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TIPS FROM TOP: "HR Readiness for Industry 4.0" by Mr Pradipta Sahoo, CHRO, Karvy Fintech

MBA IIT Kanpur community were pleased to host Mr Pradipta Sahoo for a seminar on “HR Readiness for Industry 4.0” on 7th April 2019. Mr Sahoo, CHRO, Karvy Fintech, is a seasoned HR professional with over 25 years of experience in BFSI, Retail and ITES industries. He has also been awarded as part of “30 Best HR Leaders” in 2013 by World HRD Congress. He is presently associated with Karvy Fintech Private Limited as CHRO for more than eight years now. He has also worked for organisations like Bharti AXA General Insurance, Reliance Retail, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Bank of Baroda and Vijaya Bank.

Mr Sahoo started the discussion with an interactive talk with the students on Why students go for MBA. He expressed his pleasure in receiving beautiful responses from the students of MBA IIT Kanpur.

Mr Sahoo then went on to discuss the technological transformation that the world is witnessing. He then emphasised how this technological advancement has played a key role in the Business disruption. He explained how an exponential change in technology opens up unlimited possibilities. These unlimited possibilities bring about rising Customer Experience. In essence, Business Disruption has brought huge changes in the way Business is done.

He then moved on to explain how technology was earlier the slaves of the humans. But the situation today has changed a lot, and it would not be wrong to say that the time is not far when humans become slaves of Artificial Intelligence.

He then went on to quote the famous Quote by Darwin “It’s not that the strongest species survive nor most intelligent one survives. It’s the most adaptable one who survives”. He also discussed with the students why do people apprehend the new technology. Automation is not something new. Then what might be the reason for this apprehension of the technology? One possible answer suggested by Mr Sahoo was the limited opportunities that we humans have. He backed up this by explaining how companies lifespan has reduced. He also said that the Robots would take over 17% of the jobs by 2027 in comparison to the 10% of jobs created by it. The reasons for the reduced lifespan of the companies could be the fast-paced digital transformations and slow adaptability of the companies to these disruptive changes. Tech Products is becoming obsolete quicker than ever.

He then discussed how these companies could tackle the hostile technological environment. Automation could be used for better customer experience and not for cost savings. An agile workforce is also a need of the hour concept. He also gave an example of the Kodak Digital Camera where Kodak failed to foresee the future and emphasised how Strategy and Executive decisions still need to be taken by the humans and not by machines.

He then brought the attention of the students to the different industrial revolutions. While Industry 1.0 focussed on mechanisation, Industry 2.0 focussed on moving assembly lines. Industry 3.0 followed this by concentrating on more digitalisation. Industry 4.0 has just started which has its prime focus on Cyber-physical Systems.

He further discussed how the new workplace would be like in the Industry 4.0. The typical characteristics would be an agile workforce, collaborative platforms, hyperconnected employees, man-machine-AI working side by side and boundaryless organisations.
Role of HR was also discussed in length by Mr Sahoo. Adaptive Talent Management is the need of the hour. HR should not treat employees as commodities. HR has to balance the business goals and the aspirational needs of the employees. He also explained how companies are not doing the expectation management by treating the employees as customers. HR is also now focussing on lifelong employability by implementing lifelong learning for the employees. He also discussed the importance of flexible-working as enablement and not just a mere allowing.
He then quoted “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence but to act with yesterday’s logic” by Peter Drucker to make the students understand the need for evolving skill requirements.

He concluded the Seminar by mentioning the best practices followed at Karvy which are Caring & Thanking, Inspiring & Developing, Hiring, Sharing, Speaking and Listening.

The MBA IIT Kanpur community was privileged to host Mr Sahoo for such an enlightening and thought-provoking session.


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