TN Hari, Head HR at Bigbasket and Strategic Advisor at The Fundamentum Partnership

Performance Management Interview with TN Hari, Head HR at Bigbasket and Strategic Advisor at The Fundamentum Partnership- GroSum TopTalkTN Hari is an advisor and mentor to numerous young entrepreneurs and startups. He is also a Strategic Advisor at “Fundamentum”, which is a late stage VC fund set up by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal. Hari also heads HR at BigBasket.

He has studied at IIT & IIM and worked at an executive level with multiple start-ups/scale-ups and has been through four successful exits in different industries.

His passion is in scaling organizations through clear thinking and relentless execution. He writes regularly on LinkedIn and has a substantial following. LinkedIn identified him as the one of the Top 10 Voices in India in 2016 and 2017.

He has authored two books. The recent one, published by Penguin, is titled “Cut the Crap and Jargon – Lessons from the Startup Trenches”.

His next book, to be published by Bloomsbury, is titled “Cutting the Gordian Knot – India’s Quest for Prosperity”


How important is Performance Management (P.M.) in today’s high-flux organization?

Performance Management has always been important. It has always been the central pillar of building a great company. Organizations in high-flux (typically Startups) need to manage performance in a slightly different way. They need to be practical, agile and frequent. In addition, feedback needs to be continuous, candid, and intense. The pace and rhythm of performance management needs to be in line with the pace and rhythm of the business.

Whose responsibility is Performance Management?

It is the responsibility of the concerned manager and function head.

What are the key gaps in current industry practices in managing employees’ performance?

Inability to give timely, accurate and specific feedback as a result of which many decisions turn out to be surprises and leave a bad taste in the mouth.

Other than better pay or job roles, what are the main reasons why people change jobs?

The main reasons why people change jobs are mostly for bigger challenges, more interesting roles, company culture, and bad leadership.

What makes a really effective P.M. programme? Any best practices to share.

Like most other things in organizations, it is the quality of leadership that makes a really effective P.M programme. A great practice is to include the way a leader manages performance of her team as one of the objectives/goals on which she is evaluated as rigorously as she is on her business metrics.


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