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Challenge yourself

At HP India, you could move from hardware to software, or even from engineering to environment management.

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: February 7, 2010

Hewlett-Packard India (HP India) ranks equally strongly across all parameters in the Business Today-Indicus-PeopleStrong's Best Companies to Work For survey. Srikanth Karra, Director (Human Resources), HP India, puts that to what he says is an effort in the company to consistently strengthening its "people promise".

"We have a branded employee programme called HP First that has a proper career development framework in place," Karra says. This involves a lot of training within the company. HP employees have a minimum of 40 hours of training annually and they can pick and choose their specific areas of interest.

Karra adds that one of the biggest advantages the company has is that it is one of the few information technology (IT) companies to operate across the gamut of the business—from services (both consumer and enterprise) to hardware and software. Like many of its peers, HP also offers internal job movements ("Every opening in HP is open to all employees"); Karra says one of the key attractions of HP is that it offers employees an opportunity to move across functions and, thereby, find newer challenges.

Bina Raj Debur is such an example. She had signed on with HP India in 2004 as a communications and marketing specialist, "but over the years, I developed an interest in environmental issues and thought that I could have a greater impact in that field". But she did not have to leave HP India to fulfil her desire to work in this area of growing importance.

Last year, months ahead of the Copenhagen Summit, Raj Debur started work as head of HP India's Environment Management team. "I don't think there are too many other companies that give their employees such opportunities," she says, adding she knows of several people who have shifted to new roles within HP India.

Anther of HP's "unique edges" in the world of IT, points out Karra, is its experience with buyouts and their subsequent integration, where HR plays a key role. "We have mastered the art of acquiring companies, and even have an acquisition ‘toolkit' in a manner of speaking," he beams.

Over the years, HP has acquired several companies, big and small, across the world, including EDS and Compaq. It's up to the respective HR teams to ensure a smooth integration. "There is anxiety on both sides and we now know how to minimise it and how to hand-hold employees through the process," says Karra.

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