Nirali Shah Matalia: Leading by Example through Unleashing the Power of Data

SAAMA Technologies| Shepreneur
Shah Matalia | Vice President | SAAMA Technologies

Quote: “God’s every creation has something unique to offer to us and it is up to us what virtues we pick. At the same time, we need to feel equally self-motivated to bring our goals to completion. At core, we should be seeking inspiration from everything, be it other wonderful human beings or our splendid nature.”

With this notion and her continuous learning belief; she doesn’t have one idol, but she seeks inspiration for different things from different people. From Swami Vivekananda to Sheryl Sandberg, from Maya Angelou to Indra Nooyi – just to name a few. Who is she? She is Nirali Shah Matalia, Vice President (Operations and People) at SAAMA Technologies. “My inspiration equally comes from my mentors, family, friends, colleagues & circumstances,” she says.

Nirali is a passionate and dedicated – people, culture and change leader. She is a big advocate for living by corporate values and a catalyst for change for learning and evolving organization. She heads the ‘People’ function at SAAMA which comprises of Employee Engagement, Learning and Development, Performance Management, Total Rewards, Compliance, HR Systems & Analytics, Compliance etc. Nirali also oversees the Operational front of the organization such as Risk Management, Immigration, Travel, Legal, Facilities and so on.

An Untold Story

Nirali possesses post-graduation as well as bachelors both in Business Management. She has work experiences in Healthcare, Technology, Banking and Retail industries across different firms like Planet Health and Adani Hypermarket etc. in India, before moving to the USA. Also, she has successfully re-invented the role of HR at SAAMA to build a high-touch culture of very involved and progressive HR function which is actively engaged with both career coaching as well as for day-to-day growth oriented work environments. She finds sheer joy in helping people realize their potential.

“When you choose a career which enables success of your teams and organizations; it is very important that you play a role of catalyst as well as an igniter & achieve your success by enabling the success of others,” shares Nirali. She loves supporting and coaching people managers to help them manage their teams in the best possible manner. Her goal is to touch as many human lives as possible and try to make positive impacts in their lives.

“My HR team has been able to be instrumental in setting and leading a culture of providing a meaningful career path to our employees,” informs Nirali. The span of work was ranging from career progression framework creations to devising policies and procedures to helping both managers and leaders to align their goals and aspirations. Her philosophy is very simple for engagement. She believes if your workplace does not have fun and employees don’t enjoy what they do; it would be devastating to both organization as well as employee’s personal growth. She encourages people to ‘work hard and play harder’ with keeping in mind to have nurtured a culture of collaboration and fun.

#1 in AI Clinical Analytics

Since its founding in 1997, SAAMA’s goal has been to help clients to access previously unattainable views of raw data across disparate sources. Today, that mission is empowering pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to bring better medical treatments to market faster. SAAMA is committed to giving its life science partners the power to see around corners, while making confident business decisions for better clinical trial outcomes. “We operate in the US, India, UK, Switzerland, Canada & Poland with approximately 1000 ‘Saamaites’, headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA where I am based,” describes Nirali.

As a company, SAAMA has gone through a complete transformation from a traditional consulting firm of 40 odd associates to a solutions and analytics organization of close to 1000 people leading the data & analytics space. When a company goes through such a transformation, HCM plays a crucial role. “We are a company like a close knit community,” Nirali has followed this great vision of Saama’s CEO Suresh Katta in her philosophy as well as in her deeds. “For a people company like ours, it is all about changing the mind-set & evolving the right culture to be successful in the transformation,” adds Nirali. She finds herself to be privileged to be in position to head people function which enabled her to carry out sound pioneering work in leading that change from the front.

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Nirali is a firm believer of diversity and inclusion as a right thing to do and not by force. For example instead of short cuts like giving mandates of diversity hiring, she would consciously choose a rather difficult path of influencing the mind set of leaders to address diversity concerns from root levels, minimize unconscious bias and influence inclusion as a choice made by pure willingness. She takes pride in having measurable organic growth in the company’s diversity and inclusion KPIs every year.

“While growing up, my family taught me hard work, commitment, integrity and positive attitude. I still receive the same reinforcement from my family right now,” explains Nirali. There are many memorable milestones of Nirali in the last 18 years working at several organizations starting from successfully setting up and heading new chain stores in her early career to leading numerous changes at Saama.

In this pandemic time, her top most priority is the safety and wellness of Saamaites globally while keeping business continuity in mind. “We are determined to navigate these uncharted territories with the support of Saamaites. One thing every leader should know that with troubled times come new unseen, unrealized and unrecognized opportunities to do bigger and better things.concludes Nirali.

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