Guest Lecture Session by Mr. Sunil Naik, Talent Head, DHL Logistics

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On July 4, 2015 Tapmi got the privilege to have a one-to-one interaction with Mr. Sunil Naik, Talent Head, DHL Logistics. Mr. Naik’s relationship with Tapmi dates back to more than a decade.

A person of very high academics, he is an MBA from Cochin University, a PG diploma holder in Sales and Marketing from IIM-K and a PG Diploma holder in HR from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has a vast industry experience in various corporate domains and has worked in the past with Exxon Mobil, More and Fortis Healthcare.

Mr. Naik, who began his talk by thanking the placement committee at Tapmi, whose warmhearted hospitality had made him feel delighted, talked in detail about DHL Logistics, and about the nitty-gritties of this industry.

DHL Logistics is a part of the DP DHL group, which started off in US in the year 1969 and is currently owned by the Deutsche Post group based out of Bonn, Germany. It’s a €56 billion company with an EBIT of €2.97 billion. The two major divisions of the company are: DP, which handles the post and DHL, which handles the logistics.

The occupation of transportation of goods & services was existent even in the ancient era. However, in the modern world, it began to emerge as an industry during the period of the two World Wars. At that time, sea was the prominent mode of transportation. The number of ports were limited and the cargos were assigned a stipulated time, exceeding which, they were penalized in the form of demurrage. It was then, that some sound minds of the industry thought of sending some of their workers by air, who would take care of the lengthy documentation procedures regarding the goods well on time and the ship owners would avoid penalty.

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Over the years, the logistic business has undergone numerous changes and it has become essential for every player in the industry to develop a USP for his services. In case of DHL, the USP is reliability. When people send their important and/or confidential documents, they trust DHL. When students send their admission papers to universities abroad, they use DHL.

“There is a similarity between us and the Soccer team of Germany. We as Germans are highly process driven; be it soccer or handling the logistics”, Mr. Naik remarked. Annually, DHL ships around 2.9 million TEU of containers and 4.4 million tons of air freight. With an employee base of 4.80 thousand, DHL is present in 220 countries. “From ‘cornea’ to Formula 1 cars, we deliver everything”.

DHL handles warehousing and/or supply chain for companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal. Every mobile phone that we buy in India is shipped, majorly from China by DHL. Soon, it’s going to be the only company to handle the distribution for Coke. By and large, DHL ships over 119 million shipments every year- unbelievable! It also has a 24×7 customer logistic center and two major gateways at Delhi and Bangalore.

When it comes to innovation & technology, DHL is the front runner. Like drones, it has something called ‘Packet-copters’, which are used for delivery purposes abroad. This technology though is yet to make its mark in India. DHL also has RFIDs installed, to locate and place containers near the ports.

Talking about the major concerns of the logistics industry, Mr. Naik felt that data security is a critical issue. He added that innovations like Google’s Dropboxes (in Europe) and 3-D printing technology, have become appeared as rivals to this industry in some form or the other.

Towards the end of his session, Mr. Naik discussed some key things, which as a growing management professional, every person should keep in mind. He asked students to choose to be a ‘specialist’ in one domain, rather than being the jack of all trades. He also suggested them to be agile and ready to quickly learn and unlearn things. But the most interesting point that he made was to ‘be creative’. “Once you enter the industry, the application of the left side of your brain becomes minimal. It is your ‘right brain’ that takes you to your success curve. So, don’t be hesitant to be creative- develop a hobby and hone it, and be prepared to take calculated risks in life (don’t be suicidal though).

Guest Lecture Session by Mr. Sandip Grover, President and Group Head HR & CSR, Welspun Group

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As part of the ongoing expert talk series at TAPMI, the college once more opened its arms to another distinguished personality – Mr. Sandip Grover, President and Group Head HR & CSR at Welspun Group. Mr. Grover is a master practitioner in the Human Resources field with a teacher’s heart. He started the lecture by asking all students present how they were feeling and why. Instead of a dull lecture on HR practices, the students received a friendly interactive and extremely interesting session on developing one’s attitude. It is after all rare for a corporate leader to shift away from business lessons and focus on the importance of a student’s personal development and happiness.

He spoke how in today’s environment, a person’s emotional quotient was given more importance than his intelligence when it comes to recruitment or job responsibilities. He also dedicated a part of the lecture speaking on the Welspun Group and its transformation into a leading industry giant over the years.

However most of his talk was based on helping one change for the better. He advised the students on the importance of having a right attitude and peace of mind when it comes to work. He expressed seven steps to having a good attitude and positive outlook in life which were truly relevant and the morale was helped by motivational videos shown by him. Overall his guest lecture was widely appreciated by the students and I am sure there would be many more opportunities for him to inspire coming generations of managers.

Guest Lecture Session by Mr. Siddharthan Muthuraj , VP – HR Jubilant Retail

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Mr. Siddharthan Muthuraj , VP – HR Jubilant Retail involved in an interactive session with the students sharing his experiences and his success mantra in the Retail industry. He encouraged students to ask questions and clarify doubts which were an enriching experience for all the students.

