A post-graduate in Human Resources from XLRI Jamshedpur, Anjani B Kuumar has been an extremely successful global HR and business professional with a unique blend of corporate and entrepreneurial experience. Currently, as Head of HR at one of the leading OTT platforms, MX Player, Anjani has helped nurtured a very strong workforce with a diverse set of employees. Apart from being an HR Head, Mr. Kuumar is also a success coach, motivator, and entrepreneur who talks about leadership development and having a positive mindset. Since the start of his career, Mr. Kuumar has handled and lead various teams/functions. He has always delivered the best on assignments undertaken with different organizations.
What is the difference between companies that have been winning for decades and companies that were winners once, but obsolete now? What is the one common thing that characterizes startups across industries?
Disruption and innovation.
If you were to be asked for examples of disruption, the expected answers would be solutions, products, or marketing strategies. There is one significant area of business that still lacks disruption to a great extent- creating social impact. At MX Media, our number one value proposition is to be disruptive- across verticals and goals. With the belief that social impact could be one of the core pillars of our growth strategy, we set out to create Project Ambition, a disruptive social initiative.
Every year, a huge number of bright students enter the corporate world in India. Apart from those from a select few premier colleges, most students from other institutes primarily aim for just getting a job. We believe that in such cases, the gap is not just the brand but also the ambition. This is where Project Ambition steps in. Through Project Ambition, our vision is to enhance the earning capabilities of fresh B-school graduates, by guiding them towards a focused aim and enabling them to plan for it.
This is designed as an intervention where, by helping a large section of the society to raise their per capita income, we are also supporting the economic growth of the country and thus creating a massive social impact.
The program is structured with 3 pillars – industry awareness, behavioral skills, and technological literacy, which work in tandem to increase the earning capability of students by making them understand what is valued in the corporate world and what will help them command a higher premium for their skills.
For Phase-I of Project Ambition, we partnered with 30 B-schools across the country and worked with their students. The program is spread across 3 stages:
LEARN- We begin the program with an introductory training, where I teach them how raising the level of ambition is critical for them and how they can become more valuable by adding more value to the companies where they plan to look for jobs.
GROW- An extensive 90-day self-learning toolkit, divided into 3 modules, is shared with the students. The toolkit covers everything from developing business acumen and building industry-readiness, to enhancing communication skills and preparing for placements and negotiations.
KNOW- Post completion of the toolkit, we host a knowledge session to address students’ doubts and set the roadmap for the future.
Phase-I of Project Ambition saw approximately 5000 eager students learning and developing themselves to pitch for a higher ambitious entry-level salary goal. Post successful completion of online assessments, top students from each campus will get a chance to have 1-on-1 interactions with industry experts. For the top performers of the program, we have a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and an opportunity to work on a live project with MX Player.
From a broader perspective, our goal with Project Ambition has been to create the first and one of the best free resources to help fresh graduates aim higher and realize those aims, resulting in an overall increase in their per-capita income. With the results and feedback from Phase-I, we are all set to create an even more impactful Phase-II of this project, collaborating with more colleges to help shape the career dreams of many more students.
Although Project Ambition was designed as a social impact project to add value to the workforce soon entering the Indian economy, it has been an enriching experience for the team driving it as well. To take up something so unconventional, over and above our day jobs, and seeing the scale at which it has had an impact is surreal.