HR Continuum 2017 At SJMSOM IIT Bombay

Continuum, the rolling seminar series, is the flagship event of the annual industry interaction sessions at Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay. The Continuums are held across the various domains of management like Consulting, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Operations, and Systems. The event aims to cover the latest trends in management by hosting eminent speakers from the industry and academia.

Human Resources Continuum 2017 was organized by Humane- The HR Club of SJMSOM, IIT Bombay with the main theme “Redefining Human Resource Management paradigm” reflecting current trends in human resource management. There is a growing consensus that the key to superior corporate performance lies within the milieu of the human elements of an organisation. Without a doubt, employees, more than any other set of resources, determine the success or failure of organisations. Some of the sub-themes of the continuum were

  • Restructuring the organisational design to be future ready
  • Human(e) side of business: Opportunity for HR to transform an organisation
  • Workplace diversity: Benefits and Challenges
  • Data-driven human resource management for better decision making
  • Redefining the concept of work and workplace: Need of the hour


The first speaker of the day was Ms. Prriti Narain, HR Director Country and Decorative Paints, AkzoNobel. She began the session by giving a brief about AkzoNobel and about its business units. She talked about the core principles of the company, the values that guide them namely safety, integrity, sustainability, customer focus, deliver on the commitment, passion for excellence and winning together. She then spoke about navigating the corporate ecosystem and the basic rules that we can follow such as “How ‘is’ as important as ‘What’” and stressed on how one should “Make a choice and not a chance” to control one’s destiny.

Ms. Prriti Narain, HR Director Country and Decorative Paints, AkzoNobel and Prof. Ashish Pandey, Assistant Professor, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay


The second speaker was Ms. Aditi Mukherjee Head HRM, Group Corporate Functions, Tata Steel Limited. She began the session by giving an example from a box of crayons in which all the colours are different and diverse but they stay together and draw a beautiful picture when there is inclusion between them. A video was played on “Underneath we are all the same” to explain why diversity and inclusion matters and how it is an important formula for success. She then proceeded to talk about the D&I initiatives by the Tata group which included senior leadership conclaves, the power of inclusion management and sensitisation awareness workshops. She explained about “Mosaic”, which is the diversity and inclusion program by Tata steel whose goal is to improve diversity in terms of gender, LGBT, and disability.

Ms. Aditi Mukherjee Head HRM, Group Corporate Functions, Tata Steel Limited

Post tea break, it was Ms. Anuradha Ganapathy, Country Head, HR, Credit Suisse. She shared her views on the speed of change, that how cross-industry competition is cropping up and on how there are no solid boundaries of operation for any organisation in today’s world. Automation is readily taking over and humane skills are the ones valued most for being irreplaceable. She then went on explaining the importance of experience above process and how design skills are getting more and more critical by the day. With her inspiring aura and plethora of experience, she sure turned out as a mentor and guided us through a completely new paradigm of Human Resources.

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Ms. Anuradha Ganapathy, Country Head, HR, Credit Suisse

Our fourth speaker for the day was Mr. Prashant Srivastava, Group President HR and People Excellence, Reliance ADA Group. Mr. Prashant started his speech by taking questions from the audience on what they wanted to discuss about. He then took us through the journey of his life wherein he explained various situations he faced in his professional career.

“If the bottom pyramid is not aligned, it will not work. It has to become a way of life”

He further continued the discussion and spoke about competitive advantage which was one of the most important reasons on why a business would create shareholder value. He explained that the reason for the failure of many start-ups was because of the “me-too” strategy that they follow instead of thinking about questions like “Why should a customer come to me?” or “Have I made myself indispensable to a business?” Mr. Prashant concluded with how businesses should be built with a purpose and importance of aligning the people with the vision of the organisation.

Then there was a panel discussion on the topic “Driving Employee Engagement in Multi-Generational Workforce”. The panellists were

·         Ms. Aparna Devagiri – Senior General Manager, Human Resources, 3M

·         Mr. Rahul Pinjarkar – Vice President, Human Resources, Saint-Gobain India

·         Mr. Ravi Kingrani – Vice President HR, Deutsche Bank Group

·         Mr. Santanu Ghoshal – Vice President HR, Schaeffler India

·        Moderator: TNS Nihar – SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

The discussion started with the question of whether multi-generational workforce in an organisation was a challenge or an opportunity. Ms. Aparna explained on how 3M was one of the most preferred organisation by Millennials in the USA and the various steps taken to make it more inclusive. Mr. Santanu emphasised on including all generations while moving forward and on how there was not any separate policy for any generation whether they were millennials or baby boomers. Mr. Rahul stated that the one-size-fits-all approach was not practical enough and that a tailor-made strategy for everyone was required. Mr. Ravi stated that the strategy would depend upon the industry and explained how this issue had existed in the past as well. Discussions also proceeded on the measurement of employee engagement and on how the younger generation was more driven by passion and purpose and the need to retain millennials.

Panel Discussion by(left to right) Ms. Aparna Devagiri; Mr. Santanu Ghoshal; Mr. TNS Nihar; Mr. Rahul Pinjarkar; Mr. Ravi Kingrani

The post lunch session was handled by Mr. Rishi Pathania, Head CSR, UPL Limited. He started engaging the audience through questions on CSR. The students came up with various responses of what they thought corporate social responsibility was ranging from giving back to the society, building brand loyalty, attracting talent now as well as having a give and take the relationship for sustainability of the organisation. He explained the 3-fold role of HR in CSR which are ensuring people practices are ethical, Support & Training and establishing a code of Ethics. He also pointed out the value proposition of various CSR activities, CSR as value creation > CSR as risk management > CSR as philanthropy.

This was followed by a session by Rupankar Chakrabarti, Head HR Operations, Reliance Life Sciences. He delivered a talk on “Enabling Human Resource Processes by the use of Technology”. He started off with the current trends in HR processes and functions by citing different examples and explained the use of technology in HR processes of Reliance Life Sciences. He talked about the evolution of technology from 2006 to present and elucidated, how the future of technology would look like. He described the digitisation of the HR processes in reliance and the advancements in the PMS system. He concluded by shedding light on the use of analytics in HR and how reliance is benefiting from the use of different analytics tools, dashboards and through realising groundbreaking insights to assist managers in making better decisions.

Ms. Prutha C H, Head Leadership Academy, Cipla Ltd.

Our last speaker was Ms. Prutha C H, Head Leadership Academy, Cipla Ltd. Ms. Prutha started the session by giving a brief introduction about Cipla, its legacy of making a difference in the lives of the people from the past 80+ years. She described how Cipla was born out of Dr. Hamied’s vision to make India self-reliant by harnessing the Indian talent and explained the connection of Mr. Gandhi with Cipla and the role of Cipla during WWII. She described the organisational changes that had taken place in the last 18 months and the initiatives were taken such as “One-Cipla mindset” and “Job grade band structure”. She concluded the session by answering questions on difficulties faced in change management and the benefits drawn out of the implementations.


About the Author:


Deepak Girish is a student of the Class of 2018 at Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay. Deepak holds a B.Tech degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering has prior work experience with Tata Consultancy Services. At SJMSOM, he is a member of the Humane Club and an avid reader, cricketer, and explorer.


Public Relations Team, SJMSOM