Aakratee Vajpai to head HR at Lenskart

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Prior to this, Vajpai was head-HR for Bharti Airtel’s Delhi circle…

Following a fresh round of funding, India’s largest retailer of eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses, Lenskart, announced some key appointments at the senior level—Mayank Batheja, AVP, home eye check-up programme; Aakratee Vajpai, head of human capital; Anand Thakur, AVP, technology.

As head of human capital, Vajpai will look after talent management. According to her, for a fast growing company, like Lenskart, to continue its growth, HR will play a vital role by managing the talent needs in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment. She is of the opinion that the company needs to partner with business to scale up and expand by identifying, hiring and retaining the right talent. As HR head, she feels that she will have to establish a culture that not only retains the ethos of a start-up, but also enables the company to move on to its next phase of growth. For this to happen, she will have to build processes, systems and interventions that will help employees to thrive and grow at the same pace as the organisation.

On what goes into selecting the right candidate, Vajpai reveals that interviews at Lenskart include online aptitude tests, psychometric tests and live role plays, which help to assess talent better and ensure that the right person is hired for the job. Managers at Lenskart are trained in behavioural interviewing skills to enable them to assess the individual better.

Vajpai opines that e-commerce is emerging as the primary channel for businesses, looking to reach new markets with ease and at low costs. As a result, online commerce is attracting more talent than its traditional counterpart. However, she points out that Lenskart, with its online and offline presence, offers a unique opportunity to marketing, branding and sales teams to gain experience in both models.

Prior to this, Vajpai was head-HR for Bharti Airtel’s Delhi circle. A commerce graduate from Delhi University, she pursued postgraduation in human resources, from the Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon. Having joined Airtel as an HR business partner for their Talent Management and Development division, she rose from the ranks, becoming the HR head for the Delhi Circle. While there, she was responsible for leadership development. In fact, she was instrumental in launching a leadership acceleration programme that identified and trained middle management employees, and groomed them to fill critical positions within the organisation. She was also credited with affecting large-scale interventions for Airtel in Africa.

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