Expert Speak With Moonmoon Roy Head HR, Mahindra Rural Housing Financing Ltd (MRHFL)

We follow a hyper-local hiring model: Moonmoon Roy

In an exclusive interview with the Confluence team, Moonmoon Roy, Head, HR, Mahindra Rural Housing Finance Limited (MRHFL) gives us a low-down on how hiring processes are changing in the L&OD environment.

Our customer base is considered to have a high credit risk. It comprises mostly unbanked and ‘No Income Proof’ customers who belong to the economically weaker sections and low-income groups of society. Hence, we responded by creating a highly-tailored customer experience. We provide service at the customer’s doorstep, help them to open bank accounts & support them in getting their land documentation in order. We also aligned re-payment schedules to crop cycles to suit customers’ needs. 

Given our unconventional customer profile, we have taken a conscious call to have a ‘hyper-localized hiring model’ – we hire talent from the very villages in which we provide our home loans. This helps our employees build deep, trusting relationships with our customers. As a result of our approach, today, we have touched 40 lakh lives and have contributed to building 9.5 lakh homes across 13 states in India. 

Since our inception in 2007, we have used a multipronged barometer to measure our success. Below is a snapshot of a few of the most recent accolades we have received as an organization. 


*BCtA (Business Call to Action), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).


Q. How L&OD is structured in the organization?

Alignment of L&D with Key Business Processes

We have defined our four key business processes. They are as follows:   

  • Lead Generation
  • Loan Application & Evaluation
  • Disbursement
  • Collections

The way in which each of these processes is implemented at MRFHL is unique and well suited to our context. For example, loan evaluation is very different from other HFCs as we deal with Credit starved segments of society which have little or no income proof or property documents.      

On account of the uniqueness of our Business Model, our people Imperatives are starkly different from those of other companies. Our employees are the soul of MRHFL. We hire a niche kind of ‘employee persona’ and provide them with the relevant L&D toolkit to ensure that they can perform well. 

Further, we keep the ‘employee’ at the centre of what we do & we use Design Thinking in all our learning interventions to make them more meaningful. There are specific capability building interventions at each stage of the Employee Lifecycle to ensure that we are equipping employees at all levels with the tools they require to excel and grow in their career.  

Principles of L&OD @ MRHFL

Our foremost prerogative as an organization is to define the guiding principles of L&OD for high-quality design and seamless delivery. 

  • Each of MRHFL’s programs is designed while keeping in mind the entire Employee Life Cycle. Further, our programs are competency-based – both functional & behavioural.
  • The Development philosophy behind all our L&D programs is the 70-20-10 learning model (70 % of the learning happens on-the-job, 20 % from interactions with others and 10 % from formal educational events).
  • Our training & development initiatives are institutionalized in our system. We have comprehensive SOPs which cover all details of our processes such Career Development & Mentoring. We also have an annual Learning Calendar to ensure that L&D activities are carried out in a meticulous manner. 
  • Our L&D processes are constantly evolving. We continuously review and revamp our processes & learning content to ensure relevance. As business requirements arise, we responsively provide employees with new supplementary learning materials (which tends to be functional in nature) to cement and reinforce previous learning. 


Q. What types of programs are conducted for Freshers/Mid/Senior Execs?

Through our learning framework, we ensure that we cover the entire employee life cycle & develop employees for their preferred growth paths at MRHFL.

From an overall perspective, our Frontline employees require more of Technical skills & training, for which we have our Foundation Induction programs and Competency development. First Time Manager and Supervisors of team require a mix of Technical and Behavioural development, catered for through signature programs of Sankalp (for Branch Managers) and Career Launchpad (for Territory Managers); and Senior Management requires & receive training to hone their leadership skills, such as True North or MDP programs. Furthermore, in our Succession Planning exercise, Learning & Development plays a key role in building our talent pipeline in alignment with the business strategy & nurturing our high-potential employees so that they can take on larger roles.

Below we have shared a snapshot detailing how development occurs as one rises up in MRHFL.


Q. What is the importance of L&OD in the organization? 

At MRHFL, our mission & vision serve as our North Star. From these, we derive out Long Term Goals. The pathway to achieving our long-term goals is our strategic priorities and strategic initiatives, which we define each year.  These are ultimately achieved through the contribution and commitment of our business value generators. This comprises roles of Customer Manager – Operations, Customer Manager – Collections, Legal, Technical & Credit Executives, and Cashiers. Employees in these roles altogether make up 95% of our workforce

They are the face of MRHFL for customers, directly engaging with them on a daily basis. The quality of service they deliver determines how many customer referrals we get in a village. For a business embedded in small rural communities of India, like ours, this directly determines our rate of growth and expansion and has a profound impact on customer repayment which is our bread and butter.

