Monday, 26 August 2013

HR Confluence 2013 – Strategic Recruiting and Employee Branding

After last year’s successful HR Confluence on ‘Managing Talent for Competitive Advantage: From Identifying and Acquiring Talent to its Retention’, the theme of this year’s confluence is Strategic Recruiting and Employee Branding.’
This second edition of the confluence will see eminent people from the industry, coming together on this platform to share their ideas on strategizing the hiring process that is of special relevance in the world of business today. The confluence will hold panel discussions on topics such as transformation in recruiting culture, employer value proposition strategy, HR in employee branding – Public v/s Private sector, and emerging global talent pools.  Strategic recruitment means identifying the needs of the organisation and recruiting accordingly. HR practitioners will share their observations from real life experiences.
Employee branding is the image that the employee of a company showcases of himself and the company outside. Each employee is a brand ambassador and it demands a strong affiliation to the company. Pipeline approach which includes workforce planning, branding, continuous sourcing and on-boarding will be included in panel discussions on transformation in recruiting culture.
Employer value proposition is what is offered to the employee to make the organisation a desirable place to work in. It describes the mix of characteristics, benefits, and ways of working in an organisation. It is also important to understand the differences and similarities in the role of an employee in public or private sector. The impact on local employees due to the emerging and sought after global talent pool will also be covered in the panel discussions.
The confluence aims be a learning experience for the future managers for whom it would be essential to understand in depth the methods and strategies for recruitment. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The First Step Forward- HR Confluence 2012 in Reminiscence

      Managing talent for competitive advantage – this is a sentiment that resonates in every organization as people are its most valuable resource. So when the first HR Confluence 2012 addressed this very issue, it was bound to generate a huge interest among industry experts as well as budding managers. 
       The discussions of HR Confluence 2012- Managing talent for competitive advantage revolved around three major themes which addressed the central idea in phases. These were talent spotting, talent retention and talent development. The main objective of the event was to provide insights into the plurality of perspectives on talent management. Also, the factors affecting the adoption and formulation of talent management strategy tailor-made to meet specific local needs and context of an organization were discussed.
          In a fiercely competitive environment, how do companies identify the right talent from the same employee pool, especially with the shrinking percentage of employable people? The discussions on talent spotting addressed this very dilemma. Acquiring the right talent is just a part of the problem organizations face. How to retain it seems to be the bigger issue as talent retention is easier said than done.  More importantly, how can companies best plan, select and implement development strategies for the entire talent pool to ensure that the organization has both the current and future supply of talent to meet their strategic objectives? Talent development plays a crucial role in every organization for this very reason.
        To address these issues on talent management, the HR Confluence 2012 witnessed HR practitioners from prominent companies in both public and private sectors such as SAIL, TVS, Renault-Nissan, Deloitte, L&T, Essar Oil Ltd., Balco and Carwale. From elucidating the concept of employee management using ’The Mahabharata’ to stressing on the need for companies to recruit individuals not just for their skills rather for the principles they carry, each speaker brilliantly put their thoughts forward. The common thread present in their speech was the cardinal principle – ‘People are important’.
           The ideas exchange that took place during the entire event was immense. The queries put forward by the students, inquisitive to know about the real-time business scenarios, were received with equal enthusiasm by the speakers. By providing the practitioner’s perspective on the questions raised, the experts helped the student panelists gain a better understanding of the realities faced by organizations. This is what ultimately resulted in the success of the inaugural chapter of HR Confluence paving the way to its second chapter in August 2013.
           Every organization spends a great deal of resources in recruiting and training its ‘talent’. Hence, it is relevant to discuss issues that deal with recruiting, developing and retaining people. However, there is much more to this story. Strategic recruiting and employee branding are equally essential for the long term sustainability of an organization. This is what the upcoming HR Confluence 2013 aims to address. Let’s see it take forward the success story of 2012 this year to a whole new level.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Future of Apple without Steve Jobs

 For a brief period of time Apple has been able to dethrone Exxon Mobil from the number one position in terms of market capitalization to become the most valuable company. Apple’s stock price has varied between $705.07 and $385.10 from Aug’12 to Aug’13 (a 45 percent change) and it clearly shows swing in the sentiments of investors. Now everybody has started asking the obvious questions about the future of Apple. Will Tim Cook and company be able to come up with the visionary products that catch the fancies of the customers? Will they continue to lead the technology market? Is the leadership at Apple as effective as the leadership of Steve Jobs?

