Prashant Khullar, former CHRO of Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, is the new senior VP and HR head, Max Life Insurance. Incidentally, he has always worked in the hospitality industry, and this new role in a completely new industry, is a milestone shift in his career.
Khullar has worked in the hospitality space for 21 years, having begun his career with Four Seasons Hotel, as a management trainee, where he worked for a year. After that he switched jobs quickly, first ITC and then Hyatt Hotels.
It was at Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris that Khullar’s career blossomed. He joined as a regional manager but grew up the ranks to become head-human resources, India. He remained with Taj for more than 11 years, looking after the overall HR function, with key focus on talent development and acquisition, improving workplace productivity, leadership development and employee relations.
At Mahindra Holidays, he stayed for a little over four years. There, in addition to his role as CHRO, he was also actively involved with the Mahindra Leadership University at Nasik, where he conducted many leadership programmes.
Max India Life insurance was looking for somebody from a service background. Even though Khullar does not come from the same industry, the fact that he had helped the Mahindra Group build the Service Excellence Academy, worked to his advantage. “Over and above my role as a CHRO, I was instrumental in developing the academy for the Group and the same served all the businesses of the conglomerate,” shares Khullar.
After leaving Mahindra Holidays, Khullar took some time to select his next employer. He happened to be one of those lucky ones sitting with quite a few offers. Apparently, he chose the BSFI sector over the entertainment industry.
Khullar emphasises, “Having worked with the hospitality sector for 21 years, I wanted to move to another industry. Manufacturing does not excite me as my passion lies in service excellence, where the employees are in direct contact with the customers.”
Having spent the last 16 years in Mumbai, this appointment is also a homecoming for him, as his parents stay in Gurgaon.
Khullar’s strength is his excellent interpersonal and communication skills. He is known to be a highly motivating HR leader, who inspires people to believe in their potential. Moreover, he likes to coach them to further develop their strengths.
An alumnus of SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (Mumbai), he has been a visiting faculty for the last six years, leading sessions on HR strategy and leadership. He recently completed his term as VP, NHRDN, Mumbai chapter, in March 2019.
Khullar concludes, “Max life Insurance is totally focussed on creating a great employee and customer experience. And that has been my forte for the past two decades. I will be leading the HR COE for all aspects, such as L&D, compensation and benefit, reward and recognition, and employee engagement to name a few.”