In an interactive session with the students of TAPMI, Mr. Sujitesh Das, Vice President – Strategic HR, Microland, spoke about culture, business implications and talent value proposition. He started by talking about India and its culture, presenting various facts and figures about India’s diversity to help them understand the complexity of our country. He told the students that they are in the right place at the right time, as the world is looking up to India and that we should be proud of it. According to him, Indians are at a better stead in entering a world, which is heading to more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous territories.
He alluded this to the cultural conditioning of Indians. Culture varies from one nation to the other. He compared it with organisations and said that organisational culture acts as differentiator from one company to the other. He then went on to describe why Indians are best suited for the VUCA world. Accepting high level of uncertainty is a way of life in India and we accept that the ambiguity will remain. In this process, Indians develop a high tolerance for complex events and don’t wait for the perfect thing to happen. Culturally, not many countries operate like this. Indian workforce hence is at an advantageous position.
Translating this advantage is what we should look at. He then talked about talent value proposition and its importance in business scenarios. He explained about the unique talent value proposition of Microland. Employee is at the centre of talent management in Microland. He went on to explain that talent retention depends on the match between brand promise and post joining experience. Hence, it’s imperative not to oversell the role during the recruitment process. He further talked about role enrichment and role rotation as tools to speed up the career growth of employees. He discussed about the various employee engagement initiatives and programs implemented at Microland, thereby providing the students a glimpse of his work environment.
To end with, he reminded the students that the focus should be on learning and the only place where earning comes before learning is in the dictionary. He signed off by wishing everyone a bright future.
Disha 2015, Day 5: Sophos –“As Far as the Imagination can see!” – Ms. Indu Kapoor, VP –HR Global head for Finance and Accounting, EXL
Ms. Indu Kapoor, VP –HR Global head for Finance and Accounting, EXL on 22nd August 2015, on the 5th day of Disha 2015 ; envisioned how the world would look like in 2030 and urged the students at TAPMI to imagine and reimagine in her very engaging Guest Lecture,Sophos. She said that, the world belongs to the smarter generation and about how age and knowledge no longer have the significance in the fast moving trends.
She put forth a foresight of a hypothetical future, having its own tools to sense people, emotions and requirements. Enabling this kind of evolution is what she believed would be the new face of 2030. Citing the example of her conversations with her daughter on online retail, she spoke about how the online lifestyle has slowly seeped in and become an integral part in the households of those who have very little time on hands. Ms. Indu said that this was the new age of marketing, where there was no longer the need of a physical or face to face connection with another person.
Speaking about Human Resources, she said that the role of an HR is not to plan and form policies, but to bring in a cultural fit to the system. She also stated that top jobs for 2020 talk about careers that don’t even exist today.
On a parting note, she advised the Tapmians to spend their two years of learning, “Not only through books of 1980’s for the 2020’s , but also through imagining , reimagining and understanding how to put it in today’s action”.
Disha 2015, Day 5: Sophos – Ms. Ranjana Anand, Director HR- Optimal Strategix – “Be inquisitive, try to learn how the process has come up and understand the process.”
In a very interactive and intriguing session on “Workforce in Demand”, Ms. Ranjana Anand, talked to the students of TAPMI regarding the importance of outsourcing and freelance workers.
She began the session by categorizing the workforce as permanent and temporary. The permanent workforce are the employees of the company while the temporary workforce consisted of three subcategories as follows:
- Freelance Workers: They are the kind of workers who are not tied to any company and are available on various portals and associated within loops. They work independently and specialize in niche skills.
- Contractors: These workers work for a specific term or project and are typically managed by third party.
- Outsourcing: It is the most effective of the temporary workforce. The workforce is hired and absorbed by the organization in future.
Ms. Anand then explained the benefits of the temporary workforce and most of that was centered on cost effectiveness. As the outsourced or the contract workers are hired for a particular project, the time and cost spent on the training and induction is saved as the workers are proficient enough to work on the project. Also the cost on salary is saved as the organization has to pay to the outsourcing organization only.
Further, Ms Ranjana Anand explained about the role of outsourcing in the field of market research. She explained the power of negotiation while dealing with the clients and how outsourcing is used in market research. Apart from that she said that doing certain specified quality check methods before releasing the client is expected and very well received. She also said that the Internships are the best example of temporary workforce. She also gave the comparison between regular employee and the outsourcer.
She ended the session with generic information about learning and understanding new processes and signed off with the quote, “Be inquisitive, try to learn how the process has come up and understand the process.”
