Mr. Vishnu Suresh was always interested in Advertising and Sales promotions, which is why he joined SCMS Cochin School of Business. And, during the course of his academic stint he was given opportunities to interact with experts in the field, as he was the part of the Industry Interaction Committee. He thrived on the challenge of making sure these professionals came to the institute’s campus for various interactive sessions. “That made me realize that I was more of a Human Resources person,” he admits. This self-realization has translated into a prolific 8-year career, which sees him as the Business Partner, Human Resources at Tata Elxsi.
The successful journey in HR began for Mr. Suresh during the campus placements in 2007. “It was there that I met people from Allianz and managed to impress them,” he says. “It was a campus placement and I joined the company as Senior Executive, HR. When I was working with them I figured out that HR as a domain was my strength and I should be working on it.” Mr. Suresh worked with the company for around 6 years, and was the Assistant Manager, HR when he decided to move on. Since then he has been HR Business Partner for the Automotive Business Unit at Tata Elxsi.
He believes that his time working at Allianz was a huge learning experience for him. “I started out handling a group of around 160 Software Engineers,” he recollects. “I was managing the key operations for around 3- 4 years and then I was handling the major operation, which was set up in UK and Germany.” Mr. Suresh also agrees that the job was filled with challenges, which made him innovate and come up with ideas that would adapt to individual situations. One example of his success is the Back to Homeland campaign (Boomerang club), which was employed by Allianz with great success.
Talking about that campaign, he says, “It was basically for those who had left the company and were working outside Kerela, who we thought should be working with us. We sent them mail and flyers inviting them to join us again with a 60% success rate.” Another tricky situation he had to handle was when Allianz KPO needed to hire around 60 veterinary doctors with only a small pool to pick from. He adds that most of them preferred to work in the medical field rather than KPO. That’s when they came up with the idea of a loyalty bonus for the doctors, which worked quite well.
There’s indeed a lot to learn from Mr. Suresh’s experiences since he has hands-on exposure in the field. He shares some of the pointers for the HR industry, saying that there are three parameters that acts as the pillars of employee retention: work, work life and compensation. “If any of the two parameters are missing then the person will not able to work. Well, that’s the first sign of employee Dissatisfaction. It is a triangle which has to be intact,” he adds. His understanding and efforts have not gone unnoticed, as can be seen from the Best Performer accolades he has won. It was again an innovation on his part that brought him the recognition.
Mr. Suresh sheds light on the achievement, saying, “It was a project where we put an end to HR process in the UK and outsourced it to India. The HR department is considered to be a support system and a non-billable department. But we were able to generate good revenue; so, based on this project and some others I was given the award.” It was on this high that he moved from a “flamboyant and warm” company like Allianz to a “seasoned company” like Tata. He agrees that it was tough to join a pure engineering company that deals with automobiles, but his passion for the field and expertise in HR has made the transition seamless.HR is an integral part of an organization and where hiring happens. So, Mr. Suresh is probably the best person answer the question: what do hiring professionals look for in a job candidate? He ponders before answering, “The first thing we look for the style of the candidate’s presentation and the style of communication, including how much the candidate knows about the topic, and how creatively he puts it in words.. Secondly, I like to ask a question to see if they have a different approach to varied situations. I also like to see presentable students who make an impression and have the capability of thinking out of the box.”
That’s something he says he was prepared for by SCMS Cochin where he was awarded the Best Outgoing Students award during his academic years. He remembers being part of every activity that he was interested in and learning immensely from them. “One of the important lessons I learned is to value relationships,” he says. “I even made a film on relationships during Panorama 2006, and it was quite appreciated. It’s something I pay importance to till date.” No wonder he keeps his relationship with the institute going and has visited the campus since his graduation. And, he hopes to return for hiring in the near future, and that’s more good news for the students.