Despite high unemployment globally, worldwide talent shortages persist as employers refine and upscale skills requirements to ensure they create a workplace that meets ever-increasing demands for efficiency and productivity. Today, the human potential itself is the catalyst for change and the global driving force economically, politically and socially. This new reality of optimizing human potential will be the single most important determinant of future business success and growth in the Human Age. Business needs to re-examine how to unleash and leverage human potential in order to survive and thrive in an increasingly volatile and shifting world.
Nowhere is this more evident than in India, where we are seeing organizations increasingly investing in identifying and developing their top talent in order to retain their edge as well as ensure sustainability into the future. The focus and investment is not a sudden phenomenon but more an evolution through the years where businesses moved from a purely Performance Management System (PMS) and predominantly perception based evaluation earlier to an objective formalized methodology to identify their talent profile and optimize it for success.
This article looks at the evolution of High Potential identification and development process as it has evolved over the years and tries to identify trends and patterns that can be extrapolated into the future in the context of the business realities and environmental trends visible today. For understanding this evolution, we spoke with a cross section of professionals who have not only been identified High Potentials (HiPos) and seen success in their chosen field, but also senior leaders who have had the benefit of seeing the evolution as administrators and observers of the same.
The study has shown:
- How the HiPo identification has moved beyond just a select group within the organization to become more inclusive.
- How the predominantly succession focus has shifted to a more widespread approach to enhance the talent profile.
- How the expectations have evolved over time in tune with the changes in the business environment
- Future trends appearing given the evolution cycle and current environmental developments
We have also examined some critical operating parameters that need to be established into in order to ensure the success of this critical initiative as it is run today and into the future.
Evolution of High Potential Process in Organisations in India
The fundamental fallacy of clubbing employees by their roles, hierarchies and /or bands and focusing on a mass development exercise is increasingly becoming evident in an environment of increasing convergence and stakeholder expectation. Over the years, with technology having shrunk the globe and decreasing time to parity, we are seeing the emergence of two clear streams of thought
- Talent is the single greatest sustainable differentiator: Technology, thought leadership, speed, process etc. can be replicated sooner than can be imagined. In this light, talent appears to be the single greatest differentiator that drives an organisation ahead on a long term basis. In the words of Avnish Sabharwal (Managing Director, Growth Markets Strategy and Deal Origination Lead, India Business, Accenture India Pvt. Ltd.), “10 to15 % of the organisation is adding 90% of the value to the organization.” This is quite in line with the Pareto’s rule that roughly says that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
- Talent and Motivation are unequally distributed: Some employees are inherently more talented and hungrier to succeed than others in the context of an organisation. These too are the key resources that will power the organisation to the top of the value chain. However, it also stands to reason that these “stars” may also be the toughest to manage and may not be motivated by the standard opportunities as available to their lesser talented peers. In the words of Alok Dutta (Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management), “Given that the average HiPo is a high maintenance candidate, the requirements from the organisation to manage the candidate’s ambition and engagement requirements are high.”
Earlier, the job seeker’s aspiration was to find a good role and settle into it for the foreseeable future. There were very few organisations mature enough to take steps to understand and enhance their talent pool beyond recruiting them. Today, however, with the focus of the demographic shifting to peak aspiration and continuous reward, we are seeing organisations across sectors and sizes increasingly waking up to the rich talent mine that they are sitting on and proactively formalizing mechanisms to grow their talent pipeline and identifying their star quarterbacks who have the potential to ensure their continued success in the market. Given the demand-supply gap in the market and the resultant war for talent, identifying, nurturing and retaining HiPos has increasingly taken precedence in the calendars of the CEOs and Business Heads in addition to the CHROs and Talent Heads.
In this report, we have taken a look at the evolution of the function over the years and have uncovered some interesting insights as to how the process has evolved across time. We take a look at the key criteria that defined the entire process of identifying HiPos from a viewpoint of the philosophy of selection as well as the expectations of output.
For the sake of clarity, we have divided our article into 4 key areas of study:
- 1st Generation High Potential Process – Here we examine the period preceding Mid 1990s.
- 2nd Generation High Potential Process – Here we examine the period spanning Mid 1990s to Mid 2000s.
- 3rd Generation High Potential Process – Here we examine the period from Mid 2000s till present.
