On August 29, 2017, the first panel discussion for DISHA 2017-Onimia, started with Professor Kartikeya Bolar moderating an engaging discussion among the panelist.
Manoj K Prasad-Vice President-Talent Management-Reliance Industries
Mr. Manoj Prasad started the panel discussion by insisting that human beings are not suitable for all atmospheres and thus machines would inevitably have to be used for such work. He mentioned that a major challenge faced by HR is whether robots will eventually take up their role in an organization. However, he said that humans would still be needed as machines are unable to resolve all employee grievances. He mentioned that machines can only work on repetitive tasks and we had to rely on the acumen and logic of human beings for competency programs. Additionally, while addressing the barriers in embracing technology, he maintained that awareness, understanding, participation, and commitment helped garner acceptance for technology among employees.
Mr. Prasad urged everyone to utilize their potential and be proactive. He warned the students to be watchful so as to spot the makings of a problem and nip it in the bud. “Be agile, be a change champion, be a change catalyst and grab every opportunity you get”, he asserted before signing off.
Suehlan Yu-Vice President HR Accenture Service Pvt. Ltd
Ms. Suehlan Yu, an alumnus of TAPMI, started by mentioning that the face of HR had changed in the last few years. She mentioned that previously HR worked in a silo, however, the lines between the different departments were getting blurred. She elaborated that HR professionals have been doing design thinking, leading to creative ideas and out of the box concepts. She outlined the important points of an employee’s journey and how it could be improved with the use of technology. She also explained that use of technology could make the process of Talent Acquisition unbiased and make it extremely easy to get information on a candidate through social media. She concluded by saying that by using technology development, management, as well as employee exit, would become far easier to handle.
Sudeep Mitra – Investor and Advisor at Qilotech.com
Mr. Sudeep Mitra joined the discussion by sharing his experience in talent searching, from his time in Reliance Industries. He explained in four points as to why machines could increase the efficiency of an organization, namely – they are always on and work without breaks, they are unbiased, they are unprejudiced and they hold no grudges. According to Mr. Mitra, a person suitable for a job today might be found unsuitable for the same tomorrow and vice-versa unlike the case with machines. On being asked whether organization size affects embracement of technology in the workplace, he said that compared to larger companies, newer ones find it easier to do so. He stated that newer companies possess large innovation capabilities and so automation is not a threat. In his opinion, the companies still require a lot of human intervention for smooth functioning. Mr. Mitra concluded by sharing the thought that as a form of radical Darwinism, embracing technology makes organizations more competitive.
Ramesh Shankar-Executive Vice President and Head of HR, Siemens
Mr. Ramesh Shankar joined the discussion by agreeing with his fellow panelists and confessed that in today’s world, there is no choice but to accept technology. On the question, “If HR today is technology ready?”, Mr. Shankar said that there needs to be a balance between efficiency and effectiveness. He elaborated that despite machines providing efficiency, a human mind would always be needed to provide effectiveness. Mr. Shankar pointed out, that with the introduction of technology unconscious bias will go down. On the “barriers to accepting technology,” Mr. Shankar mentioned that it was the mindset that made all the difference. He elaborated that there was a change of business model in the market place and with little help from the organization, there would always be ways to innovate. He concluded that in today’s market, technology was being adopted without investing a lot of capital towards it getting accepted.