Leaders’ Speak is a platform to interview HR Heads of leading industrial houses in Kerala, with an aim to understand the current best practices, and to update the PGDM HR curriculum, if required. The first in the series was an interview with Mr.Johnson Mathew, HR Head of Popular Automobiles. It was through sheer perseverance, hardwork and a clear vision that the firm which had humble beginings in 1939 metamorphosised into the well diversified group that it is today. During the interview, he emphasized the importance of hiring professionals to run an organization. According to him, Popular Automobiles could survive in the highly competitive environment because it changed with the times. He talked about a novel concept called ‘Stay Interview’, in which, as opposed to an exit interview, the employees who stay with the organisation are interviewed to ascertain the reasons for continuing. It gives an opportunity to the employer to nip frustrations in the bud and thereby prevent a possible exit. According to Mr.Johnson Mathew, if the Manager thinks like the owner, wonders can happen, and it is the organization’s responsibility to ensure that the Manager feels as if he is the owner of the company.
Mr.Johnson Mathewbelieve that HR people should connect with business and that HR should add value to the bottom line of the organisation. His advice to Management students is to not lose any opportunity to learn and network, especially if they get a chance to listen to talks by eminent personalities.
Prof. C.N. Narayana Director of SCMS Cochin School of Business interviewed Mr. Johnson Mathew.Dr. Lishin M.J. Associate Professor, HR Department and Mr. VigneshVarma of PGDM 26th Batch assisted Prof. C.N.Narayana during the interview.