Nitin Dheer: Empowering Businesses by Enhancing Human Capital

Nitin Dheer | Founder and Lead Consultant Inqubex People Solutions LLP
Nitin Dheer | Founder and Lead Consultant Inqubex People Solutions LLP

Business organizations across industrial sectors function on the crucial pillars of infrastructure, product offering, basic working systems, capital, and workforce. However, the most contributing, empowering, and value-adding function is its human resource. They are the life and soul of any business organization driving all the basic to essential functions into productive motion.

People are one of the most important pillars of every organization who contribute to most of the functions and decision-making activities. Employees create resources and opportunities for business growth, also displaying their ownership role by protecting and safeguarding the company assets.

However, managing people at times becomes challenging in changing times. This is where the human resource consultants come into the picture to play a pivotal role in building, enriching, and boosting their potential. As one of the prominent human resource consultants, Nitin Dheer—Founder and Lead Consultant at Inqubex People Solutions LLP—empowers the organizations by strengthening their necessary resources- employees and workforce.

The teams are analysed, identified their capabilities, developed training and skill enhancement programs, developed a customer-centric mindset, and transformed them into valuable contributing business assets.

The Beginning Moments

Nitin had an interesting career graph. With an MBA in HR from XLRI, he started his professional journey by learning the ropes of Industrial Relations with ITC Ltd in Kolkata. He followed that up with a decade of HR Advisory with large Consulting MNCs Andersen, Mercer, and Capgemini.

This phase took him all over India, Europe, the Middle East, and APAC and helped him hone his consulting capabilities; his last formal employment was with Capgemini in the UK, working with clients in mainland Europe and UK on assignments in Organization design and change management.

At this stage, Nitin grew disillusioned with what he saw as lacunae in client service with prominent consulting players and their tendency to be overtly commercially inclined. Boutique consulting outfits were often more driven and client centric. This, along with the confidence acquired through a decade of cross-border consulting, led Nitin to develop the business plan for Inqubex.

The idea was to establish a boutique firm with deep research-based methodologies, broad industry/domain points of view, which operates at scale. Combined with a strong implementation focus, client centricity, bespoke solutions, a Key Account Management model, and an integrative working style (as opposed to the talk-down prescriptive style adopted by some consultants).

Inqubex was founded in 2009, keeping the above principles in mind. The company operated with only one KPI for the initial years – repeat business from satisfied clients. The idea was to manage each account to ensure a prominent level of service delivery and, therefore, client recall.

The second half of Nitin’s career has been at Inqubex. This journey has involved building robust methodologies and a sustainable client base from scratch, nurturing and growing a team of top-notch professionals, and building new offices and expanding outside India. The last two years have been dedicated to building HR tech and analytics capabilities to ready Inqubex for the future and develop its HR tech portfolio. A self-funded organization, Inqubex has been profitable since its inception.

Nitin believes that a few factors have ensured this successful journey.

  • staying true to the premise of deep customer service
  • being able to build a team of professionals with similar values who have helped create the Inqubex story
  • talking straight and being reliable
  • staying current with trends/new research and new ways of working.

Promising Values

He believes the clients like the following aspects of his personality

  • Humility and willingness to listen (rather than prescribe)
  • Cutting through the clutter and talking straight
  • Understanding best practice/innovation/external trends and being able to present them in a simple, implementable/practical manner
  • Deep functional knowledge and communication capabilities.

The Sparkling Differentiators

Since its inception in 2009, Inqubex has serviced over 150 clients across geographies like India, MENA, APAC, and Europe. The enormous success of Inqubex is that almost 75% of its business is repeat business from satisfied clients, and over a third of its clients have worked with Inqubex for more than five years.

Through this 13+ year journey, what has remained constant across clients and projects, has been a high degree of sensitivity to the cultural and operational needs of each organization, and the focus on customized solutions and delivery efficiency. This proposition was the starting point of the Inqubex journey and continues to differentiate it from its competitors. Its core values are exceptional customer experience, agility, execution excellence, and a spirit of fun!

Core Functions of Lasting Impact

Inqubex is an HR analytics and advisory company that provides enterprise clients with high-quality, efficient, and implementable consulting services and cloud-based analytics around organization structuring, talent management, and employee engagement.

Some people-centric business problems which Inqubex helps organizations solve are:

  • Planning organization structure and workforce scale up in line with growth strategy.
  • Identifying high potential talent for leadership roles and supporting personalized development journeys.
  • Building career paths and career management frameworks to provide dynamic and multi-faceted growth to employees.
  • Helping legacy organizations identify pockets of under-productivity and restructure in line with current business priorities.
  • Measuring drivers of employee engagement and driving team motivation, retention, Ex, and culture.
  • Helping organizations establish an HR Strategy and key policies/ core HR processes.

