The HR Conclave at Jaipuria Noida debated on role of HR- Centre or Circumference

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Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida is in continuous pursuit of all-round excellence in management education through narrowing the gap between academia and industry. To that end, the HR Club, IPSA, under the area of Human Resource Management organised a day-long in-campus HR CONCLAVE on the theme “HR – Centre or Circumference” on Saturday, 24th August 2013. While addressing a very relevant debate on the topic of HR – Centre or Circumference in the arena of Human Resource Management, the conclave aimed at providing an enriching experience to the student community from within Jaipuria Noida, as well as to sister campuses, particularly those specialising in HR. The conclave was well attended by the students and faculty of the institute, research scholars and members from the media. The attendees were both enthused and enlightened by the captivating speeches, presentations and deliberations of the highly knowledgeable and experienced panel members, who were top HR executives from a wide variety of organisations. They were divided into three panels, namely: HR as Strategic Business Partner, HR as Change Agent, and Contemporary HR Practices. The overall ambience of the carefully readied Auditorium-1 on the ground floor and the expectant mood of the eagerly waiting students of the institute seemed just right for the great day ahead of them. The following is a brief account of the event.

The conclave was inaugurated by the guests of honour, Mr. Gyanendra Singh (COO, Mancer Consulting Services) and Mr. Prashant P. Srivastava (HR Head, Orient Electricals of the CK Birla Group) in the presence of Dr. Rajiv R. Thakur, Director, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida. The conclave was inaugurated with the traditional lighting of the lamp by the esteemed guests.

Dr. Rajiv R. Thakur welcomed the guests of honour and shared his thoughts on the theme of whether HR was in the Centre or Circumference, wherein he introduced theme and sub-themes of the conclave. Mr. Gyanendra, in his inimitable style, eloquently shared his thoughts in terms of how HR leads from the front in managing core HR functions and the value additions done by the HR stakeholders in the process. Mr. Prashant sounded very convinced about HR’s role at the “centre” of many organisations. He advised all HR stakeholders about how to align themselves for the three stages of an employee’s tenure in an organization – -the employee joining an organisation, being in the organisation and then exiting the organization. Both speakers concluded that in order to be in the centre, HR personnel must understand their responsibility towards the business, objectives and mission of the organisation.

After the inaugural session, the conclave proceeded to its first panel discussion on the theme ‘HR as Strategic Business Partner’. Dr. V. P. Singh (ED & Chief Pupil, Devyani International) opened the discussion and said that HR’s strategic role as business partner is more to do with economic value addition in the overall performance of the organisation. He deliberated that in every HR function, right from acquiring employees to their exit, HR people have to continuously ensure value addition. He said that merely knowing and performing HR functions is not enough; one would need to have diverse knowledge of other areas of operations, like production, marketing, sales and distribution. The other panelist, Mr. Rohin Dhar (HR Head, Amplifon India Pvt. Ltd.), engaged the audience by asking their views on how HR plays the role of business partner. While modifying the responses of students, he emphasised that HR professionals should work upon their credibility deficit. He said that HR plays a pivotal role in people planning and their management. Dr. Amar Nath Chatterjee (Adjunct Professor, Jaipuria Noida), while moderating the panelists’ opinions, deliberated that HR should not focus only on profit generation, but also on the growth and development of employees in the organisation. He shared couple of strategic business models which showed how HR could be aligned with the business of an organisation. He concluded the panel discussion by reflecting that that the theme of the conclave, ‘HR – Centre or Circumference’, was like asking him to choose between the head or the heart; in his view, HR embraced every corner of today’s organisations.

The second panel discussion involved stalwarts like Mr. Indranil Mitra (AGM-HR, NTPC) and Mr. Rajeev Kakkar (GM-HR, JK Group). While elaborating on the sub-theme, ‘HR as Change Agent’, both speakers emphasised the transactional and transformational roles of HR and claimed that the latter was the most instrumental in managing and implementing change in an organisation. They emphasised that HR people needed to be part of the change, while understanding the organisation’s needs and their implications. They summed up their thoughts by saying, “People don’t leave an organisation; they leave their bosses”.

The final and concluding panel discussion at the conclave was on the theme ‘Contemporary HR Practices’. Mr. NC Sharma (Director-HR, Country Inn & Suites) talked about the current trends in HR and shred his concerns about how new inventions like competency mapping, etc., were not yielding the desired results. He laid emphasis on bridging the gap between the employees’ skills sets and the organisation’s requirement. Ms. Parul Arora (Freelance Trainer & Academician and Ex. HR Lead, All e-Technologies) talked about performance-driven compensation, employee engagement and revenue generation by HR professionals as the need of the hour. She emphasised the role of the HR team in centre and advised her listeners that to manage HR, one needed to be with people and just not rest back in one’s cubical. Mr. Anshumal Dikshit (HR-Head, I-Gate Solutions) gave as his opinion that HR professionals must keep themselves abreast with the changes rapidly taking place in the economy and in the market. Only after that should they should plan and introduce new interventions in managing HR. He shared current fancy designations in the field of HR, such as “Chief Trouble Officer”, “HR BP”, “Chief Fun Manager”, “Hunter Valley”, etc., in organisations.

The students showed their interest and responded with great enthusiasm while putting up questions to the panelists and guests speakers. The conclave concluded with thundering applause and drew to a close with the vote of thanks proposed by Prof. Abdul Qadir (Coordinator – HR Conclave). Prof. Qadir acknowledged all those who contributed towards the grand success of the day-long conclave, with a special mention for the HR Club bearers and conclave organising committee, IPSA.

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