Article: Towards the Next Orbit: NHRD Conference in December


Towards the Next Orbit: NHRD Conference in December

December 2010 will stand witness to the assembly of a galaxy of renowned thought leaders for the National HRD Network Global Conference on Towards the Next Orbit. Established in 1985, the National HRD Network (NHRDN) is a not-for-profit association of over 8500 professionals voluntarily committed to promote the HRD movement in thecountry. NHRDN serves the HR community thro

It is time that we move to the next orbit and adopt the latest technology that will bring us at par with any global organization in terms of doing business


To move to the next orbit, it is imperative that companies first set-off old learnings and adopt new processes & practices


December 2010 will stand witness to the assembly of a galaxy of renowned thought leaders for the National HRD Network Global Conference on Towards the Next Orbit. Established in 1985, the National HRD Network (NHRDN) is a not-for-profit association of over 8500 professionals voluntarily committed to promote the HRD movement in the country. NHRDN serves the HR community through its 30 Chapters and a vibrant National Secretariat spread across the country. The annual conference, the signature event of NHRDN, will not only consider the array of forces that will play a pivotal role in the emergence of a new business landscape, but will also be critical in understanding the business models, management practices and processes to propel the country and organizations to the next orbit. While understanding the nuances of doing business in the next orbit is important, it’s equally critical to understand why this particular theme has been chosen for the annual conference. In a prelude to the National HRD Network Global Conference on Towards the Next Orbit, People Matters brings an exclusive insight into what led to the deliberation of this theme by taking the views of imminent personalities and thought leaders from the field of Human Resources.

Time for latest technology

S.K. CHATURVEDI, Conference Chairman
Chairman & Managing Director, Powergrid Corporation of India

“Indian business houses need to re-look on the past practices and make for total overhaul of system procedures. With the opening of the economy, FDI is being encouraged for the acceleration of the economic environment of the country. And unless Indian industries change themselves, they will not be able to cope up with the advancements in technology, which these foreign organizations will bring with them. So it is time that we move to the next orbit and adopt the latest technology that will bring us at par with any global organization in terms of doing business. Indian companies need to change not only from the point of view of adopting the latest technology, but their thinking and mindset toward issues like tackling competition, exploring new opportunities, identifying new markets, et al. Indian businesses need to completely cut-off from the past legacies. It is not just a matter of financial security; that is now a thing of past. People are now looking for something more in terms of job satisfaction. With increased levels of education, a large chunk of the working population now falls into the double income group category and their aspirations are high, which have to be addressed by the HR manager. So it is time that companies become active and alert in addressing such employee aspirations.”

It’s no more business; it’s a fierce battle field

PADMA SHRI DR. PRITAM SINGH, Conference Academic Chairman
Professor of Eminence, MDI Gurgaon; Former Director IIM Lucknow and MDI

“Doing business has turned into an intense war zone. Companies don’t know where their enemies (competition) are hiding and when will they strike. To fight such wars, businesses no longer need business managers, but business warriors who can identify potential enemies and proactively prepare for their strike. Therefore, the whole HR function needs to change if companies have to acquire business warriors. In such a business environment, while stagnation is considered death and moving live; only moving faster can be considered being alive for a business. And that’s why it’s important to move toward the next orbit to keep yourself alive. To move to the next orbit, it is imperative that companies first set-off old learnings and adopt new processes & practices. Not only the HR function but also the business model needs to evolve. Hitherto, businesses followed a model of vertical integration. But now, business models are no more vertically but virtually integrated. Key components like technology are globally outsourced and this translates that having a virtually integrated model will require an entirely different mindset, processes and even workforce; hence it is imperative to move toward the next orbit in terms of business strategies, managerial processes and leadership styles.”

Leaders must incorporate emerging trends in business strategies to excel globally

N.S. RAJAN, National President - NHRD Network
Partner, EMEIA, People & Organization Leader, Global Leader-HR Advisory, Ernst & Young

“The global emerging business landscape is posing challenges to organizations that have never been experienced before. At macro level, the downturn has brought higher involvement from government in the private sector in terms of funding the crisis. The financial markets too have undergone a radical change amidst the economic turmoil and this has led to far more due diligence since money has become tight and has put remuneration under spotlight. As per the E&Y Global Survey, matured economies grew by 1.3% in 2010 as against the 5.3% experienced by emerging economies, which has made emerging markets spearheading global growth. For companies to succeed in this new scenario, they will need to focus on using technology oriented services such as analytics based decision making, connectivity platforms, etc, to turn around their functioning; incorporate the need for protecting the environment by bringing Resource Efficiency Agenda into the boardrooms; overcome the talent challenges such as ageing population, vulnerable labour segments, executive pay, etc. derived from the workforce composition in each economy. The government too will have to play an increasing role in the new business environment by introducing public financing for social sectors, sponsor social security and employer retirement schemes, and encourage public savings. Leaders must incorporate these emerging trends
in their business strategies to survive, grow and excel globally.”

