In our journey of collaborating with industry experts from different domains to help job aspirants find the right career for themselves, this time we had a chance to interview Ms. Chandra Ganjoo, Executive Director, Group CPO (Chief People Officer) & Head Corporate Communications at Trivitron Healthcare.
With her strong proficiency in the Global Healthcare sector, Ms. Chandra offers strategic support for HR, administration, and corporate marketing initiatives. She started her professional career in Sales and Marketing in Trivitron in 1999 and has played a key role in positioning Trivitron as a Global Healthcare Leader in India and the International market.
Ms. Chandra has significant exposure in a wide range of HR expertise including international joint ventures, HR due diligence, change management, and Strategic Development initiatives. Her valuable insights will guide you to start a career in this field.
Interview Log: Executive Director, Group CPO & Head Corporate Communications – Ms. Chandra Ganjoo
1. Please share a brief introduction about your role as a Group CPO, Executive Director & Head Corporate Communications at Trivitron Healthcare.
Ms. Chandra: I have been one of the founding members of Trivitron Healthcare. Being associated with the organization for over 20 years, I got an opportunity to undertake various roles and responsibilities. Today I am the Executive Director of the firm, and I take the direct responsibility of executing the organization’s strategic and new initiatives. I am also involved in the business expansion strategies of the Group.
I additionally work in the capacity of Group CPO & Head of Corporate Communications.
As Group CPO, it is my responsibility to formulate and finalize HR policies that can contribute to the efficient implementation of our business strategies, the development of workforce plans and programs that align with the organization’s overall strategic objectives, and also orchestrate learning skills and career development of the workforce.
I have a great team who helps me in day to day management of all HR functions and further my job as Head of Corporate Communications allows me to oversee all communications involving the organization including the development and implementation of a communications strategy and a broad and diverse range of business and marketing communications.
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2. What does a day in your work life look like?
Ms. Chandra: My job is 24/7 and it never switches off even though I am managing a balanced work-life schedule. Every 30 minutes in the day there will be some reason for thinking about the organization– no matter where I go. The mornings at home are utilized majorly in planning the day, fixing the calendar, and a quick review with my team on important tasks for the day.
Once in the office, I hold meetings with my managers to keep up with the affairs of the Group, formulate a further course of action, and discuss projects which need immediate attention and also about various aspects of organization sustenance, culture, and growth.
Some days consist largely of networking with other industry leaders, consultants, and others. Other mornings, I have leadership calls with the management team of various business verticals of the Group. As an organization, we believe in an open-door policy. So, a lot of my time is invested in listening to my people sometimes through open forums and sometimes through One on One meetings.
Before I leave, I make rounds to various departments in the office to catch up with the team and get acquainted with new team members. If we have any kind of Learning & Development initiative or any event coming up, I spend time looking into preparations for the event and facilitating the availability of resources.
Lastly, while I am on my way home, I take time to catch up on conversations, revert to emails, and carry on follow-ups.
3. Please shed some light on your career path and how did you move from a Strategic Business Development role to Group CPO, Executive Director & Head Corporate Communications role?
Ms. Chandra: I completed my Master’s Degree in Business Management & International Marketing from the Ukrainian Finnish Institute of Management, shortly after which, I joined Group 4 Securitas. This was my first step in the corporate world.
After a short stint in few healthcare companies, in 1999, I started my professional career in sales & marketing at Trivitron, which was then taking baby steps in the Indian healthcare segment and was limited to a small team of few members.
I got an opportunity to work at various designations at Trivitron from managing Marketing & PR of the organization to the ranks of General Manager-HR & Admin to finally reach to the ranks of Executive Director, CPO & Head Corporate Communications. I was never concerned about my designation however I was always attracted to the role which required multitasking and gave me scope to implement new initiatives.
4. Tell us about some lessons that you have learned to excel in this field.
Ms. Chandra: I always believe in challenging myself. I joined Trivitron mainly because it was a startup company then. The role that I was offered gave me an opportunity to handle multiple roles and responsibilities, which helped me to come out of my comfort zone. I have had the privilege of being a part of some great success stories and have learned from my mistakes.
