Cover Story, K. Sridhar, Co-Founder & Director ( Kelsa Solutions )

Going that extra mile

Kelsa Management Solutions was started in March 2010 with a mission to cater to the needs of small and medium sized corporations to manage their people requirements who, are on the threshold of growth. Kelsa is augmenting its vision of being a unique solution provider by establishing their own frameworks for Organization and Leadership Development and Employee Engagement. During the last ten years of its journey, Kelsa has matured into an organization that not only provides niche HR solutions but also use its expertise to build an HR Academy.

They have partnered with more than 200 clients through a vast spectrum of industries of all sizes; from small, medium to large and MNCs. Kelsa has delivered solutions which are tailor-made to the requirements of the customers across the entire HR life cycle in an organization. It also takes on the role of Independent Directors on Boards of companies to help them formulate their people strategies at the Board level. The asymmetric expectations concerning strategy and execution imposes a tremendous burden on HR professionals which, seems to be the prime reason why small and medium-sized organizations have a hard time not only finding top talents in the industry but also retaining them. Kelsa perceived this as an opportunity and addressed the problem by aligning the business vision of the customer firms with the HR strategy in the SME space. Its ultimate goal is to help transform the HR role to being Business Partners who advise organizations on their strategies.

Kelsa was co-founded by K. Sridhar, Devika Dharmaraj and R. Shantaram. The combined experience of the three founders crosses the threshold of a hundred years in the Human Resource industry. K. Sridhar has more than 40 years of experience, working and growing in various organizations as a strategist. He is a veteran management professional in the industry. Sridhar has done his post-graduation in management from the University of Madras. Later, he has been trained as a Lead Assessor for P-CMM at the Carnegie-Mellon University, USA. He has played a variety of roles in small, medium and large organizations.

Devika Dharmaraj and R. Shantaram are both post-graduates in management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Devika has more than 25 years of experience in the HR industry and worked in diverse roles from being a manager to an independent consultant. Her vast experience comes from engineering, processing, manufacturing, healthcare and IT sectors which have led her to work internationally. R. Shantaram has an experience of 30 years in the HR industry. He has worked in diverse roles in organizations ranging from 15,000-strong transnationals to startups having less than 30 employees. He has worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, automobiles, IT/ITES, media and consulting. He was a key member of the India leadership team at Sutherland Global Services, spearheading the growth of the organization from ‘proof-of-concept’ to becoming one of the top 5 BPO companies in India.

The diversity of the Founders’ experiences helped Kelsa navigate through various challenging assignments in different sectors of industries. The values shared by the three Founders have contributed to Kelsa’s achievements.

Kelsa’s professionals acknowledge the need of the client organization andthen bring innovative solutions to the table. This approach makes their work cycle unique in the industry which, aligns with the values and culture of their client. They have added value to a variety of organizations in various stages of growth to help people deliver better performance, dovetail business strategies and people practices, develop leadership teams and put together systems to scale up performances. Kelsa strives to measure the impact of their work through internally developed metrics relevant to the client organization.

The many years of service, practice, and experience have translated into three products which Kelsa offers:

• Kelsa Konvex® is a 360° audit of all the HR practices in the organization: HR Audit product is designed specifically to understand need-gaps and bottle-necks in achieving goals. It is designed not with the past or even present in mind, but with a focus on the future. The major differentiator of Kelsa Konvex® is that it looks at the “As-Is” state as a starting point in order to build capabilities to take the organization to “Where the company ought to be.” The Kelsa Konvex® audit culminates in a set of specific action areas for the client to work on – where required, Kelsa will support the execution as well.

• The H3M3® is an employee engagement framework that recognizes both the emotional and logical (Heart and Mind, hence the name, H3M3) components of engagement. A key differentiator is that Kelsa’s model is able to uncover enterprise-wide, systemic gaps while also being able to provide people-manager-specific action areas for boosting employee engagement.

• Flexible 360° Leadership Feedback Survey scheduled to be launched as a mobile app, is extremely flexible and scalable. Kelsa has combined the organizational goal of understanding leadership capability with a unique “Hidden Capability Finder”, with individual goals of driving leadership behavior through their own tailored program for development.

Kelsa is also working on an HR Academy which will encompass the whole spectrum of HR’s latest concepts and top practices existing in the industry. This product would assist the HR practitioners to take on more daunting challenges and roles in the organization and employ the most efficient techniques. The product can enhance the potential of an individual significantly. It can be delivered on-premises or over multiple digital platforms. It has already been deployed in three large organizations.

Kelsa’s biggest strength is its customers. Almost all clients come back to work with them so they secure multiple engagements covering different phases of HR interventions. They have developed a ‘Knowledge Management Repository’ which reduces the time to deploy repeated products. Kelsa maintains an open and transparent culture in their working. This encourages their employees to embrace opportunities to gain unique insights and work on new projects. The team is allowed to try and test new paradigms of HR interventions.

Presently, Kelsa is observing a quantum jump in its growth. Since they possess an excellent foundation and a loyal customer base, they are gearing up for a rapid growth boost in the coming two to three years both nationally as well as internationally. With projects successfully executed in countries like the USA, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Qatar etc., they have gained traction to expand their services overseas too. Kelsa’s most principal assets are speed and quality in delivering the results to the client organizations. Kelsa looks forward to impacting many more firms across industries in the years to come!

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