The Fourth HR Conclave at JGBS – Exploring New Opportunities for a New Age

On 4 November 2017, Jindal Global Business School organized the fourth HR Conclave on ‘Human Dimension of Globalization: Its impact, opportunities and challenges’ in association with United Nations Global Compact Network India, Career Development and Placement Division (JGBS), and Humanos, the HR Club. Bringing together an august group of academicians, thinkers, practitioners, and industry leaders, the Conclave offered a unique platform to discuss innovative ideas, thoughts, and perspectives on HR in the 21st century.

Introducing the special guests, in his Welcome Address Dr. Tapan Panda (Dean, JGBS) stressed on the importance of creating robust platforms to connect theory and practice. Later Dr. Asim Talukdar (Vice Dean, External Relations, JGBS) presented the themes of the Conclave and envisioned a greater role for HR to drive businesses.

In his Special Address Mr. Kamal Singh (ED & CEO, UN Global Compact Network India) observed: ‘While quality education is one of the Sustainable Development Goals, few business schools talk about sustainability. With Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) coming to India, things are going to improve.’ Delivering the Inaugural Speech, Mr. Anil Sharma (EVP, HR, ITC Hotels) encouraged students to look at the larger picture: ‘Your competence and intelligence will be determined by how you connect dots that seem unconnected. That will happen when you understand the complete range of business functions.’

The first session focused on ‘Role of HR in Creating Workplace Optimism in Organizations’ with Mr. Harbhajan Singh (VP, HR and Corporate Affairs, Honda Motor Cycle and Scooters India Ltd.), Mr. K.S. Bakshi (EVP, HR, The Oberoi Group), and Dr. Shalini Lal (CEO, Infinity OD) as panellists and Dr. Manisha Mishra (Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean, JGBS) as moderator. While Mr. Bakshi offered practical tips on building workplace optimism, Mr. Singh shared his experience with the Honda Group where he helped to inspire functional cultures and create events to bring employees closer. Offering biological proof on higher optimism improving productivity, Dr. Lal said, ‘Any change in the organization gives birth to uncertainty. A leader needs to bring down anxiety levels at the workplace.’

In the special session on ‘Leadership & HR Policies in Armed Forces’ Lt. Gen. (Ret.) A.K. Singh (PVSM, AVSM, SM, and VSM and Advisor to O.P. Jindal Global University) urged future managers to assume leadership roles with the message: ‘Playing safe and maintaining status quo is out of sync with the dynamism of 21st century.’

The next session on ‘Diversity Management as a New Age Differentiator’ saw participation from Mr. Gyanendra Kumar (AVP, HR, TCS), Ms. Roli Singh (Head, Talent Management, Vistara), and Ms. Tania Chatterjee (VP, Head L & D Delivery, India, Royal Bank of Scotland) as panellists and Mr. Ahmad Sabih Kidwai (Director HR, Schneider Electric) as moderator. Highlighting initiatives at RBS, Ms. Chatterjee shared, ‘Diversity supports innovation; innovation supports productivity; and productivity supports bottom line.’ While Mr. Kumar spoke about efforts to bring in more diversity in TCS which is known for its high women workforce, Ms. Singh stressed on the communication styles of different generations.

Focusing on ‘Role of HR in Digital Transformation’, the third session had Mr. Aloke Goel (Head Operations, Siemens Health Care), Mr. Rajesh Uppal (CIO, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.), Dr. Swarup Sinha (Principal, ITC Hospitality Management Institute), and Mr. Neeraj Narang (Director, HCM Strategy, Oracle India Pvt. Ltd.) as panellists. While Mr. Uppal revealed how his organization had recruited digital taskforce, Mr. Goel shared his thoughts on the industrial revolution and the move towards the ‘digital’. Dr. Sinha spoke on how reverse mentoring can lead to greater digital understanding in organizations.

The fourth session on ‘HR Practices for Business Ethics and Corporate Sustainability’ was moderated by Mr. Rajeev Bhaduria (Director, Group HR, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.) with Mr. Ashish Gautam (Associate Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, IBM India Pvt. Ltd.), Ms. Malini Priya (Business Operations Leader, Ernst & Young), and Munish Vasudeva (VP, HR, Siemens Ltd.) as panellists. While Mr. Gautam shared his willingness to work for an organization if it embraced ethics alongside rules, Ms. Priya stressed on the importance of a trusting work environment.

The day-long deliberations came to an end with the Valedictory Session, which had Mr. P. Dwarkanath (Director, Group Human Capital, Max India Ltd.) as the Guest of Honour. With its range of themes and unfettered sharing of ideas, thoughts, and perspectives, the fourth edition of the HR Conclave offered significant takeaways for students, academicians, and professionals.

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