Companies need to shift from tangibles

S.Y. SIDDIQUI, Regional President - North, NHRD Network
Managing Executive Officer - Administration (HR, Finance & IT), Maruti Suzuki

“Over the last 15-20 years, companies developed their competitive edge by sharpening their expertise and core competence, and in the process, achieved incremental growth. But what we are experiencing now is a distinct change as part of the globalization process; we are seeing a change in the way businesses are done. So much so that the very definition of the term ‘competitive edge’ is no longer dependant on tangibles such as cost, technology, et al, but is shifting on the intangibles like speed, customer responsiveness, employee capability and commitment, inspirational work culture, et al. So, it is time that companies work toward building capabilities around intangibles for business growth. When we look at the NHRDN Conference in December 2010 and talk about the Next Orbit, it simply means that the way we used to do business may no longer be effective. Now we need to focus on the intangibles to build our Competitive Edge which primarily leads to the criticality of Talent Perspective, Innovation driven Work Culture and the Top Leadership role. The Business Strategy linked with these perspectives can lead to new opportunities and potentialities in an intensely competitive business environment.”

It is time the HR function makes itself obsolete

AQUIL BUSRAI, Former Executive Director-HR, IBM, Currently CEO, aquil busrai consulting

“The Indian economic scene has been on an upswing not only in the IT or ITES Sector - though it has been more visible here - but also in other sectors like Infrastructure, Retail, Hospitality and even Manufacturing sectors. This growth has meant increasing demand for talent and increasing pressures on organisations to attract as well as retain quality talent to fuel this growth. Handling people issues has therefore become a business imperative which actually affects the bottom line. As business moves to the next orbit, it is increasingly expecting its support functions like HR to act in a more proactive manner to handle the uncertainties and become effective partners. It is therefore time for the HR function to make itself obsolete in its current role of simply providing support as asked for by the business - instead HR itself has to move to the next orbit of facilitating business growth and performing larger contributory role. Line managers need to take the responsibilities of handling people issues and HR function needs to apply its expertise to equip these line managers to play the new role. HR managers need to move beyond just tracking attrition and retention figures and be equipped to take calculative steps in facilitating business decisions. They need to develop a more holistic business mindset and participate in environment scanning, understanding business trends, assessing what competition is doing and what new methods and technology is coming on the horizon. And how all these will impact people issues. It is only with this additional knowledge that HR will become a better business partner.”

HR - Key differentiator in business

Chief Operating Officer, LG India

“With the globalization taking place rapidly and the diffusion of technology and related R&D and knowledge, there is an unprecedented change in the current business scenario. The world has become a global village with the advancement of technology and rapid development. Factors such as enhanced knowledge base, increased competition and speedy growth across sectors have ultimately led to the formulation of the theme ‘Toward the Next Orbit’. The conference provides a global platform to have interface with CEOs/Business Leaders/HR Professionals not only from India, USA, UK, Europe, APAC and South East Asian countries to discuss and share the views on HR Talents, trainings, research and trends and practices of Corporate India. Presently HR and Leadership is an integral part of an organization and Human Resources. However, going forward, Human Resources will be the key differentiator in businesses. The role of the HR will become very crucial in providing breakthrough solutions to organization success.”

India is very rich in intellect and talent

Vice President - HR, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages

“India, with its booming economy is largely being reckoned as the next emerging nation. World’s top companies are focusing on India as well as on China for establishing businesses and expanding their footprint. Talking of India and China, there is a fundamental difference between the two nations. One is the demographic dividend. While China has an ageing population, India is relatively younger. Whatever qualities China had in terms of its people is backfiring now with a majority of its population growing old. Secondly, India as a nation is very rich in intellect and talent. Each country has a unique trait about its talent pool – you find good leadership in USA, and discipline in Japan. For India, its strength lies in its intellect. The third aspect is that the boundaries of the global environment have erased. The world is becoming smaller and the aspiration of the new age managers are becoming global. Given this scenario, in the next orbit, there will exist a business environment, which will have no boundaries and people with greater intellectual capabilities will run the organizations. And to be prepared for such a new business environment, it is imperative that organizations should continuously brace themselves and its people to build such intellectual capabilities which will enable them to create winning organizations.”

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Topics: Leadership, C-Suite

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