With her ‘people-led' mantra this woman entrepreneur has established a niche HR practice

With her ‘people-led' mantra this woman entrepreneur has established a niche HR practice

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

6 Dec 2016, 10:08 — 7 min read

Human resource management is essential to the success of any organisation. The demand for HR services has grown commensurate to the expansion in the economy in the past few years. Consequently, there are many firms providing HR services in the country. In such an environment, it is difficult to make a name for yourself as an entrepreneur without some quality in the services offered. It is in this setting that Geet Jalota, Director, Askgeet HRD Solutions, has set up her HR practice after many trials in Mumbai. Geet’s forte is that she offers HR services that are ‘client-led’, tailored to the unique culture and evolutionary stage of an organisation. With the benchmark of offering such customised HR services, Geet has made a name for herself as someone who manages human resource assets with great understanding and finesse.

 

In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Geet Jalota (GJ), shares her journey with her struggles, successes and what it is that motivates her.

 

GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.

 

GJ: I am an HR professional. I help companies enhance business performance through the building of capability of their people. This can be via training, developing result-oriented attitudes, coaching or hiring the right people.

 

Ever since I finished my post graduation, I had wanted to start something of my own. But when we started life afresh in Mumbai, after marriage, without any family support, my husband and I could not afford for me to give up my job. In 2008, after we finished paying the EMIs on our house, two things happened. First, I lost my job in the recession and second, my daughter turned 17. My husband meanwhile took up a good job offer in Delhi. My son was studying engineering in Pune. So I decided to make the most of my loss and begin trying to achieve my dream of starting my own business. I was not enjoying the work I was doing as a professional. It had nothing to do with human development and more to do with furthering personal agendas. My motivation was to create my own unique product which would help me create 'great companies' and find my own work-life balance. It took me some time to set out on this journey and a lot of courage to risk my future financial security in order to fulfill my professional dreams.

 

GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?

 

GJ: Establishing my own business was like starting pre-school all over again. I had no clue what should be my business model. In India, for HR there are 3 standard models – 1) recruitment agency model 2) carrying out outsourced HR activities and 3) Implementation of HR Software. It took me 3 years of knocking on doors in vain to realise that I cannot straddle all three fronts if I want to create my unique product.

 

Another challenge I faced was that I did not want to take any bank loans, because I wanted it to remain a quest for the ideal, unhindered by financial pressures. Also it had taken all our resources to pay off our housing loan. I didn’t want any more liability. As long as I was happy, it was worth continuing. I tried hiring people to help me but I found that for a start up an employee cannot replicate the passion needed to set it on the road. Therefore growth has been slow. However, now I feel the time is right for me to reconsider my options.

 

GL: What is the USP of your business?

 

GJ: My product is still on the drawing board. Meanwhile, I am delivering all HRD services – recruitment, HR policies, performance management, training, induction  the whole gamut. At this moment my USP is that my practice is client led or rather 'people led'. My services are:

  • Customised to the client’s evolutionary stage and the business they are in.
  • Tailored to the culture of the organisation because to a very large extent the owner’s cultural and experiential background influences the practices within the organisation.

By 'client led' I mean that when I design an induction programme it is not a standard 3 day affair – in some companies the progamme may be a month long if a new employee has to learn about 1000 products while in another company it could be a one week affair because there are only a few simple products. My role is to provide strategic inputs. 

 

All this establishes my value proposition with the business owner and employees, helping me create a basket of customers to whom I can offer my services. I grow as they grow. I have a few customers. All except one have come to me through word-of-mouth.

  

GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?

 

GJ: My first milestone was when I signed on my first customer in 2010. The second milestone was in 2015 when I got my first international customer purely through word of mouth. These validated my business model that there is need for personalising the standard HRD services. My third milestone will be when one of my clients gets an award for their HR practices.

 

GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting and assisting SMEs?

 

GJ: An important role that they are playing is in creating awareness – I am coming to know of a variety of services that are offered by other SMEs. Secondly, I feel encouraged that there are other people also with crazy ideas and the courage to match. My whole perception of HR was based on a very staid image of the employee looking for job security. I don't think it's true any longer. I am looking forward to seeing the power of this platform unfurl.

 

GL: What is your big business dream?

 

GJ: My big business dream is to launch my own home grown product which adds value to the capability of all stakeholders – owners, industry, employees and service providers. My vision is to grow my client base for value added services and develop the capability to scale up the value without increasing my costs.

 

GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?

 

GJ: I have only one message – create your own excitement. Don’t expect jobs to be permanent and satisfying and challenging. Find your unique capability and leave your footprint in this world.

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.

 

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