- The Future – Here we aim to extrapolate our observations into the near future – say 3 to 5 years from now. We reflect on some of our observations as well as conversations around business need and share our view on how we see the process evolving further.
We also highlight key changes that need to be brought in, in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the process as it stands today as well as how it will pan out in the future.
1.0 1st Generation High Potential Process (Before Mid 1990s):
Prior to the Mid 1990s, the job cycle was gradual and long term with a view towards sustained but incremental growth. The expectation from both, the organisation as well as the employees was that growth takes time. The generation diversity would span a decade or more and Human Resource (HR) requirements would largely remain consistent over a large time span.
“HiPo is not an inherent trait that one is born with. He / she needs to have a fundamental set of skills and clear direction in order to maximize his / her effectiveness.” – Sudhir Chand (Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management).
The standard High Potential approach of the time was to look at generic skill set and traits instead of manifested behavior. This also led to high emphasis on the background and pedigree as a first level of filtration, with a training program incorporated to deal with specific values as desired. In this scenario, the Performance Management System of the organisation was of paramount importance where the domain expertise of the candidate and the perception of his reporting manager were key criteria around which the talent was filtered. Given the intensity of the hierarchical system prevalent in the Indian corporates, the reporting manager’s responsibility was therefore that much more in terms of understanding his / her team in greater depth.
The key characteristics of the 1st Generation High Potential Process were:
- The talent identified as HiPo was based primarily on performance with inputs from manager on the leader’s potential – which was usually perception and thus ‘manager’s skew’ both from a performance and perception point of view could play an important role
- The basis of identification and the focus of development predominantly was domain expertise since that was an important factor that built the necessary edge at an organisation level
- Without using the word High Potential so commonly, the process existed and it was run by the Top Management and thus the focus of the review was usually restricted at the senior levels. Thus the talent possessed a degree of maturity and the initiatives revolved around grooming to ‘sharpen the saw’ and getting them to build overall business perspective.
However, this also meant that at times the HiPos could be just Subject Matter Experts, and the organisation had the appreciation and tolerance for that.
Post the identification process, mature organisations would review the list at the senior leadership level to further cull out the HiPos from the pack. The aim of the second round of discussions was to identify talent that was likely to move up the corporate ladder in the next 3-5 year timeframe and who could display the aptitude and attitude to adapt to the challenges that would be thrown to them. Also, the focus on domain expertise along with the hierarchical thought process ensured that the consideration set would generally be at the senior management level from a view point of identifying successors for the organisational leadership.
During this period, the limited availability and spread of data resources ensured that data collection and analytics were the key elements that defined the competitive advantage for the organisation’s business. In this scenario, the first baby steps in HiPo development generally involved taking the incumbent through the complete process of data gathering and understanding through the holistic business lens. This overall perspective was developed through planned phase-wise cross-functional exposure after which, the candidate would be put into critical situations and expected to deliver value. Development of talent for larger roles, thus usually meant cross functional experience and exposure as the single most important step to build the holistic perspective for business in them.
2.0 2nd Generation High Potential Process (Mid 1990s to Mid 2000s):
The 90’s saw the Indian economy take flight post liberalization and by the early 2000s, suddenly there emerged new sunrise sectors which also helped expand the mobility and the options significantly. The corporate world suddenly came face to face with international methodologies and best practices in real time. Suddenly the country opened up to more opportunities and there was a need to look beyond the past experience because most of the sunrise sectors never existed in the country before – thus the hunt for talent that could be experimental, open to take risks and take business decisions. With new opportunities, this period also saw a sudden rise in expectations and aspirations of the workforce. Technology had significantly shrunk the experiential aspect of data gathering and the information arbitrage was fast shrinking. Corporates suddenly had to deal with the challenge of reducing time to competitive parity in the face of the increasing attrition. The constraint in resources dragged the organisational focus to tap the talent pool below the senior management. In the words of Sushil Mehta (EVP – Avantor Performance Materials) “Earlier one needed to showcase at least 4 to 5 years of consistent excellence in his role before being considered for HiPo selection. However, soon, the leadership felt the need to induct young blood into the system and the time frame shrank to around 1 to 2 years”.
