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Ameet Kakar

“HR is not a females-only job”- Breaking taboos the Ameet Kakar way

It is 1998. HR is a female-only job in every company, as far as the eye can see. Human Resources is a ladies’ world and there is no entry for men. Leaving ego at the door, a determined double graduate man stands up to break the taboo. Despite being ostracized by the society, his own family and the 1990s’ corporate world, Ameet Kakar began his journey towards gender equality.

The Unspoken Challenges:

At a time when women’s rights were getting traction, Ameet dragged the spotlight on an issue that existed since the evolution of HR but was never addressed. “If women can do it, why can’t men?” he said, and 25 years later, he is working as the HR Head of a freight forwarding company.

Anything is achievable when it is chased with an undying passion and zeal. But an engineer choosing to become an HR professional wasn’t on the cards for most people, thus, this became the talk of Ameet’s town. People were neither ready to believe nor hire him. But he stood tall, completed his MBA in HR and entered, what he calls, “the female’s domain.”

But he had envisioned himself as an HR professional.

Breaking Stereotypes:

Going to the US and pursuing his masters there was the ultimate plan. The GET program (Graduate Engineering Training) was garnering students’ attention. Some suggested working in a specific factory, others suggested moving to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, or Punjab. However, things took a turn during the campus interviews. Ameet realized that getting into GET and settling to do quality checks in a manufacturing company wasn’t his calling. A born leader, he had his mind set to pursue a role in the HR function. His parents were flabbergasted. “They believed that I had gone crazy,” Ameet chuckled as he reminisced the days.

His HR journey started with a medium-scale enterprise; a place where he could experiment. However, it came with its own set of challenges. People considered the HR function to revolve around attendance and leave, but Ameet ensured that this definition was struck off. He made company culture his priority and started from there. Implementing an open-door policy to discuss employee problems and grievances and becoming the bridge between the employer and employees came next. His effective problem-solving and attentive listening accelerated the processes.

Ameet later moved to employee engagement, where he introduced the reward-based and incentive-based system along with fringe benefits. His knack for turning theoretical knowledge into a practical approach solved the problems of hundreds but brought envy along. “When it comes to implementing what we have actually learned, there will be 10 people standing against us,” he said, but moved across the sea to bring his compensation, wages and salaries, incentives, statutory, improvisations, and compliance strategies to see the light of the day.

The SME to MNC Journey:

There is no denying that SMEs work vividly different from MNCs. The systems, policies, working methodologies and culture, over everything, are nothing alike. Working in an MNC brought a shift in Ameet’s perspective and helped him change his myopic vision to a broader one. With this, he marks his 25 years in the HR domain this year.

Corporate Mantras:

Wherever you go, there will be mockery first, rejection next, and acceptance last.
Don’t burn the bridges. Always part on good terms. Life is a circle; you may never know when you might meet them
When people put their resignations forward, they are not leaving the company, they are leaving the boss. Check how you are doing as a leader.

Career Highlights

2021 – Present
Head HR – GSL Limited
2018 – 2021
DGM HR – VAPL
2015 – 2018
Senior HR Manager – R Biotechnology
2010 – 2015
Assistant HR Manager – Shalina Labs
2000 – 2010
HR Officer – Sanofi Aventis

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