This was more than a conclave! A star-studded affair attended by over 300 HR leaders, entrepreneurs, trailblazers and leading voices from people and work industry, celebrated the resilience and contribution of young and emerging enterprises in its second chapter in Bangalore.
Taking forward the legacy of the Mumbai chapter held in October last, the Bangalore edition of the People Matters HRTech Conclave for Emerging Businesses in association with Keka featured one of India’s most sought-after motivational speakers and national award-winning actor Ashish Vidyarthi along with names like R. Gopalakrishnan, Former Vice Chairman-HUL and ED -Tata Sons & Bestselling Author.
The mega event opened with an electrifying session on “The Power of Playing Bold” making the theme of ‘The Big Leap: Building NextGen Enterprises with HRTech’ bolder and the message even bigger.
You need to be bold to become bigger
Navigating the transformational journey of what contributes to a growth mindset, life coach and entrepreneur Ashish Vidyarthi encouraged the audience to take charge of their future by, “exploring your unique voice and making your 100 percent count.”
“Whatever age you are at, you have to be on fire,” he said with his quintessential charm. As he addressed leaders heading many small and medium enterprises and budding entrepreneurs, he emphasised on being responsible for one’s own passion and mindful of stagnation. “When he doubt and in a fix, move,” he cheered the crowd.
The opening session cemented the thought of being humble enough and being bold at the same time. “Humility and audacity (can) go together," if only we believe in what we stand for.
From digital transformation to digital intelligence in HR
As the world is barraged with stories of digital transformation, we moved some steps forward to talk about digital intelligence and delved into the pivotal role of Human Resources (HR) in steering companies towards digital excellence. This session led by Barun Mallick, Founding Member and First Believer at Keka showered HR professionals with insights and strategies to harness the power of digital intelligence for comprehensive organisational transformation.
Through a powerful presentation on the evolution of emerging enterprises, the rise of AI-driven analytics and its impact on business decisions, talent management, HR practices and customer experience in fast-growing organisations, Barun highlighted the importance of Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX) that can lead to 10X growth in business.
Enhanced EX: Key for win in the digital era?
Further building on the role of HR in improving employee experience and keeping talent engaged in enhancing business outcomes, we hosted a power-packed panel featuring Anvith Murthy, VP - People & Culture, Rapido and Mohammed Sufiyan Sait, Director, People Success at Toplyne and Co-founder - The Talent Deck. This session facilitated by Varadharaju Janardhanan, VP of HR at Flipkart discussed winning strategies for HR leaders to thrive in the digital era.
As the talks around the growing influence of AI become louder, our experts deliberated if technology could replace the human touch. “Technology is the fuel for scale, (but) it can never replace high EQ (emotional quotient) conversations,” expressed Sufiyan.
On how HR has evolved with the integration of modern technology to craft a positive employee journey, Sufiyan noted that we (business leaders) have a habit of romanticising everything (new) in the market. “Don’t force fit things. Think how we can enhance the EX for people to remember.”
Talking on the concept of employee experience and employee wellbeing, especially in the new world of work, Anvith concurred with the thoughts and replied by saying, “We focus on our employees’ mental wellbeing and EX is on top of wellbeing at Rapido.”
On how HR leaders can leverage employee experience to add value to business growth, Sufiyan added, “Treat your employees as your customers!”
Making it to the big enterprise club
The HRTech Conclave also showcased the extraordinary journey of a growth-oriented company that redefined success through its unwavering commitment to a people-centric mindset. In a freewheeling conversation with Manmeet Sandhu, CPO, PhonePe we delved into how this company reformed itself to pioneer a people-first paradigm in enterprise success.
On leadership’s part in fostering a people-centric culture, Manmeet spoke about the importance of role modelling by leaders to bring cultural change. She emphasised on “building autonomy in the company and active delegation for empowerment of people at scale.”
On being asked how has the company maintained its culture and values while scaling up, Manmeet highlighted the three-pronged approach of:
Defining clear values from the start
Building mechanisms like manager training to scale thinking and capability
Adopting performance and talent management processes
Manmeet also spoke about decentralised decision making and diverse perspectives for positive changes within the company. She advocated for holistic thinking and validation of thought process including fast learning, fast failing and openness of thought for incorporating employee ideas into decision making process.
Aligning HR strategies with business goals
To further explore how HR strategies can be aligned with business goals, Varun Ramakrishnan, Employee/HR Happiness Evangelist, Keka sat down with Devika Rajeev, Lead - People Function, Sattva Media for a fireside chat to understand the gaps between HR and business alignment and what are the ways to bridge them.
The conversation explored the evolving role of HR from reactive to proactive and becoming a part of the planning process. “HR getting a seat on the planning table in organisations (today) is inspiring,” observed Varun.
Talking about how leaders influence culture, Devika expressed, “Leaders role model the culture we plan to adopt,” adding that transparency is essential to adopt a goal framework. The interactive session revolved around how HR could be more effective to ensure an organisation's vision, mission, and strategic priorities directly contribute to achieving business goals.
Championing goal setting with OKR methodology
Besides the fireside conversations, panel discussions and expert keynotes addressed at the conclave, we conducted a live workshop to explore the critical thinking acumen of Goal setting with Kshitiz Sachan, OKR Coach, Keka.
The 60-minute workshop on ‘Mastering the Art of Goal Setting’ was designed to help HR professionals and practitioners understand how they could be the champions of goal setting with a more practical approach vis-a-vis the traditional method of setting goals.
Seeking growth with responsibility - People, Business and Governance
The stellar opening met with an equally electrifying end with a special closing address by Former Vice Chairman-HUL and ED -Tata Sons & Bestselling Author R. Gopalakrishnan who explored the interplay between people, business and governance and the holistic approach needed to pave the way for sustainable growth, resilience, and enduring success.
Gopalakrishnan emphasised on “adaptability quotient” and “human intelligence” in an era of AI and data-driven business decisions. “Today, CEOs are only going towards the mind. But adaptiveness needs both mind and heart. The heart holds the key to the mind and governance. HR leaders need to bring the heart back into HR,” he said while interacting with a cheering audience of HR leaders and business owners. He cited examples from his own tenure at several Tata companies to lay significance on adaptability of the human mind and future role of HR leaders to become catalysts for CEOs.
Also Read: What do CEOs want from their CHROs, R Gopalakrishnan decodes for us
The concluding chapter of People Matters and Keka HRTech Conclave for Emerging Businesses will be held on Feb 16, 2024 at the Leela Ambience, Gurgaon. Click to register.