“The ability to drive business today has taken precedence over domain expertise and consistent performance only which were the most important factors for selecting HiPos.” – Vivek Tripathi (CHRO – Lava).
In addition, this period also saw the HiPos’ definition evolving beyond performance. Where earlier, IQ (Intelligence Quotient) was a critical element in the consideration filter, here, EQ (Emotional Quotient) became equally, if not more, important. Since the economic growth was being driven by sunrise sectors, which again mostly were in the services sector, ability to intuitively take decisions, work with clients and build teams became some of the key skills sought for – which fell quite well into the EQ space. Faced with the paucity of resources, organisations also realized that a relatively select proportion of the workforce were pulling in close to 80 % of the results and decided to focus on this section to a greater degree. Since most of the aspects that were being now looked for in the HiPos were not necessarily what the HR and business had evaluated in their people, there was a need to look at specialists and tools that could aid the process.
Some of the key characteristics of the 2nd Generation High Potential process that we studied are:
- The search for the HiPo talent moved from senior levels to senior and middle management levels in the organisation.
- The criterion for selecting HiPos added more aspects to it beyond the traditional technical or domain expertise and characteristics such as risk taking, proactive attitude and ability to experiment got more precedence. The most important aspect that got prominence was EQ in addition to the IQ.
- A lot of organisations, mostly the matured ones or the ambitious ones created a formal HiPo Identification Process which was looking at both performance and leadership attributes as defined by the organisations.
- The thrust for development also moved from developing domain experts to building general managers who could move from one business / function to another and also start new businesses.
In some of the mature organisations, which were growing at a fast pace and had very ambitious plans, formal HiPo identification exercises were put in place and some of these organisations also decided to notify the selected HiPos of their selection. However, this also put pressure on the organisation in terms of creating and developing an ecosystem that takes care of the evolutionary nature of a HiPo’s development journey. This is a key imperative in the HiPo’s development journey as “Informing the HiPo as long as you can deliver to their expectations – announce publicly because they also act as role models and back up your announcements with what you have promised” says Avnish.
We see the entire philosophy of HiPo identification undergoing a transformation in this period, from a reactive and an elitist concept, to more inclusive and proactive approach.
3.0 3rd Generation High Potential Process (Mid 2000 onwards):
This period is seeing the firming up of the changeover that was evidenced in the 2nd generation High Potential process. Where earlier, only few large and mature organisations had an approach and investment towards focused talent development, today there is greater awareness of the HiPo concept and more organisations are stepping forward to identify and engage their top talent. With Business and Talent becoming increasingly competitive, developing talent is in high focus and industry is more serious about investing. Also, the consideration set today includes the middle management and the time threshold has reduced considerably with an increasing focus on demonstrated capability over time bound performance. Essentially there is an increased sense of appreciation, proactivity and inclusivity for High Potential program now.
“Organisations need to take a good hard look at why they need to go in for a HiPo identification process. The HiPos in any organisation should not be deployed in status quo. They are to be put in new areas and should be mobilized to handle unknown challenges that come with a paradigm shift / ambitious goal.” – Alok Dutta (Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management).
However, this period is also seeing an increase in the turbulence of the business environment. The focus of the demographic appears to have shifted to peak aspiration and continuous reward. In the words of Sudhir Chand (Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management), “Earlier the job cycle was akin to sinusoids with gradual amplitudes but today increasingly you see the waves resembling more high frequency waves.” The reducing cycles have seen manifestation in terms of a significantly reduced tolerance window of expectation from both the HiPo as well as the organisation.
The generation diversity that, earlier, used to span a decade has shrunk to a couple of years. The 18 to 24 month induction process has given way to week long sessions post which the expectation is to jump into the business with immediate results expectations.
The 3rd generation High Potential process is today, a formal process that exists in most organisations but the formal process is not necessarily systematic. Organisations, depending upon their maturity, are doing a host of things to identify the talent they consider as HiPo. The high potential definition today is of the talent that is agile, is flexible, and has the ability to collaborate and adapt. Additionally some of the other factors, that are considered equally important in the high potentials today, are their motivation and drive. The increasing pace of change is leading organisations to look for people who are self-motivated and are ready to try new things rather than building the case for them. Initiative as a key criterion looked for in a HiPo today, in addition to their earlier business performance and social quotient. As Vivek Tripathi (CHRO, Lava) says – ‘High Potentials today are more open to experimentation, diverse, less hierarchical, more opportunistic with a high desire to learn fast. In the past as well the HiPos had a desire to learn, but then learning was assumed to be at a certain pace, which is different in this new breed”. Avnish adds “The HiPo needs to be consistently seeking to grow beyond current roles. S/he needs to be inspiring – be able to exude inspiration and exhibit character that is inspires others and has a passion for the business”.
