Sharad Verma joins Iris Software as VP and CHRO

With over two decades of experience in HR, Verma has led the discipline in companies, such as Monster.com, Polaris Consulting & Services, and The Bank of New York Mellon among others.

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IT company Iris Software, has appointed Sharad Verma as the head of human resources. Verma joined the Company earlier this month as vice-president and CHRO. Prior to this, he was leading the HR function at Sears Holdings India.

Talking to HRKatha, Verma says, “Iris Software is in a growth phase. The organisation’s vision is very compelling and inspiring. This is an exciting role and I am looking forward to scaling up the systems and processes that will help the company to head to the next level. Iris Software has seen an aggressive growth phase in the last two to three years.”

An experienced HR professional, Verma began as an HR officer at HMT in 1992. Over the years, he has worked with companies, such as SunGard, The Bank of New York Mellon India, Monster.com India, Berkadia Services India, and Polaris Consulting & Services among others.

Sharad Verma

“Iris Software is in a growth phase. The organisation’s vision is very compelling and inspiring. This is an exciting role and I am looking forward to scaling up the systems and processes that will help the company to head to the next level. Iris Software has seen an aggressive growth phase in the last two to three years.”

Backed with varied and vast experience, he firmly believes that it is very important for HR professionals to reinvent themselves while working.

“Everything today is changing. The workforce is new and different with the millennials, and also the generation after them. Their expectations and the way they live their lives are completely different from what it used to be earlier. You have to reinvent yourself in terms of context, relevance to the company, acceptance by the management and employees. It is an ongoing process. Technology and the ways of communication have changed a lot. People want instant action and results today. This keeps me on my toes,” says Verma.

“Have a beginner’s mind, keep yourself updated and relevant, adapt and change. As an HR professional, be empathetic to the needs of the business, management, employees and your team members,” he adds.

A true believer in practical learning over just theoretical knowledge, Verma says it is critical —while keeping pace with the developments in technology— that you know what you are talking about. While admitting being technology-savvy, he is of the view that mere knowledge isn’t sufficient and one needs to have a more hands-on approach.

“I am not satisfied with understanding technology concepts, reading articles or intellectually understanding tech concepts. We should know it first-hand. If you don’t do that then while being within the system, you will still remain an outsider. You may know or understand what is going on but can you comment intelligently on it, can you implement it? If you can, you earn a lot of respect and can reap the true benefits of technology,” he says.

However, he adds that with the advent of technology, one cannot shy away from the fact that HR is a very people-centric discipline. Verma says that HR and leadership today are a coming together of psychology and what he calls, mathematics.

“Psychology is understanding people, their motivations, being able to connect with them, to empathise. This is the people-centric approach. This is core HR and is something that will never go away. We need to marry this with what I call mathematics. Think artificial intelligence, machine learning, and so on. When you combine the two, it becomes a very powerful force. This is the potential of HR today,” he says.

On his vision ahead at Iris Software, Verma says it is important for the company to be value-based and culturally rich.

“We want to build a company in which the core values of the business are preserved and well-defined. It has to be a value-based company. It is not just my personal vision but this is from the very in-depth conversations I have had with the company’s founder. I see an alignment in those values and that is why I am very excited about this role.

To achieve business success as a result of rich culture is what I think is the true success of an HR professional,” says Verma.

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