Seminar talk by Mr. Srinath Gopalakrishna, VP & GM, IMS Division, WEP Solutions, India.
September 21, 2010
Seminar talk by Prof. Pankaj Chandra, Director, IIM Bangalore
November 16, 2010

Academicians, professionals and corporate leaders brainstormed on ways to transform the role of human resources and aid organizations gain and sustain competitive advantage at National HR Conclave 2010 organised by KIIT School of Management, a constituent of KIIT University, on 27th September 2010. The Conclave was inaugurated by Mr. Chandra Shekhar Verma, Chairman, SAIL and Mr. Saroj Chakraborty, CEO, Emami Foods in the presence of Prof. A S Kolaskar, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University and Prof. Ashok Sar, Dean, KIIT School of Management.

Invited speakers at the Conclave included corporate bigwigs like Mr. Aquil Busrai, CEO, Aquil Busrai Consulting; Mr. Dharamrajan, Head HR, L&T ECC; Mr. R. Rajnarayan, Director HR, Metro Cash & Carry; Mr. S. Ramesh Shankar, Director HR, ABB; Commodore D. K. Mohapatra, VP-Global L & D, Suzlon;  Mr. R. Sridhar, Executive VP, HR, ITC; Mr. Emmanuel David, Group HR Head, Ramky Group and Mr. N. K. Mohanty, Chief HR Officer, Manipal Group.

Theme of the Conclave, HR transformation by HR value proposition, is very important in the present scenario in India, Mr. Verma said. The HR plays a pivotal role in driving a company towards success and growth, he said. Mr. Verma appreciated Dr. Samanta’s initiatives in the fields of professional education and social service.

A company is about what its people are and human capital has emerged as a key source of competitive advantage, said Mr. Chakraborty. The role of HR function has metamorphosed from being a ‘Personnel Department’ to a ‘Human Resource’ function, he pointed out, while emphasizing that HR, like any other profit centre, has to justify the return on investment in its own department as well as in entire human capital of the organization.

Observing that value is defined by the receiver rather than the giver, Prof. Kolaskar said that HR needs to define its receivers and ways to create value for them in order to flourish as a profession. A function which creates more value gets more attention and resources, he opined. Prof. Kolaskar hoped that the deliberations would help establish a strong base for acquiring, shaping and disseminating knowledge on HR value proposition.

The Conclave had three sessions, besides the inaugural session and keynote address. The inaugural session focused on the need of HR professionals to appreciate external business realities, adapt HR practices and allocate HR resource accordingly. The first session discussed crafting HR practices, capturing people, performance, information and work. Other two sessions touched upon issues like building HR capabilities and ensuring HR professionalism.

The event generated much interest among HR executives, managers, teachers, consultants and officials, who participated in large numbers.


Summary of the Talks by the Eminent Invited Speakers

Session 1: Crafting HR practices Capturing People, Performance, Information and Work
Mr. Dharmarajan, Head HR, L&T ECC
Mr. S. Ramesh Shankar, Director HR, ABB
Mr. R.Sridhar, Executive VP-HR, ITC

Session 2: Building HR Capabilities, capturing HR strategy and Organization
Mr. Emmanuel David (Group Head – HR), Ramky Group
Mr. Aquil Basrai, Chief Executive Officer, Aquil Busrai Consulting, Gurgaon.
Session 3: Ensuring HR Professionalism capturing HR roles, competencies and development
Mr. D.K. Mohapatra, VP-Global Learning & Development, Suzlon
Mr. Raj Narain, Director-HR, Metro Cash & Carry


Mr. Dharmarajan, Head HR, L&T ECC

The first speaker on the topic, Mr. Dharmarajan, Head HR, L&T ECC started with the topic giving an insight of HR as a Strategy developer and deliverer.

The spoke about HR in his organization, elaborating its policies and activities, which include imperatives such as specialist talent acquisition, leadership development, competency development and talent retention. He touched upon reorientation of HR engagement programs, developing SIGs and expanding the current DISHA program, highlighting the culture of innovation to improve productivity. ROTE (Return On Talent Employed) was also briefly discussed.

L & T Focus more on Engaged Employees (One who says good things about the organisation, wants to stay long term, goes an extra mile) and people orientation programs. He said employee engagement in a company is based on three basic points: “Say, Stay and Strive”. He also spoke about “Two punch one lunch” work style, performance system like the FAIR system, 3-tier appraisal system, Top-Management Committee Approach.

The following are the building blocks for HR Actions items:

  • People: Several integration programs are in place like the following
  • Dedicated HR Resource
  • 6 day orientation program for GETs (Gradudate Engineer Trainee)
  • Communication Skills-Techno managerial skills
  • Work/Motivation
  • Opportunities
  • Quality of Life-Procedures-Rewards

An exhaustive HR Portal, Quality policy for HR. A Lean HR team where they have 1:200. The Pay & Benefits program, which is sensitive to market, changes (ESOPs).

Performance Management System is known as FAIR (Framework linked to Appraisals & Rewards). It is a 3-tier system with a top management committee approach. They have tie-ups for educational programs with institutes like IIT-BIS, XLRI, SPJ, IIMA. A well-structured career advancement program for high fliers’ levels.

He concluded his speech by giving a brief preview of a system called “PRAISE” (Program to Recognize Achievement, Initiatives, and Significant contributions by Employees”

Mr. S. Ramesh Shankar, Director HR, ABB

The second speaker on the topic was Mr. S. Ramesh Shankar, Director HR, ABB. He spoke about his organization’s people strategy sighting its HR system, which supports business excellence, talent management, rewards, achievements, and benefits. Responsibility, Respect and Determination are its business principles. Performance Management, which is based on preparation of yearly PDA. Results VS Behavioral Matrix. They firmly believe that behavior of an individual is as important as results.