Further, another aspect getting precedence is the alignment of individual values to the organisation. This is important because it leads to the HiPo being more aligned to the organisation’s success and enhancing stickiness – which is a problem with HiPos since they are in demand across organisations. Vivek further adds – “In case of Lava, we have defined three key factors - results rating, leadership rating and values alignment. We believe that the value alignment is a very important factor because it brings the organisation context and importantly the culture of the organisation into context while identifying HiPos. Stickiness to the organisation, its culture comes from values alignment and thus if I want to select a HiPo who is not just a generic High Potential by the market standards but someone who is a HiPo for my organisation as well, it will be important that the values alignment is there as much is the performance and leadership attributes”. Even Avnish emphasized on the need to be aligned to the values of the organisation and said – “It’s important that the High Potential aligns with the culture and value of the organisation – this keeps the HiPo consistently motivated to deliver over and above the call of the job”
Some of the key characteristics thus of the 3rd Generation High Potential Process is:
- The HiPo identification is now starting to look at talent early on in the organisation and grooming them within the system.
- The organisations are increasingly looking for a two way commitment from the HiPo – what is it that the HiPo is ready to put on the table, and thus risk taking ability, entrepreneurial mindset is something that organisations want in the HiPos.
- The definition of HiPo has moved beyond IQ and EQ to IQ, EQ and SQ – the social quotient being an important additional factor since the environment we are operating in is changing so dramatically.
- The pace of change expectation and thereby agility to deal with the change as an expectation and as a competency in the HIPos is the single most differentiating factor in the 3rd generation HiPos. Thus the process of identifying and developing the HiPo also needs to have the necessary agility, which calls for the need to have a formal and a systematic process. This may not be the case in most organisations, many of whom may claim to have a formal process for HiPo identification and development, but that process may not necessarily be systematic.
- Post identification, we also see an increasing investment in HiPo Development. Whether it is Training, Coaching, Mentoring, Stretch assignments etc. the organisations today are more aware and focused on a wide array of tools and interventions necessary for the HiPo to make the transition and add value.
The high speed of change today has greatly challenged the ability of organisations to continually run the programmes internally. In this light, organisations increasingly seeking professional advice and support to help manage this process efficiently and effectively.
As Avnish says, “HiPos today are more impatient – they want success yesterday and hence they have an impatience in getting rewarded quickly, not wanting to spend time for the entire process. There is a high sense of urgency in their behavior which is more generational in nature..
In light of these changes, we also see a change in the basic approach to the HiPo selection criteria. Where earlier the focus was on IQ and EQ as filter criteria, the concept of SQ (Social Quotient) is another element that has been added in. Today competence, motivation and aspiration are merely the starting baseline to be considered a HiPo. Organisations are increasingly looking at the ability of candidate to influence his / her environment by proving credibility and building trust and confidence among peer groups.
We also see a change regarding the operating parameters of HiPos. Where earlier they were largely restricted to their domain, now they are involved in futuristic projects, which are beyond their day to day job/role. There is a clear focus to leverage the HiPo beyond the function and domain towards a more organisational level impact role. In the words of Vivek Tripathi (CHRO, Lava International Ltd.), “What has basically changed is the emphasis: the ability to drive business today has taken precedence over domain expertise and consistent performance only which were the most important factors for selecting HiPos. Technical /domain expertise today may be necessary but is not sufficient.”
In essence, the 3rd Generation High Potential process is a period of consolidation and innovation seeing an increasing tendency to experiment, as opposed to the standard tried and tested approach, in order to achieve better results. While organisations are identifying the need for a formal process defining the HiPo as not just relevant to business but also (and more) relevant to their organisation, handholding and development of the HiPo as a process yet needs to be more systematic.
