The Man of Excellence
Ashar started his professional career in Operations, Sales and Customer Services and is currently working as Director HR at IBEX. Ironically in the initial part of his career Ashar didn’t have much regard for HR as, having had a few experiences that didn’t go too well, he was skeptical about the actual effectiveness of HR. However, eventually it was those experiences that made him realize that, rather than complaining and getting upset, it would be better to be part of HR and make a difference by changing and improving things from within. Switching his field, according to him, was not easy since nobody wanted to hire someone in HR who had zero experience in the industry and no HR-relevant education. Consequently, he spent a lot of time researching and learning about HR strategies and effective business partnering.
His perseverance finally paid off - Ashar made his way into the HR profession, and feels that he would do it all over again, as he grows and learns every day. When asked about whether one should improve their weaknesses or perfect their strengths, he gave equal weightage to both. According to him, a personal inventory every night is very helpful in realizing how and what he can do to improve upon how the day went. He is of the opinion that one must always hone and sharpen oneself, always strive to improve, and never become complacent as that only makes one rusty over time.
On asking, what sort of challenges he foresees in the BPO industry, he said, “I don’t see challenges; only opportunities”. He further added that it is not specific to the BPO industry but generally, the true essence of HR as a strategic business partner emphasizes that we find a balance between being people-centric and business-centric. Gone are the days when HR was a transactional department, we need to understand that HR today is a critical part of the business and needs to be equally accountable for profitability and business growth.
Talking about IBEX, he described it as an organization with vibrant culture, empowering and facilitating. Each day brings a new learning experience. The intricate and flat hierarchies are actually his favorite part of what makes this organization so interesting and brilliant. When asked regarding advice he would like to give to other budding professionals, he suggested that we should make a career out of what makes us happy; regardless of the fact that this revelation comes at the age of 15 or 50, we should stick to it. Secondly, respect everyone regardless of their age, gender, position, title or social standing. Trust and respect are what make up the foundation of any relationship – personal or professional. Lastly, he gave great importance to empathy and adaptability, as these were the most valuable attributes that helped him in his career as well as personal growth.
- Name your priority; Family or Work?
- Priority is family but also addicted to work.
- What is Ashar like at home?
- More like a Directee! :)
- Name one person who has changed your life?
- What do you value most: free time, recognition or money?
- All three are important, however in order of my priorities; recognition, money, free time.
- Name your biggest fear.
- Failing as a parent.
- Describe IBEX in one word.
- Biggest achievement of your career.
- I guess working my way into HR was nothing less of an achievement.
- Name one thing that you never get tired of.
- One habit you would like to break.
- Hmmm, let me get back to you on this?
- If I gave you one plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- Name five things in your car's dashboard.
- Receipts, spark plugs, cables; mostly junk.
Fatima Khawaja & Zain Ali