A couple of decades ago Apple was just an overpriced beige box manufacturer with an obsolete operating system. Michael Dell had once said that the company should be sold as scrap and the money returned to its shareholders. But Steve’s return was marked by a unique vision. He lead a team of immensely talented engineers to create the future market for iPod+iTunes, iPad and iPhone.  Now Apple is the new Microsoft and it controls everything from the hardware to the operating systems to the apps. It has become the number one technology company in the world. There is no company which can match the style, design sense, attention to detail, marketing and manufacturing precision of Apple.

 Times have changed. Apple can no longer profit at the same pace in saturated markets. To keep the behemoth breathing and killing, Apple needs to create a new market- a virgin territory, a new gold rush. It appears that wearable gadgets may be the answer. Apple has been registering the ‘iWatch’ trademark across the world. The most important feature of the gadget is the ability to see new messages without taking the phone out of one's pocket. Tim Cook, Jonhathan Ive and Co. are very brilliant and capable people. But the question is, can they do it without the Wizard of Oz, the snake oil salesman and the amazingly brilliant Steve Jobs?
In recent times Apple has undergone a significant brand makeover, shaking off some of unpleasant characteristics associated with Jobs and taking on bits of the personality of its new leader, Tim Cook. By contrast, Apple from the outside has appeared more open under Cook, thanks to a number of meetings and trips to appeal to the various stakeholders i.e.consumers, investors, politicians etc. iPhone 5’s Maps app was marred by flaws such as missing features, misplaced businesses, landmarks and even towns as soon as it hit the stores. Cook apologized for this error publicly and with surprising humility which could have never been expected from Steve Jobs.
Apple has nothing much on the product horizon and new products are not expected until 2014. There is nothing to lure the investors or customers but Cook, Jonathan Ive and their latest signing Paul Deneve, the CEO of luxury goods house Yves Saint Laurent Group, are together capable enough to bring back the favorable sentiments. A constructive and sensible use of cash pile can do wonders for the company .Let us hope that Apple does not have same fate as Sony, a wonderful company, with appealing products and awesome design, but still struggling to sell phones tablets and computers just like any other company.   

Contributed by : Sushant Singh;PGP 2013-15. He can be reached at

Monday, 19 August 2013

Pratigya-The Oath taking Ceremony Of IIM Raipur

On 15th August 2013,IIM Raipur performed its fourth Pratigya, the oath taking ceremony, for the students of 4th PGP batch and the 2nd FPM batch. The event was centered around instilling a sense of necessity for good work ethics in managers-to-be with the hope of making them socially responsible citizens of our country. The intent was to give birth to a new generation of managers trained in the art of living with civic sense. This oath taking ceremony serves as a mean to nurture the sense of inclusiveness in ourselves, keeping our spirits alive as we grow into full-fledged contributors to our society, in general ranging from self growth to inclusive growth during later part of our life.
The event began with an introductory speech by the members of 'Kartavya', the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) club of IIM Raipur. Being the organizers of the event, their speech sensitized us, the audience, towards the contemporary issues which stymied the nation’s progress. Needless to say, at the end we were left inspired to strive for economic as well as social development as both are essential for the overall growth of our country. Being the future managers, we should not forget about the welfare of the underdeveloped section of our society, while fulfilling our commitments to the corporate world. We were also made aware of the importance of good values and ethics in decision making.
Inclusive growth was a term much talked about in this event. The term's projection during the ceremony was completely different from what we had come across as students or non-managerial employees. We came to understand it as a virtue that needs to be nurtured early on. Future managers are the people who will be  important and in influential positions in our society, and as future managers we need to be aware of what changes we can bring about. This event was exactly what was required to trigger our thought process in that direction. 
The speech was followed by the ‘diya’ lighting ceremony performed by all 130 of us. In the presence of our seniors, who surely were feeling nostalgic about their ceremony a year ago, we arrived at the central hall. We stood around a beautiful rangoli in a circle, where a few lit candles provided to some of us were passed on to the others after lighting our respective 'diyas'. We cheered for some as they enlightened a part of the colorful creation and applauded for others. After each of us had lit a diya, we stood around in a circle again to pledge our commitment towards our society to the best of our abilities. 
This was the first occasion that brought us to the realization of our responsibilities to the society as a whole but more importantly to ourselves. This realization seemed to seep into the air; the diyas radiating a comfortingly powerful aura affecting all of us with its golden hue. Surely, a better timing to commit to the moment could not have been imagined for such an important occasion. 
We never felt so motivated for something that would happen in the future. The central hall echoed the 'responsibilities' and 'honours' that we spoke of, replacing the usual void with our conviction. At that moment they ceased to be just words- they characterized what all of us would stand for when our time comes.
Contributed by : Devasheesh Nautiyal and Chanyo Y.L.; PGP 2013-15.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Chhattisgarh: Land of Opportunities

