Talent and culture are the new growth drivers, says Abhijit Bhaduri, former Chief Learning Officer at Wipro

In this episode of Prime Venture Partners Podcast, Abhijit Bhaduri, former Chief Learning Officer at Wipro, talks about what differentiates Dreamers, Unicorns, Market Shapers, and Incumbents, the fundamentals of hiring, and the drivers of success.
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One of the top influential HR leaders with a comprehensive understanding of businesses and talent, Abhijit Bhaduri is a strategic advisor to business leaders and organisations in transition, an executive coach to leaders on building a culture that attracts talent necessary to drive growth and is rated among the top 10 learning experts globally.

He is also the former Chief Learning Officer for Wipro and an alumnus of Microsoft, PepsiCo, Colgate, and Tata Steel. 

He has penned down his vast expertise in two bestselling books: The Digital Tsunami; Don’t Hire the Best - How to Hire for Culture Fit, and his latest Dreamers & Unicorns: How Leadership, Talent and Culture are the New Growth Drivers.

In this latest episode of Prime Venture Partners Podcast, a series that helps entrepreneurs grow and build their startups with powerful insights from makers and doers of the startup ecosystem, Abhijit sheds light on the fundamentals of great hiring in conversation with Amit Somani, Managing Partner at Prime Venture Partners

Dreamers, Unicorns, Market Shapers, and Incumbents

Today, value creation has moved to intangible factors and leadership, talent, and culture have become the new growth drivers as the world of work has changed, Abhijit opinionated. 

Abhijit said, “Dreamers are people who are getting started with a new idea, trying to figure out how to raise capital, find product-market fit, and get employees willing to work for something really risky. It is the first phase.”

He explains unicorns are not necessarily because of the evaluation, who have a national presence and try to venture beyond the national boundary, maybe in a couple of other countries. 

On the last two categories of companies, he says, “Market shapers are people where the consumer or customer lines up to get the product or service. These are the people we are willing to go to. Even if they didn’t have a marketing machine, we would still line up and buy those products and services. These are people who have had disproportionate growth; they change the way we live and work.”

The last category, Incumbents, which is “not a bad word”, are those who need to find the product-market fit and the right set of employees anew. They need once again to reinvent themselves.   

Leadership, talent, and culture

Over his last four years of experience with a range of companies, Abhijit has discovered that the three main drivers that lead a business to success or failure are leadership, talent, and culture. 

 Leadership brand is where you meet a team, not just an individual, and are inspired and eager to work with the person running that team.

The talent brand comprises self-directed learners defining the next big thing. They are at the cutting edge, exploring new things in the process and creating new things. The culture brand is what sustains this growth. Otherwise, the best people learn from you and leave you, Abhijit said. 

Dos and don’ts of boundary-less hiring

“Whatever you do needs to be boundary-less, digital and fully remote.”

Bringing his extensive knowledge and experience to the table, Abhijit pointed out flaws in traditional hiring and practices that don’t apply to today’s remote work culture.

Most hiring focuses on if the person can do the job or not but the most important and incredibly underrated aspect of hiring is to look at is would people enjoy working with this person, even if the person is an individual contributor. If the person cannot get into an engaging conversation without being aggressive, that one person can create a toxic environment at both the physical and virtual workplaces.

The individual drive of a person, the need to excel and go beyond perfection is far more important than how articulate that person is as this shows one’s ability to work unsupervised and motivation to work because one enjoys it, Abhijit said

“Whether it’s a market shaper, a unicorn, or an incumbent, if you don’t keep that dreamer alive, it’s only a question of time before you become irrelevant.”

To hear more, listen to the podcast here.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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