A Blend Of Genius, Power & Magic
a delicate framework of an organisation, that of human resource is not a cakewalk
- it takes a rare knack, zeal, acuteness and loads of patience to tackle this
fickle area. Hari Thalapalli, senior VP (HR) at Satyam Computer Services
Limited is loaded with all and more, finds Vyas Sivanand
Handling humans is a tough job; it requires rare boldness to deal with, especially
because the element of disparity between each man's physical and mental composition
is immense. But for a man who follows the credo, 'always be happy
be satisfied', Hari Thalapalli blends boldness with genius, power and magic.
He has done that in a career spanning 20 years and three jobs, accelerating
Thalapalli did his Masters in Personnel Management &
Organisational Behavior and started his career in human resources with Hyderabad-based
OMC Computers Ltd, leaders in CAD/CAM systems in India. He later moved on to
DSQ Software Limited, Chennai.
both the organisations, he had the opportunity to establish HR policies and
frameworks. He played a key role in setting up processes for global staffing,
compensation, and undertook various HR developmental initiatives. He also helped
design the organisational structure and formulate strategies for DSQ's entry
into new geographies.
In 1998, Thalapalli joined Satyam Computer in Hyderabad. He currently spearheads
various initiatives for this 24,000-employee strong company and handles the
Attraction, Retention and Motivation related initiatives for this organisation,
which has operations in over 46 countries. Satyam's ideas and products have
resulted in technology-intensive transformations that have met the most stringent
international quality standards. Satyam Development Centres in India, US, UK,
UAE, Canada, Hungary, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan and Australia serve
about 452 global companies, of which about 155 are Fortune Global 500 and Fortune
US 500 corporations.
For a company, which believes that 'every Satyamite is a
leader', the Leadership Development Initiative is of critical focus. Thalapalli
is part of the three member Leadership Development Council, which includes the
chairman, in making this vision come true. Thalapalli also heads the Real Time
Leadership Centre - Satyam's 24x7 Business Performance Management centre. He
is also the co-chairman for CII (HR) South Chapter and represents Satyam in
various national and international bodies/forums.
person who enjoys adventure sports, travelling and music, he also keenly involves
himself in mentoring budding HR professionals. Ardently involved in travelling,
Thalapalli travels twice every week within the country and once in two months
overseas. "Kerala and Rajasthan are my favorite Indian destinations. They
are very tourist friendly and serene in their own ways. "Kerala is exquisite.
I love visiting the place for its outstanding splendour, the backwaters and
the friendly nature of the folks," he avers.
Internationally, I love New Zealand and Australia. The scenic charm
of both the countries is breathtaking," he adds. The picturesque Lake Tahoe
in New Zealand is something that Thalapalli avidly remembers. "I just loved
it. The scenic beauty of the lake and its sheer ability to make tourists blend
in is something to be experienced to be believed," he exclaims.
For a person who is in the top league of the corporate ladder, humility among
people is something that he has marveled during his travails. "There are
many positives to my trips abroad and not much of negatives. For example, the
humility that I saw when in Australia was something I cannot forget. There,
taxi guys did not take fares saying that as a tourist I was entitled to that
privilege from them. Such incidents just make you feel that it is the human
nature that needs to be explored," he states.
business trips have taken him to most parts of the world, but according to him,
wild safaris in Kenya, South Africa is something that he is yet to experience.
Working about 12 hours every day, even weekends do not go without work. "About
four hours on both days are reserved for work," he grins. Not mixing business
with leisure however, he travels with his wife and two children twice every
year. "I never travel with family on business so I take a vacation about
twice a year - one week each time," he reveals.
Thalapalli patronises British Airways saying, "They sure have a sleeper
class." As for hotels, Sheraton and Ritz find his signature. Adaptable
to any kind of cuisine, he is not particular about food. "I'm very versatile
when it comes to food," he chuckles. But don't let that fool you - he is
quite a stickler when it comes to people. "Hard work, commitment and a
positive attitude helps when it comes to handling people," he modestly