Silhouette of people in the foreground with city lights in the background

Traditional Style, Fast-Track Thinking

Before leading training sessions at the Magna divisions and engineering centers in India, Anagha Wankar reaches into her closet to select one of the 100 colorful saris she owns. Her choice of Indian fashion instead of western dress is deliberate, even as she emphasizes that her “thought processes are not traditional.”

“The sari grounds me in something traditional and makes people feel comfortable because it’s so familiar to them,” said Wankar, a human resources director for Magna in India and Thailand. “My choice of dress tells them I’m somebody who has the experience to give them solutions and take their voice back to management.”

Anagha Wankar sitting in a office at the manufacturing facility

The longtime HR professional also speaks three Indian languages, another way she puts employees at ease.

Most importantly, she is committed to helping employees with high potential through the Magna’s Emerging Leaders program. The program allows candidates who have been with the company three to five years to grow their careers, often into management roles and global assignments.

From her attitude to her attire, Wankar’s approach yields positive results. Almost 30% of new employees are referred by friends or family who work at Magna.

“My favorite line in our job postings is ‘If you want your colleagues to be friends and your friends to be colleagues, try Magna,’” said Wankar.

She adds: “If you are someone who likes challenges, who is passionate about the future of mobility and likes working in cohesive teams, Magna is the place for you.”

“Very few companies can provide the exposure you’ll get at Magna,” Wankar said. “You get to work with the best of the global automotive and the top Indian brands.”

Anagha Wankar in a field of tulips in Holland
Anagha Wankar standing in a field of tulips in Holland
Ehson Ameer with a group of people standing in front of a poster receiving Save on Energy Award

New employees will also find a reassuring guide in Wankar, who has put the focus on people throughout a career that includes a stint as a reporter at the Times of India, where she covered social issues and popular culture.

Transitioning to HR was a natural fit, she said, although her commitment to reading and writing continues with her daily diary, her love of Shakespearean sonnets, and her extensive collection of fountain pens.

“My biggest strength is that I can connect to people regardless of their role,” Wankar said. “People always feel they can talk to me – and I have the patience to listen.”

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