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Pravartan 2013: HRM Functions – Current Challenges and Opportunities

The Human Resources Conclave, Pravartan 2013, organized by Institute of Management, Nirma University commenced at 09:15 am on October 3, 2013 with the theme ‘HRM Functions: Current Challenges and Opportunities’.

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The first session was addressed by Mr. Shrikant Lonikar – Joint President and Head HR, Adani Power Limited and Adani Infra India Ltd. He started by speaking about the ‘war for quality talent’ in the market today. He exhorted the students to look at HR functions from a fresh perspective stressing on productivity improvement and talent development. He stated that the cause of attrition is that employees are leaving managers, not companies. So, companies should focus on creating successful employees instead of successful companies. The need of the hour is for professionals to change the HRM functions based on organizations rather than relying on tried and tested methods.

The next session was addressed by Ms. Vardha Pendse – Director, Cerebrus Consultants. She spoke about managing change in organisations. Smart companies accept change by focusing on innovation, not only in terms of product and services, but also in terms of management of people. To be successful, companies have to adapt their HR policies in line with the reality of volatile change. She emphasised that all strong companies have strong HR departments at the base and in the current scenario the focus has shifted to white-collar productivity from blue-collar productivity.

The last session before lunch was addressed by Mr Sunil Solanki – VP, Meru Cabs. He started the session by pointing out that one-third of Forbes 500 companies hardly last beyond 37 years. He emphasised that the key to management of change was ‘listening to the grasshopper, i.e. listening to the shop-floor in the midst of phenomenal change. According to him, the key ability of HR is to be able to listen to divergent views within the organisation. He concluded by explaining the concept of ‘Metonia’ – a shift of mind, which is quintessential to survival and growth in an organisation.

The post-lunch session was set in motion by Mr. Prateek Shrivastava – Head, Western Region, Thomas International. He spoke about understanding and engaging Gen-Y, differentiating it from the previous generations, i.e., Gen-X, Baby Boomers and Matured generation. Born in late 80s and early 90s in an age of change and opportunity owing to liberalization and globalization, the empowered Gen Y prefers instant results and gratification. They are creative, confident, ambitious and informal, always challenging the status quo. So, to connect with and engage Gen Y, there is a need to be open, flexible and communicative.

The conclave was concluded by Professor Imon Ghosh – Director, Academy of HRD, who conducted the Valedictory session. He spoke about the challenges of HRD in India, its options and related opportunities, by focusing on the importance of developing competencies and skills. According to him, this can be done through a shift in teaching methodologies from focus on pedagogy to andragogy. He also emphasised the need to empower the rural population of 800 million in 600,000 villages by increasing their disposable income through access to inexpensive credit. A unique perspective he gave was that there should be a focus on developing rural enterprises i.e. small-scale and cottage industries, in a time when these industries are actually losing their significance.

(Content Courtesy: Media Committee, IMNU)

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