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BW Businessworld

Leaders Need To Create A Conducive Environment For Their Employees: Vijay Anand, ‎Senior VP, Intuit Global Development Centers

Vijay Anand, ‎Senior VP, Intuit Global Development Centers talks to BW Businessworld about the startegies that make it one of the best to work, and their perception about India as a marketplace.

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Intuit India has become the Top company to work for in India. What has been the strategy?

Our strategy has been to focus on Intuit’s unique culture that it is globally recognized for. When we began about 12 years ago, we brought in this very special work culture, where we consider everyone to be a leader. We have a set of values that everyone imbibes. We have a concept known as Unstructured Time where all employees are encouraged to spend 10 percent of their working hours pursuing an idea that they’re passionate about.

As we saw this culture of inclusion and innovation unfold; the next phase was to make our employees, our ambassadors. We encouraged them to take this culture and facilitate this through social media, with their families through events and also invited their children on Little Intuit Day. This built pride within the company as well as the brand in India. 

How do you see India as a marketplace and what are your hiring intentions?

We have always believed that India is an amazing talent rich environment. We realized that with the best talent innovating for our global customers, we would be able to make big wins in India. Our talent strategy is very simple, just like our business, we believe in word of mouth. What we do is make the employees feel so magical, that they would be inspired to spread the word. In fact over half of our employee base is through word of mouth reference. We also focus on ensuring diversity, which includes resources from across the country, equal representation of women, and people with special needs. We look forward to building the next gen workforce by engaging with universities and teaching graduates how to innovate.

The company has been successful in retaining the best talent. How do you manage to retain the best talent in the organization?

Our main aim is to employ the best talent and we help them to do the best work of their life. What this really means is, as leaders, our role is to make sure that we have a clear goal for our employees to achieve. We outline that goal in the form of what we call True North. True North is about setting goals for the long and short term and understanding how these are balanced amongst our stakeholders. Here our stakeholders would be employees, customers and shareholders. What we found is that when we set goals, the exceptional talent always goes after them and the leaders have to step in only when there are barriers. Employees want to be part of a mission driven company and our mission is to power prosperity around the world. This is a huge mission that is inspiring when our people see what we mean by prosperity for our customers. They are excited to be part of this mission and have a direct tangible impact on that community.

How do higher engagement scores impact businesses?

We measure our success using the True Northmetric, as it allows usto achieve the best results as we can within the short time span. But we are very deliberate about beginning with employees first. We recognize that high engagement leads to customers being delighted. Besides the engagement scores, we look for conversations, what are our people actually saying about us. As a practice, we read all the comments by employees because we want to make sure that we are identifying the biggest barriers that our employees face, and eliminate that.

When do you see the job market improving? Is job market dependent on global economy or regional growth?

The whole shift in India towards the mobile phone and massive increase in smartphone penetration and data has marked the beginning of a new era. This emergence of the digital economy, the role of government in enabling this, as well as private industries innovating including startups, has brought us to a point where it is considered normal to pay electronically or file taxes electronically. This shift is redefining businesses and India is leading it today.

We want to help small businesses in India take advantage of GST, not only to stay compliant, but to make and save more money. Now we are able to help small businesses deal with their inputs costs and get input credit in an easy way. Intuit believes that the future of India is largely with small businesses and self-employed and by encouraging them, we will help power prosperity. That is where a large portion of employment opportunities will come from and we want to provide them the tools to succeed.

How can leaders and employees make up a great work environment?

I think the biggest role that leaders play is to create a conducive environment for everyone. They have to operate in the Servant Leadership model, defining the mission for the team and then be able to help the team achieve their full potential towards the mission. They have to role model the values and walk the talk. 

What we have learnt is that India is a place of great talent. Given the right environment and right platform, they can do amazing things. We are in fortunate moment of time where all of us- the government, the companies are combined to help each other and create that environment at every workplace so the talent we have captures the opportunities. It is a very exciting time and we hope to play our part.