Onimia -The Panel Discussion at DISHA 2013 : Insight into the discussions by Panel 2


Onimia, the official HR Panel Discussion event, was conducted at a bigger scale than before. HR mangers from companies spanning various sectors participated in 2 panel discussions. The discussion of the second panel centered around the topic – “Do technology driven HR Initiatives have a humanizing/dehumanizing effect on employees?” which was moderated by Prof Col. James P.S. The panel consisted of some eminent speakers who presented their viewpoints on the topic.

Micheal Fernandes – Delivery Head (India), Practice Leader (Talent Management) and Director (Middle East & Africa) for People Business, stated that “ A car will take you where you want to go, but the question is, where do you want to go?”. He rightly said that technology can have a positive or negative, humanizing or dehumanizing effect, depending on how it is used and the objective or motive with which an organization employs it. He expressed that 40 years back, not many questioned if Graham Bells’ invention of the telephone would have a dehumanizing effect, because it was meant to connect and inform people. In the same way, if technology is used in the present times to help people interact in ways that will add and not subtract values, that would help people express their individuality and nurture the human spirit and freedom, then it can definitely have a positive effect.  Mr. Fernandes said that a ‘swipe card culture’ should not offend anyone if they show up at office to do an honest day’s job. He concluded by stating that technology driven initiatives should be made user friendly in order to aide all levels of an organization.

Mr. Naresh Kumar Pinisetti – Director (People& Culture), Vestas Wind Technology India, stated how in his experience, ‘country culture’ matters. The same ’ticketing system’ initiative was received differently by employees in Australia and by those in India. HR Managers in Vestas Wind Technology later realized that people abroad are more task centric where as Indians are more relationship centric.
He went on to explain how different departments within the same organization can also have different technology initiatives depending on their individual department culture. He mentioned that in place of a formal induction ceremony, their organization allows new employees to play around on an e-learning software so that they can learn more about the company in a technology friendly manner and also how under the ‘High Potential Talent Management Program’, a page has been developed in the company intranet that enables youngsters to network better .  Mr. Pinisetti finally stated that technology is here to stay and we cannot do away with it, the effect it has depends on how we choose to use it.

Ms. Pallavi Gupte, Head HR, Dun and Bradstreet, started with the limitations that an HR faces before implementing new technology in an organization; the main one being ‘cost efficiency’. Ms. Gupte explained that the management looks onto the cost aspect before any technology initiative is undertaken with less regard to the HR’s intention of bringing a new perspective to the organization. She gave an example from her own organization where they tried to put all talent assessment processes for the employees online for the convenience of the managers. She concluded with the note that technology’s impact depends on its effectiveness and that “objective defines success.”

Ms. Dola Mukherjee – Head of Human Resources, Syngene International, started off with questions such as what is dehumanizing in HR, what each individual needs to contribute to the organization, what is HR and what do they do. She explained that an HR department is responsible for operation of an organization, measurement of profitability, identification of expectations of new employees and how can the company fulfill them, achievement of customization so as to gain revenue, profitability and benefit of the organization as a whole. Ms. Dola felt that this favored dehumanization but stated that dehumanization comes into effect from genesis only, and that it is the need of the industry today.


Onimia -The Panel Discussion at DISHA’2013 : Insight into the discussions by Panel 1


Onimia, the official HR Panel Discussion event, kick-started with a discussion on the topic ‘Does HR Analytics holds the key to the Future of People Management’. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Sidharath Tuli, who provided a brief description on the topic. He spoke about the diverse backgrounds the panelists come from like Consumer durables, Heavy Vehicles, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals and Academics. He stated that the diversity of the panelists would help to have a holistic discussion. The panelists provided various perspectives on the matter.

Mr. Sidharath Tuli, Head of HR, Larsen and Toubro Hydrocarbons, spoke about some simple examples about how HR analytics are used in people management. He spoke about the contentious Bell Curve that is widely used as an industry tool for performance measurement. He also spoke about the pros and cons of this kind of performance measurement and the role of feedback in helping better alignment of organisational and individual goals. He pointed out the importance of direct and timely feedback supported with appropriate and reliable data provided through analytics.


Mr. Bijender Vats, Associate Director – HR, Merck, Sharpe and Dohme (MSD), an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, spoke about the role of HR analytics in the pharmaceutical industry. He threw light on how HR departments have evolved from just an administration unit to a business support system. He pointed out how analytics has helped not only to rope in better talent, but also to retain it in the long run. Analytics has helped organisations to better identify the talent pool and substantiated it with examples from MSD.


Dr. (Col.) P. S. James, Area Chair – HR, TAPMI provided an academic view towards the topic under discussion. He spoke from his extensive experience in the Indian Army and how analytics helped in better recruitment of cadets and minimize single community representation in regiments. He pointed out the looking for patterns in data provides a clearer picture of the people and their performance. He pulled attention towards the fact on how analytics can help in predicting performance and how this adds an extra facet to the benefits of analytics in HR.


Mr Raj Narayan, Senior VP and Chief of HR at Titan Industries spoke on why incorporating HR analytics is  important and what are some of the challenges managers face while incorporating analytics in HR related activities. Mr Narayan believes that whatever can be measured can be valued. Hence it is necessary to integrate analytics with HR related activities because it tries to make a subjective or fuzzy element, more specific and measurable. Some of the main challenges which managers face is ability to understand data. Empowering managers with information is critical and a major challenge for organisations. Mr Narayan also pointed about being cautious while making use of data as managers get caught up with numbers. He also explained the importance of using analytics wisely.


