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Ranna Pandya

How Ranna Pandya spices up business with HR

She lets her personality do the magic – and the work. Sociable and bursting with energy, Ranna Pandya itches for a conversation every time she sits down with her office laptop. Spotting a human, she springs up, darts towards them and shoots: “Aur batao, kya haal hai?” (So tell me, how are you?)

“I am not the kind of person who would sit in a corner, glued to their screen,” says Ms. Ranna. To her, the field of HR holds a mirror: it thrives on interactions, treats every job with respect and strives to make the workplace loveable.

The HR is like salt, she hints. Sprinkle it on a dish and people relish it without knowing the real reason. “The paneer was good,” they’ll say. But leave it out the next time, and the delicacy – of people, profits and products – goes bland.

“Where is the salt?” they ask.

Adding seasoning to organizations with her HR practices since 2008, Ms. Ranna makes sure the salt (the HR) is BAE (before anything else). It must drive businesses.

The Turning Point

The field of HR was not part of the plan. Her career took off with an airways job after a diploma in aviation hospitality and travel management. Soon her marriage was fixed, but the employer refused to sanction leaves.

Eventually, she was forced redirect her career to another destination. She picked a recruitment firm. But it was a rough landing.

“I was like a child, mesmerized by this new world,” she reminisces. She observed others, took faltering steps and tugged at the seams of her seniors. And one day, she straightened up and walked independently. Then, a sprint accompanied.

“This job is people-oriented,” Ms. Ranna told Keka, which provides HR tech solutions to SMEs. “I gradually realized that you have to be a bridge between the employer and employees.”

Then there are interactions. And that is what she enjoys and lives on every day. That is what HR is all about. The two got together well, and she found her home here. “I like to read people’s minds,” chuckles Ms. Ranna, corporate HR & Admin at Unique Mercantile India Ltd in Ahmedabad, India.

She even got certification in HR. Did it help? “Certainly, at the strategic level, but there is a lot of learning on the job too. In HR, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Everyone reacts to situations differently,” she explains.

Humans at Work, Everywhere 

When Ms. Ranna was handed over the hospitality profile at Unique Mercantile India Ltd, everyone battered her with one comment: You are not from this industry. So, you can’t handle HR here.

They were right. She didn’t know the industry regulations, who a steward was or how shifts were managed.

But she was sure about one thing: Humans worked there. They are the same everywhere.

“Irrespective of the industry, there is a human at work. The HR deals with them,” she stresses. Ms. Ranna, who taught herself about the hotel industry online, stayed in the profile for three years.

Many times, it is a thankless job, she regrets. “Whatever you do, it is less for others.” To her, loyalty to people comes first. “You should have a humane approach and be creative to survive in the field today,” she suggests.

Advantage Sixth Sense

Gender bias has laid roadblocks in her way, yes. But she uses them as springboards to excellence.

“Females, I believe, have a sixth sense,” explains Ms. Ranna, “They can read the not-so-apparent signs in people.” This has helped her recruit better and on scale.

In the end however, whether you are a man or a woman, work triumphs. “Hard work will definitely get you things,” she declares.

What is HR to Ranna? 

For an HR, retention is the new recruitment today, suggests Ms. Ranna.

Earlier, she had to frequently face the mocking question: “What is your work after all, to prepare payrolls?”

But today, the HR is waltzing to the center stage. With high attrition beating firms down, leaders are looking for HRs to stem the trend. The age of HRs is here, she believes.

Further, Ms. Ranna says, “Treat people with dignity, irrespective of their job roles. Everyone has self-respect.”

Career Highlights

Executive Consultant at Canary Consultancy

2009 – 2011
Senior Consultant at S.T. Shah & Co.

2015 – 2019
Recruitment Consultant at United HR Solutions Pvt. Ltd

2019 – Present
Corporate HR & Admin at Unique Mercantile India Ltd

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