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Post Event

The HR continuum saw a diversified set of speakers speaking on a plethora of topics ranging from effective human resource management to deal with external competition to diversity management for managing global workforce and managing internal competition among workforce. The session drew participation from a mixed bag of speakers belonging to manufacturing, technical and service sector industries. The HR continuum provided a unique platform for the students of SJMSOM to interact with the industry stalwarts and get acquainted with the current best practices and areas of concern in the field of human resource management in India.

The first speaker of the day Mr. Sreekanth, VP-HR Britannia gave his insights on ‘Gaining competitive advantage in effective human resource management’. He shared his experiences in different industries where the role of HR is perceived differently. According to him, the 3 major stakeholders in HR are – business, employee and business partner. He opined that many companies go out of business because of not being able to build a culture. HR should comprise asset building, continuous learning, and career progression of employees by building an agile platform rather than a rigid one which will be more efficient in facing the challenges like natural disasters and economic downturns.  HR can be a strategic partner by creating innovative HR practices and doing active experimentation. He also talked about the 3 pillars of HR Strategy – Strategy, Organizational Capability and Operations Plan and went on to explain the importance of talent management to a business. He also took examples of the factors contributing to the success of three types of organizations – constructive, passive and defensive or aggressive HR practices.

The second speaker, Mr. KS Kumar, Vice President HR, Castrol India addressed the audience on the topic of “The role of HR in building strong employment brand”. He insisted that employer brand is not always the same as the corporate brand, so organizations should proactively work to make an employer brand to attract and retain talent. According to him, the focus of organization should be on Employee Value Proposition which defines the employee’s experience of the corporate brand and that it could differentiate an organization from its employee competitors. He opined that the employer brand should be owned by the business, role modeled by the HR and driven through the line. He also gave his valuable insights on how to create active candidates out of passive candidates which can give an organization a competitive edge.

The next speaker, Ms. Madhavi Lall, Regional head, India & South Africa Standard Chartered Bank, spoke on the topic “Role of HR in building strong employment brand”. She defined employer brand as what an employee thinks and experiences about an organization. She highlighted that ‘Employees are the brand ambassadors of a company’ and said that HR plays a vital role in providing the employees the right kind of experience through all the touch points right from recruitment to exit. She put forth the benefits of true employee branding as defining organizational structure to find the right employee fit, positive outcomes of recruitment, retaining talent. She also shared her insights on internal and external branding.

Panel Discussion on the topic “Strategies are encouraging Internal Competition – Constructive or Destructive” was scheduled next. The illustrious panel included Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, Head-HR, Birla Sun Life Asset Management company, Ms. Madhavi Lall, Regional Head – HR, India & South Asia, Standard Chartered, Mr. R. Sridhar, VP- HR. The event was moderated by Mr. Mathew Kuruvilla, Vice President, Talent & Development, Deutsche Bank AG. He structured the discussion around few questions like what system do we need to manage and maintain a good competition, how can HR influence and include the people’s view while building strategies, how do we educate leaders to provide the leadership etc. Mr. R. Sridhar discussed about the need for the competition to be calibrated. He said that HR should treat competition as a legitimate attribute to the organization. He discussed that there is a need of collaborating with competition in contemporary scenario. He emphasized that a mix of centralization (no competition) and decentralization (competition) can be used to flex the amount of competition. He discussed about the importance of competition in heterogeneous market. Moreover, he said that the organization should be ready with diverse plans to cater to uncertainty and volatility. Mr. Rajesh Srivastava discussed about the continuum of competition to collaboration in recent times. He also emphasized about the balance between competition and collaboration. He cited example of telecom sector companies collaborating and coming up with a tower setup company, banks collaborating and facilitating ATMs of all other banks. Ms. Madhavi Lall said that all organization wants to excel and succeed as there is something about winning. She also emphasized the importance of healthy competition. She also discussed about the pathological collaboration and the need to balance it out. When responding to a question regarding evaluating an individual against his/her past performances, Ms. Madhavi Lall said that it could challenge the non winners to work hard. In the end, the panel concluded that there is an increasing need for “Coopetition”, collaborating while competing against each other.

The post lunch session began with Mr. R. Sridhar, Vice President, HR, ITC. He spoke on “Role of Innovation in HR” and shared his views on the topic Innovation-Organization climate creation perspective. He defined the drivers of innovation climate and added that they vary across organization, industry and country. He said that in order to have an innovative climate, an organization should focus on clear cut goals and create a collaborative network amongst the employees. He strongly emphasized on creating an ambidextrous organization by creating ideas with conducting competitions amongst the younger employees and then going back to the traditional ways to implement those ideas effectively using the experiences of senior employees. According to him, short reward and recognition can kill innovation so the reward system should be designed taking larger picture into consideration. He said that the approaching problem in integrated manner and capabilities to manage and control change are some of the desired characteristics for fostering innovation in an organization.

Mr. Kamlesh Dangi, Chief People’s Officer of Religare, discussed about the creating HR impact, which includes identifying, attracting, managing, developing and recognizing talent. He also talked about building employee brand to attract the best talent and the value proposition offered to an employee in a relatively new firm like Religare. He also emphasized the importance of creating a culture in an organization by not only developing practices, but implementing them effectively. He touched upon the issue of high attrition, which could change the DNA of a company. He also introduced some of the practices followed in Religare to build strong employment brand like communicating discipline to people, credible recognition system, ESOP’s offered to the employee.

The last speaker for the day Mr. Anil Sharma, Head- learning and development, Essar Oil limited, spoke on diversity management. It was a highly interactive session in which the speaker expressed his opinion on using unconventional methods of teaching. He spoke on the vast diversity in India in terms of geography, religion, language and so on, and added that the diversity arising out of generation gap poses the maximum challenge. Diversity is an inclusive process of appreciating what individuals with different backgrounds bring to the organization. According to him, some of the major methods to address this challenge are to respect the individuality of a person, to celebrate differences and to stress on Collective achievement rather than on individual one.

Overall, the HR continuum provided the future managers of India with lot of thoughts to ponder upon and some practices and procedures to be imbibed in order to excel in their profession.

The Winners of the Pre-event HRiday are

1. XLers, XLRI School of Business & Human Resources, Jamshedpur (Winner)

2. Wiz Kids, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubhaneswar (Runner-up)

3. Bonkers 2, Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Indore (Second Runner-up)