Interview with Ms. Aditi Mittal, Group Head – HR for SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd
Ms. Aditi Mittal is the Group Head- HR for SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd. She joined the organization in September 2020, and scaled the number of employees from 438 employees to 1950.
During her tenure SAVE has acquired two other companies, where Ms. Aditi enabled the smooth onboarding of 1600 newly acquired employees.
This involved processes such as HR software training, benefits and policy comparison, and merger for acquired company employees. At present she manages a total of 3300+ employees across 13 states of India.
Tell us a little about yourself
A seasoned HR professional with a strong background in the NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) sector, I hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management with a specialization in Human Resources from Symbiosis Institute, Pune.
My educational journey also includes a Master’s Degree in English Hons. from Himachal University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication from Bhartiya Vidhya Bhawan. I’m a mother of 2 kids and my husband is also part of financial industry.
Over the course of my career, I have accumulated more than 15 years of rich and diverse experience in various facets of Human Resources, with a particular focus on the NBFC sector.
My journey as an HR in the financial industry began with my role as an HR Head in a leading NBFC, where I had the opportunity to work closely with the leadership team and employees to drive strategic initiatives.
One of my notable achievements includes scaling up a Series B company to 10 times its size across all functions in under 24 months.
This experience provided me with valuable insights into hyper-scaling talent needs and setting benchmarks for HR as a solution provider and enabler within the banking and financial services sector.
A significant highlight of my career has been leading the HR function at SAVE for an on-roll workforce of 3,700+ employees and an off-roll workforce of 13,000 employees in BFSI industry.
This experience provided me with a deep understanding of the complexities and challenges faced in managing a diverse and large workforce.
My expertise in change management and organizational transformation allowed me to successfully navigate mergers, demergers, and expansion projects within the banking and financial sector, ensuring smooth people transitions and integration.
Kindly brief us about SAVE Solutions, its specialization, and the services that it offers.
Aditi Mittal: SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd. began as a Business Correspondent company for PSU banks to provide banking services through its Customer Service Points in the most unreached regions of Bihar.
Over the years, the company expanded its partnerships with various banks, including State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, and several Grameen banks, to offer doorstep banking services and awareness about various government schemes to the most unpenetrated communities in 28 states and 3 union territories.
SAVE’s focus is on achieving financial inclusion for all while facilitating women empowerment, income generation facilitation, youth employment, and convenient banking services to the unbanked populations of the country.
Its subsidiary companies caters to Finance/ Lending through microfinance, micro, small and medium enterprise loans, and housing finance solutions for residential and commercial property requirements.
These include the companies namely SAVE Microfinance, SAVE Financial Services, SAVE Housing Finance Limited, and SaGgraha Management Services Private Limited. Services offered by the organization include:
- Business Loans(MSME)
- Loan Against Property/ Loan Against Plot
- Housing Loans
- Micro Loans for Women
- Account Opening
- Cash Deposit/ Withdrawal
- Pension & Insurance Schemes
- Agri- Tech and Fast Tag
- As the Group Head of HR for SAVE Solutions, what strategies would you implement to attract and retain top talent in a competitive industry of BFSI segment?
At SAVE we have implemented a plethora of strategies which include:
- Employer Branding: We have tried to promote the company’s values, culture, career opportunities, and opportunities for growth, while trying to showcase our unique selling points and create a positive reputation in the industry.
- Competitive Compensation and Benefits: We believe in offering competitive compensation packages, benefits, and perks to attract and retain top talent. We regularly benchmark our compensation against industry standards to ensure competitiveness.
- Professional Development and Growth Opportunities: Providing clear career paths, and continuous learning opportunities, and professional development programs has helped SAVE go a long way in driving talent retention.
- Strong Leadership and Supportive Culture: By cultivating a positive work environment with strong leadership that promotes open communication, collaboration, and empowerment; SAVE has tried to create a supportive culture that values and recognizes that the employees’ contributions.
