Interviewer: Sir, can you share with us your career journey so far?
Mohit Gupta: I started my career at Shoppers Stop, a retail organization. It gave me a good learning experience. Post that, I worked with Reliance Digital Retail and then moved to a completely new sector, telecommunications for working with Vodafone. Currently, I am associated with Reliance Communications.
In my current role, I take care of Employer Branding and Campus Connect. I also support the Head HR as an Executive Assistant.
Interviewer:You started your career with the retail business and later moved to a purely service based industry. So, how different is the role of an HR professional in these two industries?
Mohit Gupta: Shoppers Stop is into retail business but they do not produce any apparel. Seventy to eighty per cent of the products are procured from other players and sold off in an organized retail store. So, the margins obtained are very less. So, there is an excellent learning in terms of how do we utilize our employee base in terms of keeping high standards of service levels, given the low margins. Coming to Telecom, it is a business which requires huge amounts of capital. There was a time when we had high returns which are gradually declining due to government regulations and the new competition that is coming in. The margins are decreasing while the sector is operating at a scale. Here, learning comes in terms of managing the scalability, large population and geographies.
Interviewer: As a Campus Connect Lead, do you think there is a marked shift in the working style of the new talent of millennials coming into the industry?
Mohit Gupta: I would say that there is a lot of difference in the working style of the new talent as compared to the older generation. Setting the right expectations is the key focus area at this point of time. From day one of getting into a business school, students set high aspirations of getting a good job in a good managerial position. This is natural as there is tough competition, lot of hard work and a lot of money involved. But, the reality is something different. Once they get into the corporate world, they are treated differently. They are provided understanding and a great deal of learning. They are not treated like managers but, are expected to behave like grown-ups, apply a lot of knowledge, understand the problems, organizational needs, etc. and learn from experiences. This is the kind of shift in behavior which I have observed.
Interviewer: The present perception is that, youngsters want to work with start-ups as there is a lot of opportunity in terms of learning and independence. So, how do you do employer branding at Reliance Communications to attract and retain talent?
Mohit Gupta: I would say that this notion is not entirely true. There is a fair amount of talent who want to work with brands like us and there is another group who want to take up challenges and believe in high-risk, high-gain. So, it totally depends on the individual aspirations of how one wants to grow.
Interviewer: Your advice to budding HR managers?
Mohit Gupta: There is a huge difference between college life and a corporate career. So, students should align themselves to the corporate needs, understand what is actually expected out of their role, try to derive maximum learning from the experiences, live up to the expectations and make a difference.