The first time I visited Raipur or for that matter any part of Chhattisgarh, was on 16th June 2013. I was finally joining Indian Institute of Management Raipur which would be my humble abode for the next 2 years. As I arrived at Swami Vivekananda airport the first thing that caught my attention was a huge banner of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) showing their steel plant at Raigarh. I had read about Chhattisgarh being one of the fastest growing states in India with big steel and power plants. The first impression of the state at the airport seemed to reinforce the fact.
Chhattisgarh was formed on 1st November, 2000 from Madhya Pradesh. It is widely believed that that the state derives its name from thirty six forts present in the region (chhatis in Hindi means thirty six and garh means fort). With a geographical area of around 135000, it is the ninth largest state in India. Growth rate of Chhattisgarh’s economy was 8.5% in fiscal 2012-13, much greater than the growth rate of Indian economy in the same period. Chhattisgarh has been labelled as “A land of opportunities” by its Chief Minister, Dr.Raman Singh. Now let’s dwell deeper into why should Chhattisgarh be the investor’s choice for opening up new businesses.
Chhattisgarh has rich mineral wealth. It is the fourth largest iron ore producing state in India with a production of 27.7 million tonnes in fiscal year 2012-13. State owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Essar Steel and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corp are some of the major iron-ore lease holders in Chhattisgarh. The state is planning to increase its iron ore production by 33% in the fiscal year 2013-14. This is indeed good news for steel manufacturing companies like JSPL and Essar which have set up steel plants in the state as they tend to benefit from the increase in iron ore production.
Chhattisgarh contributes around 19% to India’s total coal production. Adani enterprises started coal production at its Parsa east-Kanta basin mine in April’13. The coal produced from this mine will fuel power plants in Rajasthan. The state also has proven resources of diamond and other valuable gems. This can be a huge incentive for investment in technical know-how and state-of-the-art technology for exploring economic production of the high value gems. Chhattisgarh is also a major bauxite producer and the largest producer of tin in India.
Agriculture is the backbone of Chhattisgarh’s economy and provides employment to a majority of the state’s population. Major agricultural produce includes kharif crops like rice and maize. Other crops produced are pulses, groundnut, soya been and wheat. Horticulture and animal husbandry are also a means of livelihood for many people of Chhattisgarh. Food processing industry ranks fifth in India in terms of production and it is valued at USD 121 billion. It has vast potential to grow in Chhattisgarh and the government has taken numerous steps to attract investors. Five zones have been identified for setting up of food processing plants and the government plans to give them Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status. Investment subsidy, electricity duty exemption, stamp duty, VAT exemption and loan assistance are few among the various incentives planned by the state government for food processing industry.
Chhattisgarh is one of the few states in India which have surplus power. It has achieved ‘zero power cut’ status in urban as well as rural areas and will be able to sustain that in future according to Dr.Raman Singh. Having become self sufficient in energy sector the state now plans to attract investment in renewable energy sector. It has significant latent potential to harness solar power, wind energy, geothermal and small hydropower sources. Essential elements for development of the industry like robust power infrastructure, power purchase agreements and tariff plans are already present in the state. Major power players like Lanco, JSPL, Godawari Power and Ispat have already shown interest in investing in the renewable energy sector in the state.    
  Around 40% of the land area of Chhattisgarh is under forest cover. The raw materials required for minor forest produce and herbal medicine sector are available in abundance in the state. Herbal and medicine parks, industrial clusters and SEZs are a few ways in which government plans to increase investment in this sector. Over 250 acres of land have been identified in Dhamtari for setting up of herbal and medicinal parks and they are expected to attract INR 25,000 lakhs in investments.
Chhattisgarh has rich cultural heritage and bio-diversity. Chitrakoot waterfalls situated on river Indravati near Jagdalpur is the most popular tourist destination in Chhattisgarh. Other popular tourist spots include Indravati national park, Kangar valley national park, Barsoor, Bambleshwari temple, Bhoramdeo temple and Kotumsar caves. The government has identified four sectors for promotion of tourism and has initiated tie-ups with various private players in the hospitality sector.
IT services is one of the fastest growing segments in the Indian services sector. Availability of skilled talent pool, policy support, latent potential and robust infrastructure are a few growth drivers of this sector. Dedicated investment zones, like 7.46 acre plot for setting up Software Technology Park of India (STPI) in Bhilai and 20 hectares of land at Naya Raipur have been identified by the government. The government is providing impetus to investment in IT sector through favourable policy formulation, interest subsidy, concession on land premium, stamp duty exemption and technical patent subsidy.
So, it is hardly surprising that economy of Chhattisgarh has grown at higher rate in the past few years despite the sluggish growth of Indian economy.  The fiscal indicators depict a robust economy for the state and 10% growth rate is targeted. The state government also plans to enhance social sector spending to reduce disparity in human development indicators and achieve MGDs. Considering the government’s ambitious plans and state’s vast potential, most of which is yet to be utilized, Chhattisgarh can indeed be labelled as land of opportunities.