- Targeted Recruitment Strategies: Our use of targeted recruitment strategies, such as leveraging social media, professional networking platforms, and industry-specific job boards has proactively helped us reach out to passive candidates and build relationships with potential talent.
- Diversity and Inclusion: By creating an inclusive environment that values and celebrates diverse perspectives, SAVE has gone ahead as an equal opportunity employer as our policies are focused on promoting equality and fairness.
- How would you ensure that HR policies and practices align with the regulatory requirements specific to the industry?
SAVE is focused on creating policies that are in total compliance with the required labor laws, specific to each state and to each of the specific NBFC industries that SAVE serves.
Our processes for policy development are focused on attention to great detail with respect to benchmarked industry policies.
Evaluating which policies are most suitable for organization and its specific work force, a team of experts take special efforts to develop policies that are relevant for the organization.
Employee engagement is crucial for organizational success. How would you foster a positive work culture and ensure employee satisfaction within SAVE Solutions?
Aditi Mittal: Employee Engagement only works well when organizations create open and transparent communication channel that allow for two-way communication and active listening to employee concerns.
SAVE as workplace has taken keen steps to implement a comprehensive employee recognition program that celebrates individuals as well as team achievements, through quarterly Rewards and Recognitions for best performers as well as for outings and awards for team achievements, which has helped foster a culture of appreciation.
Regular pulse surveys about the developmental needs of the employees have proved to be helpful. By creating training programs and clear career paths employees are provided with personal as well as professional growth opportunities.
The management always leads by example, while exhibiting integrity, empathy, fairness and transparency in all decisions.
With the growth and expansion plans of SAVE Solutions, how would you develop and implement a robust talent management and succession planning strategy?
Aditi Mittal: In the last 2 years, SAVE has scaled up by 5 times, and now it’s time for the organization to sustain and nurture; where Talent management and succession planning will play a major role. We are aiming at the following strategies:
- Identifying Key Positions: We will determine critical roles within the organization that are essential for future success and growth; while creating a CORE team and investing in them.
- Succession Planning: We are looking at identifying potential successors for key positions and creating development plans to groom them for future leadership roles. Our focus is on ensuring a pipeline of qualified internal candidates for critical positions.
- Leadership Development: By implementing leadership development programs that nurture and develop high-potential employees for leadership roles, we are focused at providing mentoring, coaching, and exposure to different areas of the business.
- Culture of Talent Management: Our major focus is on fostering a culture that values and prioritizes talent management and succession planning. We are driving this by engaging leaders and managers in the process and ensuring their active participation and accountability.
In your opinion, what are the key challenges in managing HR functions for your business? How would you address these challenges?
Aditi Mittal: Finding and attracting skilled professionals with knowledge of banking operations and regulations is often challenging in a competitive market.
By establishing strong recruitment channels, partnering with educational institutions, conducting field drives and creating a large data base of talent is often helpful in talent acquisition.
Further being in the banking industry it is important to adhere to strict regulatory and compliance standards.
HR function ensures that they stay updated with industry regulations and ensure that the policies and practices align with legal requirements.
Regular trainings are conducted for the employees to ensure that they maintain compliance. With SAVE’s largest workforce coming from its microfinance and lending BC subsidiaries, it is important to manage regional branches and staff, for which the organization’s HR function has completely equipped itself with HRMS cloud based technology for smooth, fast and transparent flow of communication pertaining to the employees.
Retaining talented employees is vital for stability and growth. By focusing on employee engagement, career development programs, and succession planning SAVE tries to ensure that the workforce experiences ample growth opportunities within the organization.
SAVE Solutions works with major banking institutions in India. How would you establish effective partnerships with these institutions to align HR strategies and support their business objectives?
Aditi Mittal: While the major part of the Banking Correspondent Network that partners with banking institutions works through an off-roll workforce in the field a robust system with dedicated partner specific employees has helped SAVE align as per the business needs.