He highlighted ABB’s HR information and communication process SAMPARK that is an SMS based system, HR helpdesk, HR Cockpit (Policies), Support Service Points in HR Portal, and Health Space

He spoke about the various distinct aspects of HR Processes such as Strategic HR, Business HR where there are 40 Business Units and Administrative HR , which functions on Recruitment, T&D, Leave, Payroll, Source & Select, Develop & Counsel, Reward & Retain, Redeploy and Retire.

The talk also included business excellence innovation from management Like E-Recruitment, E-Campus, Graduate Assessment Center, HR Helpdesk, BU HR Workbench, Café, HR Travel management System, HR cockpit, HR Kiosk (For blue collared employees just like an ATM counter, to facilitate leave application), SAMPARK-PDA-Recognition Program (Empower), Online Compensation Management System, E exit tool.

Administration processes includes relocation of offices and infrastructure requirements, review of rentals of offices and company leased premises, Process re-engineering for re-imbursement of mobile and travel expenses, Food coupons, Energy savings, Safety audits, Disposal of un-utilized assets.

He concluded by summarizing HR services and strategies.


  • Focus on innovation in HR
  • Focus on improving our processes and systems
  • Engaging employees
  • Authentic communication
  • Creating a better and enjoyable work place.

Mr. R.Sridhar, Executive VP-HR, ITC

The last speaker of the first session was Mr. R.Sridhar, Executive VP-HR, ITC. Set the tone for his presentation by talking about Process Excellence. How mangers at various levels need to redefine their roles (e.g. frontline managers as “entrepreneurs” and senior managers as “context” shapers and “drivers of change”).

While talking about the role of HR, he said that HR plays an important part in influencing a Firm’s outcomes and there is a definite “process” aspect to the way HRM functions. He enlightened the audience on organizational “Climate” and “Culture”. He also touched upon the social contextual model of HRM and the organizational strategic imperatives. He concluded the talk with “Excellence in customer relationships” and how HR plays a critical role in shaping the organization.
Mr. Emmanuel David (Group Head – HR), Ramky Group

The second session of the conclave kick started with address by Mr. Emmanuel David (Group Head – HR), Ramky Group. He started the discussion with an overview of the Ramky group and the constituent organizations. Then he spoke about the Indian construction sector and how it might slow down in future because of a skilled manpower crunch. The challenges of the sector, such as limited talent pool, project based, and not career-based approach, cost-sensitive business model were also spoken about.

Mr. David then talked about his organization’s HR Strategic Roadmap, that start with foundational HR processes such as People Care and Career Development, but ultimately impact the business results by improving Human Capital capabilities and aligning with Key Business Drivers.

He then spoke about “Value Proposition” and how some values such as Strive for Excellence, Empathy and Courage never change. He concluded his talk by quoting Nazarene David: “You become invaluable because of the value-add you bring”

Mr. Aquil Basrai, Chief Executive Officer, Aquil Busrai Consulting, Gurgaon.

Mr. Aquil Busrai, was the next speaker to talk about the changes that the Industry and HR in particular has gone through in the last couple of decades.

Earlier, capital was in short supply, technology was either not accessible or costly and access to market was difficult. However, this has undergone major changes, necessitating change in HR roles and responsibilities.

Today, for example, an organization could have just a couple of HR personnel, but is more like to have several line managers, who are also expected to people managers. In several ways, these line managers are the first “HR” point of contact for their employees and in fact, they carry out several “HR” related jobs in the daily work.

This has made the HR raise its level competence.

Mr. D.K. Mohapatra, VP-Global Learning & Development, Suzlon

Mr. Mohapatra started the discussion with the “need to change”. He mentioned that in order for HR to stay relevant and not go the “dinosaur way”, it must reinvent itself. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi: “We must become the change we want to see in the world”

He spoke about a changing business environment – e.g. increased rate of technological innovation, lesser cost for mobilizing capital, information or people, grater global competition and higher risks – and stressed on the fact that HR too should keep changing and align itself to business. Today, HR is expected to play the role of a business partner, change agent, infrastructure expert, employee champion, and mentor. The senior management and the employees too have their own set of expectations from the HR.

HR thus has to mature from a “reactive operational” role to “proactive strategic” role. He then dealt in detail with HR competencies and how to develop these in employees. The talk concluded with the 5P’s of HR: Professionalism, Pride, Perseverance, Personal credibility, and finally Passion.

Mr. Raj Narain, Director-HR, Metro Cash & Carry

Mr. Narain started the talk with how the value the HR is perceived as providing is in the hands of the HR personnel. However, one must remember that “value” is defined more by the receiver than the giver.

He then spoke about the trends and evolution of HR and the four key aspects of HR value proposition, which include HR Accountability, Business Context, HR Design, and Outcomes. He said that the transformation in HR has to come from three quarters: HR Professionals, HR Department, and HR Practices.

He said that transformation of HR would involve two key things: People aspect and Business aspect, which will ultimately impact the Relationships, Systems and Processes, and Organization Capabilities. HR would have multiple roles to pay to achieve this transformation. These roles are Credible Activist, Operational Executor, Business Ally, Talent Manager/Org Designer, Culture and Change Steward and finally Strategy Architect. It would take time, but a step needs to be taken.

He concluded his speech by saying that “The journey to hundred miles begins with a single step.”