The appointment of Ravi Shankar, an industry veteran with around three decades of experience in managing human resources, as the chief people officer at MindTree can be seen as the beginning of a new era for the company. The role of HR head had so far been played by senior leaders from within the company. Now, with Shankar joining, the firm is trying to reposition itself as an ‘expert-led organisation’, by bringing in people who are experts in their respective fields, in roles that are strategically important.
“I had been watching MindTree since its inception. This is one of the very few companies globally that started with a strong focus on people, culture and values, and that is what attracted my attention,” says Shankar, who was working with HCL Technologies as a senior VP, HR, before joining MindTree.
A graduate in commerce from Madras University and an MBA in HR from XLRI Jamshedpur, Shankar started his career with Crompton Greaves as its HR head in 1982. For the last 12 years, he has worked in the IT sector, with a stint at Deutsche Software, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, as the HR head. Ravi is also a visiting faculty at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
One of Shankar’s primary hobbies is reading books on psychology, philosophy and sociology. He also spends a lot of time trying to unravel emerging trends in HR. “Basically, I try to understand the newer practices suitable for the newer generation, who believe in virtual meeting and virtual conversation,” he adds.
He is also an occasional, experimental cook, mixing Indian delicacies with continental ones, in quest for a new flavour. “You will find an Italian flavour dosa with continental ingredients in my house,” he says. In his newest role, Shankar hopes to cook up the right kind of recipe that will nourish ‘MindTree minds’.