Jaya Kumar: An Award winning Entrepreneur with an Eye for the Finest

Jaya Kumar
Jaya Kumar

Across various literatures and across several religions we come across the word Kalpavrksha that is perennially synonymous to wish-fulfiller. It is epitomized as a blessed tree that has the divine ability to grant every boon to anyone who dwells under it.
Kalpavrksha Associates stands strong by this very ideology ever since its inception in 2011. It is an executive search firm that focuses on enlisting the most suited leadership profiles across IT, Telecom, BFSI, Semiconductor, Retail, CRO, Infrastructure, Renewable Energy & e-commerce domains.
However, by all means, a major share of credit for the company’s current successful stand could rightfully be conferred upon Jaya Kumar, Managing Director of Kalpavrksha Associates. She is well renowned for her celebrated track record for rendering the utmost client satisfaction through her resourceful hands-on approach and viable strategic counsels.
Jaya is the proud recipient of the prestigious “Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award” by Government of India for Best Female Entrepreneur in 2004. She was also recognized by the “Karnataka Small & Medium Business Owners Association” with the Business Excellence and Achievement Award 2015 for Customer Satisfaction in Professional Service Sector.
Lessons and Inspirations
With no role models and with no mentors, Jaya started her business through her own grit and with the mission to help create roles that would accelerate a client’s success. From the first day itself she has been on the lookout for the most suitable talent for any given role. Throughout her illustrious 19 year enterprise, Jaya has garnered acquaintance with a wide range of Indian companies, MNCs & Startups of various sizes to build senior leadership teams, including C-suite executives in various positions such as Chief Executive Officer, President, Executive Director, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Vice President and Vice President.
With an oblivious start in entrepreneurship, Jaya did not follow any rule book and kept her eyes and ears open to welcome every piece of wisdom that came from anywhere and everywhere. Since she had the space to learn without any inhibitions and at the same time, did not have anything to fall back on, her initial days required her to hit the target at the very first instant. Jaya and her associates at Kalpavrksha still recollect those days when they were literally under the gun to deliver their best.
Jaya sourced her inspiration from her customers, candidates, employees, vendors and even her husband and children to build a stable 150 member organization in 7 years and sustain it for another 5-6 years, during her previous venture JK Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd..
Kalpavrksha- Delivering an Ace for every Place
Kalpavrksha has been adorned as the Preferred Partner for Talent Acquisition by several patrons of its services. Some of their crowning accomplishments include the hiring of the Director of Bio Stats for a Clinical Research Company, India Centre Head for an Oil & services Major, a CTO for a Marketing and Advertising company and many more.
Kalpavrksha Associates has always embraced the challenge of delivering top talent, which even their clients never dreamt of existed in the market. Jaya and her associates have been successful in doing so by implementing assured actionable intelligence in every one of their search engagement. They stretch beyond the standard search firm networks and top list of candidates to tap highly-placed resources. The course of action doesn’t stop here; Kalpavrksha is also known in the industry for incorporating new, improved executive search methodologies and for reducing risks by producing faster-better search expertise that cannot be found anywhere else.
The Discerning factor
Jaya Kumar is one of those few successful women entrepreneurs in the Talent Acquisition industry who does not take her business for granted. It is this very quality that allows her to explore deeper for more important sources of data. Within ten days, Kalpavrksha can draft and finalize the role description and candidate specification and share the sample profiles, which serve as an initial list of prospective candidates with the relevant details. They invite feedback from the hiring manager to gather valuable inputs on the candidates of higher interest to them. This approach in Client Intelligence has successfully enabled Jaya and her associates to prioritize outreach to prospective talent and make the “decision making” more effective.
Apart from creating monthly Search Intelligence Reports to track the progress of searched candidates and to review it with their clients, Kalpavrksha also generates Candidate Report through in depth interviews with qualified candidates of highest suitability to the role. It exclusively gathers work history details that are not available on the resume and conduct an analysis and appraisal of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
Kalpavrksha has pioneered a new avenue in the talent acquisition industry with a Unique Fee Structure. The fee structure is framed with the goal to find the best possible talent for any organization while providing transparent and high value – based fees that is based upon their efforts and performance.
Kalpavrksha has also proved its deftness in identifying top notch diverse talent and in building the customer’s diversity talent pool to ensure Diversity Inclusion.
By identifying exceptional talent through insightful research, analyzing the marketplace, gathering feedback and collectively constructing a shortlisted list of potential candidates from the industry, proactively counseling candidates for a very insightful evaluation, and through extensive connections, Jaya and her team at Kalpavrksha have built a talent acquisition firm that has set many differential standards in the industry.
Contemplating from a Client’s Perspective
Jaya’s entire 19 years of career comes to the fore when it comes to executing the assignment for Kalpavrksha’s clientele. She inspires her team to think from a client’s perspective, may they be, a global giant or a domestic stalwart or any startup. Challenge arises everywhere and the best way to satiate anyone’s need is by stepping into their shoes.
Pulling a leaf of wisdom from her expanding experience, Jaya says, “Each of our client is seeking extraordinary, but measurable improvements in performance, customer satisfaction, and the ease of doing business with partners, top / bottom line & shareholder value, and other categories of performance.” She further adds, “While strategic issues and challenges are on the minds of our clients, they are also leaders who believe in taking action and achieving results. Our clients question the status quo, indicating a sense of urgency given the economic environment. They relentlessly focus on transforming their organization and business functions.
Encouraging Women to Break away with the Precedent
Gone are the days of meager number of women in the workforce. As per the current statistics, the male-female ratio in the industry is swiftly reducing. This could largely be credited to the consideration of various conveniences such as, Work from Home, Working Part Time, Sabbatical at any point in the career, travelling onsite for customer location and many more.
Taking an excerpt from her journal, Jaya says that a smooth career progression for women is always difficult with many ineludible issues cropping up at every other moment in their life. But God has imbibed something special in a woman’s DNA. Women are born with intuitive decision making capabilities, tune into it. “Learn to stop being a pushover; make your stand when you believe in something; have a firm grip over your aspirations and learn to focus on them”, asserts Jaya to aspiring Businesswomen.
Jaya has observed that almost 70% of the women candidates who take up any professional opportunity continue their career till middle management, after which, they retract their goals and as the talent pipeline moves into senior management, it goes down to 10%. Jaya urges aspiring women to not get bogged down by any temporary personal situations, when there are ample opportunities such as work from home, half day, part time and many more across sectors.
Reaching out to startups
Remembering her early days of floating the company, Jaya shares, “Hire the right people-particularly, people who complement (not duplicate) your skills, who fit your culture. Keep an eye on the market — If you had a good idea, it is reasonable to assume someone else out there also, thought of it as well. Ignoring the competition is a big mistake. At the same time, Keep an eye on the finances—you will need more money than you think. Stay focused on value, not fluf. Stay laser-focused on providing value to customers. It is important to know what you are particularly good at, and then truly excel at it. Most importantly, Don’t be afraid to say NO. Just believe in yourselves—if you are following some recipe that you found in some ‘how-to’ book, you are probably on the wrong path. If you truly believe in what you are doing, and you have done your homework, you stand a much better chance of succeeding.

Source :- Inspiring Stories of Indian Women Leaders in Business

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