Disha 2016, Day 3, Onimia: “How can HR play a strategic role in making the M&A a successful tactic to compete with rivals?”

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Excerpts from the panel discussion:

Ms. Poonam Agarwal, Head HR & Admin, ACG Pam Pharma Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

“You cannot buy knowledge already acquired”

Ms. Poonam Agarwal started the discussion by stating that it is important to identify the right consultants and the right company based on vision and mission for any M & A. The role of HR is to prepare an integration plan meticulously. We need to find out if the people of the company being acquired feel insecure about their talent. We need to lay 84% emphasis on the people of the company before taking any action. But in reality the amount of such emphasis is only 40%.

She spoke further about how integration is first done at the top level management. We need to take care of small things right and make an impact from day 1. This can be done through trust building and right amount of communication.

She concluded by saying that we need to treat the new organization with dignity and maintain transparency. We need to identify the key talents, critical positions and job holders while integrating them in the system.

Mr. Rajesh Derhgawen, CHRO, Reliance Capital

Mr. Rajesh Derhgawen believes that HR plays an important role prior to integration. Integration in process, structure and people form a crucial role in decision making.  He mentioned that there will be resistance from people especially in a large group. In case of M & A, this resistance will be present in both the organizations. To tackle such resistance, understanding of the dynamics becomes important.

He took the discussion ahead by sharing his thoughts about uncertainty. In uncertain situations, people in an organization need to have a clarity about where they are heading. If such clarity is not provided, they become paralyzed and their objectives will be forgotten. Leaders between two organizations should have a complete sync, this will reduce the level of resistance.

He concluded by saying that as the people interact more, they are more comfortable with each other. Giving clarity to employees about the organizational structure, culture etc., helps people gain confidence.

Ms. Vijayanti Margassery, Sr. director HR, Sr. Business partner and head of Talent Management and Organization development, Biocon

Ms. Vijayanti Margassery was of the opinion that organizations miss out on the people perspective while integrating with respect to acquisitions and mergers. Not having the right people at the right place may not affect immediately but soon it will corrode the talent. She highlighted the four important aspects of business – continuity, transition, readiness and portfolio. She pointed out that many companies lose what they were, the basis of their identity with growth.

Moving ahead, she said that when it comes to acquisitions, one is always dominant and the other is passive. The passive one follows the culture, payroll, benefits, and performance matrix of the dominant one. The HR should show due diligence when it comes to bargaining, compensation and unionization. Identifying employees with fungible skills is of utmost importance to keep the transition smooth. She said that every organization needs to have a clarity about where they want to be and what they want to do with the acquiring company. HR plays an important role with reference to getting right data for taking any action.

She concluded by talking about digitization being the next big thing in HR. Knowing how to make apps and using it to make apps that connect people will give an edge to the HR industry.

Dr. S Lakshmi Narayana, Associate Prof, Manipal School of Management

Dr. S Lakshmi Narayana said that in M & A, large group of people are integrated. This possesses a great challenge due to rising complexity. Analysis with respect to HR should be given due importance. We should look into the compliance aspect of an organization before integration.

He carried the discussion further by stating that a pre-valuation of the acquired company is necessary. We need to communicate continuously otherwise highly talented employees may leave and join with the competitors.



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