Mr Marulasidda MC,Director-HR, Scania spoke on how HR has grown from being just a facilitator into a business partner. Hence the need to understand and measure quality of parameters like performance have increased. He explained how the scope of HR analytics is increasing in this field. He also explained the need to customize and tailor the avenues through which we use data, which depends upon organisations and their strategy.

Disha 2011

‘DISHA’ – which means ‘direction’ in Sanskrit, stands apt for the one of the major events – the HR conclave at TAPMI where industry experience meets academic rigour. DISHA which began in 2009 has been able to capture the interests of students and the industry too this year. DISHA, a two-day event, is being held on September 10th and 11th. The theme of DISHA 2011 is “Organisation of the future”. It is a leap from last year, with the event coming up with insights which proved useful for management students and for the corporate world alike to handle complex situations facing the ever dynamic field of Human Resource Management.

The event was graced by the presence of eminent HR heads of major companies – Mr. K.J.A. Swaroop (General Manager, ITC paperboards and Speciality Papers Division), Mr. Narsimha Prasad from Singapore (Program Manager and Head of People Technology and Operations in JAPAC, Google), Mr. Jacob Jacob (Chief People Officer, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd.), Mr. K. Subramanian (Vice President, Ma Foi Randstad), Mr. Girinarayanan G. (Director, HR, GE Energy), Mr. Anand Rego from Australia (Global Head of Recruitment Marketing, ANZ) and Mr. Benny Augustine (HR Head, Unisys). On day 2, Mr. Mayur Chaturvedi (General Manager Compensation & Benefits , Pepsico India ), Mr. Glenn Brass (founder and principal advisor ,People’s Pulse), and Mr. Venkata Narayanan (Executive VP, HR, Rane Holdings) and Mr. Shivakumar from Ramco would be addressing the students.

The conclave started with the ceremonious lighting of the lamp. Prof. Vasudev Rao, Director of TAPMI welcomed the guests, introducing them to TAPMI and its different achievements. He also emphasized on how the industry exposure would help the aspiring minds meet the inspiring minds.

Prof P.S. James, Senior HR faculty at TAPMI spoke on the theme of the HR-Conclave 2011. He insisted that there is a need for strategic interface and we do not have the manpower of the required nature in the industry. It is because of this that business schools in India find it difficult to create new talents, and hence, emphasized on the fact that B-schools are focussing on interacting with the industry as many times as possible. In this context, he called DISHA a direction setting exercise.

Day 2 began with a lot of events simultaneously held at different venues. The major events of the day were – “Expositus” the inter b-school case analysis contest, “Sophos”, the guest lectures by the eminent leaders of the companies and “Vrondi”, the mock press event.


In Expositus, the participants were required to take up a case of any organization which has taken major initiatives to design or redesign itself within the previous 5 years and to analyze the impact of the same. The final presentation by the teams was judged by a panel of distinguished guests from the industry including Mr. K. Subramaniam from Ma Foi Randstad, Mr. Girinarayan G. from Lineage Power India and Mr. Benny Augustine from Unisys.

Students from IIT Delhi, Thiagarajar School of Management, Madurai, Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, SIIB and SIBM Bangalore took part in the contest. The teams presented an external and internal analysis of the selected company, what initiatives the companies had taken in order to address their inadequacies. They were also given the chance of putting across their recommendations for the same.


‘Sophos’ was aimed at giving students as well as the faculty an opportunity to know the perspective of the industry in the current scenario. In this context, the dignitaries spoke on various topics held concurrently at different classrooms.


This was an inter B-school Mock Press event, which involved the industry guests, the faculty members as well as the students. Students from prestigious colleges like IIT Delhi, SIIB, SIBM – Bangalore, Thiagarajar School of Management and Welingkar School of Management took part in the competition. Each team was given a different case and was to act accordingly.


The Valedictory function was held on the evening of 11th September. The HR Forum at TAPMI thanked all the dignitaries who had flown down to TAPMI and interacted with the students.

DISHA’10 Opening Ceremony

‘DISHA’ – which means ‘direction’ in Sanskrit, stands apt for the one of the major events – the HR conclave at TAPMI where industry experience meets academic rigour. DISHA which began in 2009 has been able to capture the interests of students and the industry even this year. The theme of DISHA 2010 was “Human Resource Management – Recession and Beyond”.  It was a leap from last year, with the event coming up with insights which proved useful for management students and for the corporate world alike to handle complex situations facing the ever dynamic field of Human Resource Management.

The event was graced by the presence of eminent HR heads of major companies – Mr. Ajaybir Bakshi, HR Head of Prudential Process Management Services, Mr. GVRK Raju, HR (South) from Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd­, Mr. Mukund Menon, Vice President, Human Resource, Mahindra Satyam, Mr. Hari AP, Talent Engagement Head at Aircel to name a few. The conclave started with the ceremonious lighting of the lamp. Prof. Vijaya, senior HR faculty of TAPMI spoke on the theme of the HR-Conclave 2010. She said that in the growing global economy, there is a need to move from good to great and that the economic downturn has made companies rethink its strategies. Also, employee retention has become very important. She spoke how organizational citizenship behaviour and organizational development are inter-related and one leads to other.

The inauguration ceremony was followed by SOPHOS – interaction sessions and other events like VRONDI – Mock Press, EXPOSITUS – Paper Presentations, ONIMIA – Panel Discussion among industry guests, faculty and students ,  which held audiences’ interest till the end.