HR Speaks with Riddhima Kowley

2 Minutes

Worked in HR since: 2005 Current role: Senior HR Business Partner at Vodafone, London - Lea...

By Stuart Elliott

CEO and Owner

Worked in HR since: 2005

Current role: Senior HR Business Partner at Vodafone, London - Lead HR business partner for the architecture and strategy arm of the group’s chief technology office.

In October this year I had the pleasure to meet with Riddhima Kowley who had wonderfully agreed to be interviewed for our “HR Speaks” series. This was the first time that Riddhima and I had spoken at any great length and I had originally approached her for this series due to the global nature of the work that she has done in her career.

If I had to describe Riddhima, I’d probably say “wise, considered and culturally aware”, which you might expect of someone that was born in India but has then lived and worked in Egypt, France and now the UK (with a study stint in Holland as well). As I talked through Riddhima’s background it was amazing to learn how she had made things happen.

Here is a woman that has continually seen and grasped opportunities throughout her career. While she specialises in HR, there is a business mind that is not only present in the work that she does but also in how she manages her career. Riddhima’s attitude is not about declining something because you don’t have the knowledge but embracing an opportunity by finding out how to do something new. It’s an impressive attitude that doesn’t work for everyone.

As we talked further I was intrigued to go into greater detail about the specific countries that she had worked in and the pieces of advice she would give to people in order to succeed there:


India

Take your time to understand what is going on there. What appears on the surface, isn’t what is always happening underneath. First impressions can be misleading.


Egypt

”God willing, tomorrow and too bad”, are phrases you will hear all the time. Don’t let this get to you, becoming aggressive and pushing for something to happen won’t make it happen any faster.


France

Language! I spent two spells in Paris and the second stint was far more successful once I had mastered the language. Your work and your life are interconnected and it’s a location that encourages you to live well.


UK

Getting used to the lack of lunch time was hard, people eat at their desks and it’s hard to spend good quality time with people. In terms of key skills, Judgement and Prioritisation are key. Pick your battles and just remember that sometimes it is about getting something done, not making it perfect.


Riddhima is open to mentoring HR professionals with high potential in the first 5-7 years of their careers who are facing tough career choices. As someone who has had to make a few difficult decisions herself, including the moves as mentioned above, she knows from experience that having mentors to discuss those choices with helped massively.

As the coffee ran out and the working day called us, Riddhima departed and I reflected on the conversation. Riddhima is a wonderful individual, smart, assertive and with a view on the world unlike many I have met. Having the courage to not only move countries, but to embrace each country to the level that she did is truly impressive and I urge people to look at someone like Riddhima as an example of what you can achieve should you want to put yourself out there.

‘’HR Speaks’’ is a new series here at Elliott Scott HR where we are interviewing individuals with a unique and remarkable HR career to get their perspective on various areas of interest in the industry.

If you would like to be considered for our “HR Speaks” series please get in touch with me at se@elliottscotthr.com