Dr. Yogesh Pahuja
Current Organization Happiness Studio
Designation Founder & CEO

Previous Organization(s)


Belongs to (place from)


MADS Interest

Music & Sports

Favorite MADS Personalities

Sachin Tendulkar is my source of inspiration

Life Mantra

Choose happiness, Be happy & Be profitable 

I draw inspirations from

Myself, My Family and people around me

Had I not been an HR Professional then

I would be selling FMCG products

At what point in your life did you decide to take up HR as your career? What were the guiding / motivating factors?

In 1993, I took up MBA in marketing at Symbiosis as it was very ‘glamourous’ to pursue this course in those days. To my surprise, I was given a task of being the master of ceremony in the inaugural day of the college. I realised I can speak up openly in front an audience and I did it very well. I was also elected as a cultural secretary. At the end of the MBA programme, I helped students in teaching and counselling them, I was actually preparing myself to be a trainer. After MBA, I started as a career counsellor and was teaching for GMAT, GRE and that was the time I was earning a lot of good will. I felt that HR is a field which is meant for me. I thus enrolled for a PG course at XLRI where I was the one amongst 30 selected out of 3000 people. I was in the merit list of top 60 people. That’s where the phase began when I started working as ‘true HR’ as I wanted to bring justification to this practise because most of the people as HR professionals back then were all about throwing jargons at each other when asked about the functioning of HR.

HR is one practice that touches human lives directly. Do you think employers and specially HR Professional can play a role in reducing stress levels of employees through various employee engagement initiatives?

I am glad that you have asked this question! Employee engagement initiatives alone are not adequate today. Employee Happiness is the key to business success.  I carried out my doctoral research on Happiness and determined 164 factors of employees’ happiness at workplace. Today this 164-factor inventory is used across several corporates which helps them build happy teams. HR is all about building sensitivity towards employees. Each employee must feel very happy talking to HR and sorting out their issues. Unfortunately, it’s a general perception that HR is only a policy police. Rather it should be reverse – HR is and should be a change agent and a true friend to each employee. 

What are some of the most important employee engagement initiatives related to Music, Art, Dance or Sports that you have taken in your career?

For me, there are two aspects of Employee Engagement. One is that employees must feel excited to come to work. Secondly, employees must feel belongingness towards the company. Activities like treasure hunts, group tasks, role plays, taking teams out for outbound activities, communication tasks are a good starting point however a true Employee Engagement Activity must impact employees at an emotional level by doing and experiencing it and being an integral part of their personality. Thus, it must go beyond an activity and apply transfer of learning and positive psychology in the process at work place.

Do you think time and cost for employee engagements are an investment for the organisation and can help in multi-fold returns?

Many employers may disagree and their perception needs to change. The logic is simple. Take care of your people, they will take care of your business. Help them grow and your business will automatically grow. Build happy teams and see your profitability grow.

Do you feel there is a need even to reach out to the family of employees so that they get better connected to the company? Have you undertaken any such initiative in your past or current organization?

I believe employees’ families are an extended family of an organisation. This not only includes giving privileges to employees in terms of travel and vacations but also involving them in creating a family day letting them spend time with you on your workplace and letting them know all your responsibilities and tasks. As a result, the respect and bonding with the families increases multi-fold. Involving them in annual get together, annual picnics and etc. are fun but if you are providing components like education loans, medical insurance for the family, paid vacation, etc. then that’s where the inclusion of family part comes in. Such kinds of initiatives have achieved wonderful results.

What is the one change that you would like to bring in HR practice that has potential to boost employees work-life balance?

Corporate practice must be centred around employees’ happiness by creating happy workplaces. It is not by mere employee engagement activity or organising sports events. It is ensuring that employees go through a journey of happiness in a workplace. To be free of emotional burdens and problematic issues at work and also at home as well. If the employee knows that his/her children’s education, parents’ health, home finances is taken care of then there won’t be any reason for not working well. Fact is that 80% of the employees in an organisation today are stressed out. If you’re able to take that stress out of them then their performance will automatically improve. Thus, build happy teams for profitability.

What are your personal interests in Music, Art, Dance or Sports and how do you continue to pursue it?

I am trained in classical Tabla. I ensure that once or twice a week I devote my time to music. Music shows is what is enjoy all the time. I love to play table-tennis with my wife who is a national champion and someday I hope to win the game. Basketball is also one of my favourite sports and Scrabble is what I enjoy anytime.

Any other thoughts you may want to share.

We keep on searching for happiness outside, but happiness comes from within. I would say that: “Reality – Expectations = Happiness”. It is a profound statement and very meaningful. Individually each person is full of happiness, they just need to discover it. In life we are faced with two choices each time. Either one can accept something happily or be a P.A.D.A (Pareshaan & Dukhi Aatma); always sad and being negative towards life. Thus, Choose happiness, be happy and be profitable.

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