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Urjit Kavi

Urjit Kavi's tale of leaving enduring mark

He carts in two PhDs wherever he goes – one on paper and one lodged in his heart. “It is Passion, Hard work and Dedication,” chuckles Urjit Kavi, a professional for 17 years now.

The bouquet of values nudges him to pick ‘we’ over ‘me’, craft innovative practices and bounce back from failures each time. The virtues, adorned with honesty and loyalty, are a gift from his ancestors who were renowned poets.

“Never do something which lets your forefathers down” – his father’s words wash him in strength. Leave a mark where you go, learn when you can and adapt to change, he advises.

The Turning Point

Working for Microsoft is a huge deal everywhere, right? Wrong. People in the UK didn’t find it as exciting as the Indians, and this befuddled Dr. Urjit too, just a year into London Business School.

Same company, different people, different world views about work. Was it culture? Six years later, he wound up with a possible answer while wrapping up PhD thesis – Geography matters.

In India working minds value emotional quotient more, while in the UK and the US it is more about the intelligence quotient, he found.

“So, when you take care of people’s needs in India, they work more dutifully and loyally for you,” says Dr. Urjit, General Manager – HR and Admin, Analytix Business Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd in Ahmedabad.

The Empresaria Group – which he joined as a recruiter while still being a student – held promise for the youth from a background of doctors and government officials. “No one had done business in my family,” he says. It was an unfamiliar path, an exciting one.

Trail of Inspiration

Leaving a mark behind is easy. Leaving a positive mark behind is difficult. Inspiring others after you move on is magical.

People remember Dr. Urjit. “I never leave anyone on bad terms,” he avows.

In 2016, he grabbed a hammer, a scale and a bag full of determination to erect peoples’ structure for IDS technologies. Within three years, he led the increase in the workforce from 40 to 2,200 which translated into a revenue of Rs 1,800 crore from 32 crore, with expansion to six Indian cities.

“If you want to grow, you need strong HR practices,” he had informed the firm. The practices, since 2019 when he left the organization, are still being followed.

Connection leads to comfort, he believes. When you listen to people, you understand them and they understand you. He follows the three days, three weeks and three months engagement model for new employees. And a 30, 60 and 90 days model for all of them.

In addition, gaining trust creates commitment. For instance, he deployed the ‘Ankur’ program as part of Metropolis Healthcare to win the hearts and minds of college students. As a company which hired freshers more, creating a favorable image in the minds of students and reaching out to them first was crucial.

So, the HR team identified a few institutes in Ahmedabad where it offered an immersive experience to students into what it looked like to work at Metropolis Healthcare. Many bright students embraced the engagement, and joined the firm. “Bookish knowledge cannot drive you forward, practical experience can,” Dr. Urjit suggests.

Further, work ownership drives performance. At IDS, Dr. Urjit implemented a key performance indicator/result area system with goals being decided by both employees and employers. But this was no ordinary system. “There was no timeline for achieving those results,” he explains.

This means, achieving goals even within a month could land an increment. An example is of a person who started with a salary of Rs. 8,000 a month and more than a year later was raking in Rs. 96,000. “He was consistently reaching goals, and the fulfillment of client needs earlier brought us greater profits. It was a win-win situation,” adds Dr. Urjit.

What is HR to Urjit?

The HR is often chided as a ‘harmful resource’. People say – ‘they never get back to me’, ‘they say no to requests’ and ‘they are spending-machines’.

Dr. Urjit is on a mission to convert it into a ‘helpful resource’. He sticks to the maxim: “Come to me with a problem and I’ll give you a solution.”

And to make your voice heard with the leadership, talk numbers. “You need to present a revenue-driven model,” he says.

With automation opportunities lapping against the field of HR, adapting to the change is crucial. “We are people function officers today and are expected to connect with people on a larger scale. Constantly upgrade yourselves.”

Unwavering Virtues

No matter the power of technology, still only humans can comprehend feelings. “There is no substitute for cognitive analytics. It can’t be done by robots,” he believes.

Going forward, his goal is to grow organizations, elevate their people processes and bring in more revenue.

And of course, there is the guiding light of his great grandfather, who was the first Indian professor at The Rajkumar College in Rajkot, shining on him always.

Dr. Urjit asks: “My father and ancestors never compromised on their values. Why should I?”

Career Highlights

HR Business Partner at Empresaria Group plc

2010 – 2011
HR Business Partner at Metropolis Healthcare

2011 – 2014
HR Business Partner at IVRCL Infrastructures and Projects Ltd

2014 – 2016
Senior HR Business Partner at Parshwanath Group

2016 – 2019
Head – HR and Administration at IDS

2019 – 2022
General Manager – HR | Lead – Digital Hiring | HRBP – Education (PAN India)
and Regional Head HR for Gujarat and MP at Sodexo

2022 – Present
General Manager – HR & Admin at Analytix Business Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd

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