Disha 2016: Onimia, Day 1-Engagement in the age of digital transformation

New folder1 (1)Mr. Rajesh Sahay, VP & Head HR, Wipro Consumer Care and lighting

Mr. Sahay started by emphasizing the importance of choices to be made when adapting to the VUCA world. HR analytics should not be treated separately and everything should zero on solving business problems.When questioned about lack of data consolidation in HR when compared to Finance, Mr. Sahay answered that, stringent regulation is the primary reason for discipline in data consolidation in Finance. He further focused on ERP systems and Cloud to achieve the desired structure in data consolidation in HR. He explained the role of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) in solving a problem from an incremental point of view.

He said that, explaining the bell curve through analytics is the biggest challenge. Any analytics which saves time and eases operations is a success. He talked about the importance of diversity in the talent pool of an organization. He enlightened the students about the six most expensive words in any organization- “This is how things are done” which explains the status quo mindset in an organization.

Amit Sharma, Director and Head HR, TE Connectivity India

With a concern about how human resource will survive in the VUCA world, Mr. Sharma said that there is an environment external to the organization which is uncertain. The only way out is to adapt themselves to reality. Every organization needs to adapt and upgrade its skills continuously. While trying to do so, analytics plays a very important role. Analytics is the game changer in many organizations and is a major component of the functioning of HR. As the organization grows it needs enormous amount of data. Currently, organizations are struggling with availability of data. This lack of data is one of the struggles faced by HR. We need the right blend of data and data usage to make better decisions. Mr. Sharma stated that we have a long way to go before we can make use of predictive analytics. It uses tools which help in better understanding of the organization.

Prof. Kartikeya Bolar, Assistant Professor and Area Chair, Information Technology and Systems Management, TAPMI

In response to a question on whether changes in technology tend to be more towards the disruptive or transformative side, Prof. Bolar started the discussion by explaining that changes in technology are inevitable. Any organisation should have better technology, information & people practices in place. If either of them fails, it would be difficult to cope with technological disruptions. IT disruptions are inevitable in this age of Internet & social networking. Also, the three levels of analytics were explained, Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive analytics & its applications. In response to the role of IT in making things convenient for HR, Prof explained that he is skeptical of using only tools like Tableau. Usage of Tableau is primarily for different organisation of data, making it easy to visualize and present data rather than its analysis. It is the higher level analytics, i.e. predictive analysis wherein analytical orientation is needed. Hence, there is no need to wait for data to be provided, rather it is important to look or hunt for it in hidden actions. Analytical orientation includes use of Business analytics. And in this, the Plug & play approach is especially useful in simulating user interface. He also went on to explain what Predictive analysis can offer to the HR function.

Col. James P S , Professor, Human Resource Management, TAPMI

Prof James addressed the panel by stating a very crucial point that in India we have multiple roles and everybody is in a race to move ahead hence analytics has a wide scope in the coming years.He also mentioned that finance domain has lots of data in the form of balance sheets and various other statements but this collection of data becomes slightly challenging when it comes to HR domain. It becomes tedious to convert quantitative data into qualitative for HR analytics.He stressed upon the importance of HR analytics for the future managers and how is it going to influence their work environment.He said “We have data, lots of data, but to monitor it, is challenging”.Prof James also quoted the fact that India today is in the preliminary stage of data analytics. VUCA has been widely accepted but it is the interaction between the VUCA factors that creates confusion.



DISHA 2016- VUCA World: HR At Crossroads- Inauguration Ceremony


Disha 2016 – the five-day annual HR conclave of T. A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal started off on 23rd August, with the theme “VUCA World: HR at Crossroads?” The event started off with the Master of Ceremony of the event welcoming the guest along with the audience. This was followed by the invocation song and the lamp lighting ceremony. The Chief Guest of this year’s event was Mr. Dilpreet Singh-VP and Head HR IBM India/South Asia and the keynote speaker was Mr. Abhay Gupte- CEO Manipal Technologies. Mr. Pramod N Fernandes- Group CHRO Manipal group, Dr. R. C. Natrajan- Director TAPMI and Prof. Col. P. S. James- Area Chair of Human Resources TAPMI were also among the present dignitaries.

Puja Agarwal, the convenor of Disha and HR Forum welcomed the guests to TAPMI and gave a brief introduction of the theme. Dr. R. C. Natrajan was invited on stage to give his overview on the topic and address the guests, faculty and the students present. He told the students “the best way to learn is to listen and ask questions because no question is foolish.” He urged the students to have a curiosity and a thirst to learn which will also encourage knowledge sharing. He then invited Mr. Abhay Gupte, the keynote speaker to address the theme of the event. According to him, there are three generations at workplace now which is creating a lot of new jobs both known and unknown. The new challenge today is that the tech savvy generation is competing against a generation with experience. Integrating these generation gaps and integrating its workers is the disruption necessary today. We now need to select leaders who do not need much nurturing and can work efficiently with a clarity of thought.

