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From inculcating global learning practices, to designing and delivering award winning programmes

Meet Arvindan Rajendran, Lead Practitioner, People Capability, Standard Chartered Global Business Services India. 

What has been your career path to get where you are now? 

I started my career in learning and development when I got hired from campus as a Facilitator during my Master’s in Business Administration from Annamalai University in 2009. I got to hone my skills in learning and development through various public and corporate training programmes which acted as a foundation for my career. Post that, I worked in a banking software company, and global shared services of one of the largest printing companies in the world. I joined Standard Chartered in 2018 and am having some of the best years of my career here. 

What drew you to a career with Standard Chartered, and why the People Capability team? 

I aspired to work for an organisation that has a global footprint and a team that is spread across multiple regions. Thankfully, in 2018 I got the opportunity to join Standard Chartered. Having worked for People Capability in Standard Chartered for over 5 years now, I can truly say that we are the gold standard for employee learning and development. The learning programmes and solutions that we build and deliver are truly world-class. In a way you can call this a career wish fulfilment. 

What do you enjoy about your role at Standard Chartered? 

The opportunity to work with a cross-cultural team for the Bank with a global footprint is a unique high. The work environment that encourages me to bring my true self to the table, speak without fear of judgment and collaborate with colleagues on complex challenges makes my work enjoyable. 

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given? 

There are two pieces of advice I have got from my people leaders at the beginning of my career which I follow even today: 

  1. Life is the biggest leveller, and you are running your own race. 
  2. Finding alignment of your personal values and the organisation's values will help you enjoy your work more. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced when working? 

I got an opportunity to lead a squad on ‘proof of concept’ programme for the reskilling agenda of the Bank on Data Translation Capabilities. The project involved working with multiple stakeholders, subject matter experts, and vendors across different time zones. The squad was based out of different regions. Coincidentally, it was the COVID crisis which meant that embracing the New Ways of Working and shifting our mindset towards agile was the need of the hour. It was a challenging yet rewarding phase of my career where I learned how to overcome the complexities using agile methodologies for a global programme. 

How have you built flexibility into your every day? 

One of the things I have learned from the leaders I have worked with in this Bank is prioritisation. For me, learning to prioritise the work based on the severity and value of the task at hand helps me to build flexibility in my everyday work. 

Do you have any hobbies outside of work? 

I spend my free time on photography, console gaming, and reading on my Kindle. My hobbies allow me to stay on top of pop culture.  

Tell us about your role and the projects that you have been working on. 

As a Lead Practitioner, I take the learning and development responsibility in-country and ensure that our employees are skilled and competent to conduct their roles by providing the required level of focus through the learning products from People Capability. As part of my current book of work, I deliver two major global projects – the design and delivery of the Core Leadership Programme for first-line people leaders and the design and delivery of the award-winning product Equilibrium for Global Citizen proposition. In addition to this, I also contribute to and deliver the learning agenda for GBS India. 

What is your most notable achievement since starting your role with Standard Chartered? 

Every year of being with the Bank has brought personal and professional achievements. I find some achievements subjective, and some are truly objective. 

In 2023, as part of the Global Citizen Squad, we got the Standard Chartered Recognition Award 2023 for ‘Innovation in Sustainability’ for the creation of a simulation-based learning product – Equilibrium. The simulation explores complex sustainability decisions and their implications through the lenses of different actors in supply chains, economies, and communities. The simulation provides new ways of seeing and navigating the world and helps leaders to apply these learnings to their work. Equilibrium and the SC Global Citizens movement has so far touched more than 11,000 SC Colleagues across 49 markets. 

Core Leadership programme and Equilibrium, both have received the prestigious HCM Excellence Awards from Brandon Hall Group, like the Oscars for Learning, for Best Unique Innovative Learning and Development Program. 

To truly achieve our growth potential, it is vital that we invest in our biggest asset – our people. It is not only our responsibility to provide our people with global and diverse opportunities to grow but also to discover new sides to them, new interests, new capabilities and newer directions that they might want to take along their career journey. We support this with a comprehensive learning & development framework which evolves with changes to our socio-economic environment. In fact, as a global financial institution, we have the opportunity to impact positive change through our people as they learn, innovate, grow.