4.0 The Future
With the industry increasingly converging in terms of processes, products and technology, competition is no longer restricted to set boundaries and sectors. In that scenario, the concept of someone being able to adapt to different environments in a seamless manner, being able to leverage innovation across functions and industries and bring in a fresh perspective will outweigh expertise in a particular industry sector / domain. That is where the concept of HiPo will transform into Diff-Po (Different Potential). The focus appears to be shifting towards multi-industry and multi-functional exposure in addition to domain expertise, emotional maturity and influencing ability. In this scenario, the role of HR will also change.
“I believe that every 4-5 years, the role must change to bring growth to the individual” – Sushil Mehta (EVP, Avantor Performance Materials)
Increasing investments bring the challenge of ensuring sufficient returns. The increasingly dynamic business environment has seen the needs and aspirations of the workforce changing over the years. The overhaul in the psychological DNA demands change in HR as a discipline. The methodologies that worked for the baby boomers need not be as effective for Gen X, Y and Z. Clinging to the tried and tested ways can lead to a danger of being increasingly viewed as transactional and siloed. In order to ensure continual success, HR as a discipline will need to be increasingly attuned to the environment, accountable to the business and continually keep pace with the rapid demographic and aspirational changes in the real time.
However, in order to ensure a just return and expected outcome from the investment in the process today as well as into the future, one needs to be mindful of certain critical aspects that need to be in place from a standard operating procedure perspective.
5.0 Critical Operating Parameters
With increasingly relentless pressure on the top and bottom line, organisations are constantly embroiled in an either/or struggle between investing for results in the short to medium term or the long term. The High Potential process is designed to give results in the medium to long term. Ironically, it is in times of stagnation or de-growth, when the organisation generally tends towards reducing investment on identifying and developing HiPos, that the focus is truly required to increase. For it is just times and environment such as this that every organisation looks to their HiPos to step up and add tremendous value. Keeping that in mind while investing would be worthwhile, as focusing on the short term would invariably tend to not only reduce the efficacy of the process as a whole but also lead to an increasing level of frustration among both the HiPos as well as the organisation that could threaten to derail the process in its entirety. As Sudhir mentions, “The loss of a long term perspective may lead to increasing emphasis on super-specialization that has the potential to result in a uni-dimensional approach where the individual body parts are working at peak efficiency but the patient ends up dead.”
“These are clearly among the most exciting times to be a HiPo in organisations today. There is no better time for them to show their value to the organisation and the value that they are getting to put on the table from an external and internal environment perspective.” – Avnish Sabharwal (Managing Director, Growth Markets Strategy and Deal Origination Lead, India Business Accenture India Pvt. Ltd.)
The expectation from the new breed of HiPos has significantly gone up with the HiPos today expected to take a bigger and broader view in comparison to what they do. Though the HiPo is essentially geared to be put in new areas and should be mobilized to handle unknown challenges that come with a paradigm shift / ambitious goal, the organisation needs to be mindful to strike a balance between development and challenge. If the challenge is more than the development, then it may lead to frustration across the table and attrition of top talent, and if the challenge is less than the development need, the organisation’s resources remain under-utilized.
Another key challenge is that the organisation should not get carried away in the euphoria of the process. Given that HiPo is a key cog in the wheel, the organisation should be careful to trickle down the fruits of development throughout the organisation. In addition to identifying the high growth prospects, organisations should be equally sensitive to identify the people who cannot / do not want to grow in the traditional path E.g. Specialists like R&D / Subject Matter Experts who suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage with respect to the rest of the workforce. For this section of the population the need is to create a separate career growth path to identify and develop. It will be important to adopt the principle of ‘Invest in the Few (HiPos) and Focus on the Rest’.
Transitioning is one of the most sensitive aspects of the High Potential process. The sudden spotlight that is shown on the candidate and the increased expectations from the environment may come out to be too heavy a burden to bear. Though we are seeing an increasing formalization of approach, there is still some way to go in terms to building a holistic and systematic process aimed to deliver sustainable results. There has been enough debate as to whether the HiPo list should be static or dynamic. We firmly believe that once a HiPo is identified, the person needs to be appraised that he / she would be expected to continually prove his / her worth to be still considered as eligible for consideration as a HiPo. The list of HiPos can evolve basis the expectations of the organisation and whether the individual is standing up to the challenge and meeting the organisation expectations. Others can get added as well. However, should a candidate drop out of the list, it is the organisation’s imperative to look deeper into the reasons and take a call only post a thorough evaluation. Avnish feels that “You need to provide a coach or a mentor to help the HiPo manage the transition – it’s important to provide that support; it is not enough to just notify him /her of their status and let him / her do things on his /her own.”
