The 2021 Roy S. Pung Executive Speaker Series continued with an insightful look into a complex realm of business: human resources. The webinar featured Mala G. Kashyap (B.A. Economics ’03, Master’s of Human Resources and Labor Relations ’07), senior director of HR mergers and acquisitions at Honeywell. With 14 years of experience at this Fortune 500 company, Kashyap discussed two specific functions of HR — compensation and mergers and acquisitions — along with transferable leadership skills tailored to an audience of undergraduate honors students and Dean Sanjay Gupta.
Kashyap began her HR career at Honeywell as an intern in the Pathways Leadership Development Program. Following that opportunity, she served in multiple roles, including HR business partner, director of compensation and benefits and director of executive compensation, prior to her current role as an executive.
She has led key initiatives such as implementation of a student loan paydown benefit, union negotiations and establishment of a compensation program for the new Connected Enterprise Software business group. In addition, she has worked in four of the company’s five strategic business groups during her career with Honeywell.
In November 2019, she was unexpectedly offered a new leadership role that shifted her focus to explore mergers and acquisitions.
“Be open to new ideas. If you’re at the right company, there’s going to be people looking out for you. They’re going say ‘You’d be great at this’ and give you a chance to explore,” she shared.
Kashyap went into depth about the learning curve when she began her role in mergers and acquisitions, passing down insights about vital aspects at Honeywell.
“Honeywell’s philosophy is we want to learn as much as we can,” she said. “We have learned we are thorough in diligence, and our CEO prides himself on that. We figure out what works and what doesn’t, as well as how to mitigate some of the risks that we do find.”
Kashyap also mentioned the importance of retention and culture when assessing a company’s potential and how these align with Honeywell.
“Oftentimes, we are buying a company because of their brainpower, who they are, what they’ve done — they’ve built something amazing that we want to make sure we retain,” she explained. “We have to identify that talent, create retention plans, understand what they already have in place and build something lucrative enough that they’ll want to stay with the company.”
With such rich experiences, she not only provided students with a realistic perspective on human resources but also shared personal leadership advice.
“It’s important to reward and recognize employee results and behaviors that drive the business to meet its goals,” Kashyap said. “Design rewards that provide value to a diverse workforce in consideration of market intelligence, business affordability and global strategy.”
Outside of her human resources career, Kashyap is a proud Spartan alumna and serves on the board of her alma mater at the Broad College.
More information on upcoming events in the 2020–21 Pung Speaker Series, as well as information on past events, is available at the Full-Time MBA program page.