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


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


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”

PD Collage 2

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



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.

DISHA 2017: Day 3: Sophos: “Design Thinking: Expanding Horizon of Corporate World” – Mr. Rajesh Sahay, Sr. VP & HR Head, WIPRO Consumer Care


On 31st August 2017, Mr. Rajesh Sahay engaged the students of TAPMI in an interesting discussion on the rapidly evolving corporate world. He opened the discussion by asking a thought-provoking question, “What would happen in the next 40 years? And what would you do to remain relevant?”. He answered that 40*40*40 is the mantra behind the question. 40 hours per week, 40 weeks a year and 40 years of experience are the total finite resources which we have, and the way we utilize it, will mark our relevance.

He described how professional well-being is directly linked to physical health. He said, “The intellectual horsepower comes with physical momentum”. A leader is someone who inspires people, motivates them, earns their respect and is a trailblazer. But the hallmark of a good leader is his ability to take the right decision at the right time, and this alone distinguishes him from all others.

According to him, the first step towards decision making is to develop a sense of healthy curiosity. This is achieved by asking questions to seek information, to form counter logics, to gather viewpoints and to question the status quo.

The second step is to analyze the demographics of the audience you are catering to. Citing an example, he mentioned that in future Europe, Australia, France, Germany might not remain Christian dominant countries due to the rapid immigration of refugees into these nations. With changes in culture and demographics, the politics also changes. This, in turn, changes the market structure and the economy.

He elaborated by saying that we are living in a world of exponential technology where the future holds the power to replace human labor by artificially intelligent machines. A person needs to enhance his conceptual skills to remain relevant. Anyone who imagines beyond the normal conceptual level would sustain himself.  We need to be prepared to be disrupted at every stage. He explained how the concept of Google driver-less cars disrupts the entire automobile industry. Similarly, the lighting industries like Phillips, Surya, Wipro, which made simple streetlights are disrupted by companies like Siemens and Cisco who are integrating CCTV, water dispenser, solar panel and charging point into the same streetlight pole.

He expanded the context by telling us that the RMB currency of China would soon become world currency of exchange. China is becoming world’s largest economy with its One Belt One Road policy, and it is slowly disrupting the use of dollar to promote its own currency in many nations. Once China becomes the market leader, people would immigrate to China, adopt their culture and learn their language. This is the biggest global disruption which is soon to happen and we need to be ready for this.

He concluded by saying that in this era of immense technological advancements, “Data is the new OIL”. In this rapidly shifting market structure, it is imperative for us to adapt and stay relevant to survive in the industry.

DISHA 2017: Day 3: Sophos: “Millennial Engagement: Happiness Index in HRM” – Ms Rekha Nair, Senior HRBP, Brillio


On 31st August 2017, Ms. Rekha Nair began a lively discussion by clarifying the meaning of the words ‘engagement’ and ‘millennial’. She said that the term ‘engagement’ has core parameters which are common throughout the generations, while ‘millennial’ is a term which defines the workforce according to the generation they belong to. According to her, these varied age groups in a work place are beneficial to an organization as there is a range of experiences, and every reaction is based on where they are in their life right now.

Ms. Nair, while elaborating on engagement, said that what engages one person may not interest the other at all. Unless we are there, at a point of time, completely into something, as per her we are not engaged.

The biggest competitive advantage for any organization in today’s world is their business workforce, as people are the primary source of competitive advantage, according to her. If people are leveraged correctly and kept in an environment which brings out the best in them, the results will be highly productive. You have to engage people to inspire or challenge them. Whatever work employees do irrespective of the hierarchy, some teams will be engaged and some not and this difference arises because of the leader, Ms. Nair said stressing on the importance of vision.

There are three kinds of work orientations, she insisted- just doing a job, making a career and an inner calling. That is the kind of passion with which employees need to be engaged. The organization, according to her, can win in a market place if they get their talent strategy in place. Talent Strategy, as suggested by her, comprises of Understanding and assessing talent, hiring the right talent, developing the right people, focus on building leaders, creating an awesome culture and people’s engagement.

As per Ms. Nair, if employees love what they do, love their organization, they tend to give everything else a backseat. Happiness and excitement are temporary phases. Every organization should work towards creating a culture that employees love, she urged. Boredom, on the other hand, she said, is the most detrimental to the quality of work and the workplace. It also implies the person is not given enough work.

Ms. Nair brought the discussion to an end by talking about ways to transform events into employee experience. She suggested organizations customize workplace as per employee desires, differentiate the job so as to make it desirable for the employee, provide responsibilities keeping employee capabilities in mind and strive to measure an impact of them on employees.

Disha 2017: Day 3: Sophos: “Human Resources Road Map for a GATI of tomorrow -Integrating HR Strategy with Business Strategy” – Mr. Narayanam Sesha Srikanth, Zonal HR Head, Gati KWE


On 31st August 2017, Mr. Sesha Srikanth addressed the students of Tapmi on how GATI is integrating HR strategy with Business Strategy. In this open and interactive session, he elaborated about the various measures adopted by GATI in order to empower the employees as well as the company.

Mr. Srikanth started off the session by giving a brief history of GATI, which is the first company in India to introduce door-to-door delivery and cash-on-delivery concepts. GATI follows project based structure, with multiple divisions including international freight forwarding, e-commerce and fuel stations as well as numerous subsidiaries around Asia.

Talking about what a business expects from HR people, Mr. Srikanth said that two important aspects are how to reduce the cost and how to increase the profitability of the business. In his opinion, it is extremely important for HR to align with the needs of the industry.

As the session progressed, Mr. Srikanth explained how GATI redesigned the organization and the entire HR team as well as their employee performance reward program. The organizational redesign included creating specialist roles to avoid opportunity overlap, implementing shop floor automation and optimizing available manpower by reducing unwanted roles, to name a few. Mr. Srikanth said that GATI implemented Biometrics and G-Cube as a measure to take the company one step closer to technological advancement. He then elaborated that GATI doesn’t believe in evaluating employees based on the group’s performance since the method lacks predictability. Rather, GATI now follows individual performance review as they believe, in Mr. Srikanth’s words, “People should know how much they can earn”.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Srikanth said that GATI is an open and hierarchy-less organization which believes in free communication between all its employees. Even though he stated that changing the culture of a traditional organization like GATI takes a longer time, they are on the path towards the change.