Article: The Big Leap: Insights from the conclave for emerging businesses

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The Big Leap: Insights from the conclave for emerging businesses

The third edition of the conclave for emerging businesses was held in Gurgaon. Business leaders across industries shared key insights on what’s changing in the talent management agenda.
The Big Leap: Insights from the conclave for emerging businesses

One-third of India's manufacturing output is by emerging enterprises. 30% of the GDP is by emerging enterprises. 50% of the country's total exports are by emerging enterprises.

To celebrate the resilience and contribution of young and emerging enterprises, the third-city edition of the Keka – People Matters Conclave for Emerging Businesses 2023 was held in Gurgaon. The theme for the conclave was “The Big Leap: towards Building NextGen Enterprises with HRTech.”

Building on the conversations from the Mumbai and Bangalore chapters held in 2023, the Gurgaon edition brought together some of the best industry voices.

The power of playing bold

The opening keynote by Ritu Anand on the theme “ The Power of Playing Bold: The Transformational Journey of a Growth Mindset,” was inspiring and it helped the audience visualise her career journey and reflect on some pivotal professional and personal milestones along the way. 

To thrive professionally, she encouraged the audience to “prioritise building relationships strategically, seeking diverse perspectives for innovative solutions. Share your expertise both within and beyond your organisation, leveraging collective knowledge for greater impact.”

She asked HR leaders to “Empower your team leaders to trust their intelligence while providing guidance based on your experience. Develop a long-term vision and strategy, aligning goals with industry trends and company objectives. Regularly reflect on successes and areas for improvement, implementing changes promptly to drive progress.”

The shifting meaning of digital transformation

In a session on “ Navigating the Transition from Digital Transformation to Digital Intelligence in HR”, Barun Mallick, Founding Member at Keka, took the delegates through a journey of the evolution of HR technology. “From 2016 to 2019, we've witnessed a notable shift towards automation and performance management in response to evolving business demands.” However, keeping pace with technological advancements and the fluid definitions of digital transformation has been a challenge for many organisations.

Speaking about the product enhancements in response to the shifts, he noted that through our analysis of HR tech software usage, particularly in employee behaviour and performance management, Keka had gained valuable insights. 

Mallick noted that in his experience, “he found that utilising data analytics is crucial in tackling employee turnover. Our focus is on simplifying HR data analysis to empower HR teams to decipher insights effectively. Notably, we discovered correlations between manager leadership styles and employee retention rates.”

On emerging innovations, he noted that Keka has “integrated AI to enhance employee engagement and experience, emphasising the significance of leveraging AI chatbots for market intelligence gathering, especially in regions like India.”

The day-long conference also witnessed power-packed panel discussions.

Creating a culture of innovation

During the panel discussion, on the theme “ Building a people-first culture amid innovation and disruption”, the panel featured a diverse array of industry leaders: Varinder Kumar Verma, Head HR Strategy at Maruti Suzuki India, Manpreet Singh, Director of The People Office at FIS, Seema Nair, Senior Vice President of HR IT at Reliance Industries Limited and the moderator Pushkar Bidwai, Chief Business Officer at People Matters.

One prominent theme was the importance of cultivating a cohesive team dynamic to drive high performance. Speakers emphasised the need for adaptive behaviours and collaborative working styles that unite individuals toward shared goals. This cultural shift is essential for creating an environment where innovation can flourish.

Another crucial takeaway was the necessity of securing buy-in for disruptive strategies before attempting to implement innovation. Panellists stressed the importance of ensuring that every member of the organisation understands and supports the disruption strategy, as alignment is fundamental to successful implementation. This requires clear communication and engagement at all levels of the organisation.

Additionally, the panel highlighted the value of building cross-functional understanding through initiatives such as job rotations and the formation of cross-functional teams. These approaches enable individuals to gain deeper insights into different areas of the organisation, fostering collaboration and innovation.

On shifting employee experience

The panel discussion on “ How enhanced EX can help you win in the digital era” featured a dynamic lineup of industry leaders: Shaleen Manik, CHRO of Transsion India, Rishu Garg, CHRO of DeHaat, Kamaljeet Singh, CPO of Gensol Group, moderated by Pushkar Bidwai, CBO of People Matters. 

One key action item emphasised was the need to critically review existing employee engagement initiatives. The objective is to assess their effectiveness in truly improving the overall employee experience across the entire lifecycle, from recruitment to offboarding. By conducting this review, organisations can identify areas for improvement and optimise their efforts to better meet employees' needs and expectations.

Panelists stressed the importance of identifying specific obstacles hindering the delivery of consistent experiences and developing strategies to address them effectively. This includes implementing processes and systems that can scale alongside the organisation's growth while still prioritising employee satisfaction and engagement.

To gather valuable insights into employees' experiences and potential solutions to existing challenges, the panel suggested conducting polls and surveys. By actively seeking feedback from employees, organisations can gain a deeper understanding of their needs and concerns, enabling them to tailor EX initiatives more effectively. 

Additionally, fostering open communication channels where employees feel comfortable sharing candid feedback was highlighted as essential for building a culture of transparency and trust within the organisation.

Aligning business and HR

Dr. Nishat Afzal, Head of Corporate Communications at Keka, and Aashii Chutani, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources at Awfis Space Solutions Limited, shared insightful reflections on aligning HR strategies with business goals in a candid fireside chat. 

Laxman Murugappan, Founder of PlayThink Transform, and his team engaged the audience with LEGO Serious Play for HR Leaders in the NextGen Enterprise Era, immersing participants in a world of creativity, strategy, and teamwork. The session explored innovative HR approaches for scaling startups and growing businesses in unconventional ways.

Appurv Gupta, drawing from his unique experiences in the startup world and comedy, blended insights, inspiration, and humour to offer a memorable and enriching experience for the audience.

From the engaging speakers to our wonderful audience, thank you for bringing such energy and enthusiasm to the discussion. As we reflect on the valuable insights shared the evening ended with a call to let's carry forward the spirit of innovation and collaboration into our respective endeavours.


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Topics: Talent Management, #SMEcorner

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