Successful business leaders often have a knack of finding “disruptive” ideas. Global Upside’s Managing Director Rohit Lohia is a poster child of disruption. Having always chosen the unorthodox path, he has been at the forefront of innovation at Global Upside especially in the field of HR technology. Rohit has helped Global Upside grow from a small accounting firm to a global conglomerate that offers the most comprehensive range of accounting, human resources, payroll, professional employer, and staffing services in 150+ countries.
In this interview with Business APAC, Rohit shares his views on how business and HR technology have evolved over the years.
Over the past years, what changes in the HR industry have you observed?
The advent of modern technologies and the rise in globalization have changed the way industries function today, and the HR industry is no exception. Today the world of HR is shaped by cutting-edge technological advancements in the field and a new generation of employees who have a very different idea of what “being an employee” should look like. HR today is also much more than managing day-to-day leaves, on-boarding, and other logistics – it is a function that takes the lead in understanding what makes people engaged, what makes a productive culture… it is no longer a reactive department but one that drives strategic business value.
When you look at the landscape today, businesses are going global earlier than ever. The rapid global growth comes with tedious but critical requirements to keep on track with employment law regulations around the world. Europe has made it mandatory to keep the working time of employees. Such records need to be kept for eight years. APAC is also coming out with similar laws. And non-compliance attracts a severe penalty. Even small things – for example issuing a US offer letter to an employee overseas – often costs companies dearly.
As a business leader, how do you deal with the complex situations? Which roles and responsibilities require your utmost attention?
Honestly, I love to roll up my sleeves and get down in the details of complex problems. I have always been empowered to execute decisions that are truly out of the box. This thrill of solving seemingly impossible challenges is what got me here and continues to inspire me today. Initially, I joined Global Upside as a manager and have become Managing Director and Co-Founder in the subsequent business ventures of the company thus the areas of focus have also changed. Now, my key focus areas are keeping our clients happy, productive and safe from global regulation risks; and taking care of our employees in APAC, which is our largest service delivery center.
However, as our Chief Innovation Officer, I also spearhead the continuous development of our proprietary human capital management software Mihi and other technological needs of our company. Back when the notion was conceived, taking on the development of Mihi was a seemingly impossible challenge. But today, Mihi is the only HCM software in the market that is compliance-ready out of the box and is localized in all major languages. Mihi can support companies in 150+ countries so it’s scale and scope is both massive.
How do you define Global Upside?
We are an extremely talented group of people who’s mantra is “impossible is not in our vocabulary”. It is this spirit of innovation and an innate need to always do right by our clients and our people that have helped us grow exponentially. When one of our clients needed an HR system to manage their workforce after a spin-off, we stepped in and built software for them. The same system has today become our hugely popular global HCM called Mihi.
Today, I’m proud to state that Global Upside operates in 150+ countries and provides the most comprehensive range of human resources, payroll, accounting, global expansion, and compliance solutions on the market.
According to you, how important is healthy company culture? How does your company culture differentiate you from others?
Positive company culture creates an environment where everyone has freedom, new ideas are open for discussion, and there are regular meetings to keep everyone on the same page and encouraged to share thoughts. At Global Upside, we are a culture that demands innovation – we appreciate and encourage new ideas all the time. We are a company that thrives on innovation. What truly differentiates us is our can-do attitude and ability to think out of the box.
We are like a big family – collaborative and supportive. Spread across the world in 12 offices, we are empowered to make decisions and grow personally. We work together, play together and give back to the community together.
What are the challenges that Global Upside is facing? How do you plan to overcome them?
A rapid growth phase means rapid hiring. For Global Upside, the biggest challenge is to keep hiring fast enough to match our growth pace. We are fortunate to have a very talented team and among the few services-based companies that have evolved to add a formidable software offering to our mix. We offer our clients the most complete set of solutions for their HR needs and we want to capitalize on this opportunity to the maximum. We are also building robust systems and processes to cope with the global changes in employment law, data privacy, etc.
What do you have in mind for Global Upside this year?
For future development, Global Upside and its sister companies Global PEO Services, Gava Talent Solutions and Mihi all have plans to expand our global footprint and we are on track to disrupt the global HCM space with our unique software Mihi. Stay tuned!
If you could what message would you like to give to the employees around the world?
To the entire global workforce, you are solving bigger challenges than you think. Each invoice you process, benefits package you review, the employee you onboard has an impact. Our ability to help clients achieve their goals is only thanks to your hard work. Thank you for your dedication to moving mountains for our clients.
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