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Ask Sagorika Kantharia for Advice
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Advice Request
Sagorika Kantharia
Sagorika Kantharia

Sagorika Kantharia


Radio City


Sagorika Kantharia is a member of:

- Expert
Briefly tell me about your company and the HR strategies you have in place.
Radio City is one of the renowned private FM in India which offers premium quality radio entertainment to every listener. We launched our first station in Bangalore on July 3, 2001. Promoted by Music Broadcast Private Limited (MBPL), the private FM network has captured the hearts of millions of listeners across 8 states with a spread in 20 cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Vadodara, Surat, Sholapur, Nagpur, Sangli, Coimbatore, Vizag, Ahmednagar, Akola, Nanded and Jalgaon.
Radio City 91.1FM offers a differentiated listening experience through melodious music to All SEC 12+ audiences across the nation. Aggressively looking at spreading the Radio City experience across the country, Radio City 91.1FM is committed to growing the market and creating superlative content for discerning audiences. Radio City 91.1 FM broadcasts round-the-clock using state of the art digital stereo FM for unmatched quality in signal strength, clarity and brilliance. Our internet radio business and on-ground business Radiocity Connect was launched in 2008. In 2009, Radio City launched Radio City School of Broadcasting to groom young talent into Radio Professionals and make them task ready from day one.
Looking at the media industry and the company culture, our HR Strategy is built around Talent Acquisition, Talent Development and Talent Engagement with a clear focus of developing organization capability by grooming talent and creating an environment that is conducive to learning and performance for our employees.
What are some of trends you are seeing in HR?
HR as a function has evolved over the years. From just being a support administrative function, now HR occupies a center stage in the organization strategic team and is an active contributor to the organizations bottom line through its people processes. HR today plays a significant role in the success of business strategy. In the coming years few things that I see critical in the talent acquisition, development and retention are as follows:

Talent acquisition:Hiring high potential talent not only for today but for tomorrows requirement is crucial point for an HR personnel. Since getting right talent is becoming more and more difficult across industries, exploring non-traditional sources of hiring is evolving at a fast pace where social media is playing important role. The networking professional groups to various discussion sites are often helpful in identifying potential talent.

Talent Development: Like Jack Welch in his book "Winning" said "You have got the right players on the field. Now what? Thats a great start. Now they need to work, steadily improve their performance, be motivated, stay with the company and grow as leaders. 50% of HRs time will be spent in developing the critical talent and future leaders. Todays workforce likes to be involved in decision making and contributing to the larger whole. HR should make system and processes to facilitate involvement of this critical workforce. Organizations should provide them challenging assignment and help them explore their potential.

Talent Retention: 75% of the workforce is going to be Gen Y by 2025. This generation likes to work hard but party harder, therefore work-life-balance is of equal importance as well as a challenging assignment. Flexible work hours, work from home and teleworking has to be part of companies HR policy. The young generation is tech savvy therefore internet, e-learning, collaboration and communication through networking sites is must to engage them.
In the era of ever changing business, explain the difficulties in planning the Human Resource?
I would not say it is difficult to plan Human Resource in the changing business scenario. If one has developed their strategy carefully, it can not go completely wrong. However, one has to account for 10% variation as the year goes by, to comply with unexpected changes in the environment.
How do you describe the relationship of HR with the CEO’s?
HR personnel in an organization plays a dual role, sometimes that of an advisory and sometimes a change agent. It is important for HR to align with the CEO to drive a company wide change initiative. A significant role is played by the HR in developing the leadership pipeline. In fact HR should be able to advise CEO on how the company's talent pool can make a difference to short-term goals as well as long-term strategy.Along with this, the HR should also promote company's culture within the organization and also outside the organization amongst the potential employees. A good HR department must have the ability to develop a trusting relationship with the employees, while at the same time be a collaborator and serve as a confidant to the CEO.
What is your biggest pain point?
For any HR personnel the two biggest pain points would be finding the right talent for the business and thereafter retaining them. Candidates with desired competencies are difficult to come across. On an average HR spends close to 50% of their time in identifying right talent to build strong workforce.
How do you Motivate Employees with Rewards in your organization?
Recognizing hard work and performance excellence is a part of Radio Citys culture. By creating a culture of recognition, we provide employees with an opportunity to excel and explore their potential. Rewards and Recognition programs honor both individuals and teams who go the extra mile to service their departments and Radio City on the whole. At Radio City our rewards recognition schemes are based around four values:
Thought Leadership and Innovation
Building best-in-class consumer experience
Process driven culture
People orientation

There is a fair and transparent judging system that has been put in place for an unbiased result.

