Disha 2016, Onimia, Day 5: “In the era of transient business models, talent wars and continuous skill development is imminent. Will Artificial Intelligence be the defining survival factor for organizations?”

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Mr. Jitender Panihar, Head HR, HealthKart

Mr. Jitender Panihar started the discussion by saying that the world is changing. Artificial intelligence is bringing in tremendous change in future not just for HR, but the complete mankind in general. Artificial intelligence, according to him, means any data or system that can replace human intelligence. It is influencing change at very step with a click of button. Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing every industry from agriculture to e-commerce. Artificial intelligence, he explained, can hence be used to evolve humankind.

He put across his thoughts by saying that the world will converge somewhere. Virtual realities leading to virtual collaborations are the futuristic vision. Artificial intelligence functions to translate physical dependency in the virtual space. For example, there is no substantial requirement of swanky offices in the digital space leading to significant reduction in cost. More data means more digitization, in turn leads to more disruption, hence innovation. He illustrated the fact by citing the example of e-messages that trigger a price sensitive consumer. In this way, artificial intelligence influences the behavioral patterns.

Mr. Godfrey Sujitraj, GM- HR, Atria Convergence Technologies

Mr. Godfrey Sultiraj began the discussion by expressing his views that we are still a long way from fully incorporating artificial intelligence in organizations. In his point of view, there is VUCA everywhere. In this world of artificial intelligence, we are rapidly moving from regressive to predictive analysis. He also explained that the importance of artificial intelligence is highlighted by the fact that it reduces the risk factor associated with decision making which in turn reduces the cost of human resources significantly. However, he concluded, it also poses certain challenges in terms of return on investment and reduction in human employment.

Mr. Narayan Hegde, DGM- Operations, HGS

Mr. Narayan Hegde started the discussion by sharing his views on Artificial Intelligence. He said that artificial intelligence is important because it helps us in analysing behavioural trends of the employees in an organization. According to him, behavioural factor is the most important aspect in a persons career. He believes that though artificial intelligence can help us, we as humans should deal with problems by first acknowledging them.

He carried on the discussion further by saying that HR in operations is an integral part of the business. Through artificial intelligence, we can analyse past data and combine it with futuristic requirements to address attrition as a business model. It is a great way to improve efficiency.

He concluded the discussion by saying that there cannot be a trade-off between humans and technology. Humans are decision makers. They control, guide and navigate the organization towards their goal. Artificial intelligence is a tool to get better and improve the quality of work.

Mr. Binayak Mitra, SVP- HR, Siesta Hospitality Services Ltd.

According to Mr. Binayak Mitra, the rate of change has increased in today’s world. There’s a lot of data which needs to be converted. Artificial Intelligence in time continuum will play an important role. He said that the future will become disruptive where artificial intelligence will not remain a competitive advantage.

He carried on the discussion by saying that artificial intelligence using predictive analysis gives us better choices. This will help us take better and informed decisions which is the requirement of the business.

He concluded with a discussion on artificial intelligence and entrepreneur decisions. It cannot change or influence some of the decisions taken by entrepreneurs. Transactional choices can be changed by artificial intelligence.


Disha 2016, Day 5: Sophos – Strategies for Lean Management – Mr. Narayan Hegde – DGM Operations, Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd.

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In an open hearted conversation with the students of TAPMI, Mr. Narayan Hegde told them that education is just an enabler for them to get into some assignments. Down the line they must constantly ask what touches their heart. Thereafter, he shared his experiences in lean management, the strategic approaches to it, its advantages and disadvantages. He said that lean management is not just about operations, but about how process inputs can be made cleaner and more efficient by removing redundant steps. It is all about how efficient one can get and add value to the customer.

As a system, lean management involves first convincing people, then looking into the process and then looking into the technology- which acts as an enabler. The second component involves ensuring that the change is going to bring about an improvement in quality. This is followed by structured management which ultimately leads to waste elimination.

Moving ahead, he shared the strategic approaches to lean management. These include having a participative culture, following an 80-20 method, value stream mapping and Kaizen model training. It also involves value stream based accountability, interactive communication, leadership coaching and a positive environment. Finally, it must have, a data driven metric oriented approach of measurement and performance reviews.

The benefits of using lean management are plenty. It helps staying relevant to business dynamics in the VUCA world, reduces costs and increases profits and improves effectiveness. It also helps enhance productivity and efficiency be removing redundant processes and leads to improved quality via more effective process controls. The risks, on the other hand, involve resistance to change, especially for middle management streams, fear of job loss and fear of failure.

