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Interview with Gaurav Tandon

Gaurav Tandon


Class of 2003


Currently employed with Foster Wheeler Management AG, Geneva


Gaurav Tandon is a dynamic and enterprising individual who has proved to be a pace-setter in his own right.


Designation: Director Internation Compensation and Human Capital Metrics


Campus Placement: Hewitt Associates



Career Path:

Hewitt Associates, NCR Analyst 2003-04
Mercer Consulting, NCR Consultant 2004-08
Alstom Power India, NCR Regional Mgr. 2008-09
Alstom Switzerland Ltd. Director 2009-10
Foster Wheeler Management AG Director 2010-Present


Achievements / Awards:

  • At Hewitt, Was sent to Thailand from Hewitt to Migrate work to India.
  • At Alstom, implemented Global C&B strategy for entire APAC and then was moved in a Global role to Alstom Switzerland responsible for WW implementation / deployment.
  • Joined Foster Wheeler with the Top C&B job as the youngest executive in the corporate team.


Life Quote: "Keep looking ahead & focus on the what you want to achieve……”


Q: Why don’t you give us a little background about your life after infinity?

Gaurav: On the professional from, I spent about 5 years in HR consulting which was more like school after school, loads of learning, networking and cut throat competition both externally and internally. It was like being a mini CEO, getting business, delivering projects, presentations, getting payments… I have to admit all this made me a much better professional and help me get ready for the next step. Post consulting I moved to industry to get some hands on experience on the operational side of my field. Currently I head the Compensation and Benefit function worldwide for a large American multinational based out of Geneva, Switzerland. On the personal side - something’s never change, I still work hard and party harder…


Q: Please highlight the biggest achievement/ most unforgettable experience in your career.

Gaurav: For me the biggest achievement I think is my current Job.. I never thought I will make it not because I I couldn’t handle it but coz I never thought I ll get it. When I was contacted by the headhunter I barely made the key requirements of the job in terms of work experience, it was a top job based in the executive headquarters; the salary associated with the job was unreal and all other things that come along. The recruitment process between first interview with the VP HR and the last with the global CEO lasted over 6 months. I travelled to 3 different continents for over 5 interviews till I made it. The most exciting part was that it was newly created job so it was like getting a blank paper to fill in with whatever you deem right. So the experience of starting from scratch and building a function is great.


Q: What is more important to you – money or job satisfaction?

Gaurav: I believe there has to be an equilibrium; I don’t think I could do with less of any


Q: Was everyone in your family happy about the move to Switzerland? What have been the key highlights challenges of a life and career in Geneva? (You can talk about personal life also)

Gaurav: There was a mixed feeling, my parents were happy about the career prospects but having never lived out of home they were also sad that I moving far away. Moving to Geneva has been wonderful experience for me more from a personal aspect. Apert from living in one of the most beautiful country in the world I think I ve really matured, learned to manage ambiguity, situations and be self-sufficient.


Q: You have had the opportunity to work in varied industries. How enriching has this diverse experience been?

Gaurav: I think a combination of working in consulting and industry is a great asset not only you learn to think out of the box but you also get your hands dirty and learn realistic side of operations.


Q: Globalization has increased workforce diversity in almost every industry around the world. As organizations become increasingly complex, what do you think the young managers need to do to continually develop their personal and professional competencies?

Gaurav: As a manager, you face plenty of challenges. You get pressure from your management and employees. You get pressure from the customers, business partners….you always need to be on your toes. Some things you should do:

  • Listen carefully to your employees/business associates– Might sound simple buy very important
  • Be Open to change – Everything around you is changing all the time…. Today’s business context it keeps changing. Trust me one of the companies I worked for almost deliberately changed the organization structure every two years
  • Do not judge actions and put them as black or white.
  • Be realistic