Alumni Speak

5 traits that will get you hired at Mahindra – Mr Hemant Sikka, President, Mahindra Farm Equipment

Mr. Hemant Sikka is President and Member of Group Executive Board, Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra. Mr. Sikka, who is an alumnus of Apeejay School Faridabad, lists five qualities that will get you hired at Mahindra

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First of all, I would like to talk about my association with Apeejay School Faridabad. I have very fond memories of my school days. I was the best athlete of the school and also won the best athlete prize at the Inter- Apeejay sports meet that was a sports competition between all Apeejay schools of the country. It was a great honor for me and for Apeejay school Faridabad. I was a very passionate sportsman and a good academic student. I was never a topper, but always with good academics! I was also a keen debater.

1. Great Team Member


I think having a rounded personality, with focus on complete learning, that includes academics, sports and extracurricular is the best strategy. We are not looking at people who are toppers in their class, but those who have a well-rounded personality. We look for candidates who are good team members. In the corporate world, you can’t do anything alone. Even at the President level, I can’t do everything myself. I have to work with the team. First trait we look for in a candidate is: Was the candidate a team player in his/her previous assignment, schooling or college days and how well can the candidate gel with the team? This is the most important criteria we consider while hiring.

2. Good academic score


If a person is not a topper he should at least be good in studies and that is not because we want to see his/her marks, but that’s an indication that the person has worked hard in his/her life. It’s unlikely that you have avoided hard work in your school days and then suddenly you will become very serious in your corporate life and start working hard. It can happen, but mostly it’s a good indicator of a person’s work ethics. Habits form over the years. We are not looking for toppers, but we are not looking for laggards either. We are looking at people who have done well, those who are in the top 10% to 15% bracket. We are not specifically looking at those in the top 1 percent bracket, but when we get them we are happy. For example, if one candidate is among the top 1 percent and the other one is among top 10 percent, depending upon other achievements, the latter could get selected and the former might not.

3. Aligning with Mahindra’s vision and purpose


We are looking for candidates whose purpose align with the purpose of Mahindra. That’s very important. We don’t want people who don’t align with the larger purpose of Mahindra and that larger purpose is RISE, where we want everybody who is associated with Mahindra, whether s/he is an employee, a partner, a customer, a dealer and society as a whole…… everybody must RISE with Mahindra. We have 3 pillars of RISE – Accepting no limits. Alternative thinking. Driving positive change. Let me start with the first pillar, accepting no limits. A person should not make excuses for not performing. We have all seen students making numerous excuses for not performing well – teacher didn’t teach well, I didn’t have the books at the right time, didn’t get the time to study, etc. We don’t appreciate excuses. We appreciate people with a mindset of Accepting no limits!  Second pillar is alternative thinking. We want people who think differently.  Third pillar is driving positive change, meaning working for the benefit of everyone and bringing a positive change in all folks and communities. If there’s a student who doesn’t share his/her notes with others that means s/he is selfish. While doing well we have to ensure others do well too. Be a team player and ensure everyone Rises with you.

4. Willingness to relocate and be mobile


We look at candidates who are mobile. I would not have become the President of such a large company if I had not moved out of Faridabad. I have worked in various places across the country and globe. My request to my Boss has been: If there’s a good role for me at any location, I am always ready. Don’t worry about how I will manage my family? I will solve all those problems. So, mobility is a key criteria for any professional. You won’t get everything sitting at home. One has to be mobile and ready to work at any place.

5. Willingness to work hard


Nothing substitutes hard work. No amount of intelligence can substitute hard work. You must be willing to work hard. Above-average people are good enough if they are willing to work hard. That’s why we are looking at above average candidates, who work hard and have the qualities that I have discussed above.

We look for candidates who are good team members. In the corporate world, you can’t do anything alone.  Even at the President level, I can’t do everything myself. I have to work with the team.

– Mr. Hemant Sikka
President and Member of Group Executive Board, Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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