Before sharing his experiences in various domains, he shared a few myths about lean management. These involved the fact that it is considered only as a manufacturing process, is expensive, stressful and leads to job losses. While the last is partially true, workers can be trained and re-skilled to minimize this.


Disha 2016, Day 5, Sophos- Challenges faced in IT- Anup Robbins, Assistant Manager, HR at Wipro Infotech


Mr Anup Robbins took an interactive session for students of TAPMI on 27th August in which he spoke about various challenges faced by IT organizations and also told how these factors impact the Human Resource Management. To begin the discussion Mr. Robbins said that as an HR, IT is a good field to work in as it gives tremendous exposure.

One of the challenges faced by IT services today is that it is considered to be at the end of the value chain. Currently IT companies are just vendors and they are looking forward to becoming strategic leaders. Another challenge faced by IT is changing technology. Today’s Smart Mobile Analytic Cloud Internet is changing the paradigm of business. He also emphasized on the point that small and nimble competitors are taking away the projects of bigger firms.

When asked about the impact of these changes on HRM, Mr. Robbins said that first and foremost the effect is on the organization culture. “We, today, in IT industries require low power distribution, strong culture, goal oriented attitude and informal environment.”  He said recruitment process also requires to be changed. Today IT companies require quantity with quality. A thorough review of selection process is also important. Another area that has been impacted in IT sectors is the performance management system. An agile process has to be adapted to provide continuous feedback to the employees regarding their performance. Mr. Robbins also emphasized upon the need to identify 4C’s employees namely, Catalysts- The high performers, Criticals- People whom you could not do without, Cerebrals-  The ones who generate ideas and Capables- Potential yet to be realized.

To conclude, Mr. Robbins said that IT provides a huge platform to HR professionals. It provides continuous growth to the employees provided they are willing to take up the challenges and to change with the changes in technology.

Disha 2016, Day 5: Sophos – “We don’t chase market shares. We create markets.” – Mr. Jitendar Panihar, CPO at Healthkart

The interactive session with Mr. Jitendar Panihar started on a high note with him asking the audience what they expected from the lecture. With a short walk down memory lane, he drew out examples from his own experiences to answer the audience’s questions. The aspects covered in the session varied from understanding the fundamentals of business, the challenges faced by organizations and the initiatives taken by Healthkart to overcome these challenges.

He expressed that the main challenge faced by industries around the world is the hesitance to take risks. With the high volatility in the current industrial world, the need to navigate through changes and challenges within the industry is paramount. “Change needs to start from within.”, he said, emphasizing on how if we develop individuals, we develop relationships and in turn develop the organization.


He believes the best way to develop people is by stimulating real life business scenarios and giving them opportunities. In doing so, they are given authority and responsibility which in turn, will enhance their decision-making skills.

Moving forward, he explained the structure and working of Healthkart. He highlighted that the changing market, where customers are becoming more tech-savvy by the day sparked the idea for an e-commerce company. The company, which allows its customers to buy supplements online focuses on profitability and margins. He illustrated the point further, saying “We don’t chase market shares. We create markets.”

The session ended with active participation from the audience and Mr. Panihar sharing his valuable advice.

Disha 2016, Onimia, Day 4: “VUCA world and its impact on leadership”

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Mr. Sagar Khanna – PAN India Talent Acquisition HR, Mahindra Logistics

According to Mr Sagar, VUCA is more of an effect than a phenomenon. The changing political, economic and social scenarios, all add to the VUCA effect. Talking about the impact of VUCA effect in organisations, Mr Sagar said that the pressure on individuals and organisations to keep pace with the changes to remain competitive is very high. HR as a business unit should align itself to the strategic and business needs of the organisation. He ended the discussion by stating that the key to doing this is by hiring people who can tell us what to do rather than just doing what the management asks them to do.

Mr. Sanjay Srivastava, Director – HR, Boehringer Ingelheim

Mr. Sanjay emphasized on the point that VUCA is real and the problems posed by the VUCA world are real. He went on to explain the digital revolution which has changed the way organizations function and heavy dependence on technology for decision making process. The effect of big data and analytics is so huge that the organizations depend on technology companies to device a new product or service. All the changes i.e. political, ecological, technological, demographical etc. pose a great amount of challenge and needs to be countered in order to sustain in the VUCA world.

