In July, Axis Securities, a financial services company, which offers brokerage and trading services, implemented an educational benefit policy for its employees. Under this programme, it offers a scholarship of Rs. 50,000 to each employee to support their educational pursuits. Employees, irrespective whether they are managing directors or entry level, who have spent a minimum of one year with the company, are eligible to avail this scholarship.
This scholarship allows its employees to pursue courses, seminars, or further education that aligns with their career aspirations.
The applications for this scholarship programme is approved by a Talent Council, which not only evaluates employee applications for educational policies, but also functions as a coach and mentor. While the company doesn’t prescribe specific courses, it does emphasise choosing programmes relevant to their current roles to ensure practical application.
“Our talent council empowers the employees to select the most suitable path for their well-being and career development, which will subsequently impact their envisioned upskilling programmes down the line. This shift benefits both the organisation and the employee, creating a win-win scenario”
Soonu Wadewala, head of HR, Axis Securities
For instance, when employees consider enrolling in an upskilling programme, the Talent Council steps in to inquire about their passion and alignment with the programme’s outcomes. Often, educational programmes become mere checkbox activities, with knowledge transfer from the programme to practical application being overlooked. The counsellors are instrumental in ensuring that employees choose programmes that truly resonate with their goals.
Citing an example, Soonu Wadewala, head of HR, Axis Securities shares with HRKatha, “We have a talent-acquisition specialist. When employees contemplate their next educational pursuit, the Talent Council assists in deciding whether to delve into people analytics for a deeper and more scientific skill set or to focus on refining interviewing skills for a more comprehensive understanding. This collaborative approach ensures that employees make informed choices that align with their career journeys within the organisation.”
Ultimately, this scholarship programme seeks to bridge the gap between employee potential and awareness, ensuring that employees not only possess valuable skills but also know how to apply them effectively in their roles. The Talent Council plays a pivotal role in realising this vision.
The other objective of this scholarship programme is to empower employees on their career journeys and enhance their decision-making capabilities. The overarching goal is to provide that additional boost by equipping employees with the knowledge and freedom to chart their own career paths. This policy encourages employees to choose programmes that have a direct or indirect impact on their roles and professional growth, thereby nurturing both personal and organisational development.
Wadewala says, “We find ourselves navigating two distinct approaches— one involving the traditional educational offerings, leadership development initiatives, and upskilling programmes provided by the organisation. However, in today’s landscape, we emphasise the importance of personalised journeys, recognising that it’s impractical for any organisation to individually tailor life journeys for every employee.”
After certification, employees take charge of applying their new skills, aligning them with their roles. This intrinsic motivation to self-improve and directly impact their work sets the company’s policy apart. Looking ahead, Axis Securities anticipates the demand for managerial skills, digital agility and niche expertise. These encompass general managerial growth, digital proficiency and specialised knowledge areas.
The programme hopes that employees will be able to take control of their own careers and education, which, in turn, shapes their career paths.
Wadewala says, “Our talent council empowers the employees to select the most suitable path for their well-being and career development, which will subsequently impact their envisioned upskilling programmes down the line. This shift benefits both the organisation and the employee, creating a win-win scenario.”
Furthermore, Axis Securities also offers internships to students from Tier 3 and 4 cities. This offer stems from a strategic understanding of their industry dynamics. The company acknowledges that the brokerage industry isn’t typically the first choice for graduates from Tier 1 and 2 institutions, particularly in the MBA domain.
Wadewala points out that there’s a prevailing misconception in some regions that the capital markets primarily involve dealing and lack broader career opportunities.
“The company recognises that tier 3 and 4 city students are more open to exploring unconventional career paths, making them valuable potential employees. By offering internships, the company has allowed these students to experience the industry firsthand and assess whether it aligns with their aspirations. This approach has turned the traditional hiring process on its head, as students get the opportunity to decide if they want to join the organisation after evaluating it,” explains Wadewala.
Regarding recruitment, it has also adapted to the changing times. In the post-pandemic landscape, many employees prefer working from their hometowns rather than relocating to metro cities. Therefore, the company offers flexibility in work location choices, aligning with the preferences of potential employees.
Both the educational and internship policies aim to build a strong talent pipeline and equip individuals with industry-specific knowledge. Education is viewed as an enduring investment in oneself, fostering intrinsic motivation and a commitment to self-improvement. This, in turn, creates a healthier, more motivated and performance-oriented work environment. The company plans to continuously improve these initiatives based on the evolving needs and feedback of their employees, focusing on both quantity and quality.