Ritu Anand

Inspiring Culture to Ignite Change

Ritu Anand

Senior Director- Human Resources, Administration & Corporate Communications,

Terumo India

The landscape of work is rapidly evolving and needs leaders who stand at the forefront, navigating the intricate dynamics of adapting work models to the aspirations of the modern workforce. Ritu Anand’s visionary perspective embraces the changing tides, emphasising the paramount significance of harmonising organisational objectives with the evolving needs and ambitions of employees. With a keen eye on the shifting paradigms of work, Ritu Anand (Senior Director-HR, Administration & Corporate Communications at Terumo India) stands as a testament to forward-thinking leadership. The philosophy of being “Powered by People” which symbolizes an interconnected family of associates with a deep connection to the roots, is what she endorses. Her strategic approach underscores the essential balance between meeting business imperatives and fostering an environment that caters to the aspirations and well-being of the workforce.
Now, as an influential figure in the sphere of human resources, Ritu’s commitment to creating a work environment that seamlessly aligns with the progressive aspirations of the workforce defines her leadership ethos. At Terumo India, Ritu continuously nurtures the culture with a laser sharp focus on leadership advancements and inculcation of best practices such as health and wellbeing, hybrid work model, People Leadership Capability Building Program, Building Leaders of Tomorrow, Associate resource group with inclusion and diversity focus (Ex YUME – First Women Associate Resource Group in Terumo Group), invigorated performance management philosophy, Associate Assistance Program (Terumo Cares and Doc on call), to keep spirit and morale high.
In our talk, Ritu shared key insights on fostering innovation and belonging in today’s tech-driven era. 

What moments inspired you most in your HR leadership journey?

During my time as an HR executive, I’ve found deep inspiration in driving significant organisational change and furthering our mission. My experiences are diverse, from enhancing career paths to fostering joy and witnessing remarkable growth among employees. Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, our team’s resilience at Terumo India was remarkable. The period of pandemic reinforced our group mission, “Contributing to Society through Healthcare” in the organisational culture, showcasing the exceptional character of our workforce and fuelling my dedication to supporting our associates through adversity as an HR leader.

What major challenge have you faced in your career, and what did you learn from it?

In my career, collaborating with diverse leaders and cultures, I’ve seen challenges as opportunities. By building HR functions and aligning them with business, I’ve embodied resilience and adaptability. Talking about my core lessons, it would be embracing a Growth Mindset to turn obstacles into opportunities in HR’s evolving landscape. In summary, my key learnings are adopting a growth mindset, believing in ongoing development, and aligning with organisational goals. These principles are crucial for navigating change, demonstrating resilience, and adapting to dynamic business and environmental needs.

How do you aim to alter misconceptions about HR professionals and reshape perceptions through your approach?

I firmly believe that while products, infrastructure, and market models can be replicated, the ultimate source of competitive advantage is “your people.” HR practitioners play a pivotal role that extends beyond boundaries, intertwining their strategies with the overarching business direction. We believe and follow the Japanese philosophy of GEMBA, wherein we conduct field visits to understand business nuances and find the optimal solutions to inform our talent strategy. In the evolving landscape of business, regulations, and economies, adopting a proactive and open-minded approach is crucial for HR professionals to engage with associates and tackle business challenges head-on.

What are your future plans?

In the future, I foresee a focus on growth, impacting our mission, and enriching our associates’ lives. My aim is to enhance my abilities to support the business in an empowering manner. Recently, at Terumo India, we introduced a robust succession planning framework. This initiative consumed over 1500 working hours, emphasising strategy design, alignment, and integration across the organisation. Our goal is to foster both business development and the advancement of our people.

How do you foresee the impact on employees as companies transition back to the office after adapting to a hybrid work model?

We have implemented Hybrid workplace model at Terumo India, a business model combining remote work with office work promoting increased freedom and autonomy around place of work, and time of work. One of the major elements of our hybrid model being successful is the trust – All associates are to be trustworthy, and all leaders are to be trusting. Despite Covid, Terumo India has witnessed double digit growth which itself is a testimony of the commitment of its Associates. This mutual understanding is pivotal in navigating the future workforce landscape effectively.

Do you predict more changes in the future work model, and why is HR's adaptation equally important?

The global work landscape is now altered, ushering in remote models. Prioritising business needs is vital to shaping future work models. Balancing cultural nuances with innovation, agility, and speed is key for outcome-oriented businesses. Cultivating organisational flexibility that aligns with associates’ aspirations is crucial. The evolving work future demands a delicate balance between organisational goals and associates’ needs.

How do you stay updated on industry technology advancements and innovations?

India’s HR sector thrives on robust networking. Actively engaging in industry activities enriches my professional knowledge. Participating in conferences and seminars allows for insightful exchanges with peers. I also invest time in reading industry-specific white papers to grasp current trends and best practices.

What single change would you make in the HR industry if given the opportunity, and what drives that choice?

Given a transformative wand, I’d reshape HR practitioners as boundary-less change agents. Amidst global hybrid transformation, my focus would be preserving and enhancing our inclusive familial culture. We hold a Kids Summer Camp for the children of our Associates where they learn and participate in different activities including arts and crafts, fireless cooking, storytelling and so on. We believe in contributing to their growth, creating memorable experiences, and building connections that go beyond the workplace. By collaborating with teams, HR can promote a sense of belonging and shared values, leveraging culture as a competitive advantage in these dynamic times.