“Current Trends in IT Industry”- Mr Sumeet Minocha, Integrated Services Leader, India BU, Wipro Limited

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On 25th September, in an interactive and insightful session with students, Mr Sumeet Minocha talked about the new trends that are shaping the IT industry today. Technologies like Machine learning, Artificial intelligence are completely reshaping the business landscape.  Adding to this, a concept like SMAC, the synergy of Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud is driving business innovation and helping organizations improve their operations and target customers more effectively. Today every company is coming up with its own digital strategy. Digital is fundamentally shifting the competitive landscape in many industries and sectors. Companies now need to take critical decisions on how to address digitization. The concept of Digital is all about removing redundancy so that when a company applies SMAC, it is able to achieve the most optimised process. He also spoke about the situation when an organisation struggles from a linear growth stack. In this situation, a company needs to focus on non-linear growth and this is where IT companies are focusing and turning their attention to.

Further, Mr Sumeet spoke about the differences between an IT service company and a product company. Unlike an IT service company, a product company focuses just on the innovation of a product that it deals with, and tries to anticipate the future of the same. However, with the passage of time the space between the IT product and IT Service Company is collapsing. Also, gaining momentum in the IT industry is the concept of Solution Architect which is a combination of both Functional and Technical requirements. Therefore, technology is helping organizations to reach to an unlimited audience by increasing the penetration and reach. Social media has turned out to be a mandate for all organisations today. It is the most important area of focus and has become instrumental for businesses in shaping the consumer decisions. The usability of social media has grown exponentially, providing businesses with an immense scope for increasing customer engagement. Another impact of technology is that gradually every routine job that had a step by step fixed procedure is being entirely replaced by automation and in future, only those jobs which require strategic decision-making will require human intervention.

Towards the end of the lecture, he advised students who have an IT background to connect their experience to the big picture. Only then can the students justify the validity of their experience. Students should also ensure that they join a company which provides them with both operational and strategic experience. In this era of internet, there is an information overload around us. Therefore, he advised students to have a learning attitude and to constantly evaluate whether what they know is just information or has been interpreted to knowledge and wisdom.

 

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“Retail in India is growing exponentially”- Mayank Jain, Regional Business Manager, Titan Eye Plus

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On 20th July 2017 in an interactive session with Mr. Mayank Jain, Regional Business Manager, Titan Eye Plus; the speaker threw light on the fact that retail in India is booming. He told the students that currently India is ranked number two in retail potential and has successfully jumped thirteen places of what it was last year. It is amazing to know that we are first in the world in terms of per capita retail ability.

Taking the discussion forward, Mr. Jain mentioned that the reason for this exponential growth is that we have very good market potential. The economic risk of all the retailers who are coming in India right now is extremely low. FDI has been taken to next level altogether. 100% FDI has been approved in unibrands and multibrands.

Furthermore, Mr. Jain also touched upon the fact that the market sizing is extremely important. Quoting an example of the same, he mentioned that “if the market size is around 1 crore rupees per annum and my market share is 15% then I would be earning 15 lakhs; which is not a viable component”. If we look closely towards the data provided we will notice that the market size of India is growing exponentially. Mr. Jain left the students surprised by mentioning the fact that the total Indian market size has almost doubled up in a span of four years. This has made India a very favored destination for all the retailers to come, grow and earn. He also mentioned how important a role does visual merchandising plays in retail.

To conclude, Mr. Jain, an alumnus of TAPMI, proudly mentioned that professionalism that TAPMI teaches can be realized only when one steps out in the corporate world. And this professionalism is very important in the retail sector.

DISHA 2017 – Metamorphosis: Redesign, Recreate, Transform- Valedictory Ceremony

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On 31st August 2017, the Valedictory ceremony for Disha 2017- The annual HR conclave which was centered on the theme “Metamorphosis: Redesign. Recreate. Transform”, was held. The three-day event comprised of guest lectures, panel discussions, competitions, and interactions with experts from the HR domain. The event hosted 30 guests from 12 different sectors and witnessed the enthusiastic participation of 290 students. The flagship events of Disha 2017 were “Sophos” – the guest lecture series, comprising 11 guest lectures and “Onimia” – the panel discussion series on various industry trends related to HR.

The Valedictory ceremony was graced by Mr.Rajesh Sahay -Vice President Wipro Consumer Care Industries, Professor Raghunath Rudran and Colonel James, Area Chair for HR, TAPMI.

