Sharad Verma joins Iris to head the Human Resources Organisation
Sharad Verma has joined Iris as VP and CHRO leading Human Resources for the company. A graduate of XLRI Jamshedpur, Sharad has spent his entire career in HR, consciously picking up learnings across several industries. Sharad joined Iris after being the HR Head at Polaris Consulting and Sears Holding.
What brought you to Iris?
I met Anil, one of the three co-founders of Iris. Through him, I learnt that the company was at an interesting point in its growth journey. It took the company 24 years to get to the 1st 100 million but we are on track to reach our next 100 million in just 4 years. To continue this trajectory of growth, we require new processes, systems and technologies; the company understands that the time to do this is now, so that it can continue to propel Iris exponentially forward in its growth journey, while preserving its DNA.
When I joined, I conducted workshops to discover what values were important to Iris. What was our DNA? What do we live for, on a daily basis? What would we like to change? In the results, client delight came out as a consistent factor with a natural desire amongst team members to keep clients happy. Empathy and people-touch were also strong across Iris team members at various levels. The empathy part being intentional and upfront was a pleasant surprise, as it is usually difficult to preserve as a company value. I have not seen that in many companies.
“Empathy and people-touch are both strong across Iris team members.” – Sharad Verma, VP and CHRO, Iris
So, how do we grow while preserving the culture of Iris? What is the starting point?
Iris is a culturally rich company and it shows in the way it cares for its people. Even though the company has close to 2000 employees, of whom 1200 are in India, the founders know many on a first name basis. The company cares not just for its employees but also for their families: this shows in simple, palatable ways such as birthdays and anniversaries celebrations that are not performed mechanically like in many other companies. This ‘personalization’ is the DNA of Iris. The challenge is how to continue growing, while retaining this trait.
We looked at the entire employee lifecycle starting from the 1st recruitment call, their 1st day at Iris, their interaction with their manager, their 1st facilities experience and so forth. We identified 25 touch points and associated a score with each of them, something like a Net Promoter Score. The idea was to gauge whether the experience was positive, negative or neutral as well as better understand what is working and what needs to change.
This is important because business goals can only be achieved with people. It is therefore important to understand how to unleash the creative function of the employees, so that they, in turn, can expand the client portfolio that they have. It is important for HR to understand the whole picture along with the business value otherwise it only adds value from a functional perspective. My belief has always been business values first and function next. I am excited to be part of this journey and taking it to the next level, while preserving our company’s unique DNA. That is what gets me excited and out of bed!
“The engine of Iris is small teams made up of dedicated people.”– Sharad Verma, VP and CHRO, Iris
Iris Software is a professional software services organization serving customers in the USA, Canada and India for over 25 years. Iris focusses on developing ready-to-deploy Custom-Off-The-Shelf solutions, Application Software development services, as well as services towards the maintenance, testing, integration and support of software.
Iris services the information technology requirements of companies ranging from the Fortune 100 to medium-sized firms by utilizing specialized domain knowledge, best-of-breed technologies, rapidly deployable proprietary frameworks/solutions and flexible engagement models. Iris provides thought leadership to solve business problems creatively by conceptualizing and delivering uncommon solutions, leveraging existing technologies and new computing paradigms such as Digital Transformation, ML, Analytics and Insights, Cloud Computing and Process Automation. Iris continually innovates to accelerate outcomes such as time-to-market, lower costs, ease of maintenance and reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Iris’s core strengths of software engineering best practices enables it to deliver high-quality solutions consistently.