The role of Human Resources (HR) has evolved significantly over the years. What was once viewed as a support function has now become a critical driver of an organization’s success. Today, HR professionals are at the forefront of leading and shaping an organization’s people strategy, residing on the delicate cusp between people and business.
A successful HR leader understands the intricacies of the business’s operations and knows how to leverage human capital towards achieving growth.
Mohamad Kheir, Group HR Director of Power International Holding is a proficient leader with a verifiable history of success in creating robust people training and development culture/programs, developing, driving, and executing strategic HR initiatives to promote operational excellence and accomplishing business objectives.
In an interview with Insights Success, Mohamad Kheir shares valuable facts highlighting his professional tenure and his journey as an HR leader in the dynamic business arena.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Power International Holding. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
Throughout my career, I have gained a broad knowledge and success in HR functions including talent acquisition/retention, benefits, compensation, training, risk management, and employee relations.
Skilled in leading HRIS, HR AI, Metaverse in HR learning, Robotics in HR, applying RPAs in Government affairs, Chatbot AI, succession planning and career development, automation and digitisation, go green initiatives, paperless employee relations transactions. Knack for workforce planning and implementation, staff monitoring, and talent development.
In my existing role as the Regional Group HR Director of Power International Holding, I play a genuine role as an Intuitive leader with expertise in coaching and developing teams for the organisations to support continuous improvement and drive strategies that improve the business. Reaching here wouldn’t be easy without penciling down a proper individual development plan and assertion on reaching your objectives even against the wind.
The Human Resources function has experienced a dramatic transformation over the past century. Along the way, roles and responsibilities have shifted as internal business models, and external market conditions have changed.
The evolution of the perception of HR, however, has not kept pace. HR is beginning to break from its traditional, process-oriented role into a new, strategic function that solves real business problems.
Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision.
Power International Holding (PIH) is a diversified business conglomerate, grouped into 5 main sectors: General Contracting, Industries & Services, Agriculture & Food Industries, Real Estate and Lifestyle (Hospitality, Entertainment & Catering).
At PIH, we are committed to the sustainability and success of each entity, providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and centralized functional support to ensure development and growth. Our focus on specialization allows each business to strive towards achieving the organization’s objectives and goals.
With a rich history of successfully completing complex projects across diverse sectors worldwide, PIH has accumulated a wealth of experience, making us knowledgeable experts in each of our fields.
At our core, we are driven by a powerful vision: to create a brighter future for Qatar and the world. Our mission is to achieve this vision by maximizing stakeholder value through the efficient management and support of a diversified portfolio of businesses.
To achieve this mission, we are committed to continuously refining our business strategies and operations, leveraging our expertise and resources to drive growth and profitability across our portfolio. We strive to foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and excellence within our organization, empowering our teams to develop and implement creative solutions that address the needs of our stakeholders and the wider community.
Enlighten us on how you have been impacting the HR management sector through your expertise in the market.
As a regional Group HR Director, I direct all the aspects of regional employee relations, government affairs, payroll, talent management, C&B, talent development, HRIS.
Oversee all the facets of human resources function, including providing leadership, encouraging teamwork, collaboration and facilitating related work processes to achieve high-performance standards and staff pride in performance and contribution. Render exceptional HR services and information to leaders, managers, staff, and clients accurately and in a cost-effective manner across Asia and Europe region.
Ensure two-way communication between division and group HR on strategy, changes, developments, and feedback. Act as a core advisor to the executive management team on critical organisational and management strategy. Establish a culture of transparency, diversity equity, inclusion, and personal growth based on HR initiatives. Develop competencies framework and ensure the successful implementation of SAP SuccessFactors.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
At PIH, we believe that our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is integral to our success as a responsible corporation. We recognize that our economic, socio-cultural, and environmental practices are interdependent and that our long-term interests are best served by prioritizing sustainable development and social well-being.
As a responsible corporation, we are dedicated to respecting the interests of all our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, suppliers, industry partners, and the wider community. We strive to create value for our stakeholders through our operations and investments, driving economic growth, social progress, and environmental sustainability.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
Technology is playing a significant role in driving business performance and boosting productivity. It is becoming essential for day-to-day business running and achieving growth and success when utilized effectively. Undeniably, technology plays a major role in minimizing operational costs and maximizing revenues. In HR, we leverage technology to improve business performance using cloud-based solutions SAP Success Factors, e-learning, AI and integrated career path. I have successfully integrated the competencies framework with every job profile while taking into consideration the levels of proficiency for every role.
What, according to you, could be the next significant change in the HR management sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?
Changing the operating model is essential from a traditional federated, hierarchical HR model with customers on the outside and siloed HR groups to a people-centric HR operating model while taking into consideration the hybrid work model for collaboration.
In addition, with technological advances, the metaverse workplace offers virtual reality environments that let you work from anywhere in the world. While these changes happen in technological aspects, change management implements efficient strategies to execute changes, control them and help people to adapt to them.
Change management should consider digital adoption, identify the change agents, consider the change as part of the culture, and surely to be humanized with a data-driven approach.
PIH is part of that change while considering people analytics where it highlights the following key areas, diversity and inclusion, employee experience, retention, workforce planning and talent acquisition. Furthermore, moving from employee well-being to a holistic, healthy organization that goes beyond the physical health and safety of the employees to more flexibility and opportunities for their training and empowerment.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Power International Holding?
The digital transformation will never end, starting from automating the day-to-day operations, automating onboarding and offboarding processes, and employee and manager self-services, till we embed AI in our daily work. AI and chatbots are the next big thing to replace tier 0 and tier 1 in the HR service delivery model and while implementing the same, we should always keep in mind that employee centricity shall always domain and humanize the process maps.
It is additionally digitizing the succession planning and integrating it with predefined frameworks from identifying the critical roles across the organization, assessing and selecting the potential successors, evaluating the gap, developing and grooming the identified successors and monitoring to review and track the progress.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the HR Management industry?
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start a business in the HR management industry, here are a few pieces of advice that could help you on your journey:
Get familiar with the HR industry: It’s essential to have a good understanding of the HR industry, including the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities. This knowledge will help you develop a better product or service that addresses the needs of your target audience.
Identify your niche: There are various areas in HR management, such as recruitment, payroll, benefits administration, employee training and development, and more. It’s crucial to identify the specific area you want to focus on and build your business around that niche.
Develop a unique value proposition: With so many HR management businesses out there, it’s essential to have a unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competition. Identify the key benefits of your product or service and emphasize them in your marketing efforts.
Build a strong team: Your team is the backbone of your business, and it’s essential to hire the right people for the job. Look for individuals with experience and skills in HR management, customer service, sales, and marketing.
Leverage technology: The HR industry is becoming increasingly technology-driven, and it’s crucial to keep up with the latest software and tools to streamline your operations and provide a better customer experience.
Establish partnerships: Building relationships with other businesses in the HR management industry can help you expand your reach and provide additional services to your customers.
Focus on customer service: Providing excellent customer service is essential for building a loyal customer base. Ensure that your team is trained to provide exceptional customer service and that you have processes in place to address any customer concerns or issues that arise.
Starting a business in the HR management industry can be challenging, but with the right strategy and approach, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Good luck!