We have experimented with different, hybrid organisational group setups: Nutanix's Sankalp Saxena

Organisations are seeking employees who are flexible, adaptable, and who proactively embrace future trends and drive disruptive outcomes, said Saxena

ETtech
As companies accelerate their adoption of hybrid cloud solutions, their staff skill requirements are also undergoing a rapid transformation, says Sankalp Saxena, senior vice-president and MD - operations, India, Nutanix.

In an interview with ET, Saxena says that in addition to software and application skills, organisations are seeking employees who are flexible, adaptable, and who proactively embrace future trends and drive disruptive outcomes. Edited excerpts:

What have been the biggest talent challenges for the company since the pandemic started? How did the organisation tackle these?


Saxena: As an enterprise cloud company, the Nutanix infrastructure was designed to support remote work, with half our global workforce already working remotely in their day-to-day roles. Once we were sure our employees were safe and had access to the right technologies to remain effective (laptops, adequate internet bandwidth, etc.), we could focus on maintaining engagement and productivity across the organisation.

We began providing specific information and suggesting processes that our people could rely on, even creating an intranet site titled ‘How to Work from Home’. We also experimented with different, ‘hybrid’ organisational group set-ups and moved to an even more agile model of work management.

This hybrid approach was a truly employee-driven mode of working and saw great global results in productivity. From a 15% decrease in productivity within the first week of remote work, we have since exceeded our pre-pandemic productivity levels and now hold a near 10% increase in our baseline productivity.
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Are employees still working from home? How are you driving collaboration within a remote work environment?

Saxena: We have just announced that we are extending WFH for our employees until September 2021. We have always encouraged flexible and remote working, but this announcement is specifically in response to the current Covid-19 situation, to ensure the safety and security of our people.

We have also implemented a Return-to-Office (RTO) methodology which looks at a host of independent parameters prior to approving any requests for our offices globally to open. While working remotely, organisations have been completely reliant on technology for collaboration - we have used our own VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) collaboration platform, Xi Frame. We also use a range of collaboration, instant messaging, and video conferencing capabilities to provide choice and flexibility to teams.

What do you see as the skillsets of the future?

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Saxena: As companies accelerate their adoption of hybrid cloud solutions, their staff skill requirements are also undergoing a rapid transformation. In addition to software and application skills, companies are seeking employees who are flexible, adaptable, and who proactively embrace future trends and drive disruptive outcomes.

How are you prioritising diversity within the company, across all levels?

Saxena: Diversity is not just an HR initiative for us, it is imperative for driving innovation. This starts with recruitment - ensuring we are hiring well-rounded people who will bring new ideas and perspectives to the table. This includes individuals of different genders, ethnicities, backgrounds, ages, and life experiences. To promote gender diversity we have launched a returnship programme called Women Encore (WomEncore), to encourage women who have taken time off from their careers to return to work. This applies across levels and job roles.
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We will also offer same-sex and domestic partner benefits to our employees in India. We focus on maintaining a culture that provides individuals a space to voice their unique perspectives in an open, honest and inclusive environment.

What are your hiring plans for the next year?

Saxena: We are actively looking for individuals to join our Nutanix India team and have been successful in hiring at all levels. We look for deep thinkers to augment the technical depth of teams, as well as onboard new graduates who bring curiosity, energy, and tenacity to the table.

Nutanix India has seen consistent growth, including a 17% year-on-year employee growth from FY19 to FY20 and India is our largest global development centre. This is a testament to the opportunities we have been able to create in India, and the innovative work we do here, which attracts such rich talent.
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