Mr. Sanjay proposed three methods to deal with VUCA. First one is the “effective leadership” which focuses on agility, self-awareness and resilience. The second method revolves around developing customized experience in order to retain employees who constantly seek better opportunities and the third method is to incorporate agility in workforce.

Ms. Anupama Rammohan – Director HR,IMS Health

Ms. Anupama was of the opinion that there have been more changes in the last five years in the industry. The market place is fast changing and the leaders need to adapt. The young working generation finds work monotonous very soon. It is important to keep the stimulation sustained as leaders.

One of the external factors that has contributed to VUCA is the increase in disposable income of the consumers. Marketing strategies have to be designed to suit the changing environment. She stressed on the willingness to let go of tried and tested ways. What has worked might not work again. She pushed the audience to embrace help and change from any source.

Ms. Meenal Thakkar – Associate director HR, Nielson India

Ms. Meenal agreed with the other panelists saying that fifty years back the term VUCA did not even exist. Now it does because of the tremendous changes taking place. The strive among people to innovate drives the market.

In the next 50 years there will be 1.5 billion more people added on. Mindsets will definitely be more digital. As an organization it is necessary to ensure that the leaders are more adaptable and flexible. She firmly believed that instead of having multiple approaches it is better to have a single strong approach.

Mr. Siddharth Nag-Head HR, SPAR

Mr. Siddharth started by comparing VUCA with Entropy. He said, predictability of outcome is the main concern. Entropy is everywhere and more entropy is better. Today, with increase in speed of communication, volatility is no more an issue. According to him, it was as volatile as 15 years ago but people did not understand. Then he talked about SCARF (Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness) model developed by David Rock. According to him, VUCA is good, we should make pace with it and accelerate with it. He explained about three types of Emotional intelligence- cognitive, emotional and compassionate. They are needed to cope up with VUCA. He suggested that, if a person’s leadership style is moving from “Telling” to “Asking”, the person is fairly safe in the VUCA world.

Mr. Akchansh-Head HR-Shared services, Lava

Mr. Ackanch started his discussion focusing on uncertainty. VUCA came into wider picture in 2014 with the pace of disrupting change of technology. He said, people are suffering from VUCA system. Market has been shifted, technology disrupted, people are living in a serious volatile world. With the data integration, the world is much more integrated than before and as a result, business is moving at a faster rate. He explained VUCA Prime through Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility. He explained how we can deal with the VUCA world. Dimension of long term orientation needs to address volatility. Our leaders have longer vision. We Indians are much more comfortable living in uncertainty. Tolerance of ambiguity is higher for us. We are not high on individualism, rather we believe in collaboration. So we Indians are at a unique position, we are creating leaders. He suggested we should make employees much more empowered to face the VUCA world.


Disha2016, Day 4: Sophos -Industry in general – Mr. Sutanu Chowdhury, Sr. Vice President – HR at Max Hypermarket India Private Limited

Mr. Sutanu started by providing a quick snapshot of SPAR International. He highlighted the practices by which they differentiate themselves from the competitors. They differentiate themselves in the variety and best prices and choices they provide according to the respective geographies. He emphasized on the fact that wholesaler and retailer can achieve much more by working together.

Santanu Chaudhary_2He went ahead by highlighting the concept of VUCA with respect to disruptive innovation across various companies like Mahindra Reva, Bose, Apple, Alibaba. He said that VUCA has been a part of HR practices right from industrial revolution. It is a continuous process and has become a way of life.

Further, he put forward that HR is always at crossroads as it comprises domains like labour management and benefits, talent acquisition, industrial relations. In the VUCA world, it is important for an HR to connect the functionality of the right and left brain. Companies, these days are focusing on “multipliers” not “diminishers”. Multipliers include motivators, problem solvers, ideating people while diminishers consist of the idea killers, energy snappers and depleters. Organizations want to achieve a breakthrough by ideating aspirational products. Risk ability i.e. leveraging learning from failures is therefore appreciated.

He went ahead by elaborating the “mindful in the age of disruption”. In the highly competitive scenario, where everyone is vying for the best talent, attrition rate and performance management have become a cause of concern. Organizations, in such a scenario, adopt various competency models to cope up with the challenges.

“Disrupt and invent at every level to remain in consonance with innovation.” Building customer credibility, he explained, through situational leadership, getting right people in the right bus, being assertive, listening skills and proper feedbacks are characteristic traits of an HR. Communication and networking also play a major role in the process. He concluded the lecture by quoting “Keep learning, questioning and ideating.”