Professor Raghunath Rudran addressed the audience, congratulating the management and the student community on the successful conduct of the event. He remarked that organizations and the HR industry have to be reactive to the changing times, where technologies are creating uncertainties about the future of HR.

Mr. Rajesh Sahay applauded the students for the successful conduct of the event and advised them to make use of such platforms to broaden their understanding of the trends, opportunities, and expectations of the industry. Prof. Col James also addressed the gathering, exhorting the students to develop their critical thinking skills and connect theory to the ground realities of the industry

Disha 2017 also witnessed spirited competitions among the students with its events, We The People – the debating platform, Vrondi – The Mock Press event, Embauche – the Hiring Simulation and inQUIZitive, the quizzing event. Certificates were distributed to the winners and runners-up of the events. The event concluded with the Vote of Thanks proposed by Ms. Niharika Kaur – Convenor of Disha 2017.

 

DISHA 2017: Day 3: Sophos – “Changing Competencies required for digital age” – Ms. Annapurna A, Director HR, Inspirage

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On 31st August 2017 Ms. Annapurna began her address by asking the audience about their own perceptions about the future of HR. She was very optimistic about the future of HR and explained that the field of HRM doesn’t limit itself to traditional roles of recruitment, retention, training etc. She spoke about the behavioral aspect of HR and threw light on Cognitive HR and Psychometrics.

Ms. Annapurna them moved on to the future trends and challenges to organizations. In her opinion, “as long as we are alive we are changing”. Using video presentations she dwelled into the five trends which are responsible for forcing companies to bring in innovation, rapidly change every aspect of their business and rethink their existing strategies. These trends are Mobilization, Mobility, Millennials, New Behaviors and Technology. She cited examples of technologies like Internet of Things, Big Data and the plethora of social media channels for being the drivers of change within businesses.

The next part of Ms. Annapurna address was on the future outlook of jobs where she elucidated about the impact of technology on hiring. Though the economy is in good shape, jobs are decreasing as algorithms are making analysts redundant. The picture is very grim for jobs in the lower rung of the organizations though the silver lining is that there will be new high skilled jobs in the distance future as a consequence of the innovation happening in the present. There would always be a demand for the high skilled employees as India stands 2nd in the world after Japan in the list of countries facing skill shortages.

Further, Ms. Annapurna took a deep dive into the world of Predictive Analytics explaining its importance to the field of HR. Predictive Analytics are the new tools of the business world. She then briefly touched upon technologies such as Biometrics, Neural Networks, Machine Learning, Gesture and Facial Recognition, Mini bots, Video Analytics and Natural Language Processing. In her opinion, these skills are a must for the survival of the current businesses. The proof of it is how technology is transcending generations. Both the old and the new are now embracing it. But the real question here is the relevance of HR in the world of Analytics. Ms. Annapurna explains that algorithms only perform routine work and should only be used as a compliment to the human mind. There is nothing which replaces human mind. This is where HR comes in. Humans must leverage the technology for their own advantage making them indispensable to their organizations. Digital transformation has greater value at stake for society than businesses themselves.

The last part of Ms. Annapurna’s lecture focused on millennials and their significance to the sustainability of businesses across the world. She said that understanding millennials isn’t just about employing them. While marketing to the millennials companies should keep in mind their desire for customization, recognition, branding and experience. As millennials move into leadership roles they are going to be making business buying decisions, so it’s important for both B2B and B2C companies to understand how to market to this generation. She also emphasized on the importance of rich content on businesses and how content analysis is in much demand from organizations. Finally she answered a few questions from the audience concluding what has been a very engrossing lecture

DISHA 2017, Day 3, PANEL DISCUSSION 2, “The real rift that exists in diversity & Inclusion”

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On August 31, 2017, Prof. Colonel P. S. James started a highly interactive and intensely interesting discussion on diversity and inclusion in the work place. Here is an excerpt from the discussion.

Mr. Sovan Samal- Team Head HR Business partner- Pidilite India Ltd.

Mr. Sovan Samal joined the discussion by reminiscing about his old days in TAPMI. When asked about handling cultural diversity in FAS groups by the audience, he gave a few personal examples of the issues he faced during his student days. Speaking about the proposal of introducing menstrual leaves in organizations, he mentioned that India was still struggling with the concept of maternity leaves and was not mature enough to address this issue. While answering the question on how young leaders should adjust to cultural shift when joining an organization away from their hometowns, he explained that if someone had the aspiration to grow up the ladder, he/ she can’t let such apprehensions come in their way. On the topic of women in the manufacturing industry, he remarked that HRs faced more difficulty when compared other industries. He elaborated by pointing out that shop floors didn’t have all the facilities and women were more vulnerable to harassment there. He also added that typecasting roles according to gender had more to do with the mentality rather than capabilities.

