Care before Cure: A message from IIM Amritsar HR Conclave, YUKTI 2020

Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar successfully conducted its fifth annual HR Conclave, Yukti’20 on August 8 and 9, 2020 in VC mode.

Yukti’20- the HR Conclave, witnessed well-known experts from various industries across the country having perceptive discussions on the themes where they emphasized on the need to understand the skill sets that companies will be focusing on in the future and the need to assess the emotional impact of the pandemic along with the obvious physical and mental health ramifications.

The Conclave commenced with the Prof. Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, Director- IIM Amritsar. welcoming the esteemed panelists. Prof. Nagarajan stated that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the concepts of time, place, and distance barely matter, and with technology, we can reach anywhere in the world now. He also highlighted that no business education is complete without industry interaction and thus it lies at the crux of bridging the gap between academia and practices. Concluding his address, Prof. Ramamoorthy highlighted how he expects all his students to make the most out of this opportunity and learn from the first-hand experiences of the industry stalwarts.

Brief on Panel 1:

The theme for the first-panel discussion this year was ‘Navigating the future workplace: Competencies needed for the jobs of the future’.

Introducing the theme for discussion, IIM Amritsar students delivered a presentation on the theme of the HR panel. Students of the MBA-06 batch Miss. Shefali Rani and Miss. Alisha Ramteke stated about how the jobs are changing at an eternally growing pace in a rapidly changing world. Building on the theme, they added how the competencies need to be redesigned and rethought to cope up with the transcendental changes in the post-pandemic world.

The first panel was ennobled with the presence of Mr. Kishore Subramanian (Head of Talent Acquisition, Petrochemicals Group of A.M. International), Dr. Ankita Singh (Senior Vice President & Global Head of HR, IT, Travel & Admin, CIGNEX Datamatics), Mr. Naga Siddharth (Head- People & Culture, Suprdaily), Mr. Abhinav Shrivastava (Head of HR, CEAT Specialty Tyres Limited), Ms. Meenalochani Kumar (Global Head – Leadership Development, Sutherland).    

Mr. Abhinav Shrivastava was the moderator for the first session. He highlighted how the VUCA model has changed to vulnerability, unprecedented times, contradiction, and anxiety on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Shrivastava talked about the concept of “Meta-Change” wherein he explicated how learning to learn would become a competency of future jobs.

Ms. Meenalochani Kumaraccentuated the importance of Bio-Empathy in today’s pandemic situation. She insisted on the leaders hitting on the pause button and taking some time out to learn from nature as well as highlighted the crucial role that will be played by “Neuro-Science” in the coming days. Ms. Kumar also highlighted that not all needs have to be converted to wants. One can own only two pairs of clothes and still be relevant and thus there is a shift towards the minimalistic ways of living.

Mr. Kishore Subramanian deemed “challenging the status quo” as one of the core competencies that would be required in the face of future uncertainties. He also explained how commitment and technology would play a pivotal role in driving through these uncertain times. To add a tinge of optimism, he enunciated how broad the future opportunities are going to be and how agile learning would help one grab these plethoras of opportunities.

Mr. Naga Siddharth started with the novel idea of “Authentic Originality” wherein he emphasized making use of every moment creatively and make utmost use of time which is now an asset provided by the pandemic. The concept of remote empathy was viewed crucial and he suggested that every organization should cultivate it in order to empower its employees to gauge and sense the impact of their words on other people and how they invoke emotions.

Dr. Ankita Singh started with the idea of staying relevant by tailoring oneself to the needs of the market, investing in oneself as well as exploring more opportunities. She also put forth a thought-provoking idea of how the existing skillsets might not even exist by 2030 and thus employees must accept and embrace changes with a learning and growth mindset.

Brief on Panel 2:

The theme for the second panel discussion was ‘Employee wellbeing: A necessity in challenging times’. The theme was focussed on the need to assess the emotional impact of the pandemic along with the obvious physical and mental health ramifications. 

Introducing the theme for discussion, IIM Amritsar students delivered a presentation on the theme of the HR panel. Students of the MBA-06 batch, Miss. Aishwarya Rao and Miss. Farheen Kausar commenced the event by throwing light on how wellness and well-being are succinctly different from each other in the sense that wellness pertains to only the health benefits whereas well-being is an overall determinant of financial, physical, emotional and social wellness. They mentioned how nearly 69% of the employees are experiencing the most stressful period of their lives owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a way forward, devising policies aimed at bridging the communication gap, mitigating the skewed work-life balance, and addressing the looming fear of unemployment would help in fortifying the morale of the employees.

The second panel was ennobled with the presence of Ms. Bhavya Misra (HR Director, PepsiCo), Mr. Arun Kumar Krishnamurthy (Head of HR India, Barclays), Ms. Deepa Verma (Chief HRM Knowledge & Enabling, Tata Steel), Mr. Santosh Phulpagar (Head TA, L&D and Head HR (Corporate Functions), CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd.), Ms. Suchismita Burman (CHRO, ITC Infotech India Limited).

Mr. Arun K. Krishnamurthy was the moderator for the second-panel discussion. Mr. Krishnamurthy asserted how the pandemic has impacted the well-being of employees in multifarious ways. He stated that there is a fine line between employee enablement and employee entitlement. Mr. Krishnamurthy also drew an analogy between having the ingredients on the plate in just the right proportions and finding a balance between all the stress and responsibilities and yet emerging a winner.

Ms. Bhavya Misra began with coining the term well-being as a state of being comfortable, happy, and healthy in all spheres of life. She insisted on looking at the positives emerging out of the pandemic situation such as the ability to transcend the geographical borders and save time thereby realizing the term “location-free” employee in its truest sense. She insisted that the “Authenticity” and “Vulnerability” showcased by today’s leaders in terms of highlighting their own struggles and challenges would pave the way ahead.

Ms. Deepa Verma explicated well-being as an all-encompassing concept that involves the people, the stakeholders as well as the community on the whole. She further continued adding that there has been a paradigm shift in terms of how working from home has been perceived. There has been digitization beyond imagination. She emphasized on having a good morning routine that would help the employees cope up with the proliferating stress of managing their household and office responsibilities.

Mr. Santosh Phulpagar kick-started his chain thoughts with the three-prong approach of reaching out to the employees, assuring them that we are together in this pandemic and bringing in clarity in terms of the expectations for better employee engagement. The concept of cost, cash, and growth was deemed important by Mr. Phulpagar and he emphasized investing judiciously. He gave an optimistic suggestion of focusing on all the possibilities and then taking the right action.

Ms. Suchismita Burman started with the idea that through the different experiences that one goes through in life both good and bad, well-being is a way of life. In the turbulent tides of today, Ms. Burman asserted that homes aren’t designed for work in the first place. And that the pandemic has become a catalyst for the implementation of technology-enabled policies across the globe. She pressed upon the idea that accomplishments aren’t the only things defining a person and that we must look beyond that and use resonance coupled with a growth mindset to find solutions to the problems.

The students of IIM Amritsar showed great enthusiasm during the panel discussion on both days. The discussions were made highly interactive through a healthy Q&A session between the panelists and students.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s