Anunay thank you for your time and I think this is all I needed.
Anunay- Cool! Alright.
We thank ABG and our alumni for this wonderful opportunity to interact and get inspired by their stories!