The speaker asked the students about what was the basic objective of students doing MBA. He stressed on the point that growth and money are something that will follow as you work with passion; it doesn’t have to be your primary aim. He illustrated how a 12th graduate could do better in his company than a person in MBA; He invited opinions from students to explore the probable reasons which would have made that possible.

He explained the irony in the situation that people examine all features of phone before buying it but rarely ever evaluate their individual competencies while choosing their goals. The speaker inspired the students to write down their strength and weakness to polish themselves in line with their competencies. He elaborated on how the hunger for learning and applying the concepts studied in MBA helps to succeed in the long run.

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In the opinion of speaker, every individual can be a specialist only till a point in time beyond which he has to become a generalist to propel success. He explained that over a period of time, every individual should try to collaborate with the views of other departments. For example, HR also requires marketing skills as you have to build marketing strategy to let the employees accept the policy and welfare activities in the organization.

Later in the session, he brought in a whole new perspective by saying that managers needn’t have all the technical knowledge of the domain but should have a basic technical knowledge to ask the right questions. He concluded the insightful guest lecture by delving on the importance of  how discipline and flexibility to adapt are the key point to become a good manager in corporate world.

Onimia Panel Discussion 1 – Disha 2014, The Annual HR Conclave of TAPMI, Manipal

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Topic: “The Talent Race in Emerging Economies- Will India Win?”

Disha 2014 started off with a bang with its first panel discussion “Onimia”, where six industry stalwarts collaborated to give their perspectives on the topic – Will India win the talent race in emerging economies? The question here as they put it was not “Will India win” but rather “How India will win?”  The discussion revolved around how to bridge the skill gap in India. The esteemed guests gave us knowledgeable insights into the working of corporate recruitment and the talent needs of the Industry. The lively discussion was moderated by Mr. Sridhar Krishnamurthy of Kelsa Solutions.

Mr. Sridhar Krishnamurthy, Co-Founder and Director, Kelsa Solutions: Mr. Sridhar opened the discussion by taking up the 5 C’s of talent risk that India is currently facing. They are mainly Capacity risk, Capability risk, Cost risk, Connection risk and Compliance risk. He felt that in order to overcome this barrier, we as a nation need to take advantage of opportunities such as planning education to suit the needs of the business scenario, adopting different organizational practices and by exploring new work models.

Dr. Asit Mohapatra, Director HR, Raymond: He joined the panel discussion by using his rich practical experiences to classify critical gaps that have been created in the Indian talent base. They are Strategic criticality- We live in a VUCA (Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous) world that is filled with complexity. Hiring and retaining the people who matter is a huge challenge. Functional criticality – Foundations of companies are built by talented engineers. At this time ,there is a shortage of talented engineers in India .It is difficult to harness this base of engineers as they would want to climb the corporate ladder in the shortest time and become managers. Scholarships and recognition should be provided to the engineers as incentives to overcome this shortage. Leadership Criticality – Presently, a CEO’s corporate lifespan has been reduced substantially. Managers generally come from a marketing or financial background. The managers predominantly develop their niche skillset. They find it difficult to develop people management skills.

Ms. Ruth Singh, Head HR, Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd: Ms Singh eloquently quoted that India has a challenging journey ahead in terms of talent acquisition since the core competencies and capabilities are lacking. Being from the fast paced world of Finance, she stressed the importance of skill development as only highly trained professionals are able to compete in the finance job market. She said that passion for the job is a very important criteria to be kept in mind as this talent gap can be bridged only when we choose careers according to where our heart lies.

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Mr Rajat Jain, Managing Director, Xerox: Mr. Jain spoke that with the strong rise of emerging economies in the last decade, there is now a need to manage the talent supply chain. Every step in that chain – from employer branding, value proposition, recruitment, employee development to employee retention – needs to be carefully taken care of. The Indian diaspora has achieved significant success in the global platform in the last few years with a growing tribe of Indian executives heading foreign corporate giants. This shows that there is immense potential in the Indian workforce which only needs to be tapped.

Ms.  Sarojani Gaikwad, Director, People Business: Ms. Gaikwad was of the opinion that a lot of work goes in the talent assessment and leadership development of people and it is the organizations which need to take proactive measures to solve this. Employees should be able to manage and be resilient to changes and expand his risk taking abilities. People should move out of their comfort zones. There also needs to be agility in their thinking and execution and last but not the least people should have collaborative team building skills to be able to operate as a system. All this skill instillation means that the company has to invest in its people.

Mr. Clive Michael VanBuerle, Vice-President HR, ISGN: Mr. Clive successfully hooked the audience with his stirring statement that in India there is not a lack of capacity but of capability. There are three primary capabilities which are lacking. They are situational fluency, adaptability and dealing with the gap between the aspirations and patience of the people.  Hence there are a lot of people with adequate skillsets but no passion for the job and there are a lot of people with passion but no competency in their field.