The complexity of notification remains largely constant then as now with the danger of “Swollen Head Syndrome” threatening to derail the entire process at the inception itself. Also, if there is an inordinate time lapse between the notification and the follow up development and challenge, the entire efficacy of the process may be questioned and it may come across as a short lived moment of glory rather than a sustained investment that the organisation is making on a very special individual. Here the 360 degree survey gains importance as a highly indicative tool that can act as an effective measure of the attitudinal and capability gaps that need to be addressed in order to maximize potential. Run in complement to a non-linear PMS system (calibrated on the organisational requirements), this can serve as an effective system that throws up HiPos as a matter of day-to-day working. Greater independence and empowerment are more sustainable than short term rewards while ensuring an enriched talent pool in the long run. As Soumen Basu (Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management) believes, “Looking at the future, I see the benchmark of performance as a sole/critical criteria reducing and balanced with increasingly more rigorous assessment techniques and tools. I also see the confidentiality aspect reducing – Hipos will be more “visible” as members of leadership teams and think tanks, and involved in strategic initiatives.”
At the end of the day, what matters most is the seriousness with which, the organisation looks to implement the process. Given the investment, the “Spray and Pray” or “Me Too” approaches will not work. There is, and continues to be, increased responsibility and accountability on HR as a function and HR Consultants in ensuring that this identification and development of HiPos carry an intrinsic seriousness and action as against a “ticked off activity” on an organisation’s process list.
The organisation needs to step into the High Potential process with complete clarity as to what it wants to achieve out of this activity and focused management. The story of development has to be well defined and invested in. As Alok says, “The common caveat that needs to be considered is that, the organisation should ensure consistency between the message and action. The slightest hint of delay or indecision can derail the entire process.”
Over the years, the High Potential process is uniquely evolving in tandem with the complexities and peculiarities of the VUCA world inherent to India as a country and business. Through this, practices are emerging that organisations can look to use to make their process more efficient and effective. This mix of best practices across the past and the present will ensure greater results into sustainable growth and continued advantage for the future of business.
About Right Management
Right Management a global leader in talent and career management workforce solutions within ManpowerGroup. The firm designs and delivers solutions to align talent strategy with business strategy.
Capabilities span five broad categories in which Right Management has demonstrated expertise:
- Talent Assessment
- Leader Development
- Organisational Effectiveness
- Employee Engagement
- Workforce Transition and Outplacement
Our clients are large- and mid-sized businesses from a wide range of industries—and include over 80% of the Fortune 500 and over 70% of the Fortune Global 500.
With over 3,500 employees working from more than 300 service locations in over 50 countries around the world, Right Management has the skills and resources in place to solve your workforce management challenges and help you grow talent, reduce costs and accelerate performance.
|Country Manager, India
|Associate Vice President, Consulting
We would like to thank the following people who graciously agreed to speak with us and share their experiences in regard to the “Evolution of High Potential Process in Organisations in India”. (Names in Alphabetical Order)
- Alok Dutta: Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management
- Avnish Sabharwal: Managing Director, Growth Markets Strategy and Deal Origination Lead, India Business – Accenture India Pvt. Ltd.
- Dipty Jalan: Associate Director - Organisation Development, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd.
- Isha Gera: Manager, People Strategy. Sapient Consulting Ltd.
- Soumen Basu: Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management
- Sudhir Chand: Executive Coach and Associate – Right Management
- Sushil Mehta: EVP – Avantor Performance Materials
- Vivek Tripathi: CHRO – Lava
This article would not have been possible without their views and insights. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Rajshekhar Krishnan, Tuhina Panda, Vibhor Srivastava and Ritesh Hellan for their invaluable support that in bringing this article up to its current shape and form.
We would also like to acknowledge the support of the entire PeopleMatters team who has partnered with us in running the HiPo Week and have worked tirelessly hand in hand with us in order to make the event a grand success.