Updated: Apr 2
Gulneet Chadha is a Human Resource expert and the Founder and CEO of GC Consulting. She is also a certified Therapist, a licensed hypnotherapist, an author, an a mental health advocate. Gulneet describes herself as a technology geek, and is an advocate for technology being used to optimise processes and business growth.
Her consulting firm helps companies redefine their perspective of what HR should be in the 21st century. A lot of companies see HR as just another department or facility within the company's wider scheme. Gulneet and her company are changing that narrative. They are helping company's see that HR should be at the forefront of the organisation's goals and objectives. Specifically, they help companies see that HR should be at the "Driver's Seat" in any organisation, while still helping companies meet their bottom line and increase productivity.
We had the pleasure of holding a Q&A session with Gulneet to explore her journey as a HR expert. We also look at the value proposition of GC Consulting.
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Hello Gulneet. Thank you for participating in this Q&A session. We would like to explore your origin story. Please give us an overview of your background, career, and most importantly, why and how you got into HR entrepreneurship?
Gulneet: I came to Dubai in 2005 and like everyone else, I had dreams. Dream to achieve something. I started my career in HR as I was always passionate about people. In 16 years, I moved positions, handled complex HR functions, organizational restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and a lot more. However, in my journey I learned that there is so much weightage this function carries in being an advisor to the Business, unfortunately it was looked at as a mere facilitator.
When this realization in me went deep, that’s when I decided to start my own company as I knew there so much potential out there where I can add value. I started GC Consulting to support businesses and advise them how to transform their HR functions and make them more productive which would directly impacting their bottom line. HR should sit on the Driver seat, and that’s what we try to do at GC Consulting, making our clients more productive in their businesses, by making their HR functions super productive.
Are there any leaders, past or present that have influenced you as a business leader?
Gulneet: Yes, my Ex-Managers, Omar Kassim & Zayan Ghandour have been my biggest inspiration. From Omar I gained technology insight. He always encouraged me to stay ahead. I learned culture and compassion from Zayan Ghandour which has been the biggest contributor towards my success. Apart from that, I gain inspiration from my clients, my colleagues, and everyone. You learn everyday and I feel everyone is an inspiration.
Every journey has its ups and downs. What are the key challenges you have faced in the HR sector and how have you navigated these?
Gulneet: The biggest challenge I faced was attitude of people and their resistance to change. You can’t really furnish data even though there is, and studies have proved that certain transformation would result in some kind of confirmed impact. Convincing organizations that have age-old practices has been our biggest challenge, but of-course we are getting there and see a lot of organizations now becoming open to change 😀.
What advice do you have for aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to start a business during the pandemic?
Gulneet: If you have an idea and feel it deep in your bones, give it a start! If you don’t start now, you will never be able to. Once you're on that journey, just keep going. Criticism and failure will be your biggest learning and will make you what you finally want to be.
We would like to talk about GC Consulting and its value proposition. What is the origin story behind GC Consulting?
Gulneet: GC Consulting focusses on making an impact. Any potential client we approach, its only about adding value. Transparency is our DNA. We never make false promise. Our objective is to make our client profitable through their resources and we don't attach commercial value to what we can't deliver.
What is the value proposition of GC Consulting and how is it unique when compared to other HR firms?
Gulneet: Transparency and 100% Success Delivery is what we promise. Usually its difficult to quantify HR transformation practices, but we build our own KPIs and we track our own success.
Who is GC Consulting's target market and what is your geographical reach?
Gulneet: UAE is our main market, but we are also working in Saudi market on some recruitment projects.
What are the key challenges GC Consulting has faced since it launched and how have you navigated it?
Gulneet: As a newbie in the market, on-time delivery in recruitment (mainly!) was our challenge, but with time we have managed to overcome that.
Still on challenges, what impact did the pandemic have on GC Consulting?
Gulneet: We have successfully managed to support companies in their restructuring during pandemic. Where companies were downsizing massively, we managed to develop some unique strategies for our clients on Human Resources which were not just practical but also commercially viable, leaving the culture unaffected.
Alot of organisations had to move their businesses online or work remotely. These changes have had both positive and negative impacts on their existing organisational culture and productivity. What advice do you have for organisations going through such changes?
Gulneet: Collaboration and effective communication is the only way to handle remote working.
Facebook said they are committed to allowing 50% of their employees work remotely forever. Other companies like Infosys and Reddit have also made similar commitments. While not all jobs can be adapted to remote working, should job roles that can be delivered remotely remain remotely after the pandemic?
Gulneet: It all depends what jobs can be done remotely and what tools are in place to make sure that employees are comfortable and as effective. Where I feel some jobs could be 100% remote, there are some that need hybrid or on-site presence.
While a lot of organisations incorporate mental health into their corporate strategy, there is still the stigma associated with telling an employer you are depressed, stressed or you have an anxiety problem. Some employers handle it well and provide support. Why others provide support but perceive the employees as “broken”. What’s your advice on how to properly manage mental health within a work context?
Gulneet: Read this carefully if you are an Employer or an Employee. Mental Health is not limited to some packages that include xyz.. It is that situation when an employee walks into his manager's office and says "I am having a difficult day as I suffer from anxiety or depression or PTSD", that’s mental health. As a Manager you are expected not judge them and link this to their performance. So the first step is to create a culture of "not judging".
We have come to the end of the interview and would like to thank you for participating in it.
Gulneet: Thank you. My pleasure 😀.
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