"Life doesn't just happen to you; you receive everything in your life based on what you've given." Rhonda Byrne
An entrepreneur with a sustained passion for human resources, Neha Lal is one such dynamic women leader in India who has been changing the lives of people and organizations by focusing on their best selves. Having started her career as a web designer and developer, Neha has today spent nearly two decades in all fields of HR and is leading in the role of an HR tech entrepreneur with her brand – Shrofile Technologies.
Exploiting the opportunity to transform HR organisations through phases of start-up, growth and transformational change and restructuring, in the past few years, Neha has been leading from the front, setting up high-performing teams, HR systems and processes that have driven quantum improvements in organizations.
Across her career, Neha got the opportunity to collaborate with global business leaders to drive strategic agenda and consistent performance across HR functions in multiple cultures in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and India. Shrofile Technologies' founder Neha shares immense passion to work on innovative HR solutions and The CEO Magazine in an exclusive interview pooled further insights of her journey, the solutions her brand offers:
The CEO Magazine: Briefly describe your company and the products or services you are offering.
Neha Lal: We, at Shrofile, believe in providing cutting edge HR tech products and services. Thus, we have a technology team that is focused on building world-class products. In addition to this, we provide a full suite of HR services ranging from executive search to strategic consulting. Sharing a quick glimpse of our product and services:
Our HR Tech offering solutions are inclusive of interview preparation platforms. This is a B2C cloud-based platform that lets job seekers prepare for interviews where users can practice mock interviews, record their video responses to interview questions, get structured feedback and a detailed report on their strength and development areas.
In our B2B video interview platform cloud-based SAAS platform for campus and volume hiring, companies can interview thousands of candidates at the same time using our video-based interviewing product. This self-serve module allows multiple recruiters and evaluators to collaborate and review candidates and share their feedback on candidate's recorded video interviews
The HR services offerings include executive search. We are talent partners for many corporate organisations where we help them hire for critical positions with our thorough candidate assessment process. Being HR professionals ourselves, we do a detailed functional and fit assessment of candidates who can be hired for functions like HR, finance, marketing, sales, operations, product and technology across industries.
Last but not the least; our HR consulting is a specialised service we offer to our clients. We do a need assessment and detailed diagnostic study before executing any assignment. We consult on areas of talent acquisition, engagement, retention, HR System deployment, policies, performance management, talent management, HR Shared Services, HR metrics and Analytics. Also, we conduct benchmarking studies, perform HR due diligence, support M&A deals and take a client-centric approach and our solutions are completely customised.
The CEO Magazine: Going back to your early career decisions, tell us what factors influenced your decision to be an entrepreneur? What is the toughest decision you've had to make in the last year?
Neha Lal: I started my career as an Economics post-grad from Delhi School of Economics, with an interest in web design. My first professional project was to design a website for a Bay Area startup which was a tech products marketplace. The entrepreneurial environment of silicon valley led me into building a web-design freelance business inthe Year 2000. Over the years, I built many websites and content approaches for entrepreneurs, financial analysts, Harvard professors and finally worked on an HR portal for GE.
However, over time, I fell in love with the field of human resources and have been passionate about HR ever since. After working in the corporate world for nearly two decades, I learned that the field of HR could use well-detailed analytics, prices and a dose of high-tech tools. I started to build these practices and designed a set of platforms in the way only an entrepreneur can, freely and with large scale applicability across companies and industries. This is how my early career decisions helped me get back to my first love of entrepreneurship with my sustained passion for HR.
As an entrepreneur, one becomes very passionate about ones product. Yet, when the market gives you feedback, you have to listen to the changes that are needed. Last year's toughest decision for me was rebooting my tech team because of how the market was responding to our product. The decision was hard but supported by the data-driven and customers.
The CEO Magazine: Who are your clients? How do you ensure the unbreakable faith of your clients?
Neha Lal: We have over 40 clients – which range from Established Corporate Houses in financial services, media, and hospitality to Medium Family Businesses in fashion, lifestyle and Startups. With such a wide range of clients, we provide consistency through focused analytical data-based decisions that are sensitized to each organization's unique cultural situation. It's this mix of structured analytics and human sensitivity along with 100% focus on giving our best for each situation that ensures the faith of our clients in us.
The CEO Magazine: As your company grew, or re-grew from your pivot, what were the primary challenges? Shed light on your team and company ethos?
Neha Lal: Once we found the best way to use technology via a service model to help our customers, the only challenge has been to find the right members to scale our team-up. We, as a brand, have very high standards that we expect from our team, and the only way to overcome this challenge was to hire sincere hard-working, fun-loving people, and then train them in a focused way.
The Shrofile team is a set of sincere and fun-filled individuals who have wide-ranging experience through working at large companies as well as start-ups and yet an immense learning appetite. This mix of experience and curiosity drives the ethos of our company which is that everyone is unique and working toward being their best self.
The CEO Magazine: What do you think are the keys to professional and business success for women in India? What were the factors that supported you in your journey?
Neha Lal: I believe, the most important key for a successful woman is self-belief, especially in the face of scepticism or favouritism from both men and women. The other key is to focus on your work and avoid any distractions while finding enough time to enjoy with your colleagues and help each other out whenever possible.
I have been fortunate to learn technology, analytics, human resources and design from the best companies and mentors in the field. I have learnt a lot from my seniors and colleagues at General Electric, Nomura, Aricent and Aon. Having mentioned that, complex projects and difficult situations have also been the most significant mentors in my professional journey.
The CEO Magazine: In a society like ours, with its skewed stereotypes, how did you manage to set out on your journey? What advice would you like to share for the balanced and equal industry?
Neha Lal: The professional environment I was exposed to, has always supported and encouraged me. There were some inherent biases, the most common one being lack of belief that a lady from HR can be analytical and a techie. However, my work helped me overcome these challenges and eventually I believe these have become my differentiators.
My advice would be to remain true to meritocracy. And give people a chance to learn. Everyone, with their diverse backgrounds and capabilities, has a different learning curve. However, when given the right time and mentorship, people can excel. Giving people mentorship, time and celebrating their sincere effort – can make the industry a more equal place.
The CEO Magazine: What does the future hold for your company and what are you most excited about?
Neha Lal: Recognised as Most Promising MSME Startup from the Government of India and Top 10 HR Tech Start-ups by the leading magazine Silicon India, Shrofile has been successfully alleviating the way the industry processes currently. We robustly believe that each person is unique and practice can allow them to become the best versions of themselves, we are aiming to assist people with the custom-paced self-assessments and training on interviewing and presentation solutions.
"We see a future when companies can hire people for their personality using asynchronous videos and automated culture fit. We see a future when personality development becomes as all-pervasive (or even more) as graduate education has become. Our goal is to lead that change in the professional world." shared Neha
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