CXO Leadership Series Talk by Mr. Ashu Malhotra – HR Market Lead, Indian Sub-Continent & Malaysia, Cargill India Pvt Ltd

“Life is all about the choices you make and the consequences you face” – Ashu Malhotra, HR Market Lead, Indian Sub-Continent & Malaysia, Cargill India Pvt Ltd.


On 15th September 2018, Mr. Ashu Malhotra, in an interactive session with the students, discussed the various aspects of management and leadership. He enlightened the students by sharing his learnings from the rich and diverse experience of working with several organizations. He shared the deep insights he gained, working across various sectors of the industry, from FMCG to E-commerce, and also in his current capacity as HR Market Lead at Cargill Pvt Ltd.


Stressing on the how our choices define the outcomes in life, Mr. Malhotra spoke about how tough choices will lead us to new paths and directions. Such challenging situations push us to grow and teach us valuable life lessons, he continued. Embracing change, one must be prepared to face the consequences of the choices one makes, and not to run away from it.

“The biggest impediment in life is when you place constraints on yourself, which restrain your capacity to achieve more.”


Mr. Malhotra then went on to discuss the importance of striving towards self-improvement and demonstrating values like honesty. To be a true leader, one must set high standards for oneself and make the right choices. One should be ready to set a good example, through one’s actions and words. Embarking on that journey towards accountability and becoming a role model would require careful evaluation of our actions at every step, he underlined. Constructive feedback can help aid such an evaluation and should be welcomed, not shunned as criticism.

“A manager cannot be a leader without being a true role model”, Mr. Malhotra said in conclusion. A leader, therefore, needs to have a vision for the future, articulate the same and energize the people to strive towards achieving the vision.


Guest Lecture by Mr. Sujitesh Das, Vice President – Global HR, Microland

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“You can’t have HR run without the HeaRt.” – Sujitesh Das, Vice President – Global HR, Microland.

On 17th August 2018, the students of TAPMI had the pleasure of attending a guest lecture by Mr. Sujitesh Das, Vice President – Global HR, Microland. The entire session was extremely invaluable, as the insights shared by Mr. Das, who has a lot of experience in the industry, couldn’t be found in the books. Also, since he covered the trending topic of technology or digital in HR, the students were very involved in whatever he had to say. It’s not every day that the students get to learn from the first-hand experience from someone so learned. The session started with Mr. Das probing students for questions, and the one that stood out revolved around the rise of technology and the ‘threat’ it posed to the domain of HR.

So, will technology be able to replace the ‘human’ part of ‘human resources’? No, he says. “The two letters in the word ‘heart’ are ‘H’ and ‘R’ and you can’t have HR run without the HeaRt.”

He further emphasized on the mundane tasks like data processing, information reporting, routine transactions being automated by technology, while the decision making would continue to be with human beings. Another part of the discussion, was on understanding the importance of HR in an organization, especially with the existence of all other domains and line managers. Drawing the comparison of an organisation to a family, Mr. Das enlightened the cohort, “The same way that while you have others taking care of you and you are expected of from others, your primary care takers are your parents. To understand HR, look at your family. All the concepts of HR exist in your family – leadership, culture, motivation, politics, crisis, chaos, conflicts, success, failure.” This analogy between a family and an organisation was very well received and assimilated by the students.

The rest of the session was dedicated to showcasing technology in the domain of HR; he walked the students through the app of ‘Microland’, where most of the HR interface was digitalized. From using e-Cards to celebrate and wish employees; to sending dynamic e-Business Cards via external applications like WhatsApp; instantly viewing the service tenure of a particular employee; the app ensured that the technology was being used in the right sense with an intention to increase productivity, while taking over the monotonous jobs, that didn’t quite require human intervention. Another plus point of the shareable e-Referrals was that it was shared with a Microland watermark, which helped the company in branding via and amongst its own employees! The app also hosted regular polls asking its employees of suggestions and inputs regarding their culture. Hence, the app not only ensured run-of-the-mill HR tasks, but had superlative long-term benefits as well.

“Now, while technology has found several use cases in HR, aspects like company culture will always require a human touch”, Mr. Das said, “striking out a balance between automation and touch”. A brilliant orator, Mr. Das articulated and presented his points in a manner that was easily understood by the fresh batch of HR students. The highly interactive session concluded with students lending him a round of enthusiastic applause for the sheer knowledge he had bestowed upon the batch.

About Microland:

Microland accelerates the Digital Transformation journey for global enterprises – across Private and Public Sector, enabling them to deliver high-value business outcomes to their customers. Headquartered in Bangalore, India, Microland has more than 3,800 professionals across its offices in Australia, Europe, India, Middle East and North America. Microland enables global enterprises to become more agile and innovative by integration of emerging technologies and the application of automation, analytics and predictive intelligence to their business processes.

