Meet Our People & Culture Officer | Anjali Varma
November 26, 2021
The University extends a warm welcome to Ms. Anjali Varma who joined us in November 2021 to establish the People & Culture function at NLSIU. An alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Anjali is an HR Professional with over 16 years of experience in building and leading HR functions for enterprises.
At NLSIU, Anjali plans to drive a high level of employee engagement, through identifying, establishing and managing appropriate people policies and processes across a variety of functions. In this interview, she shares more about her interests and her work.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your background?
I grew up in a town that is considered India’s first melting pot – the steel city of Jamshedpur. I spent all my (happy) school years there, and then moved to Bangalore, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Carmel College. I then completed my post-graduation in ‘Social Work, Family and Child Welfare’ at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. I have worked in different aspects of Human Resources spanning talent management, talent development, policies and processes; across an international NGO, a large global enterprise, a niche start-up and a consulting firm.
Please tell us more about your work in the past relating to HR, and People & Culture functions.
I began my career in the social sector, at CARE, New Delhi and was a part of their National Fellowship Program. After this, I joined Infosys and my stint in HR took me across the length and breadth of the country. Post Infosys, I joined a start-up – The Fuller Life – an employee engagement and wellness company and spent close to 11 years there. Since 2019, I have been in the HR consulting space, partnering with small and medium enterprises as well as firms and public institutions on various HR matters. I also work in the area of Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the workplace.
I am passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and I write in a variety of publications on topics that explore the intersection of gender, diversity and work life. (Links to her publications are available here.)
I created end-to-end HR solutions ( from hire to retire) for small and medium enterprises with a largely Millennial workforce. I also worked on Leadership Development and Executive Coaching. I have trained and sensitized employees on the ‘Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH), created the policy, set up the Internal Complaints Committees and advised on the required compliance and best practices. I also serve as an external member of the Internal Complaints Committee at a few organisations. At Infosys, I was part of the Global Entry Level and Campus Hiring Team with strategic and operational responsibilities as the company grew threefold on the back of large-scale campus recruitment. Additionally, I anchored campus recruitment at Business Schools across India.
This is the first time that NLSIU has a People & Culture (PNC) Officer. What are your initial plans at the University?
Firstly, I am thrilled to be part of the team that will drive people practices in an academic setting. I am keen to ensure that all stakeholders –academic and non-academic staff, students, and the management – bring more of themselves to the institution. I am very excited about designing relevant policies, processes and programs for the University.
Any personal interests that you would like to share with us?
My interests range from long walks to yoga to the occasional run. I enjoy reading and music-ABBA and Dire Straits are perennial favourites, though my tweenager has introduced me to a lot of recent music! I’ve also become a fan of European dramas – from Borgen to Call My Agent to The Crown.