HR Industry Veteran of India's Only Profitable Airline Knows How To Retain Talent

Gandhi's 35 years in dealing with human resources makes his presence crucial to the company.

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Ranked as the 17th best workplace in Asia Pacific last year, InterGlobe Enterprises is among the few Indian companies whose work culture is considered better than a host of Asian players.


Harish K Gandhi, the Group Head HR of InterGlobe Enterprises, is the force behind aligning the organization's business strategy with progressive people initiatives, and can well be given the credit for the culture at Interglobe.

Gandhi is a member of the Executive Committee and his 35 years in dealing with human resources makes his presence crucial to the company.

Among its most celebrated ventures is Indian airline IndiGo. Other businesses include airline management company InterGlobe Air Transport, travel distribution firm Worldspan & Galileo India, and travel technology company InterGlobe Technologies & hospitality group InterGlobe Hotels.

Value-based Hiring

Gandhi says the enterprise believes in value-based hiring.

"Newly recruited talent is given complete visibility of expectations from their respective roles. We also deploy a battery of psychometric inventory to ensure right fits for the job. This is the starting point of our retention strategy," says Gandhi.

Mentoring and anchoring of key talent by leadership is key says the company that employs over 20,000 professionals across its businesses. "Coaching is also a way of life as a retention tool."

According to Gandhi, emphasis is laid on skill development wherein employees nominate themselves for self-development to stay relevant and employable.

Grow Your Own Timber

The 28-year old group, which is headquartered in Gurgaon, believes in "growing it's own timber'.

"Each of our jobs across businesses are first posted on the company's intranet. Outside hiring is resorted to only in case of non-availability of talent within. The live example of this philosophy is three of our successful business heads have been an outcome of this philosophy," Gandhi adds.

With 126 offices across 59 cities globally, InterGloble understands what an important role few of the good people practices play to retain talent.

"As a travel conglomerate operating in the varied space of sales, IT, BPM, hospitality, civil aviation and education, there is a realization that each business may have to evolve people practices suiting to the industry. But the underlying principle remains the same as far as values and culture piece is concerned at the Group level."

Some of the top ways to retain talent include participatory hiring, balanced scorecard approach and emphasis on encouraging employees to take ownership of their self-development.

No Compromise on Value Systems

In spite of the rapid expansion in our businesses, we have ensured no compromise on the value systems and culture of our group, says Gandhi.

The group that has interests in hospitality, luxury goods, aviation, information technology and travel says its emphasis has been on building an institution, about leaders charting a new course, about weaving individual and organisation dreams and most importantly aspiring together, as one.

"Our constant focus on keeping it simple, keeping it to the basics always and every time "on- time' and constantly delivering has kept employees aligned to the organizational goal," says Gandhi.