Rakhie Joseph

Expediting Learning To Fast-Forward Business Growth

Rakhie Joseph

Director of Enterprise Learning & Development ,

PayPal

Protecting organisations in the midst of ongoing transition from ‘Great Resignation’ to ‘Great Layoff’, Rakhie Joseph, Director of Enterprise Learning & Development at PayPal, emerges as a beacon of innovative leadership in addressing the skills gap crisis, threatening competitiveness. Rakhie is a global leader in technical learning who embraces tech trends like AI and leverages emerging technologies to drive innovation, foster continuous growth, and help individuals and organisations thrive in the rapidly changing technology landscape.
With a career spanning two decades, Rakhie has navigated significant technological transformations, starting from a pivotal role at CMC Limited. As a true advocate of selfdirected learning, she believes that the future of technology learning will be characterised by personalised learning experiences, a focus on lifelong learning, integration of immersive technologies, emphasis on soft and human-centric skills, and collaboration with AI. Rakhie’s unique L&D approach leverages existing talent within organisations, fostering an environment of continuous growth and adaptation. In her conversation with TradeFlock, Rakhie delves into her daily challenges, innovative L&D strategies, and her role in nurturing the next generation of leaders, offering insights into overcoming the skills gap in today’s dynamic business landscape. 

Could you share your career journey and what inspired you to focus on learning and development?

Beginning my career at CMC Limited during my postgraduate programme’s final semester, I was part of pioneering projects like the Indian Railways’ Ticket Reservation System. My exposure to blending development work with training here laid the initial foundation of my career in L&D, which was further honed in the role of a Lecturer at Alliance Business Academy, where I contributed to academia and coauthored technical papers. The pull toward the corporate world led me to iFlex, later acquired by Oracle, where I explored the banking product space, evolving from a team member to leading technology learning across India. This role significantly influenced our learning culture, introducing initiatives like the Learning Fiesta and handling 700-800 fresh graduates annually, akin to running a university. My inspiration to pursue a career in learning and development has always been driven by the excitement of facing challenges, which I see as opportunities for growth and the quest for new challenges brought me to Mphasis, where I applied my experiences globally, focusing on technology learning, talent initiatives, and leadership programmes. Eventually, my career path led me to PayPal. Starting in an APAC role, I quickly expanded my responsibilities globally, covering technology learning, content creation, and domain learning, continuously seeking to innovate and impact the learning culture within the tech industry.

What challenges have you faced and overcome in your role? Would they change if gender wasn't a factor?

Facing challenges head-on has been a cornerstone throughout my career. As the Location Head of i-flex Learning in Bangalore, managing a fairly large team, including more senior and experienced members than myself, taught me the importance of leadership and inclusivity. At PayPal, amidst rapid growth, I tackled the task of providing direction and improving engagement within our technology learning team, transforming our presence and engagement scores into a success story. The COVID-19 lockdown, while daunting, became an opportunity to foster stronger team bonds and connect personally, even with their families. Gender-related challenges, like confronting the status quo and adjusting career paths for work-life balance, have also shaped my journey. While these experiences were demanding, they underscored the value of resilience and adaptability, regardless of gender.

How do you approach global technical education development?

Developing technical education programs globally involves a strategic blend of digital tools and human interaction. My approach has always focused on creating a comprehensive learning strategy aligned with organisational objectives, highlighting essential competencies across various regions. I believe in fostering a continuous learning culture, encouraging ownership of personal development, and facilitating opportunities for professional growth. Empowering local champions as technology learning advocates to ensure information dissemination and peer support has also been a critical aspect of my strategy. Staying agile to adapt to evolving trends, leveraging virtual collaboration tools, and promoting cross-functional and peerto-peer learning is key. This holistic strategy ensures the global workforce is equipped with the necessary skills for the digital age.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do they shape your leadership?

My greatest strengths include a natural curiosity, empathy, and the ability to view problems from diverse perspectives, aiding in innovative solution-finding. My handson technology experience enables effective communication with both business and tech leaders, enhancing my leadership. While the strategy may not be my forte, my proficiency in execution has significantly contributed to my growth as a leader, emphasising the importance of action over perfect planning. I’ve also cultivated vulnerability awareness and openness within my team, fostering a culture of transparency and courage. However, I find it difficult to say no, especially in business contexts, marking areas for improvement.

What's your mantra for success?

My personal mantra for achieving success is rooted in curiosity, courage, and the enduring inspiration of my late father’s belief in my potential. His principles guide me through challenges, fuel my passion for continuous learning, and empower me to navigate my journey with grace and determination even today. As I embrace the ever-changing landscape of technology learning, curiosity and courage illuminate my path, inspiring growth, innovation, and success. Additionally, my husband and son have equally contributed to my success. Their presence and involvement not only inspire but also validate my path, fostering a supportive environment where I can thrive and innovate with confidence and joy, even through the toughest terrains.







     







       







         







           







             







               







                 







                   







                     







                       







                         







                           







                             







                               







                                 

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