 

Satyajit Dash-Vice President Human Resources Idea Cellular Ltd.

Mr. Satyajit Dash started the discussion by answering a very thoughtful question of forcing diversity during hiring. He responded, by saying that today we are trying to improve the gender diversity in the work place and sometimes the agenda had to be pushed to get the right results. He mentioned that in Idea, people were moved to different locations so that diversity could be maintained.

Moving to the question of conflict among colleagues Mr. Dash pointed out that even though it’s easier to reach conclusions, we should avoid rushing to judgment. He stressed that we should focus on the task conflict rather than personal differences. He quipped that diversity was about getting the right mix of people; however, the real trick was to get them to work together. On the question of discrimination of the third gender, he emphasized that diversity was not the measure of success, rather inclusion was and it always depended on the manager to display sensitivity.

Mr. Dash further declared that success always depended on how adaptive we are. He pointed out that we needed to be open to new ideas and experiences if we wanted to accomplish something.

 

Kamal Karanth – Entrepreneur, Kelly Services and Kelly OCG

Mr. Kamal Karanth began the discussion by stressing the importance of workplace diversity in helping businesses thrive. He opined that diversity is essential in creative industries such as ad agencies, where the representation of different people can generate rich ideas. “Diversity cannot be achieved without the inclusion of various segments”, he said, pointing out that minorities such as the LGBT community were largely ignored until recently. Giving the example of Goldman Sachs’ LGBT outreach initiatives, he stated that diverse communities are readily embraced by the organization when the leadership is sensitized.

The discussion was then focused on inclusivity in the Indian context, with the North/South and East/West divide and inherent prejudices being discussed. He observed that Indian employees tend to stay within the comfort zone of their regional identities. “Ambition and comfort do not go hand-in-hand”, he commented, emphasizing that employees had to let go of such attitudes to be successful in international organizations. Commenting on the inclusion of women in the workplace, Mr. Kamal strongly believed that organizational change would not be possible unless societal attitudes towards women changed.

 

Narayan Hegde-Deputy. General Manager-Hinduja Global Solutions

Mr. Narayan Hegde began by answering the question on gender diversity. He responded that his company had a US based client, where the gender diversity was fairly balanced, with a lot of women employees in the top position. He declared that to have an effective relationship with the client, they had to balance their own gender diversity. Mr. Hegde spoke about putting team structure in the KRA of the manager, as well as, designing several training programs, to increase the number of women leaders. To promote gender diversity, he mentioned the introduction of child care facilities as well as part time employment for women in his organization.

On the question of third gender bias, he responded gravely by saying that we did not need to talk about it, but show our change of mentality through action. He counseled the audience to be flexible with our approach towards movement and adaptiveness. He concluded by saying that although there was no compromise between diversity and talent, it was noticed that through diversity, the environment and culture became more empathetic.

Disha 2017: Sophos: “The New Face of HR- HR Analytics and Technology” -Ms. Hamsaz Vasunia, VP- HR, DCB Bank

 

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On 31st August 2017, Ms. Hamsaz Vasunia addressed the students of TAPMI about HR analytics and how technology is impacting the world of HR. According to her, HR professionals in a lot of organizations were being used as admin staff and given routine tasks but with the help of new technology and analytics, they can save a lot of time and actually work on more pressing issues concerning the employees. She talked about how Analytics has affected every single part of HR including Talent Acquisition, Training & Development and HR Operations.

With a video which showed how technology will change the way we work, she explained the need of understanding Analytics for any HR professional. She gave examples from her own experiences about the positive change that technology has brought in Hiring, Manpower planning, Branding and Sourcing.

Ms. Hamsaz also talked about how training and development has moved from Classroom learning to E learning to Mobile learning now as the traditional sources of training may no longer work with today’s generation. And now, we can even measure our training effectiveness with accuracy as gamification, psychometric tests and other tools have come into picture. Even for employee engagement, the traditional methods have been replaced. CHATBOTS and surveys for employee engagement, survey analysis to reduce the attrition rate and text mining for profiling of a person are the few new technologies which are changing the way HR works. Payroll Wallets, GPS linked attendance and cafeteria style compensation have improved HR operarions in a big way.

Towards the end of the lecture, she showed a video of the culture of DCB bank which really impressed the students. It was a very interactive session with students asking a lot of questions and Ms. Hamsaz happily clearing all their queries.