Lalith Sharma: Caters HR Services to Suit Requirements of IT Industries

Lalith Sharma,HR HeadCOVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives, at home and work. The transformation it has enabled has impacted the way employees are working and interacting with colleagues and the broader ecosystem. This behavioural change will focus on HR leaders as they begin to plan beyond the pandemic in the new normal. Lalith Sharma, HR Head for Sify Technologies, had the opportunity to do many hats such as a consultant, advisor to the leadership team, board on people who practice impacting business and establish a sound foundation for human capital development.

His focus is on driving transformation and change management. He believes, “We currently live in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) where change is constant. It is therefore important for me to drive change management process around our organization's structures and people practices covering areas like hiring, learning, communication, performance management etc. in order to meet the challenges posed by the VUCA world”.

Lalith did his schooling in Chennai and then graduated in commerce, followed by post-graduation in social work (PM & IR) from Madras University. His post-graduation degree in social work laid the foundation for his HR career. He started his career as a campus recruit at AMCO Batteries, part of the Chennai-based amalgamations group, and worked there for 4+ years. AMCO- ABMD did
not have a structured HR function during that period, so Lalith established the HR function and introduced various HR processes in consultation with the TAFE HR Team. He gained vast experience in handling IR related issues, which added to my overall profile.

Post that; he joined Metlife Insurance as a Regional HR for their Tamil Nadu region and took up Business HR role for Agency Sales in Bangalore. Afterward, he got the opportunity to work for SIFY Technologies, where he joined as Business HR for consumer (Retail) business and then moved on to becoming the Business HR partner for enterprise (B2B) business and technology.

Unique HR Transformation Features
Sify views the recruitment function as a career building institution. An analogy to define Sify's recruitment model is the perfect matchmaking process leading to long term matrimony. Sify's expectation of a candidate is a combination of multi-technical / functional capabilities and attributes like passion and bringing it on attitude. Lalith believes the people who can source this combination are none other than his employees who carry these skills & attributes and adapted to Sify's work culture and work practices. Besides this, Sify holds HR transformation in two areas automation and learning.

The firm has introduced a robust HCM, which integrated the various HR processes and transformed the HR self-service offering to employees. The second essential transformation was in the learning space. Sify created a home-grown learning platform that helped its employees identify learning avenues aligned to their career aspirations. The company also increasingly explored the use of new-age technology like AI, VR in the learning interventions.

Furthermore, Lalith established agile workforce models to engage with talent anytime - anywhere. He created HR initiatives focused on bringing in the desired transformation. Some of them are assessment centres to enable right hiring, introduced the BSC model and quarterly performance reviews to establish a performance-oriented culture, build homegrown learning platform which aimed at role-based skill alignment, focusing on leadership building exercises, and establishing Employee Assistance Program (EAP)to promote employee's physical & mental health.

Moreover, he considers Head ­ HR's role when the organization was going through a significant change and transformation as an essential mile-stone of his life. “I can reflect back with pride on how I was able to participate and contribute in the trans-formational journey of Sify. At this juncture, I wish to thank our Chairman Raju Vegesna and management for their confidence in my abilities to deliver”, concluded Lalith.