Rangarajan Seshadri: Taking an integrated approach at Neeyamo Rangarajan Seshadri: Taking an integrated approach at Neeyamo

Rangarajan Seshadri: Taking an integrated approach at Neeyamo
04 May 2018

Neeyamo’s chief executive Rangarajan Seshadri has extensive experience of creating HR & payroll shared service centres for global organisations and has also managed large global HR outsourcing (HRO) projects. At Neeyamo, he developed the company’s global payroll service model and helped expand its reach to more than 150 countries.

Ranga, who was named an HRO Superstar for three consecutive years by HRO Today, talks to editor Cath Everett about how the global payroll industry is changing and what the company is doing to address these shifts.

  1. What key trends are you seeing in the payroll industry at the moment?

Employers are increasingly looking for a truly global payroll outsourcing solution that covers their entire international business, which includes countries where they have a low employee headcount. As a result, we are seeing growing demand for a fully-integrated, end-to-end solution that is not based on partnerships with local third party providers.

In technology terms, we are heading into an era of real-time payroll processing, where systems can process tens of thousands of pay slips in a few minutes, and implementation takes hours rather than weeks or months. Robotic process automation and artificial intelligence/machine learning in the shape of chat bots will also redefine how payroll helpdesks operate.

Reporting activities are likewise going beyond simply consolidating global reports towards more advanced analytical reporting, which includes predictive analytics, creating dynamic drill-down reports and analytics on demand.

Finally, payroll is starting to move beyond being simply a commoditised service. Instead employee experience is becoming an increasingly important focus for payroll functions.

  1. What key challenges do global payroll professionals face in your view and why?

Global payroll is constantly evolving and changing. This means dealing with it effectively can prove challenging, not least because each country has its own set of laws, statutory regulations, governing bodies, cultural issues, market practices, workforce demographics and languages. Global payroll needs to be on top of it all. But such complexity can make the proactive monitoring of legal and statutory changes difficult.

Other challenges that many organisations face include the disparate and often complex nature of their payroll provision. They use multiple vendors and a mixture of in-house and outsourced service models that are coordinated at the local level rather than centrally.

The fragmented nature of such arrangements tends to lead to similarly fragmented data, which makes it difficult to analyse in order to gain insights and trends. To make matters worse, in many instances, operations are still quite manual, which requires a lot of administrative time and effort by staff.

  1. How are you addressing these issues?

We believe that a single, global system provided by a single vendor is the best way to ensure that HR and payroll activities are managed seamlessly and consistently around the world. So we provide an integrated, fully-managed payroll service, which strikes a balance between technology and payroll processing. A centralised data model enables us to deal with multiple countries, currencies, languages and processes from within a single platform.

Our end-to-end cloud-based system, which is called PayNComp™, handles both upstream payroll activities such as consolidation, validation and gross-to-net processing, and downstream ones such as compliance, helpdesk and reporting. Not many vendors today can tie both upstream and downstream payroll activities together.

A number of routine payroll activities are currently undertaken by bots, which are embedded in our system. This includes chat bots in our integrated HR and payroll helpdesk applications. We are actively investing in machine learning and artificial intelligence too.

Finally, to enable customers to understand what is happening in their payroll operations around the world at all times, our system enables real-time tracking. It likewise has an analytics dashboard to make it easy for professionals to access reports as they need them.

  1. What does the future hold for Neeyamo and why?

The company has grown very quickly and now has more than 250 customers and a workforce of more than 1,500 that delivers HR services around the world. Our focus is on providing HR & payroll solutions to the ‘long-tail’ market. Providing long-tail HRO means catering to the needs of organisations with sparse workforces that are scattered across several countries.

We also intend to invest in everything ranging from building integrated point solutions such as time & attendance, absence management and helpdesk to creating new service lines and expanding our physical presence in 30 more locations. These include Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

  1. What is the secret to success in managing large teams that are distributed around the world?

I strongly believe that employees are the lifeblood of any organisation, which means that engaging with staff and ensuring morale stays high has a direct impact on its success. Human interaction and relationships tend to get complicated if social distance is high.

This dynamic works no differently when interacting with employees, especially if they are geographically dispersed across the globe. Some of the key strategies I adopt to ensure morale remains high include building a collaborative and positive team culture in which every employee feels valued and heard. I constantly encourage teams to brainstorm and provide business ideas and workarounds to help the company achieve its goals.

I also believe it is important to identify team influencers and leaders and ensure they have the right vision and goals. By engaging in periodic communication and undertaking feedback sessions with them, it helps me understand each key member within a team and where they are coming from.

