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Changing Role Of HR

The 4th edition of the BW Businessworld HR Strategy Conclave found eminent personalities from the corporate world discuss the changing trends in HR

09 January, 2018 | by BW Online Bureau

It was a chilly day with continuous deliberations over hot topics in the human resource industry. On 21 December 2017, BW Businessworld organised the 4th edition of HR Strategy Conclave. The sole objective of the event was to address the changing role of HR in coming times and discuss the changing trends from salaries to strategies.

Organised at the Sangri-La Hotel, Delhi, the event was attended by top HR personnel and eminent speakers from across India.

As the organiser, BW Businessworld chairman and editor-in-chief Anurag Batra kick-started the event with a sovereign address “Human Resource is everything for entrepreneurs as people form the core and are the soul and spirit of an organisation. The role of HR is very crucial here as they deal with people and have to create a conducive environment for employees where they are taken care of. They need to concentrate on the total well-being of people in an organisation where they can be entrusted with a sense of ownership and can be inculcated with an entrepreneurial spirit to get the tasks at hand done efficiently within time”, he said.

Arjun Pratap, founder and CEO, EdGE Networks, inaugurated the event as a keynote speaker with a power packed speech, he stated, “We have to reimagine the workforce of tomorrow which is largely going to be technology driven. We need to understand that we are in a world where we need to improve the impact of people experience. Big data and AI is the future and the businesses need to start looking at this new world in a new light. Leaders need to strategise their businesses in a way that they build in a sense of entrepreneurial spirit in their workforce and transform them to be relevant in future. Hence, a smart workplace with a smarter workforce is the key.”

His speech was followed by four panel discussions that explored the possible modifications in HR world.

The first topic, ‘Strategies to rule year 2018’, saw participation from Richard Rekhy, former CEO, KPMG India; Y.V. Verma, former CEO, LG India; Manu N. Wadhwa, HR Head, Coca Cola; Ira Gupta, HR Head, Microsoft India; Alok Tripathi, Consulting Leader, TMS, India and South Asia IBM; Monika Agrawal, Head of Global Financial Services, Korn Ferry International, India; Ramesh Natarajan, Founder, LitmusWorld. The panel was moderated by BW People Editorial Head Himani Chandna.

During the session talking about the trends that are going to dominate the HR industry in the upcoming year, Richard Rekhy, Former CEO, KPMG India stated, “Technological tools like the AI and IOT will enhance the quality of work the HR managers are going to do. Owing to these disruptions, job requirements are becoming specific but, as good talent is always scarce, HRs need to become more agile and relevant to the organisation and be able to understand the use of technology. Hence, tech disruption is going to define the future of HR.”

In conclusion, Ira Gupta, HR Head, Microsoft India said, “We have to recognise the fact that we have a diverse workforce and the inclusion of every one is something we should utilise technology to address. Sometimes people prefer to learn on the job, hence, we need to focus on disposal technology, customised L&D which are a tipping point. But, as progress becomes more inclusive, the ability to take everyone along in that development journey is the need of the hour.”

Ashish Vidyarthi, a national award winning actor glued the audience with his speech on how, “brave calls will only happen when you’re not clear.”

The second panel was on  ‘People Analytics- The Growing use of data analytics & algorithms in HR strategy’. Emphasising on the role of analytics, Ankur Sethi, Founder & CEO, Corporate Shiksha said, “We are in the digital era where Data is the new oil. In that context Analytics is the engine that converts crude oil to useful fuel. We as companies need to look at how we are making strategic investments in Analytics to ensure our data/information can be leveraged into useful actionable insights. Companies that are proactive in building capabilities and culture for the digital age, will most likely be front runner in businesses of tomorrow.” Sunil Goel, MD, GlobalHunt shed some light, “Market has changed today, and so has demand. Technology has helped organisations capture the history of a candidate, manage that information and match it with that of an organisation’s requirements. The biggest challenge for HR professionals is recruiting the right people and data analytics has facilitated that decision making process and made it easy based on various benchmarks.” The other panel members were Gaurav Bakshi, co-founder and managing partner Strat-Board; Ketan Kapoor, CEO and Co-founder Mettl; Seema Ajwani, employee and labour relations leader, India at IBM, Neha Gupta, Partner, Boston Consultancy Group.

During the third panel discussion on ‘Decoding the future of workplace’, the attendees being Amitabh Akhauri,  CHRO of Jindal Stainless; Surabhi Mittal, HR Head at Lanxess; Chaitali Mukherjee, Partner- People and Organisation Practice PwC India; Shantanu Das, CHRO of Amway India; Abhimanyu Choudhary, vice president, sales at XOXO Day. It was moderated by Rituparna Chakraborty, Co-Founder TeamLease Services. ‘Change is the only permanent thing we have’. A common sentiment was echoed amongst the industry leaders as the market undergoes series of disruption, making the employers decode the future of their respective workplaces.

The fourth panel comprising, Pradyumna Pandey, vice president & head of human resources at JK Tyre & Industries, Anthony Joseph, HR Head, Hinduja Global Solutions; Ayan Mazumdar, director - rewards, emerging markets, Pearson; Priyank Parakh, HR Head, Shire India; Nidhi Bansal, Co-founder India City Walks; Anand Kumar, HR Head PharmEasy discussed ‘Keeping employees happy for organisational sustainability’. Pandey said, “Discipline is important in terms of job accountability, creating transparent processes, flexibility in utilising the policies and others.” He also mentioned how digitalisation is easing the flexibility to seep in. It was moderated by Partha Neog, CEO and Co-Founder Vantage Circle.

The last session was on, ‘Defining the role of Social Media in HR’. The discussion went around how HR Heads are reading into details of candidates and utilising social media to improve hiring and retaining culture of organisations. The members were, Prithvi Shergill, Former CHRO of HCL ; Partha Samai, senior VP & group head- HR at AGS Transact Technologies, Renu Bohra, HR head Schenker India; Lakshmi Murthy, HR head ITM, moderated by Sandeep Nagpal, director, LMI. The panel deliberation was followed with a session my motivational speaker Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari who relaxed each one present after a rigorous marathon of strategies discussed.

The chief guest, General J.J. Singh addressed the conclave with his words thereafter.

The event was wrapped up by a conversation with the special guest of the evening, Naveen Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Electric. When asked, between luck or hard work, what weighed more in defining a successful person, he replied, “I think it’s a combination of both”. “I believe it’s about doing the right thing at the right time that matters,” Munjal said.