Inqubex operates out of offices in Delhi NCR and Mumbai and is in the process of setting up its office in Bengaluru. As of 2021, it started operations in the Middle East under the brand inQsights, operating out of the UAE.

The Inqubex team is assembled from top-notch institutions like XLRI, IIM Kolkata (Calcutta), TISS, and MDI, amongst others. These professionals possess deep HR expertise and have delivered solutions with blue chip firms in internal HR roles as well as consulted across sectors with Inqubex.

Technological Edge

Nitin strongly believes in the power of technology but also recognizes the irreplaceable role to be played by competent HR practitioners in solving talent and organizational challenges.

He believes that the future of HR will be a balance of HR tech managed by smart HR practitioners, focusing on deeper measurement, predictive analytics, and Employee wellbeing and inclusiveness.

On HR tech – There is already significant adoption of technology from the perspective of digitization of HR and automation of administrative and repetitive tasks using bots and AI. In the Learning and Development and Employee, Experience areas, Augmented reality applications and Metaverse will play a significant role in the future.

He visualized that the future of HR Advisory has also been impacted by adopting tech-enabled solutions supported by best-in-class advisors.

Nitin added that the entire team at Inqubex-inQsights has embarked on this journey through developing cloud-based analytic solutions and tools to help make its advisory services more data/measurement-based and scalable.

Inqubex-inQsights is currently in the market with a set of diagnostic platforms measuring organizational productivity, conducting virtual assessments at scale, and running Ex diagnostics.

Each tool in this suite is methodology-led, cloud-based, has off-the-shelf capabilities (e.g., built-in assessment simulations), and at the same time is customizable (bespoke assessments or multi-source feedback) to client-specific needs and easy to deploy.

While building these platforms, “We have tried to remain honest with our core values of deep expertise deployed simply. The capabilities of our tech suite represent burning needs for clients in the market, especially post-pandemic,” expressed Nitin.

Some of the relevant features include:

  • Cater to hybrid working
  • Low lead time to deployment
  • Real-time and deep analytics
  • Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
  • Employee engagement measurement
  • Serve to drive employee wellness and wellbeing

He hopes to further evolve these tools by incorporating ML for deep analytics and predictive guidance on attrition, compensation and productivity, and simulated assessments and development journeys in the Metaverse over the coming years.

Growing from Challenges

The current challenges in the industry impact its advisory services and tech platforms differently.

There is a talent churn that is taking place post-pandemic. Organizations must be innovative and authentic to attract and retain talent.

Inqubex has managed to navigate this tricky period because of the confidence of its clients. It is continuing to build to serve them better. On the tech front, the inQsights team has had major learnings. While building these tools during the pandemic, they discovered the complexity of building tech tools in a standardized manner yet keeping them adaptive. Nitin hopes to keep learning and building superior solutions.

Tips on Professional Foundation

Nitin advises young entrepreneurs to focus on business fundamentals like the core value proposition, customer service, team mix, and profitability. Once these elements get established in any young start-up, all the good things (the big funding) follow automatically.

Secondly, to the many people who baulk at the prospect of quitting their jobs and taking up entrepreneurship, Nitin points out that the risk-reward ratio is great if they base their venture on expertise/innovation. However, if individuals just chase trends, the picture might not always turn out rosy.

Marching Towards a Positive Future

Nitin expressed his ambition of scaling over the next three years through the following strategic thrusts:

  • New geographical expansion of advisory across India
  • Growth through its HR analytics platforms and related services
  • Growth in the MENA geography

 Traits of HR Leaders

Nitin elaborated that a good HR leader should be authentic and empathetic in her/ his communication – this will help them listen to their customers better and be better coaches.

They should strive to understand the business they support (makes them credible) and operate with consummate service orientation (makes them reliable).

The new age HR leaders also need to be more analytically aligned and measurement oriented. The ability to ride the digital HR stallion will be a differentiator in the future.

Applaud from the Satisfied Patrons

Some client testimonials, as shared overwhelmingly, are mentioned as under…

“HR is a hard area and exceedingly difficult to win trust and admiration. But having worked with Nitin, I can say that it has been a wonderful experience. All the best for the future!”

– Samudra Sen, Founder and CEO, LearningMate

“You and your incredibly talented team have done a remarkable job. Wishing you and Inqubex many more successful years.”

– Elizabeth Nanda, ex-CHRO, Fabindia

“Great show, Nitin. You and your team’s work were outstanding. I wish you good luck for the future.”

– Sankar Ramamurthy, ex-CHRO, PI Industries

Inqubex People Solutions LLP is recognized among the 10 most promising HR Service Providers of 2020 by Silicon India magazine.

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