How To Be Future Ready

Industry-academia alignment and technology is a prerequisite to generate and engage talent in india – a key point discussed at cii conclave in jaipur. Shishir Parasher reports

Industry-academia alignment and technology is a prerequisite to generate and engage talent in india – a key point discussed at cii conclave in jaipur. Shishir Parasher reports

Imagine India as a home to world-class human capital. A talent force that excels in areas it has been trained in and puts the country on a growth track. To achieve this goal and garner the demographic dividend, academia and industry alignment is a must. The first step is to revise the curricula and make it more relevant for the industry. This will bridge the demand and supply gap and make students job-ready.

This link – that will translate into the country’s overall growth – was one of the key points highlighted at the two-day HR Conclave 2013, organised by CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) in Jaipur in February.

CII also launched a booklet on ‘Future Ready HR: New Trends in Human Capital Management’ – the theme of the conclave. It carried opinions of the industry experts on five broad aspects – Aligning HR with Corporate Strategy: CEO’s role; New Role of HR in Economic Meltdown; Industry-Academia Interface: Strengthening Strategies; Grooming Young Leaders: Strong Succession Planning; Modernism in Recruitment and Retaining Talent. The Human Factor was magazine partner for the event. The first day of the conclave ‘Future Ready HR: New Trends in Human Capital Management’, witnessed leaders from across industries discussing how to play a bigger and meaningful role in the education sector.

The panel actively involved the audience and pinpointed areas that need to be worked on for a better future.

Rajeev Swarup, Principal Secretary, Technical Education Govt. of Rajasthan, called for a change in the curriculum to suit the industry requirement that will lead to growth of organisations. Acknowledging the existing gap, he added that “higher education is the most powerful tool to build knowledge-based society for future.”

Mr. Swarup also informed that 46 per cent of seats in engineering colleges, 55 per cent seats in MBA colleges, 40 per cent seats in MCA and 37 per cent seats in polytechnics remained vacant for the year 2012-13.

Dr. S P Sahni, Head Education, Jindal Group, strongly opposed the current education structure and highlighted the mismatch between what is taught and what is experienced on the job. He urged for initiatives in this regard and said, “Just having degrees is not important, as top 50 CEO of India are not MBAs”. Industry experience is the need of the hour, he added.

While some stood for changing the academic structure, a section of panelists predicted trends that are likely to be seen in near future. Dr. Aquil Busrai, CEO Aquil Busrai Consulting, said that in future people will not go to work, but work will come to them. Also, there will be more women joining the workforce. Adding to that Suhas Bhide, General Manager – Global Delivery, India, IBM said, “cross-culture collaboration will be the success mantra for tomorrow” and women leaders will have the attributes for future leaders.

Future demands HR to change and align itself with the changing employee’s expectations.

“HR will create a special department for compliance officers in coming future,” Nandita Gurjar, Group Head of Human Resources Member, Executive Council, Infosys Ltd. said. She also shared that future policies and workforce models will not be geographical-based models.

Sanjay Singh, Director – HR, Cairn India Ltd., talked about transferring the effective knowledge to Generation Y through his presentation. He said that this generation’s need for inclusion and empowerment is unprecedented. Organisations have to understand the needs of the new generation and accordingly fuel them with stimulation and challenge and enhanced use of technology.

While, on the first day, apex industry leaders were engrossed in finding ways to make human resources and its management impeccable, day two of the conference highlighted how engaged employees drive production and profitability. Most of the speakers focused on early identification of high potential talent, creating robust leadership pipeline, and realigning current leaders to match the aspirations of the workforce.

Highlighting a leadership trait, Squadron Leader Lancelot Cutinha, Head – HR, Mahindra Lifespaces, said that a good leader cares for an organisation more than himself. Spotting talent and then nurturing it is imperative for the organisation to grow.

The conference also saw attempts to link leadership with spirituality. P.M. Bhardwaj, Chairman and Managing Director, Instrumentation Ltd., gave an interesting analogy. Leaders are like ‘sadhus’ that they have innate wisdom, he said and recommended Bhagwat Gita as a great guide to the young India.

In a session on latest trends in recruitment and retaining talent, Aparna Sharma, Country Head – HR, Lafarge India Pvt Ltd, talked about modernisation in recruitment and retention. Ms. Sharma explained the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the new world and also discussed the increasing use of social media in recruitment.

Dr. Busrai said that there is a disconnect between the Generation Y and the leaders. Here, technology can make a huge difference. The latest technology also gives a choice to the user that the Generation Y prefers, he added.

On the ever-intensifying pull for talent, Rakesh Sharma, Group President – Human Resource Topworth Group, commented, “War for talent will rise in Asian countries including India. 2013 will be the start of an even more intensified war for talent in Asia. The business impact will be huge. He also said that alternative form of employee learning such as coaching and formal mentoring will be a trend that will continue in future and will consolidate.

The HR conclave saw impressive participation of more than 300 CEOs, HR heads and academicians and turned out to be a valuable platform for exchange of ideas between students and experts.