Roli Sanghi
Head of HR - India and SE Asia
Roli is the Head of Human Resources for India and Southeast Asia

What is the job you do at Eight Roads? Can you briefly describe a day in your life at work? What sort of projects are you working on?

As a growing organisation we continue to expand our teams in the region and also across the ecosystem of our portfolio companies. I have the privilege of being part of this growth journey and contributing to building the organisation through its people. So, a day in my life at work might involve developing and nurturing our existing talent or identifying and attracting the “(b)rightest” professionals to expand our teams. The next day I might be supporting one of our portfolio companies in designing an organisation structure, discussing a CEO profile or connecting to a mentor. On the third day, I will be contributing to our global initiatives including leadership development, building network in the relevant ecosystem or building a tech-based data management system.

Looking back, what’s been the steepest learning curve on your career journey so far?

While each new role brings its own set of new challenges, my steepest learnings have been my last two stints. In the first one I moved from the consulting industry to a high growth, dynamic start-up environment at Flipkart. It was a place where you could not make a “to-do” list even for a day. Plans used to change almost every hour. Once I spent 3 months building the entire leadership team for a new business unit, only to be told at the end that the business idea has been shelved. This taught me resilience and the ability to deal with ambiguity.  The next one was with TrueNorth, a Private Equity firm. Besides grasping the nuances of the investment industry, my steepest learnings have been stakeholder management and influencing skills. My role required me not only to interact with but also cajole, convince and influence decision making across stakeholders from teams across investment, operations, CXOs of portfolio companies and external partners.

If you could give one piece of advice to your 20-year-old self what would it be?

Treat every failure as a new learning, every criticism as a guidance to improve, every miss as a sign of “that wasn’t it” and you will realise life turns out much better than what you anticipated. So, don’t fret and spoil your today.

How do you directly support our entrepreneurs/principal investments/portfolio companies? Can you give an example?

I provide strategic guidance to our entrepreneurs on people related challenges for their companies. It can range from support on industry benchmarking, organisation designing, talent gap analysis to setting up HR systems to finding the right CXO team.