From the nervous student on his first day at KIAMS to being the HR manager at Tata Power Company Limited, Mr. Manish Tiwari has come a long way. It’s a fulfilling, decade long professional journey that began at KIAMS in the year of 1999 and has been a rewarding experience for him. And to think that he took an impromptu decision of joining the institute makes his story all the more exciting and the journey more eventful. Now being the Manager HR at Tata Power Company Limited, Mr. Manish shares with us few valuable insights about KIAMS, HR domain and the industry at large.
Mr. Tiwari, a student of Batch 4 at the institute goes down the memory lane as he remembers his initial days at KIAMS. “I chose the PGDM program with this institute because of known and trusted name of Kirloskar attached to it. Initially I was quite nervous but am glad I took this decision. Over the period of two years the institute nurtured me and gave me the confidence and competence to face the real corporate world out there,” he says.
KIAMS offered Mr. Tiwari the right platform to launch his professional career from. And it was through campus placement that his professional sojourn began. He remembers, “It was Gammon India Limited, and I worked with the company for two years. I joined the company as a management trainee and my work involved long hours on the field for recruitment and talent development activities. But I believe it contributed to my professional ethics to a great extent.”
Over the years, Mr. Tiwari has managed to carve a niche for himself in the field of Human Resources. It’s a constantly evolving domain of profession that is gaining more power and decision making authority with each passing day. What does he make of the changing scenario in his field? “There is a continuous effort towards making HR more strategic for organisations but the truth is that it is still perceived to play the role of only providing services to its employees. The possible way forward is to increase focus on a strategic role and making service delivery processes more efficient through outsourcing and use of technology,” he says matter-of-factly.
While Mr. Tiwari remains practical about the positioning of HR in organizations today, he can’t deny the growing importance of HR managers. Being one himself, he sheds some light on the role and responsibilities of HR managers, and things that can be done to better their performance. “HR managers can play active roles by identifying and tracking talented individuals who are not only competent but team players as well. It’s the need of our times but HR managers face a practical problem that they can’t be everywhere,” he says.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no way out of the quandary for HR managers. Mr. Tiwari himself offers a suggestion, “There is a need to think through the whole approach of HR positioning in organizations and rediscover HR’s role. We need to increase its area of influence through more data collection points and analyzing trends,” he adds.
Given all that’s at stake and responsibilities on his shoulders, does Mr. Tiwari manage to maintain the work-life balance that many in the corporate world struggle with. Again with his refreshing candour he explains, “In Indian context ‘work life balance’ is still far from practice. It is a desired state and contemplation but lacks completeness. Improved economy and higher level of awareness can force the corporate world to look into it more creatively and inclusively in the future. An increasing number of women employees joining the corporate sector can give further impetus to this mission.”
So being dedicated to their work with a lot of stamina and high tolerance for ambiguity is something Mr. Tiwari expects out of future aspirants. He also advises future HR professionals to be more realistic of their prospects. “We may or may not get an environment conducive to learning and growth in an organization but one can do a lot by observing and staying inquisitive to learn new things. That helps immensely,” he says.
These are the qualities that Mr. Tiwari himself showed, which have led to his inspiring professional journey so far. But he plays it down as he concludes, “It has been a journey of self discovery and a continuous effort of keeping oneself relevant with changing times.” Clearly, it’s something he’s managed to do brilliantly thus far.