The Talk ’13: HR Leadership summit
“A human being is a creature who cuts trees, makes paper, and writes ‘save trees’ on the same paper”, a very witty human being once argued. Well, what was derived out of this statement, one could easily understand. Managing such amusing human beings or ‘human resources’ as wetechnically call them now, is nothing short of a herculean task. On 5th October, we had amidst us 7 such sentinels of human resource on account of‘The Talk’, an annual HR summit that is organized by the Corporate and Media Interaction Cell, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur. The Talk, this year focused on the theme “HR: Connoisseurs of managing diversity at workplace”
In light of the of the summit, there was an inaugural workshop on ‘The importance of social & emotional intelligence in managing diversity’ followed by a formal address by Mr. Prasanth Nair, Global Head, HR, Cipla where he talked about how Cipla catered medicine to those who needed it the most, and,a concluding session that was a panel discussion comprising all the 7 dignitaries. The workshop was regulated by Mr. Sandeep Dash, AGM (Academic) & Senior Faculty, MTI, SAILwho indulged in a series of interactive events that brought the crowd to life. He preached the value of creating informal setups in order to achieve cohesiveness in an office space.
The post lunch session saw a thoroughly effulgent synergy of opinions on the topic ‘Managing diversity at workplace and creating a culture of collaboration’.The panel consisted ofkingpins of the trade; Mr. Prasanth Nair, Global Head, HR, Cipla, Mr. Sandeep Dash, AGM(Academic) & Senior Faculty, MTI, SAIL, Ms.RadhikaMuthukumaran, Lead, Diversity & Inclusiveness, ABB India, Middle East, Africa, Mr.AhmadSabihKidwai, Director, HR, Schneider Electric, Mr. Radhakrishnan Nair, CHRO, Federal Bank, and, Mr. ArokiaSagayaraj, Head, HR & Communication, Renault India. The whole discussion was moderated by Prof. SantanuSarkar from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
Mr. Dash pronounced the discussion open with his enlightening speech that circled around idea mapping, where ‘HR inputs’ plotted against ‘various issues’ helped pinpoint pertinent solutions to the problems. He also insisted on leveraging the concepts of mass contacting and contribution theorem while deciphering diversity conflicts. Mr. Arokia then made his presence felt with a great opening where he cited the importance of digesting macro views that implicate the trailing micro views to be in place.He also enumerated the contrast between Nemawashi and the European methodology of governing meetings hence, describing the potential cultural barriers one might have to face.
Mr. Kidwai was the next delegate to share his views. He was of the opinion that diversity management dealt with living with the amalgamation of differences rather than phasing it out. Hiring diverse employees, harnessing their capabilities and synchronizing multitudes of ideas, was his agenda.The lady of the lot, Ms.Radhika mentioned about diversity and inclusiveness and about welcoming, respecting and valuing each person involved in the company. She also talked about the reasons for gender diversity and the need for empowerment of the fairer sex. Process integration and better engagement weighed against each other will help achieve superlative results, in her opinion.
The next luminary to talk to the students was Mr.Radhakrishnan Nair. He strongly advocated his thoughts against discrimination of sorts. He urged the audience to start acting out on their principles contrary to just talking about them. Mr. Prasanthended the discussion with his experiential thoughts on the topic. He felt that casting high performing individuals into high performing groups was the essence of managing diversity. Furthermore, he reiterated on creating a common theme that resonated. He concluded with a Sanskrit saying ‘ayogyapurushaHnAsti, yojakaHtatradurlabhaH!!’, that translatedinto ‘There is no person who is worthless, but, rare indeed is a net worker’. This was followed by a dynamic Q & A session where some imposing questions received some impervious retorts.
Prof. SantanuSarkar then rose to the dais to consolidate the discussion. He exemplified his speech with some real life examples and quotes and stated that union cropping was an effective way of maintaining limited number of people from the same territory thus, ensuring harmony. In toto, the HR summit was a grand success that rendered in our hearts, an illimitable passion for learning.