Rajesh Padmanabhan calls it a day at Welspun, to go the entrepreneurial way

Padmanabhan has been evaluating options for some time with his mix of business, digital, consulting and HR experience.

Rajesh Padmanabhan

Rajesh Padmanabhan, director & group CHRO, Welspun Group, moves on from Welspun Group and is in transit now.

Confirming the development to HRKatha, Padmanabhan says, “I have been waiting for the calling at the opportune time. Have been evaluating options for some time with my mix of business, digital, consulting and HR experience.”

“Will use the Covid-19 extended time out to plan and announce my future endeavours. Lot of new ideas in planet 2.0, post Covid-19,” he adds.

It is in February 2016 that Padmanabhan joined the three billion dollar business conglomerate, Welspun Group, as director & group CHRO. With an employee strength of around 24,000, the Group deals in pipes, plates and coils. It also has presence in other verticals, such as steel, infrastructure and energy.

Padmanabhan joined the Welspun Group from Vedanta, where he was president and group CHRO.  There, he created a platform to enable businesses with cost-effective strategies, culture building and effective leadership. He ensured the growth of the people with a clear vision, capability development and high engagement levels across the Group.

After completing his master’s in both human resources and finance, from Mumbai University’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Padmanabhan joined ICICI bank, handling systems on Cobol platforms. As the nation entered the era of financial liberalisation, Padmanabhan worked as a corporate banker with the ICICI Group. This gave him considerable exposure to systems and financial services.

In 1997, he took the big plunge into HR and managed HR startups within the Group. In 1999, he was elevated to vice president-HR, at ICICI Infotech, where he witnessed the convergence of business and HR.

At Essel Propack, his next destination, he combined the HR and business roles. He was one of the early movers in India to globalise HR and managed to take it to locations, such as the US, Latin America, UK, Germany, Egypt, China, South East Asia, Russia and Nepal.

In 2004, he took over as EVP and group HR- Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development, at the Oberoi Group. There, he ensured the holistic convergence of leadership development and skill building, for creation of business value and excellence.

From Oberoi, he moved to Patni Computer Services as EVP & CHRO. In the three years that he spent there, he created customer-centric global HR models across geographies with learning skills. He helped build frameworks and run complex yet efficient structures for creation of customer and enterprise value. His stint at Patni came with its dividends. He picked up three awards in a row— the Golden Peacock for Training in 2007, the ET Smart Workplace Award in 2008 and the DQ Preferred Employer (rank 7) in 2009.

Between 2010 and 2014, he worked with Capgemini, as Corporate vice-president & CHRO, where he won the prestigious UN Award for building diversity and inclusive practices.

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