Disha 2018: Closing Ceremony


The very eventful 6 days of DISHA 2018 came to end on 1st September 2018. The closing ceremony began with an address to the judges and audience, with the speaker thanking them for their time and inputs. Post that, TAPMI’s Director Professor Madhu Veeraraghavan was called on stage to give our prizes to all the winners of various competitions held during Disha, like Embauche, We The People, Vrondi etc. He then went on to thank various guests, for their valuable time and expertise, the faculty and staff of TAPMI, and the students for actively participating in the conclave. He also spoke about meeting about 95 guests, out of which 66 came to TAPMI for the first time- post which he congratulated all the student bodies for executing the event so successfully.

Rohit Sharma, an alumnus of TAPMI, was also invited on stage to speak about his coming back to TAPMI. He emphasised on the rigour the institute instills in its students and how valuable the same is.

Lastly, Mr. Sohum Kumar, convener of Placement Committee, shared his vote of thanks with audience, thanking everyone who was directly or indirectly involved with the execution of the event.

The closing ceremony thus ended with a huge round of applause by the students.

Disha 2018: Day 6: Guest Lecture: ‘Agility in HR’ – Ms. Shweta Khanna, AVP HR at eClerx


On 1st September 2018, Ms. Shweta Khanna delivered a highly interactive lecture on the concept of agility in HR, as part of the final day of Disha 2018. Stressing her love for the HR domain, she began by discussing how HR is an immensely rewarding career choice for those who wish to create a positive environment for the workforce. Ensuring that the employee is heard and understood is an important part of the job, and therefore, she underscored, it was essential for HR professionals to practice effective listening.

Moving on to the central theme of her lecture, she asked the students to explain their understanding of the word “agile”. “Swiftness”, “adaptability” and “speed” were some of the responses that the audience collectively agreed on, based on which she further built on the concept. “So, is agility a methodology or a process?”, she probed. “Neither”, she continued, stating that it should rather be understood as a mindset that enables one to be flexible and adaptive to various situations. Imbibing such a mindset would enable businesses to rapidly adapt and respond to a rapidly changing and turbulent environment.

She then linked the concept of agility to HR and spoke about how organizations need to attract, recruit and retain talent who are agile, nimble and adaptive. In talent acquisition, for instance, she explained how recruiters are leveraging the power of digital tools, including social media, to build a talent pool and search for potential candidates. The drawbacks of current performance management systems can also be overcome using agile concepts. While traditional methods were characterized by rigid goals and annual reviews, the newer, agile systems focus on frequent feedback provided at regular intervals of time and more flexible goals. This results in a more continuous and comprehensive appraisal system, she continued. She illustrated the use of agile processes in Learning and Development, through digital learning platforms that can help employees learn at their own pace, and track their progress in real-time. Agility also has implications for employee engagement, she stated; creating a positive employee experience would help the organization keep its people motivated and engaged.

She then opened the floor for discussion and answered student queries on the various business implications of agility, while considering factors such as cultural resistance to change, the rapidly changing environment and so on. The session ended with thunderous applause, as Ms. Khanna encouraged the students to embrace agile traits to stay ahead in today’s VUCA world.

DISHA 2018: Day 5: Panel Discussion on ‘Driving business advantage with Digital Transformation’


On 31st August 2018, Mr. Rakesh Singh (Senior Practise Manager ERP, Inspirage), Mr. Rushmeet Arora (AVP, Marketing), Mr. Amit Roy (Director, Fin Guy, PwC), Mr. Ashish Gupta (Regional Logistics Manager, Shell India Markets Pvt Ltd) graced the student moderated Panel Discussion with the theme, “Driving business advantage with Digital Transformation”, held as part of Disha 2018.

Mr Rakesh Singh started the discussion by pointing out that ‘Digitalisation’ implied the advent of generation of enormous data with every transaction. People are generating a footprint, leaving behind a signature with every web activity, transaction and clickstream. He observed, that previously companies were unaware of their customer’s tastes and preferences and thus they conducted market research. However, now companies have access to an unprecedented amount of data generated by customers and can come up with algorithms, patterns, that that can be used to herald a new future for the economy. On a final note, Mr Singh urged the students to form strong networks amongst themselves, to continue to innovate and think of out of the box ideas. He advised the students to keep their minds open to learning and only then, he said, the world can be conquered.

Mr Rushmeet Arora talked about how digital transformation is the need of the hour for all organisations- it necessitates transformation for all their processes. He stated that many companies like Uber and PayTm have already achieved the same, and managed to make their processes customer-centric. When asked about digitalisation with respect to social media marketing for companies, Mr Arora cited the example of his own company. When AVIVA realised that customers were facing a problem in understanding different term plans, insurance terminology and comparing different policies, they set up E-KYC systems and chatbots to help them. He insisted that companies have to be present socially and digitally. They need to be aware of what kind of solutions customers want, in order to stay ahead of the game and be successful.