5. Planning commission data table and RBI report on state finances.

Contributed by : Aashwij Mallya, PGP2013-15; He can be reached at

Thursday, 15 August 2013

My First TEDx Experience- Courtesy IIM Raipur

What do you feel on hearing about of an event lined up with speakers talking about their life stories? Excitement…Nah!!! But if the event is called TEDx, then you know for sure that there is something worth looking forward to. After all, TEDx celebrates human imagination by bringing in speakers who are achievers in their own way. So the buzz created in IIM Raipur campus over the TEDx event was a given.

TEDxIIMRaipur, organised on 10th August 2013, had five guest speakers from different walks of life to share their stories. The string connecting each speaker was that they were simple people with brilliant ideas which they converted into actions and also delivered what they had in mind.
The event’s first speaker was Vishnu Tadimeti. I was looking forward to his speech for a very simple reason- his achievements and the way he ideates was far beyond what one would expect out of a seventeen year old and that amazed me. His speech reflected his obliviousness to the amazing feat that he had achieved through his website for students

The next speaker was just as inspirational, Mr. Akash Gautam. His simple yet immensely powerful message “Bunk junk thoughts, take actions and the beyond is for the world to see” made me reflect on my way of life. What he said was so true, that we spend so much time trying to master everything and as a result we are not truly satisfied. Developing thought leadership is an essential part of life and the failures we may face will only bring us closer to our goals. 

The event was turning out to be much better than what I had expected. The next speakers took things up several notches. When Neha Juneja, a young successful entrepreneur, spoke of how she started her own venture, the troubles and failures she faced and how she finally figured her way out through the haze. She narrated a story that spoke of faith in oneself.

That football can change lives is probably a story one would find in movies. But this is the true story of Mr. Vijay Barse, a sports teacher from Nagpur who through his venture ‘Slum Soccer’ taught slum kids more than just the game of football. When he spoke of how he used football as a medium to educate these children on various social issues, it made me realize how simple people with immense conviction in their dreams can change lives. Superman need not be a figure of our imagination after all.

So while we were soaking in the stories of the extraordinary achievements people can accomplish, we witnessed a hand shadowgraphy event which was the icing on the cake. I could never imagine how beautifully stories can be narrated by creating visual imagery using hands. Amar and Sabyasachi Sen left the entire audience amazed. This was evident through the frequent rounds of applause that followed every minute of the act.

As the event was drawing to a close, the final speaker of the day, Pankaj Johar, a financial consultant turned television producer, spoke on how life is about living dreams, by acting on what you truly feel is meant for you. “Brain is a factory of countless thoughts. What we do with it defines what we are.” That was the message he wanted to convey through his words and snippets of his documentaries.

‘Ideas worth spreading’ that is what every TED event aims to achieve. At TEDxIIMRaipur – Thoughts, Actions and Beyond that was a promise delivered. Every speaker left an impression on every mind present in the room. It definitely gave me food for thought. Perhaps it is time for me too to convert my thoughts into actions and beyond.

Contributed By: Anwesha Dasgupta, PGP 2013-15. She can be reached at

IIM Raipur conducts first edition of Fin-TALK: The Guest Lecture Series

Finatix, the Finance Club of IIM Raipur invited Mr. Gurumoorthy Mahalingam, Executive Board Member, Securities and Exchange Board of Ind...