ONIMIA – Panel Discussion

Onimia, the official Panel discussion event, was moderated by Prof. Siva Kumar. Prof Siva Kumar stressed the growing importance of HR in today’s corporate world where internal marketing and employee satisfaction is becoming as vital as external marketing and customer satisfaction.

Mr. Ajaybir Bakshi, HR Head of Prudential Process Management Services talked about how post recession, planning for sustainability of businesses has become extremely important. He focused on how Prudential utilized the recession as an opportunity to improve its operations by developing employees with cross functional skills, developing in-house capability in training, redeploying employees across geographical areas, enhancing productivity through right sizing, learning what could have been done better in the organization, and developing higher transparency in communication.

Dr. Asit Mohapatra, Director HR-Textiles at Raymond explained how big names do not necessarily mean great cultures and said that there is a need for greater investment in employees because Human Resource is the only resource which appreciates over time, while all other resources depreciate. Dr Asit focused his talks on employee management post recession and said that people management is very critical for the growth of any organization. Any organization should know how to manage people-skills. The role of HR is to nurture and identify the talent pool in the organization. “All employees cannot be qualified as a Talent Pool”, he explained. It’s the people in the organization that make the difference.

Mr. Girinarayanan, Director–HR for Lineage Power India, who was visiting TAPMI for the 4th time, brought forth a very interesting viewpoint of how important social perception is to the employee.  Mr. Girinarayanan spoke in detail about the significance of innovation in an organization’s progress, and how Organizational Culture is a major factor in contributing to speed and frequency of innovation.

Mr. GVRK Raju, HR (South) from Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd­ expressed how recession actually helped Coca Cola to draw in more talent. Coca Cola took recession as an opportunity, rather than a threat. They used this opportunity to manage and acquire more talent and control cost. Mr. Raju said that Coke managed to do this by recruiting talent available due to the slump in the job market due to recession, and by re-negotiating wage terms with the unions in bottling plants. To reach this goal, the company followed the ABC framework for human resource management (A-Assess, B- Build, Buy, Borrow, Bind and Bounce, and C- Coach and continue).

Mr. Hari AP, Talent Engagement Head at Aircel explained how post recession, 60% of current employees are actively trying to move out of their respective organizations, while 25% of the remaining 40% would do so if a good opportunity comes by. Under these difficult circumstances, internal employee satisfaction is much more important than external agency certifications.  He said that post recession, the rules of game have changed, and that talent search is on for new skills and competence. He also explained that Aircel is focusing only on the next three years’ plan, because technology changes very fast and nobody knows what type of market conditions will be prevalent in times to come.

Mr. Mannatham Perumal, Manager, Corporate resources for Wadhwan Holdings Pvt. Ltd stated how employees are the biggest assets of the company, as the company is an entity only in the legal perspective. He also stressed on Employer branding as a function of Business practices, and that the dynamics of every business requires different approaches.

Mr. Mukund Menon, Vice President, Human Resource, Mahindra Satyam differentiated between the approaches that companies followed pre and post recession. He explained how the approach of capacity building and quick fixes has been replaced by cost consideration and resource optimization. He also pointed out the fact that for an organization like Mahindra Satyam which does not manufacture products, the employees were the real brand.

Mr. Pramod Fernandes, Director-Human Resources, Logica, concluded the discussion by explaining how HR has gone beyond simply managing human resources. He mentioned that today, it is more about knowing the competitors’ business, the customers’ customers, and all the aspects of the business that add value to the organization. He also said that due to rapid expansion, the companies hire people who may be overqualified for their allocated jobs. This expectation misfit creates job dissatisfaction and is a major cause of attrition. The other main reasons for attrition, according to him, were breaking of psychological contract, perceived inequity and unfairness, lack of learning and growth and manager quality.

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