Bharti AXA elevates Dhanashree Thakkar to head – HR

Dhanashree replaces Jai Balan

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Bharti AXA, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and AXA, has elevated Dhanashree Thakkar to the position of head- HR.

In this new role, Thakkar will manage talent, employee engagement, performance and compensation and benefits.

Having joined Bharti AXA in 2020, Thakkar was the VP-HR at Bharti AXA and lead the diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda across the board.

Thakkar’s predecessor, Jai Balan, will move on from Bharti AXA by the end of June. Till then, he will complete the transition process.

Backed by close to two decades of experience in HR,  Thakkar started her career with Mahindra & Mahindra as an HR trainee and got promoted twice. In the 4.5 years that she spent there, she moved across four roles, and in the process, she managed to hone her skills in various aspects of HR.

At Mahindra, she also got the opportunity to work in China, where she played a crucial role in setting up the HR function in the new region and manage employees in that country.

In her last role at Mahindra, she was lead- HR for the international business division of the farm-equipment sector.

At McDonald’s, Thakkar’s next destination, she was responsible for business HR for over 150 stores, leading performance, talent management and training, for more than four years.

“I am passionate about adding value to the lives of our workforce and enriching their professional journeys with meaningful opportunities. My goal is to continue building holistic employee practices that help us drive collaboration, inclusivity and growth,” says Thakkar.

From McDonald’s, Thakkar moved to Kotak Life Insurance as head of corporate HR and organisational development. The role was spread across five businesses with more than 6000 employees.

During her chequered career, Thakkar also spent around two years with Korn Ferry as a principal consultant, advising the Company’s clients on various HR processes.

Before joining Bharti AXA, she was also the chief people officer for corporate group resources and strategic projects at Future Group (now part of Reliance Retail).

Thakkar holds a master’s degree in organisational and industrial psychology from the University of Mumbai and has also taken a general management programme course for senior managers from IIM, Ahmedabad. Additionally she holds a certification in people analytics from the prestigious Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, US.

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