Article: Meet the winners of HUL’s Nutcracker 2020

Talent Management

Meet the winners of HUL’s Nutcracker 2020

The objective of this challenge was to break the myths around HR by setting the stage for a deep-seated understanding of HUL-HR through real-time challenges and active engagement with HUL Leaders.
Meet the winners of HUL’s Nutcracker 2020

One of India’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies, Hindustan Unilever Limited launched ‘The Nutcracker 2020’ - an inter B-School HR and one-of-a-kind challenge for first-year students from select institutes.

The objective of this challenge was to break the myths around HR by setting the stage for a deep-seated understanding of HUL-HR through real-time challenges and active engagement with HUL Leaders. After a series of multiple rounds of competition, the winners were announced in a grand finale.

People Matters interacted with all the four winning teams of ‘The Nutcracker 2020’ and asked about their journey, learnings, and takeaways from this event.

Team Name: Freethinkers

Team members: Kratika Richhariya, Anushka Basu, Yashaswi Kamesh,

Institute: XLRI

Passionate about HR

As a team, we share a common belief that the field of HR holds some of the most complex problems that are available for solving. Going beyond basic logic and pre-defined frameworks to solve them makes the game attractive and challenging and lets us express the creative aspects of ourselves.

Key takeaways from Nutcracker 2020

Our key takeaway was the need to look beyond what was given in the case. We were pushed to think of the underlying problems and deliver creative solutions. The competition was an enriching experience as it was structured as a conversation that we could have with the experts.

What sets you apart from others?

While tackling the bottlenecks for each case, the key idea was looking beyond the traditional solutions. We believe what set us apart is the approach we followed where we strived to reach the root of the problems and give practical and implementable solutions backed by research. We also tried to leverage our strengths, the knowledge we had of other domains while tackling it.

One common myth that was busted during the journey of Nutcracker

One of our myths that got busted is that even though HR forms a support function, it doesn't make us any less important to the business. It was a shift in our perspective to understand the increasing value of the work that we will be taking up in the future and understand its contribution to the business in developing organizational strategy.

Team Name: The BlazeHRs

Team Members: Ritika Atyam, Saanchi Ahuja, Varun Bharadwaj Karthikeyan

Institute:  XLRI

Passionate about HR

Our belief is that HR would provide the best opportunity to design and impact the culture of the organization. HR’s dynamic nature and its capability of maintaining a strong backbone for the company makes us passionate about it.

Key takeaways from Nutcracker 2020

Each session and stage was a learning experience and an opportunity to test the knowledge on HR. The key takeaway is the need to focus on creating high growth teams that maximize profit and revenue along with innovation and agility.

What sets you apart from others?

The passion to make a positive impact sets this team apart. We see the world as a jigsaw puzzle and try to solve it every day. With HUL, the scope to inculcate innovation to bring sustainability is even more prominent and important.

One common myth that was busted during the journey of Nutcracker

HR is not a mere support function but a driving function that can guide an organization on a success path. The team believes that people are one of the most important resources for an organization.   

Team Name: TISSmaarkhans

Team Members Vibhav Kunj, Akanksha Verma, Shubham Gautam

Institute: TISS Mumbai

Passionate about HR

The idea of positive work culture and acting as a force multiplier in business value creation is something we are passionate about in HR.

Key takeaways from Nutcracker 2020

Nutcracker’s journey was a thrilling learning experience, in the first stage ‘Grip’ several sessions on leadership, decoding organizational culture, unlocking capacity, building digital capabilities, and global HR were conducted by HUL leaders. In the next two stages ‘Pop’ and ‘Savour’ our learning and team spirit escalated further as we brainstormed and worked together to solve the intriguing case study challenge and presented our solutions. The ingenuity, grit, and empathy of our team helped us excel.

What sets you apart from others?

As a team, we did our due diligence for offering the best possible solutions. We looked at both the pros and cons of the initial list of suggestions and later filtered it to the finest of solutions we could come up with.

One common myth that was busted during the journey of Nutcracker

HUL Nutcracker bolstered my theoretical understanding of HR concepts by helping me envision and implement them in real business scenarios. I emerged out of this experience with better conceptual clarity and more knowledge about HUL’s winning culture and HR initiatives. The myth about HR not being a technically robust function was completely busted in these sessions through facts and data.

Team name: Action Kamen

Team members: Srishti Sachdeva, Umang Somani, Adyasha Mishra

Institute: XLRI

Passionate about HR

We are passionate about HR because it is an ever-changing function that focuses on the one true aspect that cannot be replicated – the people. As future HR leaders, the onus is on us to the organization into enabling the people to do their best and to serve for a purposeful and sustainable society.

Key takeaways from Nutcracker 2020

HUL Nutcracker sessions and stages were designed so beautifully that they were eye-openers to the dynamic world of HR. We resonated with the company’s prospects of customer development, breaking mindsets, and fostering inclusivity. The stages enabled us to address the problems in the real world, to create a structured approach that can enable higher-order problem-solving.

What sets you apart from others?

What set us apart was our approach to solve all cases based on the learnings from Nutcracker sessions. We further incorporated the learnings in our frameworks for capacity, culture, and capabilities. Our idea was to create a structure that could facilitate solving future problems.

One common myth that was busted during the journey of Nutcracker

The myth that the growth curve of an HR professional may not be as promising as it is for the other functions, was busted, completely. The combination of being able to work in both general and specialized fields gives HR professionals an advantage. The fact of donning the hat of an HR professional allows multi-function deliverance across teams, work-profiles, and geographies left us intrigued and excited about our future prospects.

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Topics: Talent Management, Leadership

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