It hence comes as no surprise that ‘Capability Building’ is one of the foremost strategic Initiatives for MRHFL. Year-on-year it receives special attention from top leadership, regional leaders and people managers alike. 

How MRHFL invests in L&OD initiatives:


  1. Investment by Top Mgt.: Senior Leadership is actively involved in the review of the Business Case of various L&D interventions, partnering with the L&D function for new Content Development & providing insightful comments and feedback towards continuous improvement of processes.
  2. L&D Machinery: Apart from a centralized L&D team that looks into the conceptualization & design of programs, we also have a dedicated team of Regional HR managers to ensure that all training related processes are carried out seamlessly in each region.                                                                                                                                                                                      We not only use our existing HR infrastructure but also involve Business teams in the design and driving of our learning interventions. In the future, we plan to have Business Managers facilitate learning for better contextualization and assimilation. 
  3. Investment in Technology: We utilise mediums like videos, visual SOPs, and digital E-learning programs to make it easier for our employees to understand our processes & policies. We make it a point to leverage technology as we have a young workforce (avg. age is 29 years) who are extremely visually oriented and learn better by doing.
  4. Continuous innovation: We constantly review programs to infuse creativity and innovation in them either in design or delivery. For example, along with True North, our Mentoring Program, we have also instituted a ‘reverse mentoring program’– MRHFL Champions Rise. Herein, young, successful, high performing BMs work with seasoned BMs who are experiencing performance issues. This ensures that no branch is left behind in the MRFHL growth story!


Q. How do you see L&OD evolving in the coming decade?

While technology and systems have undergone a sea change across industries in India, one constant that remains is that talent continues to be the differentiator between ‘good’ and ‘great’ companies. The importance of capability building of the workforce is hence greater than ever before. 

The need of the hour is an extremely responsive L&D function and one that is continuously evolving to enable organizations to stay ahead of the curve. We continuously make improvements in L&D to ensure that we evolve with time. Some L&D Trends we foresee in the coming decade are as follows:

  1. Leveraging Digital: Being a geographically dispersed organization with 10,000+ employees pan- India, we have made it a point to leverage digital means of learning. We are currently partnering with the International Financial Corporation to design a special skill-building e-learning program for our Customer Managers.  
  2. Gamification of Learning: Gamification will only increase in importance in the next decade with learning becoming more personalized, on-demand and self-paced for corporate learners. Points, badges, and leader-boards are the order of the day and even in our organization we have infused such game elements in our programs to engage learners and promote retention. Forbes talks about how Gamification is the ‘springboard’ to motivate even the most jaded learners.  
  3. Tailored Learning Solutions: All our initiatives are customized for each region, to suit local tastes & preferences. Further, all our programs are multilingual, which each and every employee to take maximum advantage of it. As we grow and expand to different states in India, this will become even more important for us. 
  4. Joint Responsibility: A study by Deloitte and our own experience demonstrates a trend emerging about the ‘joint ownership’ of learning & development. Herein we find that the responsibility for up-skilling talent and upgrading their competencies is no longer limited to organizations’ L&D functions. The responsibility is co-owned by People Mangers, Business Teams and L&D managers alike. 
  5. Laser Sharp Focus on ROI: At MRHFL, we like to maintain a laser- sharp focus on ROI of our learning interventions. Impact measurement is quintessential. We use competency shifts as well as performance shifts to measure improvement from L&D initiatives.   
  6. Ensuring High Process Quality: We maintain high standards wrt the quality of our training initiatives. Our processes and results are proven to be robust as per the results of in-depth Audits conducted:
    • PCMM Level 5 Certification by CMMI
    • The Mahindra Way (the Mahindra Group’s Business Excellence model)
    • Great Places to Work

We will continue to focus on robust process quality going forward to ensure that our L&D initiatives keep evolving with time. 


About Moon moon Roy

Moonmoon Roy,Head HR, Mahindra Rural Housing Financing Ltd, is a result-oriented professional with an experience of 14 years in managing Human Resource Function encompassing developing People Strategy in line with Business Strategy, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management & Development and creating a Talent Pipeline. She is responsible for developing the overall Employee Value Proposition and Employer Brand.