In an effort to build a friendly atmosphere at workplace and encourage employees to collaborate and help their peers in their own department and other departments at Radio City we have "Cheers to Peers" program where employees are encouraged to appreciate their peers effort."Ring-Aloud" is another initiative where all the Radio City employees are encouraged to take pride in their own work and share their success story with rest of the organization. These small measures ensure that each day one or the other person at Radio City is recognized and encouraged to perform well.
When you hire people what are you essentially looking for?
First and foremost the candidate should possess the functional skills to carry out basic requirement of the job. This is assessed through various skill tests which the candidate has to go through. Once the candidate clears the skill test he/she goes through panel interviews where interviewers look for RC Attitude. We believe the candidates possessing the RC Attitude will definitely make a successful career at Radio City. The RC Attitudes are as follows:

Achievement Orientation: Will the candidate stretch himself or herself to achieve organization goals? Is the candidate result oriented and focused and not give up easily?
Commitment: Will the candidate keep organization interest before self and align his/her efforts to achieve organization goals? When organization requires him will he/she sacrifice personal commitment to meet the organization requirement?
Planning and Organizing: Does the candidate have the ability to plan ahead or ability to prioritize and control his / her own work? Plans well so that he/she rarely misses the deadline.
Process Orientation: Can the candidate follow and develop systems and processes to reduce inconsistencies, risks and errors through monitoring and checking on compliance with the standards and process set?
Interpersonal Skills/ Developing People:Is the individual a team player? He/she opening shares his/her expertise with the colleagues and subordinates
Customer Orientation:Takes personal responsibility to address customers expectation. He/she makes all effort to understand customers requirement and puts in best effort to service them.
Brief some of the leadership development programs held and how often? Result obtained from that?
Our middle managers are groomed on three key aspects: -Strategic Thinking, Execution Skill and People Management. The first 2 are developed through assigning them special projects. A cross-functional team is set-up to develop the strategy and the execution plan for these projects and the team works on the same over a period of time that has been assigned to them. They present the plan to senior management and CEO before they get into execution. The best project based on the value it creates for the organization is nominated for CEO Award. Every year a leadership program, to improve the people and functional skill, is organized for continuous improvement in the desired competencies. For junior level they are sent on Xchange and Xcel program to benchmark and learn some best practices followed by other stations. This gives them an exposure into different market and also an opportunity to interact and learn from their counterparts in other stations.
How do you identify leaders and promote them to the next level?
At Radio City it is an annual exercise to identify the fast trackers in all the departments. For these critical people an individual development plan is formulated by the Functional Head, reporting officer and the HR which is discussed with the recipient. The critical people are groomed through cross-functional special projects, where they are allowed to lead the project and explore their potential. It is mandatory to hire minimum 40% of the senior level recruits from within the system. The succession planning process is put in place to develop leadership pipeline.
Engaging Gen Y - Leadership and Organization Culture according to you?
Gen Y has an independent mind! They love to be around people they like to work with and connect with. The organization culture for them has to be friendly and participative. They need their space therefore the management style has to be participative and provide them the freedom to work. This generation believes in deriving the work satisfaction the end product. They should feel that their contribution is valued and this will help them stay with the organization for a longer time. This generation is workaholic and at the same time wants work life balance too. Therefore flexible work hours, gym facility, avenues for them to chill out and contribute to the society is important. This generation is a thinking generation therefore projects that will challenge their cognitive ability will keep them motivated and happy.
How do you recruit and retain the diverse and ambitious Generation Y?
Along with challenging work, Gen Y also wants a good pay package. Initiatives like joining bonus, retention bonus and recognition schemes works well with them. Career advancement opportunities are very important for them as well, as they want to achieve more in a short span of time.Organization culture which encourages participation provides learning opportunity; job advancement and fun environment will surely attract them.
Attrition Management: Retaining vs. fresh hiring
Retention is any day more beneficial to the organization rather than fresh hiring. However, 100% retention for a large or mid-size organization is an unrealistic dream and hence one should focus on retention of the key employees. A study shows that the replacement cost is approximately 60% higher than the cost of the existing employee.If you add up the time spent by each executive involved in the hiring process, productivity lost as the new employee will at least take 6 months to understand the organization culture, system and processes before he/she is productive. The training cost of the new employees is equally high. Above all this the tacit knowledge that the exiting employee walks away with, which he/she has gathered over several years of working with organization and its clients, is also a loss for the organization. If organizations develops a well thought through retention strategy and invest more time in developing key employees, the attrition can be managed well.
What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
The person considered for promotion works on live project or takes up mentoring assignment. It gives the leaders a chance to assess the individuals potential. The performance of the individual in his/her current role is also one of the important factors which is considered for promotion.
Workplaces are changing. Cultures are evolving. Do you think the average employee today is different from his/her counterpart from a decade ago too? What is lacking and what does he/she need to keep in mind in today’s working scenario?
As mentioned earlier, Gen Y wants to achieve a lot in a short span of time. They are educated, open to new ideas and love experimenting. They have a clear vision of their career progression, demand job security and are highly motivated by quick and transparent rewards. Also unlike a decade ago, the industry has also evolved and a lot of new avenues have opened up.
Todays generation needs to understand that deep learning comes through experience. Switching jobs in a short span does not benefit the employees or the organization. The relationship between the two develops over a period of time and staying in an organization for a long term will ultimately benefit both in a long span.
How to attract good people, retain the better people and advance the best people
To attract and retain good people, organizations have to focus on creating organization where employees trust the people they work with, feel respected and valued and enjoy coming to work every single day. Innovative initiatives like joining, retention bonus, sabbatical and unique benefits will help in retaining the better people. Along with these best people have to be groomed and given career advancement opportunities within the organization.
What are your advice/ suggestions to fellow HRs in the industry?
Post Gen Y, we now have Gen Z to cater to! The kids today are much sharper, highly active and pampered as compared to the older generations. The next step ideally should be towards drafting policies and making strategies to engage this generation.
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