Inside NBFC Hiring Landscape: U GRO Capital’s Pia Shome on Building a Strong Talent Pipeline

Inside NBFC Hiring Landscape: U GRO Capital’s Pia Shome on Building a Strong Talent Pipeline

, Senior Manager - Editorial & Content, Naukri
U Gro Capital
Pia Shome, Chief People Officer, U GRO Capital

In the fast-paced world of NBFCs, talent acquisition and workforce management serve as critical pillars for building resilience, driving business growth, and achieving long-term success. Pia Shome, Chief People Officer at U GRO Capital, shares valuable insights on navigating the hiring landscape, maintaining high morale among field staff, and leveraging data-driven strategies for talent acquisition.

As U GRO Capital approaches its five-year anniversary, what insights can you provide regarding the company’s approach to hiring, acquiring critical talent, crafting a dynamic HR policy, and the underlying rationale driving these strategic decisions?

As an organisation, U GRO Capital has consistently prioritised the development of a strong workforce and establishing a prominent market presence. Even during the challenging COVID-19 period, our organisation remained resilient and continued to grow. We actively recruited new talent, expanded our branches, ventured into new business lines, engaged with campuses, and most importantly, we did not resort to any layoffs.

Our hiring approach was strategic, focused on future growth, and we capitalised on the availability of skilled professionals seeking new opportunities.

Agility and flexibility are key for any startup to keep moving forward. We embraced these and empowered our employees to work remotely. This helped us to attract talent and retain them. We placed significant emphasis on developing robust processes, leveraging advanced technology, and formulating effective strategies, all of which have been instrumental in driving the overall success of our organisation.

Also read: Tier 2, 3 and Rural Cities to Lead Rise in Talent Demand in BFSI Sector: Ruhie Pande, Godrej Capital

How did you effectively boost the morale of your field staff in the demanding market of MSME lending?

I have always believed that communication is key. The more connected we are to all our employees, the more successful we can be as an organisation. We conduct regular employee connect sessions to provide a platform for expressing thoughts, feedback, and concerns. Personally, I travel to branches nationwide, establishing a personal connection with each employee to understand the pulse of the organisation and ensure they feel heard and valued. In addition, we have implemented a robust recognition program, offering motivation and rewards for good performance.

In the challenging market of MSME lending, we prioritise maintaining the morale of field staff. At U GRO Capital, we have implemented various strategies to support and motivate our employees on the field. These include training programmes, recognition for high achievers, fostering a positive work environment, and establishing clear career growth paths.

How does U GRO Capital’s status as India’s first data-driven underwriting platform impact your Talent Acquisition policy? What specific roles and skills are essential for U GRO Capital’s data-driven approach, setting it apart from other NBFCs? How challenging was it to attract and hire tech talent during a time when there was high demand for such skills?

As a data-driven underwriting platform, U GRO Capital places a strong emphasis on recruiting professionals with expertise in data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. We specifically seek out data scientists, analysts, credit risk professionals, and technology specialists to support our unique approach.

Adapting to the high-demand market for such talent required swiftly adjusting our hiring strategies. We restructured our plans and designed some long-tail compensation measures in a bid to attract and retain top talent. These efforts have contributed to the development of a robust and highly skilled workforce that we take great pride in today.

While fintech may have occupied a favourable position previously, factors such as market competition, regulatory changes, and economic conditions can lead to survival issues for some companies. It is crucial for fintech companies to constantly innovate, diversify their offerings, and adapt to changing market conditions.

Could you give us a brief overview of the current composition of your employee base?

The current employee base at U GRO Capital consists of professionals from various backgrounds, including finance, technology, data science, risk management, and operations, and of course sales.

The precise composition would depend on the specific organisational structure and growth trajectory of the company. However, it is safe to say that a significant portion of the employee base comprises professionals with expertise in lending, credit analysis, and data-driven decision-making.

Also read: How Merck India is Letting Its Employees Own Their Career

What are the company’s general and specialised skill needs?