Excerpts from the discussion:
Mr. B R Umashankar, Head HR- Moderator, Rober Bosch
He was the moderator for the panel. He began by giving an introduction of Organizational Change and the way it affects the human resources domain in every industry. He gave a brief presentation about the changes that his company has adopted in the past few years and shared his views and experiences.
Mr Shankar talked about the challenges that the industry faces like Global Outsourcing Agreements, Digitisation, Sell Quality Assurance and how to implement them. He also spoke about effective planning and communication modes that have to be adopted for bringing the change in the overall management practice. According to him, managers should be cautious enough to set the expectations in line with the capacity and capability of organization.
Mr Shankar concluded by saying that the element of trust between organization and employees needs to be considered as paramount under any circumstances. If ignored, it turns into an irreparable damage which costs a lot to the organization in terms of employee engagement.
Mr. Ajit Thakur, Head HR and Admin, Hyundai
Mr. Ajit started by praising the strategic examples and experiences of previous guests. He highlighted how important and critical it is to even bring about small changes in an organisation and hence, big change management is even more critical. It effects employee morale and motivation. It is the employees who bring about the change. The good approach in such a scenario is to communicate. Sometimes it is required to communicate in informal groups and see the reactions while in some situations it is a good practice to communicate in formal groups and see the reactions and responses. These responses should be the base for implementing the change in the organisation.
It is all about including the employees in decision making and make them feel that the organisation runs by the employees and that they matter the most to the organisation. Change brought about in such a way is more lasting. He said that common consensus from all the stakeholders is imperative in bringing in change management.
Mr. Asit Mohapatra, Head HR, Future Supply Chain
He said that in this WUCA world adaptability quotient among B-school students is much more than it ever was. Cultures are different and adaptability is much more important in today’s scenario. He said that change management is about setting goals, communicating to people and making them realise and believe in those goals. He emphasised that change management involves speed. Nothing can be procrastinated due to lack of speed in processes. Generation gap should not hamper pace.
Other important aspects in change management process are planning, awareness, understanding and buy-in for the employees and other stakeholders. Also, over-communication is very important. The stakeholders might get confused if communication goes down in subsequent times. Powerful ways of communicating are through workshops, newsletters, screen savers, town hall meetings, and success stories through mails. Things should be broken up into tasks and then worked upon as this w brings greater and lasting change.
He further said that accepting suggestions of employees on a regular basis keeps the change processes going. Genuine brainstorming involving the employees as well plays a great role in change management process. He said that employees are the internal customers of an organisation. They shouldn’t be taken for granted in a change management process.”
Col P.S. James, Area Chair – HR, TAPMI
Professor James began by saying that “Organizational Change Management” must be adopted gradually in an organization. He believes that organizations must bring this change by first prioritising on leadership, which is the most influential factor in every respect. If an organization has a capable leader, then employees would follow and consider the change required.
According to him, leadership must trickle down till the bottom of a company which will effectively change the dynamics. The desired change can be effectively brought in if employees in junior position are given a chance to develop leadership skills by providing them a chance to take an initiative at the first place. He concluded by saying that the senior management must focus on developing leaders and the rest of the aspects will fall in place.
Excerpts from the discussion:
Mr. Venkat Shastry, Partner, Heidrick & Struggles
Mr. Venkat took the role of a moderator in the panel discussion and converged the viewpoints of all participants. According to him, the world is a lot more global than it was before. The global opportunities are rising at a higher pace. Taking this theme he asked questions on how to set ourselves for a successful global career in the contemporary times.
Mr. Nagaraj V, Senior VP & Chief People Officer, Arvind LB&R
He talked about the development that is going on across the country. There is a need of great efficiency in building the retail industry. There is a requirement of foreign citizens to come and help the Indians deal with this situation. Senior expats are required to put initial building block, give the country that robustness. For this a robust selection criteria has to be in place. It requires cultural adjustments to be done by the stakeholders involved in this and clear deliverables should be articulated in order to build a strong foundation.
Ms. Aparna Sharma, CHRO, Greaves Cotton
Ms. Aparna stressed on the need for developmental alignment towards future roles. There should also be a succession plan, for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company. Further, there should be a crisis management plan to make sure that the response systems are in place to take care of any crisis or emergency occurring in the organisation. She emphasised that substance in efforts is more important that style of work and is fundamental to success in any job. Also the value proposition and grooming of the staff should be unique in order to provide a competitive edge in building a strong organisation.
