Intertwine the mantra with technology and HR
In conversation with Deepa Chadha - CHRO, Jabong
The first few days at Jabong
Talking of a paradigm shift, Deepa Chadha, found her love for E-commerce the moment she joined Jabong as CHRO. Keeping abreast of technology was second nature to her as prior to Jabong she was Head HR - Global COE functions with Bharti Airtel. Before that she had led Genpact's Global HR Shared Services operations and even worked with Oracle for nearly six years.
Being one of the few women at the top in the HR domain, and the only female member of Jabong's management team, Deepa is well aware of her capabilities and areas where she can contribute the most. With her vast experience in technology, she is an asset, with great ideas to speed up growth and development for Jabong. She however has consciously chosen to first iron out the basics. As she likes to put it "I go back to the basics first, keeping Jabong's bigger picture in mind. With an entirely new management team we not only need to create a culture fitting the market, our people but most importantly our brand 'Be You - Discover all things Fashion'. It's a tight rope walk of balancing hygiene, process efficiencies, and being ahead of time, thinking on your feet for your millennial consumers and internal employees."
Be You
Deepa firmly believes in Jabong's mantra: 'be you- be bold, be real, be true'. Her vision is to live by this mantra and percolate it down to the last employee in Jabong. 'Don't just hear the mantra but experience and live the spirit. What does 'Be you' mean to the customer? What does 'Be You' mean to you? Intertwine the mantra with technology and HR' Through its philosophy 'Be You', Jabong supports women, giving them the freedom to be what they want to be, speak their mind, live their life, and wear colors of their choice to enhance their connection with the organization. Being a woman herself she is able to empathize with the deeper needs of women at a workplace. Jabong even has a program - SHE - that offers in-house opportunities to women during maternity, sabbatical etc.
HR and Technology
Deepa is convinced that technology is our current reality. India and Africa represent one-third of the world's population and have the youngest workforce with an average age of 25. The West on the other hand is witnessing a rapidly greying workforce. Keeping this fact in mind, organizational strategies going forward will be greatly governed by the latest that technology has to offer. Jabong's core business is an e-commerce portal that sells fashion and lifestyle products on a technology based platform. 'Whatever I do for my customer is what I live by as well. If we sell fashion online especially transforming the mobile experience for my external customers then why should I not use the same to engage with my employees?' How can we mirror external consumer engagement strategy with internal employee engagement initiatives?' Taking this very thought forward Jabong is launching an internal employee app so that the employees can connect and collaborate.
Deepa's mantra
We, as HR professionals, have to stand up, and that requires passion, vision and commitment. Before you start, prepare the ground, convince and communicate... repeat, repeat, repeat. Never forget about your intuitive self. That's what I convey to my HR team, my people, and fellow-women, within and outside the organization! As she shifts seamlessly between paradigms, Deepa can walk the talk. She is fully aware of the experience she has, her professionalism, and her own mantra. She can imagine and bring to reality the effect and impact of using various tools of technology. For her that is what HR is all about nowadays.
June 2016