A Tryst with the HR: NASSCOM HR Summit

Team OMLogic arrived at the ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, venue of NASSCOM HR Summit only to be left awestruck by its hospitality and grandness. Beautifully decorated and brilliantly crafted, the venue seemed drenched in the spirit of the summit. Entering through the shipyard gate, one could see the main stage in the form of a ship with the helm reserved for the speaker. The day started on a high note with some artists conducting a team building exercise with drums, giving all a glimpse of what HR managers could do to keep the spirits high in the organisation.

Moving on to the opening keynote, R. Chandrashekhar talked about the much needed reforms in the industry, the VUCA challenge, handling the millennials, managing tragedies and much more. Sessions moved quickly and some key insights unfolded with Mr. Nishant Rao from Freshdesk clearly stating that they don’t believe in having classical HR instead they have people’s operation.

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Nishant Rao on stage delivering some key insights

T.K. Srirang from ICICI Bank talked about the importance of employee happiness saying  that employees talking good about the company is considered more credible than the CEO talking about it. And this is something that we sincerely believe in and is the reason we provide our clients with an employee advocacy platform, efluencr to help brands and businesses convert their employees into brand evangelists.

Mr. Holger Mueller, Principal Analyst and VP, Constellation Research talked about the rising role of big data & analytics, virtual reality, automation and other upcoming trends in HR. He also mentioned the power of social media in recruitment processes and the need for HR to transform accordingly.

One of the focal points of discussions were the ‘Millennials’ or the ‘GenY’. The fast paced, tech-savvy youngsters who are technically much more empowered than any predecessor. And the speakers agreed that since the millennials have grown in the ‘VUKA’ world, they need to be treated differently and the policies should be in sync with their aspirations.

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Abhijit Bhaduri from Wipro addresses the key challenges of HR

Other than this the big question of ‘how much’ and ‘when’ to transform were answered by Mr. Krish Shankar saying, ‘We need to expose our employees to the outer world.’ Mr. Jerry Nine from Skillsoft confessed, ‘My office is my iPhone and my computer, that’s the big change we are facing.’ The panel debated about work from home policies, with some of them having a strong belief that it doesn’t help build the right kind of work culture for the organisation.

Other than the usual reforms that organisations need, a very key takeaway came as a disaster management lesson from the Maggi crisis. Lead by the Managing Director at Nestle, Mr. Suresh Narayanan, the session left all of us spellbound in its emotions and insights. The story of how Maggi lost the market share from 80% to 0% and then picked itself to bounce back to 60%+ in a matter of 5 months gave us goosebumps.The biggest lesson a brand can learn from the crisis was how important it is to instill the confidence in employees about the brand, how important it is for an employer to believe in ‘employee-first’. Most iconic thing about Narayanan was that he treated the tragedy as an opportunity. “It’s not important what happens to you, it’s important what you do after it happens to you”, he quoted. He shunned the idea of artificial intelligence and deployment of bots saying that a bot can never manage a crisis like these.

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Suresh Narayanan gets felicitated by the EmCee after his insightful session
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S.Y. Siddiqui in conversation with R. Chandraskhekhar

Mr. SY Siddiqui and Mr. Viren Prasad Shetty from Maruti Suzuki and Narayana Healthcare respectively gave some great insights on the role of HR in manufacturing and healthcare industry. They concluded that automation can only compliment manpower, it cannot replace it. Mr. Abhinav Agarwal, the AI whizkid, all of 25 years of age, talked about various AI solutions and how they can help improve HR. He shared that attrition are higher when the employees are working overtime and recognition is most important to make them stay.

The summit ended with a fun keynote from actor Boman Irani. Overall, the two-day power packed NASSCOM HR Summit left us with impressions and insights which will last for a very long time. The greatest learning which we inferred was, your employees make or break your organisation, so believe in their power and happiness.

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