Mr. Dilpreet Singh summed up his preceding speakers, both agreeing and disagreeing with their views.  He said, “HR is not at crossroads because there is only one entry to the VUCA world.” He believes that the trigger behind the change is emerging technology, which can be disruptive and transformative. But technology is going to get smarter and smarter and we need to keep up. Mr. Singh stated that a consumer-centric economy is the cause of uncertainty in today’s world. The role of an HR personnel is to anticipate and predict the change, there is a need for the shift from predictive analytics to prescriptive analytics. He mentioned that TAPMI Bloomberg lab is what all HR personnel need to analyse and anticipate the market. In the future, the major differentiator of an individual will be their talent. Mr. Singh believes talent will be diversified and dynamic in nature.

With these dignitaries imparting their insights, the inauguration came to a close but marked the opening of Disha 2016. If morning shows the day, then the next five days of Disha are surely going to be a memorable event.

Sophos Day 1 – Mr. Rajesh Sahay, Vice President, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting

Raajesh-1Mr.Rajesh Sahay, in a highly interactive session, discussed some of his personal learnings that would enable an individual to succeed in a corporate career. He started the session by stating a simple mathematical question and opening the question to the audience for discussion. Through this simple exercise, he demonstrated that one of the biggest mistakes professionals make in the VUCA world is being unidirectional and sticking to their opinions. Every individual gets finite resources in his professional life which follows the 404040 rule i.e. 40 hours per week, 40 weeks per year and 40 years. It is important to maintain life’s momentum throughout one’s professional career.

“Keep it simple, drive it hard”, was the advice Mr.Sahay gave to the students of TAPMI. He spoke about the value of experience in corporate life and the importance of not rushing to success. The primary expectation from a leader is very simple- “To take decisions”. Decision taking is a risky affair, more so when there is an absence of precedence.

A major focus area of the session were the keys to being a good decision taker. A major contributor is the ability to ask questions, to challenge the status quo and to work beyond it. Mr.Sahay stated that the success of a leader lies in managing people who don’t directly report to you. As strong support system is important. Another important factor is the ability to deal with people who are intellectually better. This, Mr.Sahay explained would bring to the table constructive dissent and innovation. It is of paramount importance to recognize skill, harness them and get the best out of them. On a lighter note, he added that it is important for a leader to sound intelligent when dealing with people who are better. Each person has a role to play and if everyone performs his role perfectly, the team moves forward. “As a manager, you need to run the orchestra.”

He ended on a note, “Life will throw unexpected situations. Pause for a moment. You will get the answer.”

HCC Guest Lecture Series: “Corporate branding and its relevance in the VUCA world” by Ms. Minali Shah, Associate Director, Corporate Marketing (South East Asia), Abbott Healthcare Ltd.

HCC...-2Ms. Minali started the discussion by highlighting the objectives of the session. The objectives included the need for building a corporate brand, building blocks of corporate brand and the examples of companies which have successfully carved a niche for themselves through successful brand building. She went ahead and explained the rate at which changes are taking place across industries and how the change in one industry can affect other industries. She quoted an example of people spending more money in insurance which leaves them with less disposable incomes and the effect of this on the hospitality sector.

Ms. Minali further highlighted the importance of “Brands”. She told that almost 70% of purchase decisions are made due to the influence of peers. Companies are spending huge amount of money in corporate branding. Creating experience is extremely important for the companies. Corporate identity is better built around enduring purpose than around products or business segments. The combination of heritage, thought leadership, purpose and beliefs enables a uniquely own-able corporate identity. She elaborated that the corporate identity is built through positive experiences and it is a long term process which delivers competitive advantage.

Ms. Minali steered the discussion towards building blocks of corporate branding. She emphasised on understanding the customers using cutting edge insights. She highlighted the importance of social media listening which helps in understanding the changing trends and pulse of the customers as well as the stakeholders. She further went ahead and discussed the strategic principles of corporate brand building and stressed on the fact that brands should be built inside out. Employees should first get the clear understanding of the brand and only then they can act as torch bearers of the brand.

Ms. Minali gave examples of companies like General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever etc. and also sighted their corporate brand building strategies. She went ahead and explained the initiatives of Abbot Healthcare in building corporate brand. The session was concluded by a strong message on the importance of self-branding for every individual.

M- POWER: “Marketing as a Business Philosophy” – Mr. G. Kannan, Sales Executive Lead, Philips India Ltd.

Kannan-1 (1)

Mr. G. Kannan, in an informative session with the students of TAPMI, spoke about the need for realignment of the “Go To Market Strategy” of companies and the challenges associated with it.

He started the session by introducing different aspects of a company by taking Philips as an example. Philips is the market leader in lighting. The turnover of Philips is greater than the total turnover of the companies in the second, third and fourth positions in the market. The sales volume stands at 25cr bulbs per month. Market leaders have a wide market reach and the highest market share in the particular product. Considering the brand funnel, the awareness score for Philips is 97%. One of the factors that drives market leaders to success is their Go To Market Strategy.

