First Hand Account of the People Leader’s Summit 2017 by DnB, Westin Gurgaon

By Published April 19, 2017
People Leaders' Summit 2017

Gurugram: Dun & Bradstreet, a data repository major hosted this year’s People Leaders’ Summit on 18th April 2017. The venue chosen for the summit was Westin, Gurgaon. Gurugram happen to change its nomenclature recently, and the re-brand hasn’t changed much for this satellite township. In fact, this mini-city is unpopular for long traffic snarls and unwarranted road rash and civic issues raised by residents from time to time, and that makes for the daily news often.

People Leaders' Summit 2017

As per the pre-decided time, the registrations for the summit started at around 9 am. The breakfast was well laid out for the attendees and had set the tone right. In itself, it conveyed that even if you turn up for the early morning meet, we are well prepared. The morning time could give enough time to delegates to catch up with their morning team, crossed smiles and shared some thoughts around with fellow delegates. By the time everyone settled in, it was time to kick start the summit. Arvind Raghav, Director at Dun & Bradstreet, started off with a note on re-emphasizing the status quo on VUCA times in HR perspective. He stated although the context of VUCA started from military exercises, it stands true for corporate board rooms too. Arvind said that “Only Change is the acknowledged Constant” and mentioned a quote from Jack Welch stating “if the speed of change outside an organisation is faster than the rate of change inside an organisation, their end is near.” To set the tone right, Arvind continued to emphasize on the HR practices that differentiate winning companies from the rest of the lot.

Towards the end, Arvind introduced the other panellists – Debjani Ghosh, with 21 years of rich experience having held leadership positions with companies like Intel & Raghu Pant, a Value Engineer with SAP. Debjani started off by stating the Value of dreaming big and shared her real life example of rising to the top of the same organisation eventually. For her, No dream is too big to achieve. She talked about how the present times are further more uncertain and the challenges in VUCA time have increased many folds. One such is digitising organisations and before that digitising the leaders.

A show of hands, asked by her revealed only twenty percent of the attendees being active on social media. She talked about how intrinsic values of leaders can be driving forces for organisations but for which leaders need to bear the mantle and lead right from the front. She further stated leaders in present times have to be hundred percent authentic. They simply cannot fake their stand on something. She related to it by saying that employees, investors & future prospective employees do not wait for the yearly speech of the CEO, they rather judge, monitor and define the personality of the CEO by the small acts of his daily routine. CEOs should not only sit in their cabins and need to step out & understand the issues from micro perspective. She wished to all staying relevant in VUCA times as it is a constant of change and is there to stay so HR leaders also need to anticipate change as early and as more millennials come to join their workforce.

DnB People Leaders Summit

Raghu being a value engineer at SAP started off by mentioning that digitisation has changed the value curve for all industries and organisations. Digitisation according to him has brought new age challenges for HR leaders, and they need to adapt to the changes as required to bring in right data points to create a data reservoir. This would be further required to predict the behaviour of employees as a case in point – effective performance on a macro level. HR leaders need to apply the right tools to get near to the right results.

The second half of the summit was a panel discussion with Arvind moderating the discussion, the topic remained largely around – Talent Management & Managing cross-cultural issues in today’s changing Workforce demographics (Refer Agenda).

The esteemed panels included Sandeep Tyagi, Director HR at Samsung Electronics, Anil Misra, CHRO at, Udyan Dutt, Regional HR Director South Asia, Reckitt Benckiser, Rajeev Bhadauria, Group Director HR, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd and Lipika Verma ,Director – Rewards at Schneider Electric, India & Pacific.

This discussion revolved around their individual perspectives on VUCA and how they have taken various initiatives and introduced ideas that have helped their respective organisations to manage change internally. Their learning from the vast expanse and knowledge reservoir helped steer the discussion in the right direction. All the panellists held their unique views on leadership traits that bring about the much needed response to crisis situations or uncertainties like the change in H1B visa norms in the USA and or the impact of the change in the region due to war in Syria. During the conversation, there was mention of restructuring within Samsung being a global electronics giant and challenges associated therein, anticipating the much-needed requirement for businesses to constantly innovate and evangelise in their line of business, identifying the scenario for rewarding and addressing employee issues with a different perspective at various instances and all of these was thoroughly liked and same reciprocated with the level of engagement in the form of questions and comments that were shared by the audience.

The event sessions were much liked and people related to their topics of interests very well. The summit was concluded by a closing note from CareerBuilder with gratitude to all esteemed speakers for sharing knowledge on this platform and to all attendees for taking out time from their busy schedules. CareerBuilder shared its journey from the past twenty years and the evolution in recruitment technology with the recent changes of introduction of semantic search technology on its platform. All attendees were invited for lunch. Agenda for the Summit is available for a download here : Agenda

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