Being in the healthcare sector, I have understood quite early in my career that prompt decision making and being close to the customer is the key for success for an individual and the organization as well and that is my key learning in this field. When you are in Healthcare “Every second counts”.
5. With 21+ years of industry experience, according to you, what skills or characteristics make someone a seasoned HR and Marketing professional?
Ms. Chandra: A seasoned professional is always an important asset to an organization. He has a lot to offer. Along with your domain expertise which needs upgrading every now and then, developing certain other skills can help you master your job role and evolve yourself as a seasoned professional. I believe Time Management is one of the most important skills people need to master. Managing time is a vital aspect of organizational excellence and sustenance.
Only if you manage time effectively, you can meet your targets, prioritize your workload and other time-sensitive tasks, meet deadlines, comply with relevant regulations, and most importantly, take out time for self or family. And along with Time Management, Task Prioritization plays a key role.
Every now and then, something or other unexpected, unplanned things come up that needs to be taken care of. While every task remains important, things like this generally, are extremely critical and urgent. To become a seasoned professional, you must master the skill of prioritization and calendar management to remain productive.
We cannot ignore Communication Skills which play a very critical part in the development of every professional. And I still believe which shall include clear writing, critical listening, and conflict management.
6. What expert advice will you give to mid-level managers to move on to leadership roles?
Ms. Chandra: Mid-level managers are vital for organizational growth. Many among them are elevated to leadership roles within the organization mainly because they understand the organizational goal and culture better than someone recruited from outside. My advice for mid-level managers moving on to leadership roles is that along with attaining mastery in their specific domain they need to deeply focus on:
People Management: No one is perfect and not everyone can be 100% efficient. As a leader, you will have to cover an extensive area of operations, supported by a larger number of people. You will have to focus on more than one thing and multiple traits to evolve within your team members. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of an efficient leader to be able to identify and nurture those traits in your team members to make them emerge as the next line of leaders.
Enhanced decision-making: As a leader, you have to take important decisions that shall determine the further course of action, and indirectly impact the functioning of the organization. As a mid-level manager, you make decisions; however, as a leader, these decisions will be much wider in scope and you need to get those decisions implemented. Thus, the decisions taken by someone at the leadership position in the organization will have a long-lasting and stronger impact on the organization.
7. Which certifications do you hold, how these certificates have helped you in career growth? (Mention the name of the certificates and brief learning).
Ms. Chandra: Trivitron is a culturally diversified organization and Courses like Change Management have helped me to introduce Change in a much better way in different locations even at Leadership Level. Also, I am a trained Executive Coach and it has helped me to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex global business environment.
There are a lot of training and courses I have attended in my professional journey however the mentorship by my seniors is something which has given me a practical exposure to all the gamuts of our industry and overall business scenario.
8. Which certification courses, skill development paths, books, or channels do you recommend to aspiring HR and Marketing professionals for upskilling?
Also, please suggest any course for those who are planning for leadership roles?
Ms. Chandra: It will not be fair to recommend one course or one certification for all. Depending on the skill set, experience, and qualification people need to choose the courses they want to get enrolled in. Fortunately, we are in a virtual world and you can study different courses simultaneously and that’s the beauty of today’s technology.
There is no end to learning, it just depends on your interest and your aspiration. In addition to formal courses, we are also blessed to have mentors from the industry who are working closely with the organization in grooming and mentoring their leaders. This is a great way for future leaders to learn from experts.
9. Last words – Do you have any expert advice for our readers?
Ms. Chandra: People will come & go and will give you expert advice related to your career and growth. What you do with the advice is up to you. Also, what works well for someone may not necessarily be good for you so it’s very important to analyze every situation you are in and take decisions accordingly.
As an industry leader, overseeing leadership roles for the last two decades, my advice for everyone, irrespective of their job roles is to keep yourself updated about the industry you are in and learn to be tech-savvy. Also, nothing can replace your hard work, commitment towards your job, and a positive mindset. Be open to learning and accept failures as a part of your learning.
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