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Paul David

Lionel Paul David’s Transition Story

Tying your professional life to your passion is an art form not many excel at. Lionel Paul David is one of those who managed to do that and more.

Currently serving as the Workforce Head and HR Business Advisor – IAP, he initially had his mind and heart pinned on venturing towards the journalism and media sector. But fate had other plans.

The Turning Point - How it all began

Having completed several internships during his college years, Lionel, a Literature graduate, was always drawn towards contributing to the society and making an impact. This calling led him to explore the field of Human Resources.

He went ahead to apply for the role of an HR professional at a boutique HR consulting firm with no experience or qualification in the domain. The company took a risk, hired him and by the end of his stint, he succeeded the Head of Operations.

Armed with lessons on managing adverse situations, being agile and solving problems better, Lionel, at the age of 23, became the youngest country Head of Recruitment for an IT product organization. He set up the entire talent acquisition COE here and blitz scaled the workforce by 130% within 6 months, in due time for the product launches.

At 25, he was appointed as the interim Head of HR for an IT and shared service center of a billion-dollar infra major company. When at Stellantis they were about to launch the flagship SUV in India, the pandemic settled in, forcing them to change their course and face new challenges especially during the nascent stages of their operations in India. Lionel took up additional responsibilities and saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

Corporate Mantra

  • Demonstrate a childlike curiosity to continually explore and learn new skills and subjects
  • Evaluate each challenge as it comes and choose the ones to pursue
  • Imbibe a big picture thinking with a hunger for value creation

The Unspoken Challenges

  • Started with a boutique consulting startup- Left as the Head of Operations
  • Transformed a family-run organization into a professionals-run firm- This allowed him to hone his business acumen and think from different angles to sharpen execution abilities
  • Stint at RR Donnelley- Post the spinoff, the HR leadership team carved a new role for Lionel which did not exist in the traditional structure. This helped him leverage his competencies with ample headroom for growth

What does HR mean to Lionel?

HR as a term continues to evolve in a very positive sense, according to Lionel. Today, HR is about seamlessly switching from one hat to another- Being a trusted advisor to the leadership, brand champion to external stakeholders, people champion to the employees and more. Hence, HR is majorly concerned with playing these different roles with the same flare.

Career Highlights

  • Awarded with BusinessWorld’s HR 40 under 40 accolade
  • Recognized as one of the Global 100 HR Influencers in social media for 3 consecutive years (2018, 2019 and 2020)
  • Won a national level recognition for creating a free resource centre-#ACTAGAINSTHARASSMENT
  • Awarded by Economic Times, Times Group, EY, PWC and other leading external organizations for his Organization Transformation initiatives and HR intervention practices
  • Has the distinction of being one of the youngest board members of National HRD Network and the youngest advisory committee member of Tamil Nadu Government’s CSR Alliance.

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