The Go To Market Strategy consists of understanding the market, building market strategy and finally, implementing the execution. Industries and companies often get hit by technological and market disruptions. These disruptions affect market leaders the most as they have a large market to lose. Core business is impacted. However, they also create opportunities for the company to venture into new businesses and models. It brings about the need for realignment of the company’s Go To Market Strategy.

Mr. Kannan stated that the biggest disruption Philips was hit by was the advent of the LED technology. With the entry of LED bulbs which have an average life of 10 years, the market for the 6 months lifetime Philips bulb was in jeopardy. Evidently, it was time for Philips to make strategic changes. He explained that for a 125 year old company, the biggest challenge faced by its executives was to unlearn their best practices that may not be applicable for the new market strategy.

He concluded by explaining how Philips used these disruptions as an opportunity. By making strategic choices and redefining ‘Where to play’, ‘How to win’ and the ‘Delivery Process’, Philips rose to the challenge of the demands of a disruptive and ever changing market scenario.

“The 4 Ps of Marketing are Please Please Please Please!” – Mr. Amit Gupta, Associate Director of Strategy and Operations, KPMG

On 7th August, Mr. Amit Gupta, Associate Director of Strategy and Operations, KPMG conducted an interactive session on the topic-“Marketing and product management in telecom sector”. The agenda for the session was 4 P’s of marketing .He believes that the 4P’s of marketing are not product, place, price and promotion as defined by Kotler but are Please! Please! Please! Please! Consumer behaviour is changing rapidly and differentiation can only be achieved through quality service, convenience, responsiveness and availability.


He talked about Digital revolution and why it is so important to be online these days .India is a hypercompetitive market with 13 telecom operators, which is twice as compared to other countries .Only 30% of the people are smartphone users and rural penetration is just 48% which means India has a huge potential for data penetration. The maximum number of transactions happen in tier 1 and tier 2 cities. India has one of the lowest APUs globally and also spectrum challenge is acute in India. The margin pressure in India is lowest as compared to other countries and Indian Telecom industry is facing a lot of pressure due to this.

If we look back at how the consumers and market place have changed drastically, 1990s saw  MNCs coming to India after which in 2000s there was the IT blow and arrival of IPOs. In 2008 global recession hit most of the nations but India was not affected as much. After 2008 India came out of hibernation .New things and trends emerged in India and lifestyle of the people changed. Instant gratification was one of the trends that emerged during this time. India also came out of the closet and people started discussing things openly. Now the society is more open.

Further he told spoke about the rise of digital consumer. The rising presence and reach of the internet coupled with the prolific growth of smartphones, tablets and related technologies has provided consumers with unmatched access to information. One of the biggest achievements of social media is that it is giving customers what they want .Terms like Omni channel marketing, big data is a marketing buzz word these days.

He further stated that cloud computing, social media, big data, augmented reach and mobility are some of the top disruptive technologies in digital space. Companies are continuously tracking your footprints on web and accumulating all the data and processing it into structured information. The consumer buying process has also changed .Earlier it was a traditional linear process. With the evolution of digital media there is no buying process now and anything can influence your buying behaviour. The key drivers of growth are content on demand, convergence, Internet of things and increased mobile penetration in rural areas. Some of the key trends affecting product management are market growth slowing, competition getting more aggressive and high churn.

In the end he concluded by saying that “Your competitors are not always who you think they are. Innovations like Loon by Google, Drone by Facebook and SPACEX can be the biggest threats to telecom companies in the future”.

“25-30% food perishes between the farm and the plate.” – Mr. Viswanath P, Chief-Strategy and Project Management Office, Future Group

In an interactive session with the students of TAPMI, Mr. Viswanath P, an alumnus of TAPMI himself, initiated the launch with a brief background of the Future Group and its many subsidiaries.


Mr. Viswanath touched upon the Future Group’s vision, mission and beliefs. The Indian Conglomerate, bringing in an annual revenue of Rs. 20,000 crores, has envisioned an ambitious increase in revenue to upto 100,000 crores by 2021. Mr. Viswanath observed the phenomenon of a large-scale transformation with regards to consumption habits among the people of India and emphasized the significance of consumers in driving the growth of the nation. He illustrated the potential increase in manufacture of frozen foods, quoting, “25-30% food perishes between the farm and the plate.”

Following Mr. Viswanath’s exciting initiation was Ms. Tanvi Nimbalkar, who elaborated on Ground Zero as a B-School competition, how it would help us become better strategists, develop well-rounded plans and make educated decisions. She emphasized the importance of Scenario Planning, wherein different scenarios are created along with proper analysis of their consequences. She further explained another aspect – Decision Thinking, wherein decisions regarding changes/improvement are made from a customer’s perspective.


Every student who registers for Ground Zero is given virtual money which can be used to invest in their team(s) of choice. Registered students are required to visit any Future Group outlet and identify and analyze problems/areas of growth as customers and formulate a solution plan for the same. Teams/individuals who proceed to further rounds are given live business problems and are required to present their solutions.

The informative session opened up a new thought process in the area of management, which involved empathetic analysis of situations, creating and interpreting different scenarios and devising plans for future growth.