INTERVIEW: Alexis Pham, Chief People Officer at Home Credit Vietnam, is not in the HR profession by chance.
Speaking as part of an exclusive interview with Chief of Staff Asia, Pham noted that she had aimed for and wanted to be an HR leader from the very beginning of her career. While many of her colleagues came to the profession from other backgrounds, she says HR was always her one true calling.
Hence, Pham studied business administration specialising in HR, at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She recalls finding it intriguing that the best students in that course gravitated towards marketing, or banking and finance, sectors with a reputation for paying higher salaries.
"People are so important," she remembers telling herself. "Why are the best people not going into HR?
"So I decided to try it out and see if I could make a difference."
Pham says her biggest advantage when she went into the HR field was that she was "quite purposeful" in that career choice.
"I came in with a mindset to balance the people and the growth side of the business," she explains. "So I didn't just end up in HR because things happened."
Pham also talks about her early HR career journey, that started with a diverse position with British American Tobacco.
She says the company offered many different roles, challenges, and projects in part because it had both regional and global markets.
Her next job, at Techcombank, posed a completely different set of challenges because its work took place solely within Vietnam. The good thing, Pham recalls, was that she got the chance to do all those different roles that used to be done by region, group, and market at the same time.
Another challenge was changing the organisation from a product-centric focus to consumer-centric, because that required changes in culture, mindset, and people's capabilities.
The bank, whose purpose was to 'change banking and make life better', went public in 2018, giving Pham a front-row seat to a scaling organisation. "I learned to understand how the capital markets look at an organisation and how they see values from a people perspective," Pham said.
The following year, Pham left the bank for One Mount Group, a digital ecosystem provider with a mission to build Vietnam's most trusted digital ecosystem, empowering people and businesses to realises their full potential.
And then in January 2022, Pham joined Home Credit Vietnam as its Chief People Officer. She says she loves the fact that the people are considered such a vital asset within the company.
"The fact that the organisation puts so much effort and energy on people is one thing that I find really very enjoyable here."
This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Alexis Pham, Chief People Officer at Home Credit Vietnam.