At the end, every speaker reiterated that individuals need to be inquisitive, aware and be open to all choices in life. One should have clarity as to where ones interests lie and look for a career that best suits them. An important takeaway by the guests was that students should choose organizations which promote learning in a person rather than on the basis of a high pay package. It ended on a positive note with high hopes of the Indian talent pool collaborating together for a bright future to win the Talent race.

Guest Lecture by Mr. Krishnamurthi, Group Head-Human Resources at Titan Company Ltd

 

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Mr. Krishnamurthi, Group Head-Human Resources at Titan Company Ltd, gave a very informative guest lecture to TAPMI PGP-2 students on Friday, 11th July, 2014 on the Performance Management System at Titan. Mr. Krishnamurthi is a seasoned professional having served multiple organizations in multiple capacities. He has close to two decades of experience in handling the HR function in different industries such as Manufacturing, hospitality, telecom, pharmaceuticals and retail.

He started by giving a brief overview of Titan which has three businesses viz watches, Jewelry and eye-wear. With workforce of 4000, Titan is the world’s 5th largest watch manufacturer and works on precision engineering. It has currently 65% market share in organized watch market.

Explaining about performance management on employee communication perspective, he raised a pertinent question if, the performance management is a good thing or a bad thing. The appraisal system helps in evaluating a person and serves as an input to the succession planning. It identifies and classifies the employees into three categories viz, high performers, mediocre performers and low performers. He answered the same by emphasizing that the performance management tool used by Titan for its employees is more of a development tool than a classification tool as it aims to create less of comparison and more development. It identifies the aspects and helps the person to grow as there are enough and more opportunities for individuals. A mechanism of self-appraisal is also followed which requires detailed explanation in words by the individuals regarding achieving his KRA (key result areas) and CSFs(Critical success factors).

The performance plan at Titan follows a pyramid structure with organization objectives defined first, which are broken down into functional objectives, which are further broken down into individual objectives. These individual objectives are broken down into key result areas (KRA) which forms basis of Mid Term review and finally Final review.

He also talked about the Tata leadership practices which consist of three main clusters viz people, results and business. These practices have fourteen success factors, under each head. The success factors of people are focus on taking ownership, people development, interpersonal effectiveness, building effective teams and withstanding pressure. Those for results are drive for results, customer focus, timely decision making and innovation management. And for business the success factors are managing vision and purpose, strategic capability, dealing with ambiguity, business acumen and functional excellence.

The basis for measuring competency is the behavioral indicators. These indicators can be seen doing by a person and put on rating scale. The outcomes of performance management system are that it is used to differentiate the performances through performance linked pay and the major factor considered for salary increase. It is also the means of giving feedback and course correction and prominently used as a development tool. It serves as the entry gate for talent pool of the company and lays foundation for career progression discussion.

Giving insights on potential appraisal process at Titan, he explained that for measuring potential the most commonly used indicator is performance. This is backed with the research data from CLC or Corporate Leadership Council which rates Performance having the highest component rating among various factors like past experience, IQ, performance, KSA and capabilities and enthusiasm and initiations undertaken. The performance appraisal process has three main clusters i.e. aspiration, ability and engagement.

Despite several advantages of performance appraisal system and the use for best intentions, several gaps existed in the Performance appraisal system used. The employees often treated it as a mechanical job for form-filling and setting individual KRAs was not given due importance. Also less time was spent in preparation and during appraisals and usually performance differentiation between team members was not well received. More weightage was given to recent events which often creates a halo effect. And often the employees would end up overrating themselves and even filled certain unpleasant comments post the Performance appraisal session.

Bringing to view the practices followed in Titan, Mr. Krishnamurthi shared that in order to rectify these gaps, Titan came up with a very innovative idea of PMS Branding, Tune In- Match your wavelength, with an appealing name and logo to connote with. This promotes conversations in friendly atmosphere and the communication plan for Tune In is Tune In Chronicle. Catchy mailers on contemporary topics, conveying the importance of PMS are sent during the four month long Performance appraisal period, consisting of mid- term reviews and final reviews. This generates huge interest among employees and there has been visible and significant jump in the two years. Also to convey the importance of Tune-in and to push it to be taken seriously, entertaining, funny short videos with the important message emphasizing significance of PMS are shared among employees and elevator posters are put up. Some of the videos’ messages are: Tune in to your colleague’s feeling, What is recorded in Tune-in is recorded forever and Tune-in is about facing reality.

Also post-appraisal, Best Boss Contest is organized which evaluates managers with focus on reinforcement of role clarity, providing development inputs, and communications. These improved measures and engagement with employees has resulted in jump in scores on robustness of KRA settings. Mr. Krishnamurthi concluded the insightful guest lecture by taking a deluge of questions of students and clearing their doubts by giving numerous examples with each explanation.