Purvesh Kapadia


Navigating the Glocal Work Culture Shift

Purvesh Kapadia

Group CHRO,

Refex Group

The work culture has become glocal (global + local), with a strong emphasis on creating a collaborative, diverse yet connected environment. The success of an organisation hinges on the delicate balance between global strategies and local nuances. Walking on this thin rope needs extensive international experience and a pulse to understand human psychology. Purvesh Kapadia, CHRO of Refex Group, stands out as the architect of transformative HR practices.
Purvesh’s international career, spanning India, the USA, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, brings diverse HR experience. His adaptability and excellence traverse varied landscapes, from private enterprises to MNCs. Noteworthy is his role in pivotal Business Process Reengineering (BPR) initiatives, driving strategic evolution and ensuring operational efficiency.
He executed two BPRs, integrating tech for scale-ups and fostering sustainable processes for tangible business growth—boosting top-line, EBITDA margins, cash flows, and efficiency. Beyond HR, Purvesh champions Great Place to Work principles, emphasising a balanced approach between ‘Hands that work’ and ‘Minds that think,’ shaping organisational success. What makes him successful is his strength in tackling large, complex problems with small, manageable solutions. Acknowledging collaboration’s role in success, he consistently seeks improvement, viewing growth as a natural outcome.
TradeFlock interviewed Purvesh to understand his transformative leadership. 

How do your full-cycle BPRs align with organisational evolution and IT integration?

My approach focuses on elevating HR from transactional to strategic significance. I streamline processes, emphasising data-driven IT integration for informed decision-making. Through a meticulous analysis covering recruitment, onboarding, and performance management, redundancies and bottlenecks are identified, paving the way for enhanced efficiency. The organisational evolution aspect involves creating an agile HR framework. This is achieved by fostering a culture of continuous improvement where technology seamlessly integrates into HR practices. The goal extends beyond mere efficiency to establish a strategic, IT-empowered HR function aligned with evolving business needs.

How do you navigate the dynamic workforce landscape to spot the right talent for the right role?

Navigating the dynamic workforce landscape, particularly with the unique expectations of millennials, demands a strategic approach that blends innovation and adaptability. Tailoring recruitment to resonate with the tech-savvy, purpose-driven mindset of millennials is not just a strategy but a necessity for organisational vitality. Beyond conventional hiring practices, a proactive approach involves identifying and nurturing existing talents and fostering continuous learning initiatives to meet the industry’s evolving demands. Embracing artificial intelligence in recruitment ensures a data-driven and efficient talent acquisition process. Understanding the nuances of the gig economy and prioritising flexibility align with the aspirations of a workforce that values experiences and purpose.

What challenges did you face implementing HR policies across different regions and industries?

Implementing HR policies globally posed the challenge of gaining buy-in. To address this, I introduced a participatory process involving functional and business heads, encouraging team contributions. Policies were released on probation, inviting suggestions from teams unable to participate at a strategic level. This approach ensured the democratic formation and deployment of policies, garnering full buy-in. In a unique instance, dissatisfaction with canteen food was resolved by engaging spouses of team members to manage the canteens, which was successfully implemented across all 11 factories.

Balancing DEI in diverse global HR leadership: how do you approach it?

My HR leadership prioritises diversity and inclusion (D&I) by fostering an inclusive culture that transcends differences. Instead of fixating on metrics, I actively promote a culture where diverse perspectives are integral to decision-making. From recruitment to talent development, I integrate DEI principles, utilising initiatives like employee resource groups and mentorship programmes. In global HR leadership, I emphasise a culture of respect, building mutual trust without the need for categorisation based on differences. In my philosophy, fostering an inclusive environment aligns with responsible business practices across diverse cultural contexts.

What's your greatest strength? How do you approach personal and professional growth opportunities?

My leadership strength lies in fostering mutual respect and a character-driven approach, creating a cohesive work environment. I work with people, not on them, promoting collaboration and shared goals. For personal and professional growth, I embrace learning at every opportunity, competing with myself and maintaining a perpetual dissatisfaction with the ordinary. Whether through education, mentorship, or diverse experiences, each opportunity is a step towards becoming a more effective leader. My career is a narrative of resilience, adaptability, and an unyielding drive for excellence, reflecting not just roles and achievements but a journey of continuous growth.

Can you discuss your major achievements?

My relentless focus on sustainable growth resulted in transformative achievements. Over four years, we doubled the top line from $500 million to $950 million and witnessed a stock surge from Rs 122 to Rs 805. Securing ‛Great Place to Work’ recognition in our first attempt underscored our commitment to an exceptional workplace. Pioneering employee stock option schemes further exemplifies our dedication to innovative value propositions.

What is your inspiration and how has it shaped your leadership style and decision-making?

Throughout my career, my greatest inspiration has been the culture of respect, shaping a leadership style of ‛working with people.’ This philosophy emphasises collaboration, mutual respect, and continuous improvement. Personally, I find that a sense of aspiration drives me towards continuous enhancement. This passion significantly influences my leadership, fostering a collaborative environment where mutual respect and continuous improvement are paramount. This intrinsic drive, fuelled by dissatisfaction, shapes my decision-making and leadership style, encouraging calculated risks, embracing change, and instilling a culture of resilience and innovation.
















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