We had a conversation with Shantanu Dash this week. He is a seasoned global HR professional with extensive experience in driving world-class human resource initiatives, high-performance culture, establishing policies and procedures coupled with robust organizational development programs, including digital transformation and implementing mentorship programs.
He has been adjudged as one of the Top 100 HR Professionals in UAE and recently as Global 200 Power Leaders in HR (2022-23).
In addition, Shantanu has worked in many multinational companies across continents and numerous industry verticals, including many start-ups. His versatile experience has trained him to drive organizational effectiveness, evaluate structure and resources to facilitate organizational redesigns and implement change management processes by propitiously devising and implementing HR strategies that directly contribute to the bottom line.
A Recognized Expert
During our conversation with him, we understood that Shantanu Dash is a high-performance activist and an expert in aligning culture and strategy, which has been the key to the successful completion of a litany of impressive achievements to his credit.
He has been recognized for creating a set of proactive processes utilizing different methodologies like Kaizen and Balanced Scorecard principles for continual improvement, focussing on creativity to come before capital and large budgets that have enabled him to manage successful employee engagement and diversity programs.
It was apparent that he is passionate about emerging technologies and is a ‘Digital HR Leader’ with a strategic focus and envisaging how HR will change and anticipating future needs while understanding business requirements, knowing the revenue lines, having market focus, and not being process or policy-centric while firmly believing that an HR leader has not only to be transformation & change-oriented but also be adept in bridging the gap between digital experiences through technology and employee experience with a positive revenue impact.
We also learned that Shantanu had collaborated directly with many C-suite executives and leaders of different nationalities to create, revise and/or align employee communications strategy based on the organization’s strategic priorities while implementing techniques to educate the leaders.
HR Priorities In The Future
We wanted to know about his views on what the priorities of HR Leaders will look like in the near future. When we were discussing about it, he told us:
“A critical priority for HR leaders will be to effectively manoeuvre the waters of remote leadership. As employees continue to work from home, and many companies evolve this into a permanent organizational structure, organizational leaders both in HR and across all disciplines will have to come up with solution(s) to connect, engage and energize the employees regularly using technology.
Also, with the growing GIG economy, employers and employees will be required to be fast-moving, active, adroit and agile. In his humble opinion, gig jobs will actually outnumber traditional, office-based jobs. The bottom line is it has to be horses for courses.”
On our probing him about what the future of work looks like after the pandemic and what challenges could be faced by the HR team?
This is the time for reinvention and experimentation. One has to find the best ways to reskill the employee(s) to ensure people will be flexible in the workplace and how well they deliver.
In Shantanu’s opinion, “Over and above the routine employee expectations, the major issues can be summarized as retaining and rewarding the best employees, developing the next generation of corporate leaders, making HR online, managing cultural diversity, gender equality and respecting physical orientation of an individual coupled with clear & transparent work culture with open leadership while focussing on elevating human capital Investments.”
His take on Talent Acquisition
This made us more curious to learn about him, so we researched and got to know that on the Talent Acquisition & Retention side of the business as an HR leader, he has always adopted a dynamic approach to reskilling and redeploying talent, one in which all impacted stakeholders work together to sense shifting skill needs and find ways to develop skills. He tries to prioritize skills instead of hiring profile to ensure the EVP evolves to deliver on changing candidate wants and needs and try to understand the true economics of value creation in specific roles.
To attract new hires, he aligns talent acquisition strategy with business goals and uses data and marketing to create better acquisition, including expanding outreach strategies as well as making good use of his exhaustive personal network across the globe.
The way companies acquire and retain talent has evolved, and capitalizing on that transformation is of immense importance. With the anticipated rise of remote work, geographic barriers are becoming a thing of the past for who and where a company can hire, and he claims to excel in that.
Shantanu’s Views on Thinking Outside the Box
In order to stay competitive, HR professionals must stay up to date with the changing ways in which individuals search for opportunities and be abreast with the rapidly changing face of technology. This does not mean that HR teams should start from scratch but requires a paradigm shift from organizations to loosen the reins on HR’s ability to dive deeper into creative spaces within their own function and come up with innovative initiatives.
Businesses will need to look internally at their processes, team culture, plus office locations and externally at the way they promote their workplace to evaluate the full breadth of ways to attract and retain talent.
With the right mix of positivity, the ability to tap into others’ strengths and thinking outside the box, he has created and sustained a set of widely successful programs to usher the function of HR as a business partner for the organization.
Challenges Shantanu has faced as a CHRO/Head HR/HR Director.
Learning that every business, culture and geography is different. For the simplest of policies, one wants to implement. You have to consider how it will land in that country, in that culture, and not violate the defined statutory guidelines. Hence the true globality of the role has been a big challenge and a huge learning curve. It’s not one size fits all.
Shantanu’s way of – Giving It Back to The Society
As his personal CSR, he mentors budding professionals and always endeavours to share skills, knowledge, and expertise by organizing informal meets at his personal time & cost.
Additionally, he is among the founding members of an NGO in New Delhi that helps children from the EWS (Economically Weaker Section), empowering these kids to strike a balance for better socio-economic development in their lives and to bridge the academic and social gap of EWS children.
Shantanu always puts loyalty and passion for the betterment of colleagues and stakeholders ahead of his own career. A true HR Leader indeed!!
Connect with Shantanu Dash on LinkedIn.