Are You in the List 2016: People Matters Crowns 15 Emerging HR Leaders of India


Gurgaon, Haryana, India
India’s next HR leaders are here. People Matters in association with DDI crowned 15 young HR professionals who are going to be the change-agents of the HR fraternity. In its 5th year, ‘Are You In The List 2016’ saw some of the best young HR minds battle it out in an intense qualifying application process with a series of assessments by DDI, to emerge as winners.

Ester Martinez, the Editor-in-Chief of People Matters said, “It is not about being in the list or not — it is about the pride in raising the bar of excellence, and the aspiration to be a part of such an important function. People who have gone through the process of the awards define it as an awakening, a journey that has enabled them to discover their selves in a new light and reflect on their roles in HR, and their overall contribution to business.” To commemorate the 5th year of the Awards, People Matters hosted a Gala night in the same room from where it had started five years ago. Indeed a very emotional and special moment.

The Keynote Speaker, Harsh Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Industries Ltd., said, “HR has to play a business role. I believe the role of the HR function has to be of a catalyst and a facilitator. The war for talent is only going to accelerate and it is very important that HR plays a different role going forward.”

Anu Zachariah, MD of DDI India said, “It has been a fantastic five-year journey along with People Matters. About 10,000+ candidates have applied to be a part of the coveted list from different parts of the country and different organizations over the past five years, but there is one common thread that ties them all – the passion for the HR function.”

The 15 future HR leaders are –

Abhishek Budhraja, Associate Director, HR (Talent Management, OD & OE) at Snapdeal; Ankita Poddar, HR Business Partner, Amazon; Apoorva Pradhan, Assistant Manager, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.; Megha Gupta, HR Business Partner, Sapient Corporation Ltd.; Ravi Bajpai, Practice Lead Talent Acquisition, Infosys; Salil Raheja, Deputy General Manager, Essar Steel India Ltd.; Shaveta Arya, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd.; Shreyas Haridas, HR Business Partner, Star India Pvt Ltd..; Siddhath Bhasin, HRBP, G&A Business, APAC Region, Google; Soumya Malkani, Deputy Manager – Organisation Development, Tata AIG General Insurance Company; Aditya Adyar, Chief People Officer, Faasos; Niyati Goel, Regional Rewards, AMEA (Asia Middle East & Africa), Mondelez International; Apeksha Jain, Senior HR Business Partner, PepsiCo; Rajeshwari Ramachandran, HCM Consultant; Snigdha Singh Chaudhuri, Sr. Manager, HRBP for Sales team, Cipla.

Are You In The List Award is a platform for HR managers in the age group of 26-35 years, holding a minimum work experience of 3 years in the HR capacity. The 8-month long process of selection saw about 2500 applications from India across HR verticals.

“Digital’ is the new buzz word and it is important that HR professionals not only imbibe technology but also leverage & master it for disruptive innovations that can add tremendous value to the function as well as the business,” said P Dwarkanath, Head Group Human Capital at Max India and also one of the Jury members of the AYIL.

The 12-member Jury had a tough time in selecting the best from the crème de la crème. The Jury included — P. Dwarakanath Head, Group Human Capital at Max India; Dr. Aquil Busrai Chief Executive Officer at Aquil Busrai Consulting; Anuranjita Kumar Managing Director and CHRO at Citi South Asia; S. Varadarajan (Raja) CHRO & Head of Corporate Affairs at Tata SIA Airlines; Jacob Jacob Chief People Officer at Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd.; Shalini Lal, Director HR, Deutsche Bank; Gajendra Chandel Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) of Tata Motors; L Prabhakar, Vice President – Human Resources (Agri-business Division) at ITC Limited; Meenal Jadhav Director – Talent Management & Organizational Development of Schneider Electric India; Yuvaraj Srivastava CHRO of; Shalini Pillay, Head – People Performance and Culture, KPMG India;, Kamlesh Dangi Group President – Human Resources at UTI AMC – ‎UTI MF.

“The biggest milestone to be achieved to make HR deliver better is for HR to sit within the business and be a co-owner in business operations and own a substantial part of enterprise. First, look at talent scalability at the middle and entry levels as key focus areas (give equal focus to these cadres compared to leadership). Secondly, take on a business role for some time – moving out of the HR arena and then coming back post exposure outside your domain comfort zone; & last but not the least – 80 20 principle in delivery to be with technology today and how do you use that for enterprise building,” said Jacob Jacob, Chief People Officer at Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd.

“Future HR leaders – particularly younger ones – would ‘arrive’ if they can create a Pull factor from the Business Leaders. Only when the Business leaders feel the need to reach out to HR, will the HR function be considered an effective element of business,” said Dr. Aquil Busrai, Chief Executive Officer at Aquil Busrai Consulting.

Ester added, “This vision has always been very close to People Matters as we aspire to help the business and HR community raise the bar along with leading and inspiring talent in our organization.”

The Are You in The List 2016 is presented by DDI, Powered by Cornerstone onDemand; B-School Partner, Jaipuria Institute of Management; Background Verification Partner, AMS Inform; Video Assessment Partner, Monjin; Associate Partner, Mancer Consulting; Talent Transformation Partner, Edge Networks; Organizational Development Partner, C2C OD; Associate Patrner, Potentialife; Certification Partner CIMA; Rewards & Recognition Partner Giftxoxo; and Personality Development Partner, ThreeFish Consulting.

About People Matters

People Matters is India’s leading media platform on leadership, talent management, and organizational development. People Matters has a portfolio of channels, including a monthly print magazine, an active online community and offline events. Content is structured to provide accessible & practical information to help companies implement people practices and initiatives successfully. It focuses on delivery of content by engaging with domain experts in India Inc., which sets the tone for future management debate and discussion, and inspires business leaders. People Matters is a platform where business leaders share their experiences, best practices and ideas, which budding leaders and entrepreneurs can apply in their own careers and companies.

About DDI

Since 1970, Development Dimensions International (DDI) has been helping hundreds of corporations around the world close the gap between where their business needs to go and the talent they must have to take them there in good times and tough times. DDI’s experience and expertise in talent management is unparalleled. Using DDI’s world-class learning systems, organizations are developing more than 250,000 better leaders each year. More than 3,200 high-quality hiring decisions are made every hour and 20,000,000+ candidates have been successfully screened using DDI’s behavioural interviewing, testing and assessment systems. Major corporations make crucial promotion and placement decisions for more than 3,000 senior executives each year using DDI’s assessment process in Singapore, Beijing, London, Mumbai, New York and hundreds of other locations around the world.


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