Apr 26, 2006

Mohandas Pai takes over as Infosys's HR head



A reader sent me an email asking why I hadn't blogged about the fact that Infosys' CFO had given up his finance role and was moving into the position of the head honcho of HR.

The reason is simple, I hadn't read about it in detail and therefore refrained from commenting on it.

Going through the news item I truly regret that this is one item that escaped my radar. (hey, I am human too ;-) !). That said and done, I don't think that it signals anything that says "anyone can move into HR"

Let us not forget that in traditional corporate parlance the CFO is next to the CEO in the pecking order. Why would someone like Mohandas Pai, who's not anybody's idea of the demure numbers only CFO give that up to head HR?

Pai was not just a finance man, he was also a strategist and a person with strong opinions who holds his own after Cheif Mentor Murthy and CEO Nandan Nilekani.

After Hema Ravichander had left, Infosys had filled her role with another person from the business, Bikram Maitra. I couldn't find any news on where Bikram is moving to, but I really think that Pai's taking over the HR role is an admission by Infosys that people are as important if not more, than the language of business - Money !

As this news item shows, it's a time of great churn for head of HR's in India.

While K Achutan joined Reliance Capital from GE Commercial Finance, Aquil Busrai moved from Shell Malaysia to head HR for IBM global services in India. Similarly, Narayan Nair has quit GE Global Exchange and joined as head of HR for Computer Associates.

Computer Science Corporation saw Neelam Mahajan of IBM join as head honcho of HR. Avdesh Krishna has moved from GE to Lehman Brothers. Others to move were Abhay Valsangkar, who joined Symantec from American Express, and Vinay Razdan who switched jobs from HCL to IDEA. Recently, Satya Sai Sylada has joined Hinduja TMT from GE Consumer Finance.

Headhunters say that HR searches are the most difficult because of the complexity of search. “The requirement is well defined in other profiles but when it comes to HR, it is about reading between the lines,” says Mohit Mohan, VP, Gilbert Tweed.