Ms. Ivy Saldanha, Director – HR, Actuant India.

Day five of Disha 2014 saw an array of prominent guest speakers at the Sophos series. One such distinguished guest was Ms. Ivy Saldanha who is the Director of Human Resources of Actuant India, the Indian subsidiary of the renowned Actuant group of USA.

Ms. Saldanha initiated the lecture by explaining the need for a Human Capital strategy in every organization and how more than knowing the human resource concepts it is important that you understand your environment, your industry, and your employees. She spoke about four primary factors that tie up a company’s HR strategy which are mainly the Brand of the organization, purpose of the organization, culture of the organization and the opportunities present.

She explained how Actuant India followed a “good to great” approach for talent management where first comes the recruitment, then comes employee engagement and development and finally employee management. The lecture was a highly interactive one with several innovative questions posed by the students. Ms. Ivy finally ended the lecture on the note that employee alignment is critical to an organization and strategies need to be carefully cultivated to suit each unique organization.

Mr. Ramunni Nair, Vice President HR&GA, Renault Nissan

Mr. Ramuni Nair, the Vice President HR&GA at Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Limited (RNAIPL), delivered a lecture on the history, development and best practices of RNAIPL on 22nd August 2014, as a part of Disha 2014-The Annual HR Conclave of TAPMI.

Mr. Ramuni shared the challenges that the management and HR professionals face in a manufacturing plant such as RNAIPL. The plant is situated in Oragadam near Chennai. The plant has a capacity of 400,000 vehicles per annum. He went on to narrate some distinctive features of RNAIPL that makes it a great place to work. There are several employee welfare programs such as management visit to employee families, cultural events, women’s forum, annual medical check-up etc.

Due to such best practices Mr. Ramuni said that the attrition rate was as low was 2% compared to 10% industry average. The lecture ended with an energetic Q&A session where students understood the nuances of managing manufacturing plants as opposed to other organizations.

Ms. Priyanka Pandey, AVP, Davita

Ms. Priyanka Pandey is an HR Professional having over 9 years of work experience as an HR.

Generalist. Ms. Priyanka intended to have an interactive session since inception. She opened the discussion with premise “What do employers expect from job applicants”.

While discussing various expectations students also quoted examples from their past experiences which made the conversation more engaging. Adaptability is a term that coined in due course. Adaptability according to Priyanka is a very vital requisite sought for in young applicants. As they have not been subjected to the professional culture thoroughly, they need to be more adaptable to their work culture initially.

Later she emphasized the importance of coordination among employees to make any organization a Great Place to Work. She then related to the healthy work culture at DaVita and emphasized how a healthy work culture brings a difference in performance of any organization. She concluded the discussion by making a remark about the future of HR managers by saying that adapting to challenges of work with rising quality of work is something that has to be parallel with time and can maintain the balance between changing times and the requirements of the business.

Mr. Marian Jayson, Hr Manager, HCG-Oncology

Mr. Marian Jayson, Senior HR Manager, HCG Enterprises was invited to TAPMI campus on August 22, 2014, to have an interactive session with the students of the institute. He is an alumnus of Manipal University which made students to instantly connect with him.

He opened the session by giving a brief introduction about HCG-Oncology and their working practices. Their specialty lies in Oncology and focuses on providing the patients with best technology and facilities. He discussed the current situation of the healthcare industry and what the future beholds.

He also discussed the challenges like employee retention, talent acquisition, skill gap etc that the organization faces and what practices and initiatives they have adopted at the workplace to reduce it. According to him, there is immense potential for this industry to grow in future but strong infrastructural changes need to be implemented to provide better healthcare facilities to the cancer survivors which are in large percentage in India. He advised the students to be prepared for working hard and giving their best when they join any organization in order to further improve the conditions of the healthcare industry.

Mr. Prem Velayudhan, HR Director & Employee Relations Leader – APAC, CISCO

On August 22nd, 2014, TAPMI had the privilege of hosting Mr. Prem Velayudan, the Director-HR and Employee Relations Leader at Cisco Systems. Mr. Prem Velayudan, an alumnus of TAPMI, has a diverse work experience profile spanning the areas of sales and marketing, consulting and human resources function in engineering and services and information technology industries.

During the course of the Guest Lecture, Mr. Velayudan provided the audience of sixty enthusiastic students a brief overview of Cisco Systems, its investment in India, the company’s vision, strategy, and culture. He spoke of the concept of “The Internet of Everything” referring to the smart systems that bind people, processes, things and data. Mr. Velayudan stressed the importance of transparency and communication in both good and adverse situations.

He advised that in order to move up the corporate ladder, one constantly needs to “reskill.” He concluded the lecture with the advice: “You’ll get a chance to do it once. Do it well. Or really well.”

Mr. Jothi basu, Head – Talent Acquisition, BIAL

Mr. Jothibasu SP is the Deputy General Manager of Human Resources at Bangalore International Airport Ltd. He has completed his education from the University of Madras, M.A(SW) specializing in Personnel Management and his BA in English Literature.

Mr. Jothibasu made a very enthusiastic opening of the session by expressing his interest in interacting with the new generation MBA graduates at TAPMI. He was open to an interactive session from the beginning as he believed that it would lead to a more open discussion. On being asked about his experience at BIAL he responded by saying that at BIAL the needs of the next generation are addressed to, to have immediate gratification by providing regular feedback and incentives.

