What defines good HR practice? Is it employee benefits, a well-defined HR policy or ensuring fair and performance-based compensation? According to Suresh Kumar C, Director, People Team at Vuram, it goes well beyond that! He strongly believes that putting people first is the key to good HR practice and the rest just clicks in place.  Suresh has been associated with Vuram right since its inception and currently handles the People Team here. He has been instrumental in fostering a culture of nourishment and building a happy workplace. Vuram jumped 28 spots to earn rank #16 as Great Place to Work in 2019. And now 2020 has given us yet another reason to celebrate. 

Suresh was recently conferred with the ‘Top HR Minds (India)’ award by the World HRD Congress in a ceremony held on 15th February 2020 at Taj Lands’ End, Mumbai. Taking home the prestigious award is a commendable achievement in itself. What makes it even more remarkable is the fact that the award was not self-nominated, rather it was a result of the recognition of Suresh’s contribution to the field of HR that fetched him recommendations from his peers in the industry. 

How does it work?

The World HRD Congress has been a hallmark of excellence and an event of strategic significance in the HR industry. It is currently in its 28th edition. The awards are determined after an intense research process undertaken to shortlist individuals who are doing extraordinary work by tracking the record of their achievements. The shortlist is then reviewed by a Jury comprising of senior professionals from across the globe, and various parameters are evaluated before finalization. The event is for a professional cause and not for profit, as it is purely organized with the objective of learning, development, networking and for recognition of leaders who’ve made a difference to the field.

“The “TOP HR MINDS (INDIA)” is a reflection of your professional achievement & our belief that you are a thought leader in HR & a contributor of value. To reach to this conclusion we have approached your peers who have with pride recommended your name & the same is vetted by the advisory board that acts as a conscious keeper towards the success of World HRD Congress.”, writes Dr. R L Bhatia, Founder of World CSR & World Sustainability Congress.

About the win:

Speaking about the win, Suresh said, “I’d neither nominated myself nor applied for the award, so it took me completely by surprise. The awards are highly respected amidst the community, and I’m truly honored to have been recognized. The event was quite memorable; there were professionals from all over the globe, and it was indeed a great opportunity to understand where the industry is headed and interact with individuals who’ve done extraordinary work.”

Inside One of India’s Top HR Minds:

Grabbing the title of ‘Top HR Minds” is no easy feat. So, what was the secret behind it? Suresh says, “While I cannot single out a single reason, I believe that putting People over policies is one of the key reasons for the recognition. At Vuram, our HR Team is called the People Team, because that’s who we stand for. Everything our team does is based on and driven with the intention of benefitting the company’s people”. 

Here’s a look at some of the practices followed at Vuram that makes its People Team one of the best around:

  • Care for people

At Vuram, every individual is cared for, and this care extends beyond the basic responsibilities that an employer has towards an employee. Suresh says, “Once you step out of the office, no company has bonding or a relationship with their employees on the outside. At Vuram, it’s different! We have a personal rapport with everyone, and people don’t hesitate to reach out for any assistance.” Narrating an incident where Suresh personally took the lead when a Vuramite met with an unfortunate accident, he says, “I promptly visited the hospital on receiving the news at around 6 am in the morning, and personally ensured treatment was administered under the employee insurance cover”

Here, everyone cares for each other! It’s one big family, and that according to Suresh, is one of the reasons why Vuram’s HR practices have been recognized.

  • No fixed HR policy

Most organizations adhere to rigid HR policies that employees must adhere to, but not Vuram. Suresh says, “I personally don’t believe that there is a set rule on how things are to be done in the HR industry. It’s necessary to talk to people, understand their needs, incorporate whatever is possible and ensure that the field is always open for discussion and improvement. That’s why we’ve never had a fixed HR policy. All we have are basic guidelines so that we don’t work with ambiguity.  There’s a constant feedback mechanism at play that allows people to make suggestions. At the end of the day, all we care about is people’s happiness, and that’s what our People Team strives to ensure”

  • Benefits:

Vuram values its people over everything else, and that reflects in the kind of benefits it provides. There are extended insurance covers for both self and family members, flexibility at the workplace, the freedom to take up other responsibilities, a unique culture that thrives on employee wellness, well-defined leave policy and lots more. Suresh says, “Generally, insurance benefits are only provided in companies that have grown considerably. At Vuram, we took care of our people right from the start. When the company comprised of just 13 people, I was tasked with finding a suitable insurance policy. At every step we take, we always think about our people’s happiness. Take the leave policy for example: in most companies, ‘proof’ or a reason is demanded before the leave is approved. Here we trust our people to juggle their professional and personal lives responsibly. We have provisions to provide interest-free loans, bereavement leaves, and countless other benefits to make our people’s lives comfortable”

  • Enabling and recruiting the best minds

The top colleges have recruiters lined up to pick out the talent, but does that mean there’s no deserving talent elsewhere? That was the question we asked ourselves which allowed us to tread a road less taken and scout for talent where no major companies conducted campus drives. “There are several colleges where there’s talent but no opportunity. We launched the Vuram Enables initiative with an aim to give them that opportunity. Most of the students from these colleges are the first graduates in their family. They’re rich in values and are bursting with enthusiasm and talent – and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Believe it or not, some of our best and most talented hires have come from these colleges, and we’re extremely proud to have played a small role in enabling them in their career and life”, he adds.

  • Culture

There’s a reason why we’ve been hailed as a Great Place to Work and hold a rank #16. It’s all down to our culture that’s focused on creating a happy and nourishing workplace. Sharing his views on the culture, Suresh adds, “Our culture is one of our most distinctive traits, and we’ve managed to build a good reputation around it. We’ve noticed this especially during our campus drives, where students express interest in joining Vuram stating its unique culture as a reason. There’s professional growth, fun events, learning opportunities, an environment that’s focussed on building each other up, work-life balance and much more. I believe that the People Team has played a role everywhere in building Vuram’s culture. That could be one of the reasons behind the award” 

 

At Vuram, we have a culture of recognition, where talent and exemplary work are duly recognized and rewarded. And to have our talent recognized externally is indeed a proud moment for all of us! Congratulations Suresh Kumar C! Here’s hoping for more to come!

 

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