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In this episode of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, we were pleased to welcome Sanjay S Singh, the Global Chief Human Resources Officer at UPL in India.

“The only way to succeed in the world is having diversity at the top leadership level.”

Paul Toms, our Founder, kicked off the conversation by asking Sanjay a question that he asks himself “all the time”; what does it feel like to be a Global CHRO at a company like UPL? UPL is the fifth largest company in the production sector globally, having grown very quickly since 2009/10.

With so many different cultures within the business, Sanjay explains how diversity, best-in-class digital systems and local sensitivity make people stay at UPL. But how do you make this happen? Sanjay is clear that you must do what you say and drive Diversity & Inclusion at levels that really matter. He sets tangible targets and tracks them for execution.

However, Human Resources can often be a challenge to track, due to the fact that you’re dealing with people, who have minds of their own. Sanjay realised that it was a difficult function when he was a student, but also recognised that it’s a good place to be, most parts of the role are strategic and that he could add long-term strength to the organisation.

So, how will HR evolve as Business Intelligence and Data have a greater impact on our lives? Sanjay believes that there is “no substitute for relationships in life” and organisations will lose a lot if augmentation doesn’t tap into one-on-one connections. He does, however, believe that data scientists will be working in HR in five to seven years’ time, although this shouldn’t diminish the value of relationships. If leaders ensure that they interact face-to-face and make great connections, Sanjay feels that the quality of these interactions will create huge organisations.

Paul and Sanjay explore how businesses can get employee buy-in on large change management projects, which always starts with why you’re doing it. It’s something Sanjay learned after struggling with stakeholder support.

He discusses the two people who have had the biggest impact on him in his career, including a boss who always exposed himself to the most difficult circumstances and put himself in the line of fire.

We also couldn’t host a podcast episode with an HR leader without exploring recruitment and retention. Sanjay focuses on hiring senior talent, which he believes is one of the most high leverage activities that HR does. He explains how to prevent a wrong hire and the effect this could have on the company.

The full episode is available here: 

You can also listen by following this link, or find us on your favourite podcast app: https://emearecruitment.libsyn.com/emea-recruitment-podcast-105-driving-diversity-at-the-top-sanjay-s-singh

If you’d like to find a specific part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

02:10: What it feels like to be a Global CHRO
06:06: How to create a great culture
08:32: What made Sanjay go into HR
14:51: How technology will impact the HR function
19:58: How to manage a large change management project
26:02: Hiring senior talent
29:22: The true cost of a wrong hire
31:49: Who’s inspired Sanjay in his career
36:41: The best way to reach out to Sanjay

If you’d like to connect with Sanjay, he is contactable via email: sanjays@upl-ltd.com


We’re proud to bring you the EMEA Recruitment podcast in partnership with Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides life-changing surgery to children born with cleft lip and palate. If you’d like to support this cause, please visit emearecruitment.com/operation-smile


This episode of the EMEA Recruitment podcast was hosted by Paul Toms, our Founder, and Rose Jinks, our Senior Marketing Executive.

More information about our specialist recruitment services, including senior HR positions, can be found on our website: https://www.emearecruitment.com/

You can also find us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/emea-recruitment-limited/

To connect with Paul, visit his profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paultoms/

Or follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_toms


If you have any suggestions for the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please get in touch with Rose: rose.jinks@emearecruitment.com