Source: Bayt.com - Middle East’s #1 Job Site
Gautam Ganglani is the Managing Director of Right Selection Group – a family-owned business that specializes in training executives. In his current position, Gautam manages a team of expert trainers who conduct in-house training sessions for clients, customized based on their needs. Gautam holds over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience in Dubai and the Gulf region. His main area of expertise lies in training, education, learning, and development.
1. How do you like living and working in the UAE?
I absolutely love living and working in the UAE. I describe the UAE to my friends as a country that is a “grace of the east and pace of the west”. It is a country that has the best of both worlds in terms of culture, presence of international brands, as well as technology and the latest trends.
We live in a multicultural city, and learn from each other’s traditions and personalities. The country attracts tourism and business as a place that must be visited for the positive, upbeat and vibrant energy that has an attitude of getting things done by taking action.
The UAE is a country that encourages entrepreneurship based on ideas that bring value to the community and expand your comfort zone to new heights of success.
I am grateful to be living in the UAE, and every time I travel for business or pleasure to other parts of the world I value and appreciate the UAE even more.
2. What is your average day in work like?
On an average day I wake up by 6.45am, and go for a walk with my father from 7am to 8am. This is one of the most important daily activities for me for multiple reasons; exercise, health and well-being but also to connect with my father on topics both personal and professional. We share concerns and collectively come up with solutions to our daily challenges.
I am grateful for every minute with my father, as we share a deep understanding of our need to serve the community through our company, Right Selection. We strive to enrich lives and inspire success by hosting world-class training experience to motivational and executive speakers.
My working hours are from 9am to 6pm. My days are varied in nature, and are split between activities that include some thinking time to strategise the business, meeting with clients to understand their needs, and meeting with strategic partners to ensure that we are aligned in our objectives and adding value to our all our partners.
The added bonus to my traditional working day is networking with like-minded (and like-hearted) professionals who have a passion for learning and enriching people’s lives through education. Surrounding yourself with the right people is one of the most important decisions of your career. This decision has a direct impact on your well-being, inner fulfillment, peace of mind, but also your success in achieving your goals and aspirations.
3. What is the most important thing Right Selection looks for in new hires?
As it is not easy to get the perfect person who 100% fits the role(s) that we have to offer, there are other criteria we look for to help us in our screening process. Two important things we look at are: attitude and being open-minded with a willingness to learn.
To determine their attitude, we usually ask the question: Why do you want to join us and be involved in our field of work? If their response is that they enjoy serving others, while at the same time being in the education space, helping spread learning and being exposed to highly experienced trainers and great educators, then we know that they have the right mindset, and that with time they can polish their skills to fully meet our expectations.
We also select those who have a pro-active nature; those who can always be one step ahead of the game and have the ability to anticipate and be fully prepared to meet all eventualities. This is a big asset in our line of work, where the unexpected does happen from time to time. In short, thinking on one’s feet is a huge plus for us.
4. What is the biggest challenge you face in hiring talent?
Good communication skills and a command of the English language are not easy to find at the junior and middle management levels. During my graduation days back in London, one automatically developed these skills. Here, and with a mix of people who come from so many different countries, well-spoken and written English are hard to find.
5. What is your advice for someone looking to start a career in the HR field?
Someone looking for a career in the HR field needs to research very thoroughly the companies that they are targeting. The HR functions vary a great deal from company to company. HR functions may cover some or all of the following: recruitment, appraisals and mobilization of human resources, identifying training needs and managing wages and salaries, but also counseling and orientation.
It is best for the candidate to look at their strengths and skills and highlight their expertise during the interview so there is a match between the employer’s needs and what the employee can deliver. If one is hired and chosen to take care of an area which is not compatible with the skills he can offer, then this can create disappointment for both sides.
6. What has been the highlight of your career?
The highlight of my 15 years with Right Selection (which has recently celebrated its 19th anniversary) is difficult to share in one highlight, so let me share a number of key highlights.
First and foremost, I appreciate the opportunity to partner with my father as he is my best friend, mentor, coach, spiritual guide, and business partner. My relationship with my father continues to be a lifelong partnership built on love, trust, encouragement, and appreciation of each other’s strengths.
From 1993 to 1999, Right Selection was simply a retail bookshop that specialized in the distribution of business books, audio and video materials. The key highlight was in 2000 when we started hosting corporate seminars in Dubai, which was soon followed by building partnership in nine other countries in the Gulf, but also Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This significantly increased our visibility, credibility and profitability. More recently in 2011 and 2012, another highlight for me was setting up our business in India and bringing the world’s best speakers to a country that constituted a challenge, but to which I am most grateful as it helped me make better decisions for the future.
In April 2012 we hosted Jack Canfield, an international celebrity author, speaker and coach in Dubai, Mumbai and Bangalore with over 2000 delegates. This was a “game changer” for me personally and for Right Selection as we expanded into new business possibilities and took action to host even more sold-out events. This created a buzz for lifelong learners in the cities we serve.
With Right Selection’s 20th anniversary just 11 months away, I would like to close my answer to this question by saying, “The best is yet to come”.
7. What do you read to keep abreast of industry developments?
Before I share how I keep myself updated with the latest trends, I will make a confession that might surprise some of the readers: I stopped reading the daily newspaper since January 2009, and that was probably one of the best decisions of my life.
My passion for networking online and offline keeps me shoulder-to-shoulder with all events occurring in our industry. I have chosen to connect with a few selected groups of professionals, and often, what is really important for me comes up in the various conversations I have with them.
I also drive a lot to client and partner meetings, and use my time in the car by listening to radio channels that have candid news, interviews and insights that are meaningful to me and that help me keep abreast of the latest happenings.
8. How do you think the Middle East have evolved when it comes to HR Policies and practices?
I have not kept closely abreast of the changes that are coming in the region. However, I do hear about new laws being implemented in neighboring countries. With the wide spectrum of companies operating in the region, with business owners and decision makers coming from different countries, there is no fixed pattern as to what is practiced in each company. The main change observed in this region is the fact that companies here can no longer ignore the power of “word of mouth”, because negative news do have a long-lasting impact on the company’s credibility and growth.
9. Anything else you would like to share with our community of Bayt.com Employers?
I would like to bring to the attention of employers that nowadays candidates are tech-savvy and do their homework by researching employers online before going to the interview. Employers need to make sure they deliver a positive brand experience. Indeed, as much as you’re using the internet to screen candidates before an interview, candidates are also consulting the web to vet you as a potential employer.
So, if you have not already done so, you need to commit to a strong online presence. Make sure you clearly define your goals and objectives, so that people can quickly depict the reasons why they would like to work for you.
Always be willing to go the extra mile. Your ability to accommodate to new trends, even when it isn’t easy or convenient, assures others of a continuing and enjoyable relationship with you. In short, contribute and shine in such a way that all your potential partners (including candidates) cannot afford to ignore you. Let them start recognizing and appreciating all the efforts you make to be extraordinary.