Poonam Kakodkar
Current Organization National Commodity Clearing Limited
Designation Assistant Vice President - Human Resources

Previous Organization(s)

Pfizer, Applied Research International, Pragati Vocational Assessment Center

Belongs to (place from)


MADS Interest

Photography, Singing, Writing, Travelling, Reading

Favorite MADS Personalities

Dhritiman  Mukherjee (Photography), Shobha Gurtu (Singer)

Life Mantra

Believe in yourself

I draw inspirations from

Mother Nature 

Had I not been an HR Professional then

Botanist/Singer/Writer/Social Worker

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

A deep seated interest in human behaviour and psychology led me to a career in Human Resources. Having completed my Masters in Clinical Psychology and later in Human Resources, I think this is one of the most fulfilling careers where you get to actually make an impact in the lives of people.

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

With the increasing volatility in the world around us, it is imperative to undertake initiatives which reduce stress levels. On a regular basis we organize fun-filled festival celebrations and events which help employees to get involved in enjoyable activities which are beyond their regular work and help them to de-stress.

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

Some of the initiatives I have undertaken includes an annual Sports Day where employees get to participate in individual as well as group sports, film screenings, cooking competitions, art competitions, bay decoration competitions, toran making contests, idol making contests, etc. Reward and Recognition nights with skits, dances, singers, etc, wherein the event has been completely organized by an internal cross-functional team. I have also organized offsites wherein we have experiential activities such as raft making, rapelling, etc. A year ago I made a presentation at an MTHR Global event on the benefits of music therapy. 

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

These engagements help to rejuvenate employees and enhance their productivity. Most organizations understand this and see them as a good investment.

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?

A stronger bond is created when the family of employees gets connected with the company. Some of the initiatives I have undertaken have been a talent contest for the children of employees, invitation to spouses during the reward and recognition event, sending an appreciation letter and a gift to the family of winners and a family day where the entire family is invited for a gala event where events are organized for all family members to participate.

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

Flexibility in timings and work-from home policies have a great potential to enhance the work life balance for employees.

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

I’ve been trained in Hindustani Classical Music from an early age and have recently moved to semi-classical music (thumri, Kajri, Dadra, etc). I’m a nature photographer, with a primary interest in flora. I’ve been writing a blog wherein I share my photo and experiences.  I’m the Club Secretary of the Rotary Club of Mumbai Kalakar, it is a theme based Rotary club of artists (amateur and professional) from all over Mumbai, who use myriad art forms as a platform to provide community service. I will be the President next year. Earlier I used to run half marathons, however, since my interest in nature grew, for some time now, I only go for nature trails.

Any other thoughts you may want to share.

As an HR professional, I believe that infusing the workplace with various programmes in arts, music and sports not only helps with stress relief but also makes employees more innovative, agile, collaborative and ultimately leads to greater productivity.

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