"Employees... may be exposing themselves and their organisation to potentially serious internal and external compliance risks"
Sriram Ramkumar of Standard Chartered Bank, speaking at the APAC Summit, talks to us about how global mobility is evolving in an uncertain, complex and volatile world.
FEM is delighted to confirm that Sriram Ramkumar, Head International Mobility, Shares & Benefits Operations, at Standard Chartered Bank will be joining us on our 'Breaking down the borders through global mobility ecosystems' keynote panel at the FEM APAC Summit 2017 on 7 September.
Sriram kindly took some time to answer some of our most pressing questions...
FEM: How long have you been involved in the Global Mobility sector?
SK: I've been in mobility for five years now.
FEM: What changes have you seen in that time?
SK: Global mobility has evolved a lot and continues to evolve, especially living in the world where things are uncertain, complex and volatile. Corporates and HR have certainly realised the importance of having a global mobility policy and expanding the move types beyond just traditional long- term and short-term assignments and to think about a host-based approach and scaled down assignments. The focus has certainly been more towards driving cost down and measuring value and ROI for assignments. The other area of attention and slowly picking up is Short Term Business Visitors and related tax and immigration compliance associated with the business travelers. Also, technology investment on global mobility has improved significantly to help with track assignments, cost etc.
FEM: What do you think are the three greatest challenges facing Global Mobility professionals today?
SK: Immigration and tax compliance, safety and security and critical incidents related to remote locations. Mobility policies and programs to keep pace with changes in the world of global mobility
FEM: Why do you think (this issue) is such a challenge for Global Mobility and why is it important that the audience understand more about the debate?
SK: Immigration and tax compliance especially relating to short term business visitors. When employees are traveling, whether it's for business or on a personal trip and performing work or business activities, they may be exposing themselves and their organisation to potentially serious internal and external compliance risks. Immigration authorities generally distinguish between ‘work’ and ‘business’. If the employee is expected to engage in work activities, they will likely need a work visa or right to work in that location (e.g. be a national). On the topic of tax - if the employee is double-hatting or spending time in an overseas location, it is possible that their travel will trigger a tax obligation, regardless of whether the employee is performing ‘work or ‘business’ activities.
FEM: What is the one message you hope that delegates will take away from your session?
SK: How technology influences global mobility.
FEM: Who would you recommend attend your session?
SK: Mobility teams looking at changes in policies or looking at technology implementation.
FEM: Which particular session are you most interested to attend?
SK: Flexible policies and policies with some flexibility.
Sririam is a Chartered Accountant by training and a senior HR professional with more than 15 years’ experience in operations, risk management, HR, M&A, equity management and global mobility. He has worked in multiple locations across the globe including shared service centre set up. Sririam is currently at Standard Chartered Bank with a global workforce of 85,000 where he is responsible for the delivery of mobility, shares and benefits operations across all markets in coordination with Talent Acquisition Operations, Reward Centre of Expertise (COE), the Executive Compensation Team and other HR service delivery teams within the Global Business Service (GBS).