Another important activity is ensuring that managers interact routinely with their employees, providing feedback, eliciting knowledge and regularly reviewing employee performance, which helps to build trust.

Neeyamo’s chief executive Rangarajan Seshadri has extensive experience of creating HR & payroll shared service centres for global organisations and has also managed large global HR outsourcing (HRO) projects. At Neeyamo, he developed the company’s global payroll service model and helped expand its reach to more than 150 countries.

Ranga, who was named an HRO Superstar for three consecutive years by HRO Today, talks to editor Cath Everett about how the global payroll industry is changing and what the company is doing to address these shifts.

  1. What key trends are you seeing in the payroll industry at the moment?

Employers are increasingly looking for a truly global payroll outsourcing solution that covers their entire international business, which includes countries where they have a low employee headcount. As a result, we are seeing growing demand for a fully-integrated, end-to-end solution that is not based on partnerships with local third party providers.

In technology terms, we are heading into an era of real-time payroll processing, where systems can process tens of thousands of pay slips in a few minutes, and implementation takes hours rather than weeks or months. Robotic process automation and artificial intelligence/machine learning in the shape of chat bots will also redefine how payroll helpdesks operate.

Reporting activities are likewise going beyond simply consolidating global reports towards more advanced analytical reporting, which includes predictive analytics, creating dynamic drill-down reports and analytics on demand.

Finally, payroll is starting to move beyond being simply a commoditised service. Instead employee experience is becoming an increasingly important focus for payroll functions.

  1. What key challenges do global payroll professionals face in your view and why?

Global payroll is constantly evolving and changing. This means dealing with it effectively can prove challenging, not least because each country has its own set of laws, statutory regulations, governing bodies, cultural issues, market practices, workforce demographics and languages. Global payroll needs to be on top of it all. But such complexity can make the proactive monitoring of legal and statutory changes difficult.

Other challenges that many organisations face include the disparate and often complex nature of their payroll provision. They use multiple vendors and a mixture of in-house and outsourced service models that are coordinated at the local level rather than centrally.

The fragmented nature of such arrangements tends to lead to similarly fragmented data, which makes it difficult to analyse in order to gain insights and trends. To make matters worse, in many instances, operations are still quite manual, which requires a lot of administrative time and effort by staff.

  1. How are you addressing these issues?

We believe that a single, global system provided by a single vendor is the best way to ensure that HR and payroll activities are managed seamlessly and consistently around the world. So we provide an integrated, fully-managed payroll service, which strikes a balance between technology and payroll processing. A centralised data model enables us to deal with multiple countries, currencies, languages and processes from within a single platform.

Our end-to-end cloud-based system, which is called PayNComp™, handles both upstream payroll activities such as consolidation, validation and gross-to-net processing, and downstream ones such as compliance, helpdesk and reporting. Not many vendors today can tie both upstream and downstream payroll activities together.

A number of routine payroll activities are currently undertaken by bots, which are embedded in our system. This includes chat bots in our integrated HR and payroll helpdesk applications. We are actively investing in machine learning and artificial intelligence too.

Finally, to enable customers to understand what is happening in their payroll operations around the world at all times, our system enables real-time tracking. It likewise has an analytics dashboard to make it easy for professionals to access reports as they need them.

  1. What does the future hold for Neeyamo and why?

The company has grown very quickly and now has more than 250 customers and a workforce of more than 1,500 that delivers HR services around the world. Our focus is on providing HR & payroll solutions to the ‘long-tail’ market. Providing long-tail HRO means catering to the needs of organisations with sparse workforces that are scattered across several countries.

We also intend to invest in everything ranging from building integrated point solutions such as time & attendance, absence management and helpdesk to creating new service lines and expanding our physical presence in 30 more locations. These include Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

  1. What is the secret to success in managing large teams that are distributed around the world?

I strongly believe that employees are the lifeblood of any organisation, which means that engaging with staff and ensuring morale stays high has a direct impact on its success. Human interaction and relationships tend to get complicated if social distance is high.

This dynamic works no differently when interacting with employees, especially if they are geographically dispersed across the globe. Some of the key strategies I adopt to ensure morale remains high include building a collaborative and positive team culture in which every employee feels valued and heard. I constantly encourage teams to brainstorm and provide business ideas and workarounds to help the company achieve its goals.

I also believe it is important to identify team influencers and leaders and ensure they have the right vision and goals. By engaging in periodic communication and undertaking feedback sessions with them, it helps me understand each key member within a team and where they are coming from.

Another important activity is ensuring that managers interact routinely with their employees, providing feedback, eliciting knowledge and regularly reviewing employee performance, which helps to build trust.