IIM Jammu kickstarted the 5th chapter of the 3rd HR Conclave with Professor Rajni Ranjan’s welcome address followed by Professor Jabir Ali’s brief introduction of the present batches of IIM Jammu. Prof B.S. Sahay in his conclave address talked about the vision of IIM Jammu to develop leaders and entrepreneurs who can contribute globally and IIM Jammu’s mission to establish itself as one of the finest b-schools in the world.
The discussion in the first panel revolved around the topic – “Borderless Offices of Tomorrow”. Mr. Surya Rai, (Region HR Director- Singapore- Reckitt Benckiser), the keynote speaker for the session, started the discussion by raising some important questions in front of the panel like ‘What things have changed, How the companies are supposed to create new work arrangements and governance models and create high performing collaborative teams?’ He asked the other panel members to share with the students the key challenges that they faced along with the insights they got from these challenges.
Mr. Kaustav Chakravarthy, (Executive Director- Global HR Head- Johnson Controls- Hitachi Air Conditioning, Singapore) shared his views on how it has become difficult for employees to achieve their career as well as family goals at the same time. Overworking has become a problem and the importance of maintaining work-life balance by the companies. He shared his insights on how trusting employees motivates them to go a step ahead for the company.
Mr. Andrews Koshy, (Country Lead – Talent Acquisition- TCS- Singapore & South Korea), shared his thoughts on how COVID has led the tech transformation of the companies while highlighting the challenges of adapting to this change and developing a secure borderless workforce, and ensuring the well-being of the employees. At the same time, he talked about how the pandemic has opened up opportunities like never before, where talent has no geographical constraint and students can get opportunities to work in global companies, sitting in the comfort of their homes.
Mr. Sampatkumar B Aratt, (Head of HR APAC, LAPP Asia Pacific, Singapore), talked about the importance of clear communication, as being deprived of information can degrade employee productivity to a great extent. He talked about the rising diversity in the workforce and also mentioned the initiatives taken by his company for the training of employees and passing on the benefits of reduced infrastructure to the employees.
Mr. Arul Savio Pinto, (CHRO- DarkMatter LLC, UAE), highlighted the challenge of creating an office environment in people’s personal space, and how leaders need to train themselves to include all team members in the digital space. He reiterated the importance of informal meetings, discussions, and collaborations for engaging employees in the digital workplace.
Mr. Mohammed Haffejee, (Regional HR Head- Clariant, UAE), talked about the changes in the methods of talent acquisition and how organizations are making use of different tech tools to enhance the recruitment and selection process. He mentioned how talent sustainability has become a challenge and the need to promote knowledge creation among employees. Mental Wellbeing has become an important issue to address, and the companies must organize virtual get-togethers, and frequent informal interactions to take care of employee’s mental well-being.
Niharica Mehta, (Talent Management and OD- CBLD, Singapore), highlighted the problem of highly misaligned HR systems. She explained how aligning HR systems through competency frameworks would help companies convert job descriptions into interviews and interviews into performance. Talking about job redesigning she highlighted the importance of internal mobility and cross-skilling. She motivated students to inculcate habits of life-long learning, which would ultimately enable them to excel in the global competition.
Mr. Jaiprakash Singh Hasrajani, (Co-Founder & CEO, ValuerHR Singapore), added a different perspective to the discussion, mentioning how the pandemic has brought teams closer to each other, and technology has enabled people to know each other better. Technology is at the core of every business, today and we must make use of the tools to equip our employees to empower them to drive their productivity and make their lives better.
In the second international panel of HR Conclave 3.5, the discussion revolved around the topic “Gender, Ethnicity, and Nation: Modern workplace and employment relationships”. The keynote speaker for the second round was Mr. Prakul Kumar, Head HR- International Business, Dabur International Ltd.- Dubai, UAE. He started the discussion by explaining the need for diversity and inclusion (D&I) in a workplace and how if an organization wants to grow beyond boundaries, D&I is the key. He explained that diversity, be it in any form- gender, background, ethnicity, helps us gain perspective, brings innovation, and ultimately helps the organization to grow. After which he invited the other panelists to present their views.
Mr. Shybu Padmanabhan, CHRO- ETG Group, Dubai, UAE, talked about the multicultural environment in his organization and explained how an emphasis on diversity began with diversification was needed to manage different markets when companies went beyond geographical borders. After which, Mr. Samir Kaul, Senior Director – HR, STC Bahrain, put forward his views on what organizations should consider while hiring to ensure optimal D&I. And said that D&I is inevitable from the perspective of hiring talent, it is critical because it saves cost and time in terms of projects and go-to-marketing strategies.
Adding to the discussion, Mr. Brijendra Chaudhary, Manager HR- Terrazzo Dubai Co. LLC- Dubai, UAE, mentioned that there are mandates in the world about D&I but the mindset hasn’t changed, one should always be open to inclusivity, the diversity part comes from the organization. Earlier the organizational structures were such that they only encourage uniformity and exclusivity, but now workplaces are becoming more empathetic and DI is growing and organizations can attract growth only when they properly bring in D&I. Extending to which, Mr. Rashid Iqbal, Associate Manager- HR Technology & People Analytics- KPMG Saudi Arabia, exclaimed how his company is aggressively working in this direction and promoting diversity in its organizational structure.
Followed by this, Ms. Ify Iyadi, HR Manager- Tolaram Group, Nigeria, explained how unintentionally people tend to hurt the feelings of another person just because they are not aware of each other’s culture. She said that organizations should not limit the exposure of employees in terms of culture as it will limit the people from experiencing other people’s culture and can create problems in the organization.
The discussion was followed by a Q&A session where students raised questions before the panel and were given views by the panelists on the same. Lastly, a vote of thanks was extended to the panelists for taking out their valuable time and sharing their insights with the students of IIM Jammu.