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A few years ago, I was sitting in the office of one of the greatest HR leaders of India, founder of Great Place to Work India, Mr Prasenjit Bhattacharya. And, we were talking about why some businesses do great while others don’t. We talked about how professionals having similar level of skills perform differently on the measure of success in careers. Prasenjit and his team had worked with thousands of large companies by then, helping many of them become great workplaces, and yet he knew that many of these companies missed something.

I have been an entrepreneur having built multiple multinational companies from scratch and a venture capitalist focused on technology investments. In that meeting, I was trying to find out why startups fail. I had witnessed first-hand how companies founded by exceptional geniuses fell flat during their expansion.

Clearly enough, company policies formulated by the best HR brains, or highly skilled professionals with exceptional knowledge of their domains, were not enough to create great businesses. Working professionals who knew all about their jobs were missing something; something much more critical for success.

When years of research and decades of experience were brought together, the answer to what really was the final frontier to success that many were not aware of, became clear! Success in career or business depends upon people relationships- relationships between the employees of a company, relationship of the employees of a company with their customers or vendors, relationships between all stakeholders surrounding and impacting our work.

Hence, if you are a reader wanting to get your dream job and build a dream career, or a management representative/recruiter trying to figure out what kind of persons you need to hire, always remember that the “skill” that can differentiate you in the corporate race is not connected to the domain you work in, but is something typically characterised as a “soft skill”. It is the ability to manage people relationships.

We work with thousands of CHROs in India and almost all of them swear by the importance of people management during recruitments or appraisals. Whether or not you have a team that you manage; being able to respect individuality of every stakeholder you work with and engage in unique and memorable practices with them, that allows you to connect with them in a better way, while also inspiring them, is what truly makes you conquer the final frontier of success.

I will end with the words of another leader who has been quite close to us and is someone I personally adore, Mr C P Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra, one of the few companies that is recruiting heavily in technology even today. He once said to us, “There is a new 4.0 world that is getting formed and this new world will be conquered by those who can understand and respect human relationships.”

-Ashwin Srivastava

Forbes Under 30 Honoree (2017 Asia List), Venture Capitalist, Angel Investor, successful Serial Entrepreneur, Data Geek, has helped build multiple multi-billlion dollar entities in India & UAE.

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