U GRO Capital seeks a combination of general and specialised skills in its workforce. General skills would include strong communication skills, problem-solving, and teamwork abilities. In addition, we value specialised expertise in areas such as credit assessment, risk management, data analytics, financial modelling, technology development, and domain knowledge of the MSME lending sector. We also value individuals who demonstrate qualities of being bold, humble, agile and possess a customer-centric mindset.

What is your perspective on the demand for talent in the BFSI sector, specifically in the NBFC space, considering the recent growth in hiring rates compared to other sectors?

As NBFCs play a crucial role in providing financial services to underserved segments, there is a need for professionals with expertise in credit assessment, risk management, financial analysis, and regulatory compliance. With the growth of digital lending and the need for innovative solutions in today’s rapidly changing world, there is also a massive demand for individuals skilled in data analytics, automation, and fintech.

The field staff across the BFSI are seeing the maximum attrition. Your thoughts on the general attrition level in BFSI companies and for the field staff?

Attrition in the BFSI sector is influenced by factors such as competitive job opportunities, career growth prospects, and market dynamics. To address attrition, we offer internal growth opportunities and we have developed transparent, achievement driven, number-led career plans. Field staff can, thus, calculate their own career moves based on their performance. This provides them with a clear pathway for progression and helps to mitigate attrition.

How has the rapid digitisation of processes, particularly in customer onboarding, loan disbursal, and repayments, affected your Talent Acquisition (TA) policies for acquiring customer-facing talents in the BFSI sector?

The rapid digitisation of processes in customer onboarding, loan disbursal, and repayments has significantly influenced our talent acquisition policies at U GRO Capital. We recognise the importance of having customer-facing talents who are not only proficient in traditional banking practices but also possess digital acumen and the ability to adapt to technological advancements.

Our talent acquisition policies have evolved to prioritise candidates with a strong understanding of digital platforms, online customer engagement, and the ability to leverage digital tools for efficient service delivery. We seek individuals who can provide a seamless digital experience to our customers while ensuring compliance and security measures. Additionally, we emphasise the importance of continuous learning and upskilling to stay updated with the latest digital trends and technologies.

Also read: Apexon’s Anand Kabra Suggests AI Solutions for BFSI’s Attrition Problem

What is your analysis of the current situation where fintech companies, which once held a promising market position, are now confronted with survival challenges?

The fintech industry has witnessed rapid growth and disruption in recent years. However, it is important to recognise that the dynamics of any market can change, and challenges can arise even in desirable market niches. While fintech may have occupied a favourable position previously, factors such as market competition, regulatory changes, and economic conditions can lead to survival issues for some companies. It is crucial for fintech companies to constantly innovate, diversify their offerings, and adapt to changing market conditions. As an HR professional at U GRO Capital, I am proud to say that we actively stay focused on building a resilient organisation that can navigate uncertainties, attract top talent, and foster a culture of agility and innovation.

What insights can you provide about the NBFC industry for individuals considering a career in this space?

The NBFC industry offers exciting career opportunities for individuals interested in finance, risk management, and customer-centric roles. NBFCs play a crucial role in providing financial services to segments that are underserved by traditional banks. This sector offers a diverse range of job profiles, including credit analysis, risk management, operations, sales, and technology. Working in an NBFC requires a deep understanding of lending practices, regulatory compliance, and customer behaviour. It is an industry that demands adaptability, analytical skills, and the ability to navigate complex financial landscapes. Aspiring professionals should focus on building a strong foundation in finance, staying updated with industry trends, and developing skills in areas such as data analytics and digital technologies to thrive in the dynamic NBFC space.

About the author: Pia Shome has 17+ years of broad exposure in Human Resources, Change Management, Organization Transformation and Culture Building. Her notable work assignment has been as HR Head at SMEcorner. She has held many leadership positions at IDFC First Bank, RBL Bank, DBS Bank, Barclays and TCS eServe International.



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