Be successful, but be happy first

At the beginning of our career, we look up to certain figures for inspiration and dream to reach as close as we can to the heights they achieve. It was a moment of great pride and opportunity when the students of TISS HRMLR (Batch 17-19) were addressed by Prabir Jha, Global Chief People Officer, Cipla on 4th August,2017.

‘It is a wonderful time to be in HR’
, began Prabir as he shared the pearls of his wisdom. He stressed on the fact that HR professionals should stop thinking of themselves as an enabling function. HR is not a part of the business, HR is business. The responsibility of getting HRM its due credit lies in the hands of HR professionals themselves. The key to attracting the required attention and resources towards HR departments is to present a business case for HR. He stated two basic factors to understand the core business of any organization –

  • Where does value get created?
  • Where does value get eroded?

The change in perception and function of HRM over the years necessitates a change in the practice of the function as well. Prabir shared golden tips for budding HR professionals to follow in their careers –

Success in HR

Prabhir expressed a wish to see stronger CHROs in the near future. He reiterated that one need not necessarily be an academic topper or from any top B-school to become a CHRO. At this juncture, he shared the secret core of HRM as a profession. The most important quality in an individual who wants to be a successful HR professional is the ability to enjoy recognition and praise for others. It is quite similar to the role of a teacher who basks in the reflected glory of her students. The soul of HRM is the honour of being a राजगुरू than being the राजा.

In this world of opportunities and dynamism, Prabir insisted that loyalty to your profession begets loyalty to the organization, but the inverse proposition may not necessarily be true.

The future of any organization is in the hands of the talent it employs. The success of HR lies in identifying and honing the right talent, at the right place. Prabir expressed concerns over finding good talent in a pool of people, ‘Water, water everywhere; not a drop to drink’. A sound HR function acts like a talent magnet. Prabir gave a deep insight into this problem by stating that talent is a moving definition.

He insisted on a 3T model for HR to drive success in any organization – Talent, Trust and Tenacity. Any leader must respect talent, trust the talented people to come up with disruptive creativity and display tenacity in the ambiguous situations that lie ahead on the path to success.

Along the arduous road to success, he affirms that the resumes are built and not created. HR professionals must not avoid industrial stints, ‘no one becomes a general unless you have survived the trenches’. The technical domain knowledge is learnt and practised by all, but the expertise at the softer skills of the profession is what marks leaders. Intellectual curiosity, ability to handle ambiguity, courage to take risks, multitasking, higher emotional quotient and the ability to engage with future are the traits that mark a successful HR leader.

Future leaders are those who lead a life of conviction, not that of consequences.



  1. If i enjoyed his concepts so much as worded by you here.. I can only imagine what a delight it must have been to hear Prabir talk. Such in-depth insights. More so in the times when people are questioning whether tech will one day replace HR.. He brings in such confidence in the profession with his words.


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