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HR Conclave: Meet Industry Giants at Jio Institute

Panelists at HR Conclave
Panelists at HR Conclave

As the inaugural batch of students at Jio Institute is gearing up for placements, , they organized the first-ever HR Conclave on campus on 15 February 2023. With the help of faculty and management, the students took the initiative to invite and collaborate with renowned Human Resource (HR) professionals across industries for this event.

HR concepts have been constantly evolving over the years, especially after the pandemic. The conclave covered relevant topics that would provide insight into the big picture and give the students a clear understanding of the current HR practices, the issues faced while managing a wide range of human resources, workplace culture and its contribution towards any business’s growth, along with the expectations of the millennial workforce in today's world. 

The event began with a welcome address by Dr. Palak Sheth, Project Director, Jio Institute, and Dr. Guruswami Ravichandran, Provost, Jio Institute, followed by the commencement of the first session on ‘Education and Workplace in the Digital Era: Advantages and Challenges’. Key speakers included Mr. Barttanu Das, Head - Human Resources, L&T; Mr Sanjay Jog, Chief People Officer, Reliance Jio Infocomm; and Mr. Kartik Rishi, Partner - People and Organization, PwC. The panel discussion, followed by a Q&A with the students, was moderated by Dr. Nilay Yajnik, Director, Executive Education at Jio Institute.

The expert speakers' opinions mainly dealt with the shift from personnel management to HR management and coping with the new normal, the concept of work from home, and how employees are reluctant to return to their workplace.

Mr. Barttanu Das said, ‘Despite the evolution, what is understood is that the spirit of HR remains the same. People have always remained the key. The core essence has thus remained unchanged. The elements of HR are maturing, reaching higher levels of maturity, and actualization. The individual is becoming more important, and as such, differential needs are also gaining importance. What is the core essence of India? Living together, caring, and collaborating are three fundamental traits of India. India is unity in diversity. When entering the workplace, core values which were naturally ingrained within citizens are essentially disintegrating.’

The session also included discussions on the trends in a multi-disciplinary world and the issues faced in managing businesses across industries.

Mr. Kartik Rishi said, ‘Currently, it’s a pyramid structure. The pyramid is steadily becoming a diamond shape, which will further evolve into an inverted pyramid in the future. What is essentially happening is that activities that can be automated will eventually move out. People will thus need to consequently upskill themselves to stay relevant. The operations layer will eventually become smaller. Thus, any roles requiring technology, data, and transformation are becoming more significant, along with roles focusing on sustainability.’

Students got to interact with the eminent speakers on a one-on-one level during the Networking Lunch that helped them understand the ongoing trends in the industry and learn from the experts. 

For the second session, the topic of discussion was ‘Attracting Millennials: The Strategies that Work’, with the panel comprising  Ms. Ruta Joshi, Head - Human Resources, Reliance Life Sciences; Mr. Jeeva Balakrishnan, SVP & Chief Talent Officer, Reliance Retail; and Sandeep Joshi, Chief Talent Officer, Mobility Solutions, Jio-bp.

Ms. Ruta Joshi said, ‘Reliance Life Sciences…possess a manufacturing set-up with an average workforce aged between 30–35. Millennials require a lot of engagement with jobs requiring problem-solving skills. On the job, they are exposed to applications, ranging between communication amongst peers, interactions with superiors, etc. Fairly young, fresh minds are a boon. But it is also important to leverage the techniques to keep them engaged.’

The discussion moved ahead with exciting and realistic insights into the real business world, giving the students a clear picture of the need of the hour and their roles as a valuable asset for businesses in the coming decade and onwards. 

According to Mr. Jeeva Balakrishnan, ‘The ability to do the job is the most important trait: Hire the smile, train the skill is a motto which the retail industry follows. Learning agility assists in growth as well. Education and exposure are critical to building skills.’

The session was then followed by a round of Q&A where students inquired about how HR professionals deal with burnout scenarios, how to encourage innovation and creativity in the digital era, opportunities for growth, expectations of soft skills from millennials in today's world and so on. 

The panel discussion was moderated by Ms Rupa Rath, Head - Human Resources,  Jio Institute, and ended with high tea, where the students could interact freely with the eminent speakers and engage in valuable exchange of ideas and clarify their doubts about entering the workforce. 

Jio Institute is committed to giving its students the very best, and such events open doors and provide the relevant exposure to students, thus preparing them for a successful future. Apart from this, the Institute is also in talks with leading companies, such as PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Karkinos, Fractal AI etc., and other companies in the Reliance ecosystem, such as Reliance Retail, Jio Tesseract, and so on, to strengthen the exchange of ideas and establish long-term associations for industry connect and student placements.