Interview with Sameer PM, Senior HR Manager, Amlak

December 24, 2008

Mr. Sameer P. M. is the Senior Manager – HR with Amlak Finance PJSC. We asked Sameer a few questions regarding the current hiring situation and here is what he had to share with us.




I am a 33 year old HR professional with Masters Degree in Human Resources. I enjoy every aspect of the broad term “people”. I strongly believe that people are the building blocks of every organization and every human being can be influenced to derive the desired results. My interests include in depth observation and study of Human behavior, Organization Development, Strategic HR, Performance enhancement, Social work & Community development etc.

1. How is the current economy situation affecting the financial industry’s job market?

A: It’s a global financial crisis and it has an impact on every country and every business. However the degree of impact may vary from industry to Industry. The Financial industry’s jobs have also been affected adversely across the globe. But due to timely intervention and support from Govt. agencies, it is expected that the GCC regional job market may face lesser impact compared to other markets. However traces of global recession may reflect across GCC market for at least 12-18 months.

2. Has Amlak Finance slowed down your recruitments?

A: We are currently being watchful when it comes to hiring and the decision on increasing manpower would be based on analyzing the future business trend.

3. Do you foresee any changes in the salary structure due to the economy crisis?

A: I don’t think there would be any changes in salary structure due to economic crisis, now, however the percentage of increase in salary may fall in coming months due to surplus supply of manpower from other crisis hit markets and the salaries may cease to increase on short term . If the crisis persist for longer period, we may witness diminishing trends in compensation & Benefit scales.

4. If I want to join Amlak Finance, what are you looking for in a candidate? What about fresh graduates?

A: When it comes to hiring, we always endeavour to get the “best fit”. The major criteria are based on attitude, education, competence & skills, previous track record and ability to adapt to the organizational culture.

5. What is your coolest contribution to Amlak Finance?

A: I have been associated with Amlak since very early days when the company was formed and had the opportunity to set up the entire Human Resources function in Amlak. Few of my key contributions would include implementation of HR policies & procedures, implementation of compensation & benefits structure, performance management system, various organization development initiates.

6. What is more important – education / experience? How important is the CV?

A: Both education and experience are equally important in grooming a good professional. In the recruitment process, resume forms the first impression about the candidate and hence having a detailed and organized resume will definitely have a positive impact on the selector.

7. In a world without money, how would HR work?

A: We would probably go back to the barter system……..

The question reminds of the famous definition of money “money is what money does”. Historically money has existed in one or other form and it will never cease to exist even if the paper money vanishes as long as human beings exist.

Today’s corporate HR was derived from Social work & community development which played a key role in the development of societies through ages. So in a world without money, HR may go back to its roots.


7 Questions with Ramanathan Murugappan, Recruitment Manager, CBI

December 24, 2008


Everyone is now concerned about the ongoing job market in the UAE. There are lay offs being announced everywhere … but there are still companies that are hiring at these times. Who’s hiring? What’s the future for each sector in UAE? How can you get hired by these companies? We wanted to find the answers for these questions …
So, starting today, we are going to publish interviews with prominent figures in the HR industry from around the region. Our first interview is with Mr. Ramanathan Murugappan, who is the Manpower Planning and Recruitment Manager withCommercial Bank International.
I am 30 years of age, passionate about human resources and organization development. I enjoy doing strategic work for the organization, I also hold the view that an organization’s success largely depends on its human resources – they either make it or bake it.
I hold a Masters in HR & OD and a second masters in industrial psychology. I enjoy teaching, training and researching on anything to do with human resources.
My favorite past time is watching cricket, reading and good music is always welcome. I love spending time with my son (17 months) and my family. There is nothing like a good weekend with them. I also have enough time to get myself involved with some community/ social works, where I feel I can make a difference.
1. How is the current economy situation affecting the banking industry’s job market?
A: Well, it is a global economic downturn affecting all spheres of business. Banking is not immune to this, so we look forward with optimism and plan our today, in terms of consolidating and positioning our existing portfolios for future. So, jobs as you state will be affected to the extent of this planning. Banks are just being slow and cautious in hiring as they don’t want to add-on at this stage. But key resources demands are always handled at specific levels and banks still hire them.
2. Has Commercial Bank International (CBI) slowed down your recruitments?
A: Yes, we have slowed down our recruitments, but we have not stopped hiring resources that are required to match the value-delivery aspects of the bank. We are trying to extract more from the existing resources and make each business units really earn their resources. This makes them responsible for the decisions they make and stand by the human resources function as their business partners and advisors to make this work for them.
3. Do you foresee any changes in the salary structure due to the economy crisis?
A: No, we don’t see any changes in the salary structure due to the economy crisis. If the salary structures were objectively built, then this will not affect the organizations at all. We have a very logically driven compensation model, it works for us in any given economic situation.
4. If I want to join CBI, what are you looking for in a candidate? What about fresh graduates?
A: At CBI, most of our recruitment strategies revolve around attracting the right talent also with the right attitude. So this is what we look for in the candidates, whether he/ she has the willingness to learn, adapt and deliver. So our watch words are COMMITMENT, COMPETENCE and CONFIDENCE.
At fresh graduates level, we let go the competence factor off, as we can build it up for them, but we surely look at their commitment and confidence levels.
5. What is your coolest contribution to CBI?
A: There are trivial many, but the vital few (let’s say the top 5) are:
a) National Development Program
b) Robust Manpower Planning Model
c) Succession Planning & Management
d) Centralized Business Outsource Structure
e) Implementing the HRIS
6. What is more important – education / experience? How important is the CV?
A: There is nothing like a CV with a combination of these E’s. But, if we are asked to take a choice, due to the pressure of performing from the moment you are hired, HR sticks itself with the experienced folks.
Personally, I will go for the education, as I believe that the you cannot build a system without the requirement and scope, as you may have experience but it needs the conceptual shrewdness to outperform the other experienced crowd. If you need that extra bit of edge , then there is nothing like a strong formal education.
7. In a world without money, how would HR work?
A: Probably you will have to work with GOLD!!! (Just Kidding). No, I think you can to an extent make HR work with the social/ relationship dynamics, but let’s be practical, business accepts HR only if it is commercially viable, so why should HR not talk about money or return of investments.

In the papers…

October 19, 2008

We have started our ads on Khaleej Times. Here are our ads so far… (The 2nd weekend ad comes only on the first day of the week  – which is Sunday out here in the UAE)

Punching Boss

Punching Boss



Job Complaint

Job Complaint

We’re live

October 18, 2008

Our beta site is finally live. It’s been a long and interesting journey to get here, but it’s definitely been very rewarding. Laazi has the strongest launch for a job portal startup in the history of the Middle East – we’re going live with 500+ active jobs!

As this blog grows, we’ll generally be talking about two kinds of things:
1. We’ll cover the HR industry of the Middle East in general, job interview tips, etc.
2. We’ll share inside information about laazi, behind the scenes stuff and any other company news that’s worth talking about
Stay tuned.