Ms. Indu Kapoor, VP-HR, EXL Services
After having worked in three companies, with TATA being an Indian company having global footprints, Alcatel being French company with Indian footprint and EXL listed in US NASDAQ with Indian footprints, she believed that an expat assignment should not be more than three years. Our motive should be to think global and act local. The practice followed initially was to align a local with the expat so that there is export of knowledge and the locals can take it over. As an organization, it’s very important to work in the benefit of locals.
She believed that as an expat, its always two ways mobility. One needs to know the culture. Instead of being an expat, act as global citizen who delivers value. She concluded by stating that one should represent his/her country and the organization in good ways to make others proud.
Mr. Mukund Menon, Director HR &Communications, International Paper
Speaking about expat assignments, he mentioned that for some countries, expat assignments can be rotational, people will change but position remains. For an expat it might be adventurous but it determines their cultural flexibility. Organizations send expats to understand about process and technologies but most important is change management which involves bringing in the culture.
He advised to stay in the top ten percentage in order to be considered for an expat opportunity. An expat should continuously work for self-development by blending with the culture there. They need to ensure that they are not singled out as social network makes one effective. The value one creates as an expat is of prime importance.
Disha 2015, Day 4: Sophos – Mr. Khalid Raza, Talent Development Manager, IBM – “Analytics is about taking data, understanding it and interpreting it to solve business challenges.”
In another of those high energy Sophos session in Disha2015, Mr. Khalid Raza, Talent Development Manager – IBM, introduced the students of TAPMI to the world of data analytics. He started off with a question to the students about their understanding of the term “analytics”. He went on to explain about the usage of analytics in solving business challenges. Most of the time we see what we want to see and omit what we don’t want to see. Analytics is about taking data, understanding it and interpreting it to solve business challenges. Data analytics could be used in HR practice to uncover the hidden truths about the work force, he said. Although companies around the world make use of analytics to gauge consumer preferences and behaviour, least amount of analytics is done on workforce. The data variables available on work force are limited to the likes of attrition numbers, head count, so on and so forth. A true business transformation would happen only when companies start using analytics on their workforce.
He talked about the advantages of using analytics and provided students with the findings of MIT research conducted on the same. Analytics helps in optimising work force related challenges. It also helps in transforming the business model by helping the management to understand the skill sets needed for the future. Analytics plays a major role in enhancing customer experience, accelerating sales, increasing innovation and managing risk. He then went on to explain how analytics would help boost the sales of any product. He asked the students to think from an analytics perspective.
Predictive analysis is the key. In predictive analysis, the inhibitors of sales and not past historical data is looked at. He then went on to talk about leveraging analytics to solve challenges in HR. The basic problem with analytics is the lack of trust or authenticity of the data. Sometimes the data will not be readily available, and people might not even collect the data properly. This would lead to future challenges in using analytics to its full potential.
He then talked about proactive retention and how IBM uses analytics to save attrition costs. The cost of attrition is nine to twelve months of salary. Higher the employee is in the organisational hierarchy, higher would be the attrition cost. He explained how analytics helps in doing proactive retention.Data from performance review and employee engagement in the enterprise social network are collected first. The patterns that emerge from the data help in identifying potential attrition hotspots, thereby helping company save the attrition costs. He then answered a round of questions form the enthusiastic students and concluded by wishing them the very best for future.
Day 4 of Disha 2015 was graced by the presence of Ms. Pratika -the Head HR of Edureka. To begin with, she touched upon the emerging challenges in the HR field. Quoting her varied experience from HCL, Bosch and now Edukreka, she explained the transition from policy driven work culture to a pen-paper bureaucracy and then onto the challenging job in Edureka, where she is strategizing to articulate and figure out the future policies and culture. Answering a question on workspace freedom, Ms. Pratika classified the level of freedom an employee gains depending on the peer group and the existing culture within the organization.
Elaborating on the topic of generation gap between GenX and GenY she raised the need to focus on bridging the gap between both and raised the need for dissent for constructive growth. Ms. Pratika quoted her experience and practices followed in BOSCH where a practice of “Reverse Mentoring” is followed to foster employee engagement. Speaking on how maintaining diversity has become the need of the hour for organizations across the globe, she laid special focus on cross cultural training.Edureka is targeting for grass root percolation in the field of vocational education. The main target being able to provide an intensive learning based system for people.
Concluding on the talk, Ms. Pratika focused on the need of breaking the notion of academics driven talent acquisition and directed towards the need of skill driven recruiting and also supported the cause of accepting vocational training as a degree.