He believed that the world is changing at a rapid rate, and during these times, an HR framework cannot be static, it needs to be changing when required to accommodate the diverse needs of the people and the general environment of the organization. He said, “Organizations need to value their employees. Employees if given ownership of the patents that they develop would help them be better brand ambassadors for the organization”. He concluded with a strong message to the fresh MBA students- “Understand the ground reality and give business issues people solutions – key to a successful Human Relations Manager”.

Mr. Arun Kumar Kaimal, Senior HR Manager, Danaher – DHR Holdings

Mr. Arun Kaimal, Senior HR manager at Danaher – DHR Holdings, delivered a lecture on performance Image and Exposure in Corporates on 22nd August 2014, as a part of Disha 2014-The Annual HR Conclave of TAPMI.

Mr. Arun explained the 9-Box Grid of performance evaluation in companies. “To be successful, it’s not just the performance, also, image and exposure are equally important”, stressed Mr. Arun. He took a lot of real time and mythological anecdotes to explain various HR principles and policies. Not only were the students understanding complex concepts but they were able to relate to it through the stories narrated by the speaker.

He believes that every person is a brand and we have to manage our brand by managing ourselves well. A Q&A session followed that gave an opportunity to students to clarify their doubts and air their views.

Mr. Ganesh Selvaraj, DGM and Head HR, Manipal Education and Medical Group

Mr. Ganesh Selvaraj, DGM and Head HR Manipal Education and Medical Group, delivered a lecture on Manipal Hospitals in particular and the hospital industry in general on 22nd August 2014, as a part of Disha 2014-The Annual HR Conclave of TAPMI.

Mr. Ganesh spoke about the evolution of the healthcare industry. In the earlier days, it was a single doctor addressing a variety of ailments. With time, there was the emergence of specialisation that leads to specialized care. The evolution also resulted in value based services provided by hospitals to attract the customers. He believes that for a hospital to grow and evolve, it need to have a clear process, transparent pricing and a good ambience.

“There is plenty of medical tourism opportunity in India”, said Mr.Ganesh as he went on to explain the challenges faced by the healthcare sector.’Manyata’ is an annual awards function in Manipal Hospitals to recognize and reward people who have performed their job exceptionally well.

The session ended on a hopeful note that many students would be interested in being a part of the healthcare industry as it is a promising and growing sector of opportunity and challenges.

Mr. Gangadharayya Pashupatimath, Country Leader – Hydratight, Subsidiary of Actuant, Actuant India

Mr. Gangadharayya Pashupatimath, Director Engineering at Actuant India Pvt Ltd. chose to share his professional experiences with the young and talented minds of this B-school. Mr. Gandharayya, who is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, is also one of the proud members of the team that designed India’s light combat aircraft, “Tejas”.

He started his discussion by talking about the distinguishing features between Generation Y, Generation X, ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Traditionals’ viz. How the four generations differ in their aspirations, needs, their way of working etc. The conflict that organization faces today is managing people with experience and freshers. He also mentions that with right care and planning this gap can be bridged.Effective communication was another issue, he mentioned, that organizations face when dealing with their employees.

In the end, Mr. Gangadharayya concluded that with proper training and use of tools such as ‘Brainstorming’, the conflicts between generations can be resolved. Ultimately, it is the job of the leadership to set precedents, and connect the aspirations of different generations towards common organizational goals.

Mr. Piyush Upadhyay, Chief Strategic – HR, TATA Power

On 22nd August 2014, TAPMI students had the privilege of attending the guest lecture by Mr. Piyush Upadhyay, who is the Chief Strategic HR at Tata Power. Mr. Piyush Upadhyay is responsible for formulating and developing long term HR strategy for Tata Power group that would help in building the desired culture and enabling the realization of company goals. Previously he has worked in Hindustan Lever, The Times of India, Tata Steel, and Volkswagen India. He received the Indira Super Achievers Award in August 2012.

He started off the session by giving insights about the power sector in India. Talking about various aspects of the power industry, he said that setting up a power plant is a very capital intensive job and tougher than generating power. Apart from transmission and distribution losses and theft, he said that rehabilitation of displaced people is one of the major challenges faced in the power sector. “Even though India produces around 5 lakh engineers every year, not everyone is employable”, said Mr. Upadhyay. He added that companies take initiatives like setting up of institutes that impart industry specific knowledge to avoid skill shortage. Advising students about the importance of being strong with their fundamentals, he added that one should always think before choosing any company to have a successful career.

The session was very interactive and the students of TAPMI got an opportunity to clear their doubts by an industry expert. The enthusiasm of students in the classroom was palpable.

Mr. Pritpal Kular, Vice President – Human Resources, General Motors

Mr. Pritpal S.Kular has been an HR Professional for over 20 years in both generalist and specialist domains. He is experienced in strategic HR, culture building, and assimilation, talent acquisition, and management, development, compensation redesign, talent retention, compliance, industrial relations, etc. Mr. Kular commenced with giving a brief history and introduction of General Motors.

Speaking about the vision of General Motors, he said that the organization wants to be known for designing, building and selling the world’s best vehicles. He evinced that the values of General Motors are customer focus, relationships, and individual excellence. Speaking of the training development program for new recruits, largely from an engineering perspective, he told that the trainees are put on twelve months development program to jumpstart their journey at GM, by giving them a holistic picture of the business.

For career development and growth possibilities, there is a strong mentoring process in place and senior leaders mentor the juniors. The challenge lies in creating an environment for employees to grow and feel satisfaction. He concluded by answering a barrage of queries from students.

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