Mr Amit Roy started off the panel discussion with an anecdote about his experience with a shopkeeper asking him for his Aadhar number after he purchased some goods. Using a biometric instrument, the shopkeeper took the fingerprint of Mr Roy and upon entering the Aadhar number the machine automatically debited the amount for the goods purchased by him. This experience made him realize the potential of Digital India. Mr Roy also spoke about the difficulties the companies face while changing to digital. To elaborate on companies using digital as a medium, he gave the example of Smule, a music app on how they conduct their business.  Answering an audience question on data security and data privacy, Mr Roy emphasized the importance of regulations to maintain the security of data. He also put the onus on the individuals too to keep their data secure.  Mr Roy said that it is the best time to be in the industry as the investment is on ideas and not just experience. If one has the right ideas, experience doesn’t matter as people aged less than 30 are becoming CEOs of start-ups.

Mr Ashish Gupta spoke about how the Operations team in an organization should drive the change in the business. There are a lot of systems that needed to be changed on the back end in order to produce this change. He also spoke about the important skills like IoT and Blockchain one ought to learn and implement, in order to sustain the business.  Answering an audience question on data security and data privacy, Mr Gupta said that despite all the concerns of data privacy, measures are being taken place to ensure a seamless and secure experience to the end customers. Mr Gupta also spoke about his own sector and how his organization works. Once the customer places a request, the algorithms running at the back end gives an estimated delivery of the product to the customer. The organization is thus saving a lot of cash by optimizing the supply chain through the use of technology. The flow of information is driving the legs of the organization.

Disha 2018: Day 3: Guest Lecture: ‘Investment in human capital: Talent Management’ by Mr. Anindya Kumar Shee, VP and Global Head- Organization Development, Cipla

On 26th August 2018, Mr. Anindya Kumar Shee, VP and Global Head – Organisational Development, Cipla delivered an informative lecture to students on a contemporary HR topic, ‘Investment in human capital: Talent management. Mr. Shee spoke about the transformation of Learning and Development Process through the lens of technical and behavioural learning and also covered aspects of training, to give a holistic view on how to grow and develop talent within the organisation.


Mr. Shee commenced the lecture by classifying training into three broader categories namely: Checkmark training, Technical training and Leadership training, while he also emphasizing on the role of each in the overall development of an employee within an organisation. Beginning with Checkmark training, Mr.Shee spoke about vocational training centres prevalent in many organisation premises that are used to give a primary, short-term training to the employees. Further, he spoke about Technical training, which has a great importance in sectors where there is significant skill gap between fresh graduates and the needs of the industry. He also quoted examples of few Corporate Universities incorporated by larger organisations to facilitate technical training. The third category that Mr. Shee talked about was Leadership training which includes a cohesive four-level transition programme, highlighting the progress trajectory of an employee within an organisation.


Towards the end of the session, Mr. Shee explained in detail the Model of Adult Learning that can be easily understood by a simple ratio of 70:20:10 where, as Sir explained, 70% of the learning happens on the job, 20% happens through projects/mentoring, while only 10% happens in the classroom. Mr.Shee concluded the session by emphasizing the importance of training methods that include practical learning or “learning by doing” which in Mr. Shee’s point of view, contributes significantly to the growth and development of an employee in the organisation.

DISHA 2018: Day 2: Guest Lecture: “4 generations, 1 culture” by Mr. Sumit Neogi, VP HR, Reliance Industries Limited

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It’s all about success of your team and its members afterall. No matter what generation you come from.” – Mr. Sumit Neogi, VP HR, Reliance Industries Limited

The students of TAPMI had the chance to attend a guest lecture delivered by Mr. Sumit Neogi on the theme of ‘4 generations, 1 culture’. The session started with defining 4 different generations we can witness presently in an organisation- the Silents, the Baby Boomers, the Xers and the Millenials. Different generations have different expectations from an organisation, and they also have different priorities and approaches when it comes to achieving their organisational goals. “For example,” Mr. Neogi said, “in older organisations, the senior people drive the culture. For some, being on first name basis and having a proactive discussion is alright, but for some, they don’t like being on first name basis with someone younger to them.”

So how does one change the organisational culture, in line with everyone?- one of the students asked, to which, Mr. Neogi suggested converting assumptions into value. He further added, anyone older is not necessarily senior.

Commenting on the three things in an organisation, he said, “basically, there are three things in an organisation- the artefacts (non-living things), the espoused values (mission and vision) and the assumptions. And the culture of an organisation revolves around trust, encouragement and celebrations.

“It’s all about success of your team and its members after all. No matter what generation you come from,” Mr. Neogi said.

Moving on to the questions and answers session, Mr. Neogi took all the questions the student had and answered them crisply, ending the session on a high note and a round of applause from the students.