Theme Session 3 on Gearing for growth: Talent requirements and expectations

The session was chaired by Mr. SY Siddiqui who set the context on why we are doing a session on talent management in the Petrotech conference. He emphasized how HR needs to be a business function rather than a support function and also spoke of how changes in business necessitate changes in talent management strategies of organizations.

This was followed by a brief on global trends in the Oil & Gas industry by Joshua Ross, Associate Partner - Aon Hewitt; who spoke of how organizations have managed the uncertain business environment and realigned their global HR strategies. He spoke of how companies have the opportunity to buildan employee value proposition that emphasizes the ambitions of the future generations and emboldens employees to action. He then went on to emphasize the importance of having the right leadership that can navigate this time of abundant change and has the vision to create a stronger organization. Joshua also spoke of how oil and gas organizations are making adjustments to be more nimble. Also, how some people related strategies has been varied basis the balance sheet, access to capital, asset portfolio and proprietary technology. He closed his brief by talking on how organizations have reorganized corporate resources to better serve internal customers, altered talent acquisition processes to reduce costs and streamline and increased investment in technology to increase efficiency.

The second speaker was Mr. Shrikant Prakash Gathoo, Director HR – BPCL; who spoke on how HR strategies in organization are changing and there is increased investment in re-skilling, devising strategies towards driving the right culture and increasing engagement levels. He highlighted on how the essence of differentiated culture is moving from “Me TO We” and how organizations need to foster better relationship with employees. He discussed on the change in practices for Millennials who have an overdose of technology and have smaller attention spans; however are more collaborative and untethered. He spoke of the integrated career development framework of BPCL that takes into account organizational goals, individual goals and weaves it into other HR frameworks; and also how this is a highly customized program for each individual (‘learning by doing’ vs. ‘learning by listening’). He concluded by talking on how they are creating a more start-up like culture – focused on innovation, more flexible and focusing on experiential learning.

The third speaker was Mr. Suresh Bose, Group HR Head – Vedanta Group. Mr. Bose discussed on how Cairn India in particular has refocused priorities in HR. Most companies are moving towards lower cost plays and increase emphasis on near-term opportunities.Efficiencies are driving operational optimization; and there is focus on cash preservation & driving capex prudence. He spoke of the Vedanta Group philosophy of acquiring talent early on, nurturing the talent and accelerating the growth of employees. He highlighted how there is talent loss due to retirement however they continue to invest in young talent; and how optimization of time to autonomy will lead to success. Organizations could plan career movements, carry out skill based learning interventions (Re-skilling), and plan structured job rotations. He concluded by speaking of creating a culture that develops existing talent along with building a pipeline through leadership assessments and development interventions. Srikanth Balachandran, Global CHRO – Bharti Airtel was the next speaker. He drew up a parallel between the Telecom with the Oil & Gas sector. He mentioned how they are both high on capital investment, have high pricing pressures, work in hardship locations and are both dealing with commoditization. The organizations need to look at the kind of reinvention that can be done in the sector by hiring of millennials which might be disruptive in nature however is needed with the change we are looking to drive. Millennials look at flatter organization structures, need to be more agile and look at constant innovation. Organizations need to focus on how to manage careers – provide more visibility, clarity and transparency rather than certainty to attract more millennials. He concluded by saying that we need to connect our employees to a purpose – in Oil & Gas – about energizing India; while in Telecom – about connecting India.

Mr. SY Siddiqui concluded the session by summarizing each of the above; and how employer branding will be more critical in the coming years and how it is critical to analyze the big shift in workforce trends towards millennials – in both White & Blue Collar. He highlighted 3 critical enablers in harnessing talent – Top leadership, wherein he mentioned how there should be a vision quotient, business quotient and emotional quotient in the top leadership; Work Culture, wherein he spoke of a positive work culture, respect and trust, and more of a recognition culture; and finally People Processes, wherein he mentioned how we are losing on access to 50% workforce by not employing as many females, looking at how HR technology can enable forecasting and reduce time spend on HR processes. He concluded by talking of Prof. Ram Charan’s 98 – 2 principle which is how 2% of the people in the organization influence the culture of 98% of the population in the organization.