The Strategist: Transforming the People Practices through Innovation

Striving with the operating philosophy to “Energize clients’ growth, by transforming the People Practices”, The Strategist is an advisory & research firm , innovating since 2009, headquartered in Hyderabad with a global presence. The company specializes in the complete spectrum of People Practices ranging from Human Capital Strategy to Engaging Employees to Optimizing HR operations through Outsourcing.
Today, ‘The Strategist’ is crowned with their service verticals which consists of Advisory, Research, Technology, Learning & Leadership, HRO, Psychometrics.
The Advisory wing of the firm specializes in HR & Biz Strategic Alignment, Values Deployment, Employer Branding, Employee Engagement, Leavers DNA [Exits], Internal Communication, Succession Planning, Gen Y Readiness, Rewards & Recognition, Performance and Analytics.ER/Industrial Relations HR Metrics & Analytics etc.
The Research wing focuses on cutting edge research Applied & Academia –Survey & Research, Research Reports, Future Trends, 101 series, Tool kits. They have cutting edge technology products that act as HR enablers, like eHRP, myEdge, IGNITE, ADDA, myManager CONNECT and Gaming software.
The Learning & Leadership services includes, but are not limited to Learning Strategies, Competency Frameworks, Talent Profiling, Custom Learning Programs and Life Sciences.
As part of HR outsourcing the company offers services ranging from managing end to end HR operations to handling specific functions like Exit Interviews, Voice of candidate etc. Their employee relations (Industrial relations) wing specializes in conducting ER capability audits & workshops.
The Psychometric tools consist of a battery of tests that assess everything from quality of hiring to identifying the Future Leaders. They are also specialize in designing various training programs and learning interventions.
Modelled on lines of some of the best in class firms, the team of strategist professionals consists of industry experts who have served with some of the best known names and have opted out to build this firm with a dream of ‘enabling their partners to fuel their dreams’.
Strategists behind ‘The Strategist’
K Srinivas Rao, Chief Strategist and Partner, is a human capital strategist with expertise of 23 years across Human Capital Value Chain. Prior to The Strategist, he was heading Strategy – HR at Satyam Computer Services. Formerly, he held management roles at various levels in CATS (Computer Associates-TCG), Baan Info Systems, Ernst & Young, Videocon International.
An avid writer and guest speaker on the subject of Change Management and Human Capital, he wrote 5 books (Employee Engagement Inspiring Practices, Generation – Y Inspiring Practices, Rewards and Recognition Inspiring Practices, Internal Branding and Communication Inspiring Practices and Human Resources Inspiring Practices) under the “101 Smart Ideas Series” published in 2015, “Managing HR Issues in a Merger” – published in the Handbook of Business Strategy 2002,“Whispers of a Devil in an Angel”,“Principles and Practices of Management”.
He also co-authored a book titled ‘Unconscious Leadership Conspiracy’ and has published more than a dozen articles in International & National Publications.
Mr. Rao holds dual Masters’ degrees and attended Indore School of Social Work, where he topped the class of ‘93 and later pursued Masters in Military Sciences. Currently, he is a Research Scholar at XLRI Jamshedpur and a visiting faculty at ISB and IIM Indore. He was awarded “HR Leadership Award” in 2008-09 by Employer Branding Institute and Super Achiever as HR Professional in 2006 by Indira Group and Fun & Joy Institute.
Shefali Rao, Partner and Chief Financial Officer, is a founding Partner of The Strategist. Shefali is also the Chief Strategist – Talent Transformation and specializes in the verticals of Education, Manufacturing and family owned businesses. Shefali, with an experience of 18 years, has considerable background in Business Planning & Reviews, Business Transition, Business Process Reengineering, Employee Engagement, and Training & Development. She has worked across various sizes of Family Owned Business, across multi-industries including Garments, Manufacturing, and Education.
Shefali started her career with Tata Exports and moved on to work with various export houses in the Garments & Yarn industry including GTN exports, Indira Exports and Sanghi Group. Shefali is also Chief Creative Officer of “Devils Workshop”- a boutique corporate gifting studio.
Shefali holds a Masters’ degree in International Business besides a diploma in Fashion Designing and Merchandising.
Subbu Parameswaran, Partner and Chief Leadership Architect, is leading the Learning & Leadership domain at The Strategist, post the merger of Learning Curve and The Strategist.
Subbu is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with more than 15 years of experience in managing and directing complex projects in client facing roles. He has a wide exposure of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in diversified roles including Medical Sales, Strategic Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Clinical Operations and its allied areas.
In the last 5 years Subbu has focused on the areas of designing and delivering learning programs in the areas of Project Management, Leadership Development, Conflict Resolution, Change Management, Innovation and Building High Performance Teams for workforce professionals, as well as Life Skills and Employability Development for students. He completed his MSc in Marketing from The Robert Gordon University, UK and currently pursuing an MA in Psychology.

