Name: Amit Shankarrao Takalkar
Position: Global Mobility, Rewards and Human Resources Lead
Reliance, Global Mobility, Rewards and Human Resources Lead (India): 2017–Present
Reliance, Senior Manager of Performance and Rewards (India): 2013–Present
Reliance, Human Resources Manager (India): 2011–2013
Crown Relocations, Service Centre Manager, Global Mobility (India): 2009–2011
Gridstone Research, Senior Associate (India): 2008–2009
The Dow Chemical Company, Relocation Specialist (India): 2006–2008
Q: Why global mobility, and how did you get started in the industry?
A: My first tryst with global mobility was in 2006 when I joined Dow. It was a new field back then in India and is still relatively niche now. It was good learning at Dow as I was working with the veterans of the mobility world who had spent years in the business.
Q: What is 'business as usual' like at Reliance?
A: Everyday is a new lesson in global mobility; there’s nothing specific that I can say is “business as usual”. While we have standardized processes and policies, but we try and ensure that we also touch base with the “human component” while handling expatriate employees (or even local employees). Unless you are in their shoes and can empathize with them, one cannot understand that becoming mobile for a role can be challenging. I believe being empathetic is the first step of any global mobility program.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to build a career in global mobility?
A: Start young and interact with as many global mobility professionals as possible. While one may seem perfect in their processes, there will always be someone who has a better methods or different ways of handling global mobility workflows. Ideate with professionals from the field and learn new avenues of global mobility.
Q: How do you think the global mobility industry has changed over the years?
A: In 2006, only a few companies had a global mobility department. Over the years, the world has shrunk and processes, timelines, compliances have become more stringent. This is where global mobility professionals come into picture. Companies need people who understand the business and can tackle hurdles caused by factors that may be beyond the control of employees and employers, such as government restrictions on travel or guidelines for international workers compensation.
Q: What do you think is the primary thing hindering the global mobility industry's progress?
A: A constantly changing political and socio-economic world environment. global mobility is based on years of experience of handling people. With a less stable environment, it becomes frustrating having to deal with the daily changing policies of governments which cause hardships to international workers.
Q: What kind of tech or software would you suggest for global mobility processing?
A: I think with the advent of blockchain, it is time we start working with these modules in global mobility. Sooner or later all other processes will become redundant.
Q: How can global mobility practices get better in the next 5 years?
A: Embrace technology but be connected with your employees. That is the way forward.
Q: What are the major developments you currently see happening in the industry, and how do you feel about them?
A: As mentioned earlier, blockchain is the future in global mobility too. It may be too early to comment on how things will pan out in the near future, but it surely looks exciting.