Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited is one of India's leading banking and financial services groups. The bank offers a range of financial solutions that include personal finance solutions, transaction banking, lending verticals, IPOs and working capital loans. Headquartered in Mumbai, the bank serves over eight lakh customers through its 370 odd branches.
The Hindu Opportunities spoke to Mr. Subhro Bhaduri, Executive Vice President and Head – Human Resources at Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited on the bank’s HR policies.
Mr. Subhro is responsible for managing growth, developing and nurturing talent at Kotak Mahindra Bank. A Commerce graduate, Subhro completed his post-graduation in the field of HR from Xavier Institute of Social Service in 1988. Prior to joining Kotak Mahindra, Subhro was heading the HR and IR function for Shaw Wallace & Co Limited. Excerpts:
What do you look for in candidates when you hire for your company?
We, as a firm, strongly believe that apart from the skills and aptitude which a candidate brings to the table, we should see a clear cultural and values alignment in the candidate before we decide to on-board any one. Hence, every candidate is evaluated for the technical skills and competencies that we expect for a role. We also strongly believe in evaluating the behavioural drivers that a candidate brings to the table. These need to be in congruence with our core values and ethical standards.
What do you think makes your firm unique in terms of HR practices compared to other companies in your domain?
Our organisation practice has been to provide each resource associated with us an opportunity to create an impact, continuously learn, be a leader and build a positive legacy.
On these lines, the features that make us a unique firm are:
Our constant focus on continuously building a consistent culture across levels/geographies
A conducive environment for developing and nurturing internal leaders
Building rigour across all organisational practices
Never losing the ability to adapt and change course with agility
Being non-hierarchical, open and transparent culture
Delivering organisation practices that are totally aligned to EVP and overall vision of the organisation
What are your initiatives regarding gender and diversity in the workforce?
At Kotak, diversity of workforce has always been a priority. In order to encourage a diverse workforce, factors like education, work experience background, geographies and gender have been given due importance, starting from our hiring process itself.
Over the last three years, women being hired constitute close to 20% of our total hiring compared to 15% a few years back. We have tied up with recruitment agencies that specialise in sourcing women candidates for various positions across the bank.
We also have maintained a focus on hiring from non-banking background; close to 40% of our hiring is from non-banking background. In the last financial year, 10% of the total hires were graduate freshers.
A part-time working policy was launched last year. This policy has two benefits. It provides women who may be unable to work full time with an opportunity to apply for a part time job and pursue their careers with ease. Many women may be forced to quit the organisation due to conflicting demands of career and family. This policy gives them the option of choosing to work part time rather than quit.
This year, in our Mediclaim policy, we have waived the waiting period of 9 months for fresh women recruits to avail maternity benefits.
Employee retention and attrition – What are the challenges in balancing these two aspects in a banking environment?
The above statement is a classic example of two sides of the same coin. At Kotak, our strategy to address the above has been inputs-driven. The focus on quality of hire, robust on-boarding and handholding process and timely engagement interventions have resulted in significant improvement in retention. The challenge was to create a process and rigour around the above areas so that it becomes a way of life.
How are the various training programmes for employees refined and updated to stay in tune with market requirements?
We have various kinds of training programmes that touch an employee during various phases of his/ her tenure with us. Training programmes can be largely classified into two types – Functional Training and Competency Based Training.
Functional training involves training on products, processes, etc. These are continuously reviewed so that they encompass any changes in our product offerings, changes in our processes or policies due to any regulation or changes in market dynamics. On the competency based training front, we are focusing on newer methods for training delivery like theatre based workshops, role plays, etc. These have proved to be more effective than the traditional classroom delivery model.
What are the eligibility criteria for an employee to apply for internal job posting or Kotak Fast Track?
The idea behind our formal internal job postings process (Kotak Fast Track) was to promote cross functional movement across Kotak group entities. It was also to provide an opportunity to each employee to realise his/her potential to the fullest.
The eligibility criteria and process to move through KFT have been kept simple enough to encourage employees to use this platform. The eligibility criteria for applying are as below:
Should be in the same business/ function for at least two years
Should be rated “Performance meets expectations” or above in the last appraisal cycle
Candidates promoted in the last one year are advised to continue in their present jobs for one more year before applying for openings under the Kotak Fast Track
Candidates can apply for roles in the same level or one level above. If selected, the movement would happen at the same level initially.