Differentiating Strategies of The Strategist

The work philosophy of the company has been ‘If HR doesn’t make business impact, it’s just a diversion’. Its unique service offerings are in line with the future industry challenges and which also keeps them ahead of their competition. In 2012, The Strategist was offering solutions around Gen Y and Social Media, in 2013, it innovated popular Psychometric tools like Mood Meter for understanding engagement levels of employees, in 2014, it pioneered Quality of Hiring based on Psychometric profiling of candidates and in 2015 it innovated TRACKER which calculates Return of Effectiveness for Training Programs. These efficient innovative techniques are in popular demand by clients and have benefited them significantly. Currently, it is successfully running a signature 24 weeks modular training program which is a combination of Classroom, Coaching and Live Business Case solutioning followed by Talent Landscape.
The strategies are adopted always keeping in mind the future trends and the present business scenario, which successfully enables them to meet the industrial challenges.
The Strategist’s Key Values
The Strategist is one of the few establishments that started during the worst economic recession in current times and has not only survived the downturn, but successfully outgrown it.  It has achieved that by focussing on the key values of providing a combination of Advisory/ Consultancy. As Advisors, they support their clients even if the client deviate from the original scope or in cases of wrong estimation by Senior experts. They have supported their clients with no extension to the investment plans. Their priority is to create an IMPACT and not merely focus on OUTPUT.
Customer experience as a value has been hallmark at The Strategist and Customer experience typically consists of – Custom driven solutions, Adhering to delivery timelines, Intellect driven solutions which scale with time and, Combining HR solutions with business needs and aspirations. With innovating services the company is staying ahead of the curve and created a niche for itself.
 Unique Tools and Techniques
The unique tools and techniques used in providing services to the client include benefits such as Innovations based on Intellect , Cost Effectiveness , Comprehensive solutions under one roof , Partners Attention, Cutting edge solutions which directly impact business.
 Future Plans of The Strategist
In the coming years, The Strategist is expecting to expand beyond India and explore creating dynamic tools and techniques which are India centric. Their Research team helps in forecasting the future trends and focuses on finding solutions to the current and emerging challenges faced by the industry. As India Inc. explores acquiring global companies, The Strategist is gearing up to equip India Inc. to manage this transit successfully through comprehensive solutions like M&A integration, Global Leaders MDP, Success DNA, Future Leaders Assessments, Culture Audits and Integration etc.
Mantra for Aspiring Entrepreneurs in The Industry
Inspiring advice by The Strategist to the youngsters  is that Entrepreneurship is a Five Day Test Match and not a T20 (Entrepreneurs needs to have patience & pursuance while operating in a diverse and complex economy like India.), Stay committed to your dreams and not to success (Dont change your plans too often or run after short terms success, stay put to your original dream and nurture it like a farmer.), And Hunger & Humility are two best friends you need to feed’ (Hunger will help you overcome failures easily as you dont have time to cry and Humility will help you overcome hangover success quickly and equalise you to be normal.)

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