Madhavi Lall, Regional Head–HR, India & SA, Standard Chartered Bank is driven by her passion for HR and not merely by prevailing stereotypes of what constitutes a ‘suitable’ profession for someone who is an alumnus of XLRI.
Following her heart 20 years back, she had taken up the course at XLRI only to develop and hone her skills for the profession close to her heart. About how it all started, she says, “Though I pursued Mathematics during my college years, I always had harboured an interest in psychology and human behaviour and thus, chose HR as a profession. When I applied for my MBA after college, I was clear I wanted to specialise in HR. As far as XLRI is concerned, I gave the CAT examination and got through.”
Having worked with brands like HCL, Colgate – Palmolive, ABN Amro Bank and currently Standard Chartered Bank, Ms. Lall attributes her career success to the premier institute of learning. She also believes that XLers are taught management skills in a very unique manner.
She reveals that the stress is laid on behaviour and communication skills during and after the classroom activities, as it is important to learn the importance of human relations to pursue a career in a profession of HR per se. Even though she credits the institute for having given her career a jump start, she also maintains that what one does after graduating from the institute to their career depends on personal choice.
Ms. Lall has a distinctive style of managing the issues at work place. She believes in being well prepared to face problems at the work. This is something which has become a part of her DNA, and is something which is inculcated in XLers.
She feels that it is important to be decisive, to keep people involved, and communicate openly with honesty, so that there is minimum friction amongst employees. This she says, also helps in providing people with a sense of direction and involvement with the particular organisation.
“Organisational Behaviour classes taught us much and so did the other courses at XLRI. Being in XLRI is a different experience altogether. I do not find many B-Schools concentrating on the communication aspect of the curricula, which however is the most important factor for anyone who wants to grow professionally, as well as, on the personal front,” shares Ms. Lall.
A well determined lady that Ms. Lall is, she has made it a point to connect with her employees at an emotional level. She says, this connect is important to have a well organised relationship with the employee, as well as the clients. The human touch is important and that is exactly what XLRI gave to her.
She is of the opinion that there is a fine line of difference between those from XLRI and those who are not from the institute. “It shows in the work done by them. The quality of work differs at some point. More than that, it is the ‘can do’ attitude of the XLers that shows in the quality of work done,” says she.