Various Banks partner with SAVE to ensure that their banking services reach within the pockets of the remotest sections of the country, for which they alot a number of CSPs to SAVE that can be opened in specific pin codes.
Through SAVE’s dedicated personnel including Chief Circle Heads, Circle Heads, Zonal Heads, District Coordinators and Business Development Managers, various geographical regions for each bank are managed.
Aligning as per the business needs, a proper hierarchy of departments has been created that ensure the banking partner’s needs are reached among the masses.
The organizational departments provide complete support to the District Coordinators and CSPs, while providing financial literacy camps in Gram Sabhas so that more and more CSPs can be allocated in unreached locations for their banking partners.
Further through its rewards and recognition systems, the highest performing off roll employees are not only rewarded by the organization but are often converted into full time employees, who can further take all employee benefits at the organizational level.
By establishing regular meetings to discuss HR strategies, talent acquisition, development initiatives, and succession planning, the company seeks feedback and input from the institutions to ensure alignment with their specific needs.
Employee training and development play a significant role in enhancing skills and performance. How would you design and implement learning and development programs to upskill employees in the ever-evolving banking and financial services industry?
Aditi Mittal: To design and implement effective learning and development programs to upskill employees in the ever-evolving banking and financial services industry, at SAVE we consider the following 4 approaches along with targeted focus on various aspects of learning including soft skill development and mentorship programs:
1. Aligning with Business Goals: We ensure that the learning and development programs align with the organization’s strategic objectives and the evolving needs of product and services/ Banking and financial services. Our strengths lie in identifying key competencies required for success in the business.
2. Blended Learning Approach: By implementing a combination of training methods such as classroom sessions, e-learning modules, workshops, webinars, and on-the-job training, we use a variety of formats to cater to different learning styles.
3. Technical and Regulatory Training: We provide training on industry-specific technical skills and knowledge, such as financial products, risk management, compliance, and regulations. Staying updated with industry changes and ensuring training programs reflect the latest developments, is SAVE’s top priority.
4. External Training and Certifications: The organization encourages employees to pursue external training programs and certifications that are relevant to the industry. We provide financial support and incentives to motivate employees to upskill themselves.
At SAVE we have diverse and dynamic business and needs and learning and development programs are thus extremely agile and adaptive to meet evolving needs.
We regularly review and update the programs to ensure they address emerging trends and technologies in the industry.
SAVE Solutions values innovation and technological advancements. How would you integrate HR technologies and automation tools to streamline HR processes and enhance efficiency?
Aditi Mittal: SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd. has leveraged a cloud-based HRMS system that plays a critical role in employee recruitment, retention, and engagement.
With its absolute state of the art technology, the system helps to synchronize the company’s on-roll manpower requirements across all its 490+ branches and offices located in different parts of the country.
The system’s key features of transparency, accessibility, and real-time updates have simplified the management of a widely dispersed workforce and reduced the possibility of errors during audits.
Further to the role of digitalization and automation in Human resources, the hiring drives for the Microfinance subsidiary have a QR code for scanning and uploading documents, the data is then later used for employee shortlisting.
Digital trainings are also provided to the employees. With the introduction of digitized mechanisms and various software that have helped in Human Resource management, we are witnessing an exciting time for organizational development.
The use of software, AI, HR Analytics and Digitalization processes for Hiring and other HR activities has greatly enhanced the process efficiency.
What is your vision for the HR function at SAVE Solutions, and how would you contribute to the overall growth and success of the organization?
Aditi Mittal: To cultivate a high-performance culture and empower employees, we try to enable them to reach their full potential, while strategically aligning HR practices with business objectives to drive organizational success and sustainable growth.
We are passionate about ensuring that the right candidates are hired for the right positions. We hope to focus on increasing female workforce thus enabling a balanced gender ratio in the workplace.
Our plan is to organize upskilling trainings for existing employees to enable their professional growth, promotions, and internal departmental transfers for harnessing their true talent and potential.
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