Anil Raikundlia: A Man with the Midas Touch
Some start with a vision for a company and others start with a vision for their professional careers. A few manage to merge the two and those individuals are the most successful leaders as their path to professional success is one of authenticity and genuine fulfilment.
“Skills are cheap, passion is priceless.” – Gary Vaynurchuck, American-Belarusian entrepreneur
“Passion is core to who I am.” –Anil Raikundlia, Founder at Maple Consulting & Services
The one who strongly believes that passion is more than just feeling deeply about a purpose. It’s about vision. It’s about energy, excitement, and enthusiasm. It is a passion that helped Anil to inspire others and identify with his vision. “I truly feel that Commitment & Consistency while chasing your passion will always keep you high in energy and full of bliss to enjoy your life.” feels Anil.
When Anil was managing a role as Head of Operations and Human Resources in a traditional manufacturing company in 1994, he knew that somehow he wanted to find a path that focused on more efficient planning and execution. And, thus he started experimenting in different ways with varied people to find better, faster, and most efficient outcomes. Heading talent acquisition and HR in global companies such as FIS and Sitel, only strengthened this vision. “The ability and the chance to give wings to my passion is my greatest motivator.” says Anil.
Often praised for his advisory and leadership skills, Anil was able to anchor his team in every organization, and was sought out as a trusted advisor by friends and associates for strategy related matters. This firmed his belief in his leadership and solutioning capabilities. Thus Maple Consulting & Services was born out of a passion for making a difference in the way HR is managed.
Overcoming the Challenges
When the core team of Maple incorporated the company four years back, the biggest hurdle for them was changing perceptions that HR is not just /about acquiring and managing personnel but can be a strategic business decision-maker within organizations.
The journey was tough to convince senior management to consider them as equals in the board room – playing an advisory role:- aiming to create and deliver the value aligned with the organization’s business objectives.
Today, after overcoming all the challenges they’ve faced in dispelling this mind-set, they take pride in instilling confidence within boards to action bolder thinking.
A niche HR advisory firm, Maple Consulting & Services manages an entire range of human capital services ranging from talent management, organizational alignment, HR advanced analytics, aspirational modelling to professional mentoring.
“Consulting and strategy are our core areas.” says Anil. The misalignment of strategy with the right talent is one of the leading causes of organizational failures. Thus, the core team of Maple has developed an approach that helps organizations find the right talent that carries out pragmatic strategies effectively in line with their goals. Also, they are striving continuously to build a true strategic consulting experience where ‘execution is the most crucial part of the solution’.
Being unstoppable in his quest for excellence has helped Anil to achieve his dream of running a successful bootstrapped company. “I’m humbled to have achieved the trust and faith of several high profile clients who believe that ‘I’m the man for their job’.” states Anil.
Like an entrepreneur, Anil too has faced setbacks on the way, and it’s been a steep uphill journey to manage a company without external funding of any kind. The fact that he is getting recognized for his efforts and growing forward every year, is a heartening experience for him and his team.
The HR industry continues to evolve rapidly based on the adoption of powerful and disruptive technologies. Years ago, it was Internet searches and job boards. After that came the enterprise technologies and accompanying service-level requirements. The newest phase of this technological revolution involves social media, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other algorithms that further dis-intermediate the role of traditional talent acquisition.
Many CEOs feel that adopting AI is the need of the hour. There’s this fear factor that if one is not on the AI bandwagon, then that company is going to lose out to competitors that are going to be eating the market, because they’re using technologies to make decisions faster and better than you.
“I believe machine learning, data science, and statistics are great for finding patterns in data.” states Anil. Further, he added “But the most important thing is making decisions that leverage the patterns found in data. This requires a completely different set of skills: discrete mathematics, operations research, and optimization. These skills, I find are massively underrepresented in the industry.”
As with most industries, margins get tighter over time, so every company constantly needs to be able to provide more for less and handle larger business volumes, all while making few mistakes. That’s taken a lot of players out of the game, leading to some consolidation in this industry.
The market is slowly moving towards a third party consulting model with a marked dependence on technology. The objective will remain same for many more coming years – to help organizations make better people decisions, methodically increase the risk-taking capability of leaders and ensure that leadership teams have diverse strengths essential for sharpening the competitive edge.
The company is developing its own customized line of tech products to help its clients move forward. Also, it is aiming to go global in the near future and is already making inroads in South–east Asian markets.
Anil’s Success Mantra
“Self-awareness and authenticity is key to career success. Don’t try to be something you can’t be – don’t try to be me. Be you.
The hallmark of a good leader is to exercise strategic clarity. As the driver of your business, it is important to get everyone on board with where we see the organization going. Every employee must understand and apply that sense of purpose to every operational detail.
You also have to be flexible about how global teams work. There are differences in how global markets operate. Thus you need to adapt to global markets and communicate your requirements correctly.