Home Interviews Interview: Shilpa Chinnappa Taxi Butler Chief People Officer, Taxi Butler and speaker...

Interview: Shilpa Chinnappa Taxi Butler Chief People Officer, Taxi Butler and speaker at the Wellbeing at Work Middle East Summit in February


We are thrilled that you will be speaking at the Wellbeing at Work Middle East Summit in February. Our first and most important question is, how are you doing today?

I am doing brilliantly well thank you and what a wonderful way to start the Q&A session.First let me introduce Taxi Butler and myself to MEA-HR and the conference delegates.

Taxi Butler develops unique, one-click taxi booking devices and services to make ordering a taxi easier for venues all around the world. I come from a versatile background in business development and people management. After six glorious years managing sales and client accounts, I realized that I am more of a people person and so I began my career in the field of Human Resources. Currently, I am Chief People Officer managing a team that is located all around the globe. I am passionate about and  promotes connection, culture, and growth among all our team members of Taxi Butler.

As a leader based in the region, what are the main challenges you are facing when it comes to employee wellbeing?

My experience is mostly managing and supporting a team that is globally based rather than in the UAE. However, the question still makes sense because well-being is a relevant topic across the world. The biggest challenge identifying the concern points, especially with hybrid working,  is that it is hard to know who is going through what kind of emotional, physiological, economic and social challenges. It is complex to identify because the team members may choose not to openly speak about it, or may fail to notice any change in behavior.

What strategies have you seen developing in the region over the past 6-12 months during the pandemic to address health and wellbeing in the workplace?

Our first and foremost step we adopted as soon as we realized that the pandemic would stay longer than expected, and when we realized what kind of toll it was taking on everyone. was to create credible internal communication channels where the team could reach out and share their concerns. Then we utilized our leaders who coach to have regular individual TLC (Trust, Love, and Care) meetings with team members who wished to be listened to or find solutions to their concerns, and this initiative has worked wonderfully in keeping all of us connected.

Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?

Imagine a day where you wake up in the morning and excitedly look forward to a productive day at work. This is my dream and I personally feel that it is every employee’s dream. We spend nearly 70% of our time at work. Well-being these days doesn’t reflect just the emotional state of a person, well-being has a much larger scope – it is one’s socio-economical, environmental, professional, physical stability too. Each of these areas is so inter-connected that it has its effect on others if it doesn’t work like a well-oiled machine. So, if there is a time for us to re-imagine a successful workplace then employee well-being must be on top of our list.

What are you most looking forward to about our event in February?

The list of guest speakers you have put together is super enticing and in the upcoming event, my takeaway will be listening to creative solutions of dealing and achieving wholesome workplace well-being from the super-experienced People leaders.

Tell us, what is your vision for the workplace of the future, in terms of employee engagement, health and wellbeing?

Our entire vision of a great workplace is placed on “connection”, and I think it is the foundation for everything. My vision for a great workplace revolves around creating meaningful connections across all our stakeholders, especially our team members. When we place special importance on improving all the areas of well-being, we create a workplace that is balanced, healthy, and connected.

Covid-19 has undoubtedly influenced all areas of employees personal and professional lives. What are the key learnings from this period and what are your tips for supporting each other through uncertainty?

Just when we thought living independently is the way to live our life Covid-19 threw a huge boulder of endless challenges at us. I have come to learn that inter-dependency and clear communication is super crucial and all of us need the support of one another through this period. Currently creating easy communication channels and regular check-ins within our workplace or around our personal life is the most successful way of dealing with the Covid-19 uncertainties.

How has your organisation been leading the way over the last 12 months?

At Taxi Butler our vision is to empower connection within ourselves and others. We as a company provide taxi booking solutions to taxi companies around the world. Naturally during the pandemic, we went into a standstill as the world seemed to have stopped overnight. It took us some time to realize that we must find ways to convert the challenges into opportunities. So together we added new verticals like Driver Bubble which helps you protect yourself and other people inside your vehicle with simple, cost-effective car partition screens, and 20test, a Rapid Antigen Test kit that makes testing for COVID-19 easy. So, you can take the test before going to work, a meeting, or a social gathering and within 15 minutes it provides you peace of mind, with a 96.9% accurate result. As you understand from above, we are leading by ensuring that our vision of staying connected continues to flourish in the time to come.