"Creating a great people experience and celebrating successes!" - Jayamalini Ramaratnam

"At IDP, not only do we help the company grow, but we also help our team members learn, develop and grow their careers."

"Creating a great people experience and celebrating successes!" - Jayamalini Ramaratnam

Jayamalini Ramaratnam
06 March 2023

As the Regional People Experience Director (SA), Jaya leads the PX & Admin functions for South Asia and the Global Shared Services team.

“The ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives, both team members and through them our customers, at IDP - really drives me. As a PX professional, the opportunities to create a great people experience for our teams across diverse geographies, enabling them to grow and become better at what they do, preparing them for the future and contributing to building an excellent organisation, are immensely fulfilling.    

As Regional People Experience Director (South Asia), I lead the PX and Admin functions for the IDP South Asia region, and the Global Shared Services team.  

IDP South Asia is extremely dynamic, with a young population of close to 3000 team members spread across 80 Student Placement (SP) branch offices and 49 CD IELTS centres in 5 countries of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Mauritius.  


In my 3+ years at IDP, I’ve had the opportunity to work with diverse individuals and teams across South Asia as well as the IDP Global world, and that experience has been priceless. I have also had the experience of dealing with change, ambiguity and complexity, all at high speed, some of it owing to the circumstances we found ourselves in thanks to Covid, as well as some breakthrough developments at IDP South Asia. These developments included a strategic business acquisition in our India IELTS business, expansion in our SP business and teams, establishment of new functions, and a significant shift in the way we needed to cater to our customers and employees. All of this led to opportunities to get innovative, bring more structure, manage change - helping me gain a broader global perspective as well as strengthen my resilience, both on professional as well as personal fronts.   

 I am proud of some of my team’s recent and significant achievements that include… 

  • Smooth execution of the strategic acquisition of British Council’s IELTS business in India, which involved significant change management and creation of an integrated end state operating model and organisation structure.  


  • Hiring of 1200+ top talent into IDP South Asia in FY22 via lateral hiring as well as our Academy program, enabling us to expand IDP’s presence into new geographies via new SP branches and mini offices, expansion of IELTS CD centres, and establishment of new functions such as CAP (Centralised Application Processing) and Remote Surveillance Hub. The IDP Academy program is a fabulous opportunity for post graduate freshers to launch themselves into a full-fledged career as Counsellors post a comprehensive 2-month internship with us. The Academy program has been very successful in India and is being expanded to all our other South Asia countries too.  


  • Spearheading IDP India’s certification as Great Place to Work and ranking within the Top 100 Great Places to Work for Women, by GPTW Institute in 2022, and IDP India’s and IDP Sri Lanka’s certification as a Great Place to Work in 2023 - reflecting the high performance and high trust culture that has been built over the years.  


So, how do we manage to recruit successfully for a growing organisation like IDP? Through a hiring process that is well structured with a diverse set of interviewers for different stages of the interview process, and a sourcing approach that draws in talent from multiple varied sources, we ensure that we attract diverse talent in an efficient bias-free way.   

In fact, we encourage applicants from outside the industry to also apply and therefore don’t limit our options. Our selection process ensures that we enable non-industry applicants to compete on a level playing field, giving them a fair chance to make the cut. Our job descriptions have gender neutral language, and we focus on having gender balanced shortlists especially for mid to senior management roles to drive a balanced gender representation. Besides this, all our hiring managers and the recruiting team go through unconscious bias training every year to ensure we interview based on skills and culture fit only.  

At IDP, not only do we help the company grow, but we also help our team members learn, develop and grow their careers.  

Internal job and growth opportunities are communicated to our team members first, because we intentionally focus on growing our talent from within and enable them to thrive.  

IDP encourages all our teams to own their own development and growth and facilitates that by providing several avenues and platforms for learning. We have a range of learning options via global programs such as GROW, the Maher El Bakry Emerging Leaders Award and regional initiatives like IDP Paathshaala where team members can drive their own development via a blended learning approach.  

We know that our people are at the heart of the IDP story, and so we make it a point to celebrate our team members’ successes and key milestones. Some ways we celebrate our people include… 

  • Our Country level annual Excellence Award programs which are highly coveted and something we are well known in our industry for. The India Excellence Awards event is a  2-day red carpet extravaganza in an international destination, that recognises stellar  performance by individuals and teams. The awards event is followed by a couple of fun days with teams spending time together, bonding and exchanging ideas and special moments.   

  • The South Asia Recognition Program celebrates achievements all through the year, wherein winners are felicitated by the Regional Leadership Team in a virtual awards event.  

  • Celebration of key work milestones such as years of long service with IDP and personal ones such as weddings and birthdays are done with much gusto. At the India Head office, team members are gifted plants on their birthday as a more sustainable gift.   


  • Our ‘Walls of Gratitude’ – which are filled with beautiful heart felt messages by team members across our regional offices encourage peer to peer recognition.  

Speaking of celebrations and achievements, we have also made it through some challenging times together as a team. In recent years, as the world grappled with the new normal, we helped our team members cope by offering workshops on how to manage in a virtual world, implemented several wellbeing initiatives ranging from workshops by experts on physical, emotional and mental wellbeing (for team members and their families), to the launch of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). We also have tie ups with day care centres to help young mothers come to work without having to worry about their children. In general, we make ourselves available through all the ups and downs to ensure our team members’ wellbeing. 


To add to all this, it also matters to us that we always stay well connected to our purpose and the bigger picture at IDP and ensure that our employees have a psychological safe environment to operate in. Here are a few ways we ensure we do this.

  • We hold quarterly townhalls where our Regional Director shares updates about the company’s business performance, financial health, any new changes and more, with all team members, ensuring that everyone knows the value they create for IDP and their role in the larger IDP story. 

  • We have weekly/ monthly reviews and bi-annual planning workshops helping our teams stay connected to the business and functional priorities of the region.

  • We have PX connects with team members in groups as well as one-on-one to listen to our people. We regularly gather feedback on policy changes or new initiatives and incorporate suggestions that come through from our colleagues.  

  • We have confidential channels through which our teams can reach out to the Regional Business and PX Leadership to share their ideas as well as challenges for speedy resolution. 

All this and so much more is what makes IDP a great place to work. We have been certified as a Great Place to Work – two years in a row!  And just one look at any of our social media handles will tell you why we are such a great place to work. 

Overall, as a concluding note - some of the many sources of inspiration that personally drive me to bring my best to work day after day include… 

  • Our Global Leadership Team who leads the way through disruptive and changing times and help us shape the lives of so many ambitious customers, clients, and team members across the world.  

  • Our SP colleagues who demonstrate agility and leverage new developments in the business ensuring the best possible service to our customers. 

  • our IELTS colleagues who are perseverant and push the envelope irrespective of circumstances to conduct tests and grow our business.  

  • My own PX & Admin teams who ensure that we are there for our colleagues always and create transformational experiences for them.  

  • Some special colleagues like our office support staff – Nandan, who is a great example of customer centricity.  

If you are looking to work with meaning, purpose, and alongside inspiring team members and help make a global impact – I invite you to join us on our journey of helping build a better tomorrow through international education.  You can begin by having a look at some opportunities we currently have and stay tuned for many more to come.” - Jayamalini Ramaratnam, Regional PX Director (SA)