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Amit Masram

Amit Masram: The Global HR Leader Driving Business Success Through Expertise, Experience, and Creativity

Award-Winning Leader Driving Digital Transformation and Business Success Globally!

As companies strive to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in today’s digital landscape, the role of HR technology is becoming increasingly important. Digital transformation is no longer just a buzzword – it’s a necessity. And at the heart of this transformation lies HR technology, the game-changing solutions that are catalyzing growth, building a robust digital HR function, and accelerating workplace transformation.

In the fast-paced and ever-changing world of HR, there are a select few who stand out from the rest. These individuals possess a unique blend of expertise, experience, and creativity that enables them to navigate the complex challenges of managing talent in a constantly evolving business landscape. Amit is one such leader.

With over 17 years of experience in regional and international roles across Europe, North America, and Asia, Amit has amassed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field of HR. As a multiple award-winning global HR Leader, he has played a pivotal role in driving the success of high-growth digital technology companies and global matrix organizations in various industries.

Today, Amit Masram is the Global HR Transformation Lead at General Assembly UK and is widely acknowledged as an influential figure and innovator in the realm of HR. With a track record of delivering substantial business outcomes through adept people management, Amit’s approach is highly effective and characterized by a distinctive blend of HR best practices and a sharp awareness of the ever-changing business landscape.

So join us as we explore the world of HR tech with one of the most innovative and experienced leaders in the industry:

What inspired you to pursue HR as a career option and still motivates you after being in the industry for more than 17 years?

It’s fascinating to reflect and look back after all these years. Being an engineering graduate from NIT Trichy, it was rather unusual at that time to think about Human Resources as a career option. However, my stint with a leading training provider for Management education allowed me to assess my skills and motivations and fuelled my interest in the power of Human Resources. I realized how it is a key driver for achieving competitiveness through the power of people. It was a conscious choice to pursue formal education and take up Human Resources as a career. Having worked extensively in multiple industries, and regions, I’m excited about the possibilities of how technology can influence better talent and business outcomes.

Human Resources is clearly at the forefront of shaping the direction of the organization through data, insights, and innovative HR practices.

Can you describe your journey as a Global HR Leader in a digital era, including any challenges you may have faced and how you overcame them?

The use of technology in Human Resources is seen as the most significant driver of change in modern organizations. It has opened up new horizons and unlocked novel approaches to raise the bar of the HR function. In a digital era, businesses today operate in a highly dynamic, uncertain, and pressured environment looking to guard their competitive advantage against the competition, economic conditions, and technology shifts. As a result, they are constantly in pursuit of HR Technology that can help address skills gaps and retention to stay ahead of the game by keeping in sync with changing employee demographics and their unmet needs. This is even more vital for scaling organizations looking to balance growth with an eye on building an agile, modern digital HR organization.

Tell us the challenges scaling organizations face, especially in light of a trade-off between strong customer growth and investing in building an evolving HR organization.

A scaling organization often grapples with several competing priorities, including customer acquisition, raising investments, ensuring a steady and growing revenue stream, and evolving its product/services portfolio. An important aspect that can work in favor or against is the availability of skills and costs associated with bringing the talent. Entrepreneurs and founders of successful scale-ups understand the significance of investing in HR Technology tools and systems at a time when they see evidence of having done enough to differentiate themselves in the market/industry tools and a good mix of customers with repeat and new business. The scale-up phase is about making things more structured and needs a completely different mindset and skills, abandoning the nimbleness of start-up. For example, you want to grow from 30 to 300 or from 500 to 1500 people.

With this context, organizations need an HR infrastructure that supports their growth aspirations. Depending on the business model, some invest in Talent Acquisition tools and systems, which can engage with passive talent and keep them ready in the pipeline. Others prioritize standardizing employee life cycle processes and automation to improve the employee experience. Additionally, organizations with onsite-offshore leverage establish a presence in low-cost countries like Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, and India, not only to ensure better revenue margins but also to open up budgets for modernizing their HR function.

You led the scale-ups and international expansion of several high-growth technology organizations in Europe and North America. What are some of the lessons learned, and what would you advise HR Leaders with similar visions?

Scaling up a tech company is akin to a roller coaster ride, necessitating a solid partnership with the executive leadership. Founders and CEOs work towards specific, quantifiable business goals, which can be intimidating, leading HR leaders to avoid raising challenges and risks. However, in addition to sharing positivity and wins, HR leaders should transparently communicate risks, challenges, and limitations. The key to successfully navigating high periods of change and uncertainty is creating a safe space to discuss challenges, both internal and external, while proactively assessing risks to people, critical business processes, and technology to achieve better business and people outcomes.

International expansion requires clear planning, weighing current business practices and infrastructure, organizational readiness, and future market potential. As an example, we developed a technology tool in one organization that ranked countries based on several factors such as talent and skill availability, legal compliance, regulatory framework, ease of doing business, hiring costs, infrastructure costs, wages, and exit challenges. This tool is crucial as expanding to a new country can be a bumpy ride and may not always go as planned. Additionally, language barriers, shifting customer expectations, competitors, and new cultural norms may present challenges that must be addressed.

You have been an ardent advocate of embracing and adopting HR Technology in the workplace. How does HR Technology drive business value in the organization—and how does HR help maximize that value?

HR Technology has immense potential and has been demonstrated to be a game-changer for many organizations. The concept of Employee experience has allowed us to see the journey of the employee life-cycle and identify opportunities to improve this based on different employee demographics. It’s fascinating to see that today we have ChatGPT and other forms of artificial intelligence are leading the charge toward a new era of work. It’s difficult to think about one area within Human Resources that remains untouched by Technology. The other aspect that has made an impact is the HR data. Data and analytics have a profound impact on making informed business decisions ranging from a simple use case of reduction in the total time to recruit to predicting changes to employee motivation and needs to make customized employee journey mapping to influence retention of top talent.

What does the future augur for HR Technology and its adoption, especially in light of the challenges faced by AI?

In these highly unstable times, organizations must not only survive but also adapt to maintain their relevance to customers and communities. However, macroeconomic factors such as inflation, talent scarcity, low consumer morale, and fear of recession make it challenging for modern organizations. The adoption of HR Technology varies based on the type of organization, its industry, maturity, and stage.HR Technology will continue to challenge organizations and HR leaders to think boldly about opportunities to elevate the HR function. For HR to offer value to business leaders and entrepreneurs with HR technology, a data-led approach will play a significant role in securing executive buy-in for investing in HR technology for organizations that are behind the curve. For instance, the post-pandemic workplace settings look different, moving away from the norm of remote work, which creates retention challenges for organizations. Consequently, there is increasing momentum to explore and develop tools and technology to bridge the gap between the office and remote employees driven by changing employee and workplace needs.