Only right work culture generates strong business impact: Veli Aghdiran, Essence

The Vice President, Learning & Culture (APAC) at Essence, talks about the importance of having a motivated workforce in an organization

As a data and measurement-driven agency, Essence relies on technological innovation to provide breakthrough solutions to clients. The company also relies heavily on technology to manage various aspects of its workforce. Veli Aghdiran, Vice President, Learning & Culture (APAC) at Essence, is the man responsible for creating a work environment that fosters innovation and a winning spirit.

Explaining the importance of having a motivated workforce and how Essence ensures it, Aghdiran says, “If you give people a strong sense of purpose, if you give people a strong sense of mastery and a strong sense of space and trust, you will definitely have a motivated workforce. What attracted me to Essence was the purpose. Though every organization has a mission statement, what sets Essence apart is that those things are not just spoken about but the employees live and breathe that mission statement.”

Aghdiran strongly believes that a strong business impact can only be generated if the organization invests in building the right work culture. He also argues that technology can be a big enabler as far as building a cohesive and effective workforce is concerned.

“We’ve grown to around 150 people in India since we opened office in July 2016 and we have built a culture where people like the work they do and they like the people they work with. Those two truths are present in Essence offices all over APAC, and beyond. They go hand in hand to create a culture that people want to be part of,” said Aghdiran.

“At Essence, we have a Chief Talent Officer and a Chief Learning and Culture Officer. We invest in people-related roles to create an environment where employees can learn and grow. This means that we can deliver value to our clients and provide effective solutions to various business challenges,” he explained.

Elaborating on the use of technology and data within the organization, Aghdiran added, “Data is truly at the heart of everything we do for our clients as an agency. As a result, our people are very engaged with our efforts to collect and generate insights on employee satisfaction, and we’re relentlessly transparent and people-focused in our approach.”

Finally, talking about the need for diversity and inclusiveness that have become the benchmark of Essence’s global teams, Aghdiran spoke about how the Indian market stands out in the entire APAC region for its rich diversity, which in his words, has become its biggest identity.

“We might talk about APAC as a region but if you look closely, there is so much diversity. There is so much diversity in India alone that we need to think smartly and carefully how we can communicate Essence’s culture and values in a way that is locally relevant.”

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