“It is important to identify one’s purpose early in life and hone it over time,” Suresh Narayanan, chairman & MD, Nestle India

Topics, such as diversity and inclusion, as well as elevating women in leadership roles, and ways in which HR can elevate itself, were discussed at length.

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Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently concluded the 8th edition of ‘SHRM India Annual Conference & Exposition’, the primary of theme was ‘Elevate’. It offered a platform to empower and enable HR personnel across all industry verticals to ‘elevate’ their performance in line with the continuously evolving HR industry. The two-day event saw participation by over 1800 delegates, including mid- & senior-level HR professionals, corporate leaders and more than acclaimed thought leaders from all across the world.

Eminent speakers at the event were, David Windley, SHRM Board Chair & CEO of IQTalent Partners; Shiv Khera, author, educator, business consultant, and global thought leader; Suresh Narayanan, chairman & MD, Nestle India; Rohit Thakur, HR MD, Accenture India; Apurva Purohit, president, Jagran Prakashan; and Anand Shankar, partner, human capital, Deloitte India

The opening session, ‘Elevating India: The journey to a $5 trillion economy’, saw panellists— Rathin Roy, director and chief executive, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; Sumant Sinha, chairman and MD, Renew Power; and Ila Patnaik, economist, and former principal economic advisor to the Govt. of India— acknowledging that while there is no doubt that India has the potential to be a world leader, key structural reforms must be effected in the financial systems, judiciary and regulatory mechanisms.

The need for policy formulations to achieve the target of $5 trillion economy and enable India to gain its rightful place in the world order was also stressed. Attention was drawn to the urgent need to boost internal demand, strengthen the financial sector and privatise PSUs to enhance productivity. It was brought to light that policy uncertainty was adversely affecting industries.

Suresh Narayanan, chairman & MD, Nestle India, in his session ‘Staying Elevated: Winning every moment’, spoke about the secret of winning every time. He emphasised on how essential it is to identify one’s purpose early in life and hone it over time so that every action and every decision can be geared towards achieving that purpose.

The Fireside chat, ‘Dismissing the odds: A story of relentless determination’, hosted by corporate secretary and chief of staff, SHRM, Emily M Dickens, witnessed participation by globally renowned author and social worker, Navin Gulia; learning and development leader, Nupur Jain and chairman, Bhagat Global Group, Manmohan Bhagat, who discussed disability, inclusion and discrimination.

The Conference emphasized that an organisation’s most valuable resource is human capital, and all managers, irrespective of their fields of expertise, should ensure that this important asset performs at the highest level of efficiency.

The conference also witnessed discussions on critical subjects, such as ‘Elevating women in leadership roles – What works?’, ‘Who’s skilling the skill master: Is HR elevating itself?’ and ‘Leveraging technology for employer branding and recruitment marketing’ amongst others. A series of knowledge sessions also addressed the issues of diversity and inclusion, leveraging technology, employee benefits, wellness, and productivity, to creative leadership and effective collaboration.

The annual HR Excellence Awards to acknowledge organisations that work passionately to raise the bar for the profession and their workforce through constant innovation were given away too.

The conference ended with a closing keynote session ‘A story of survival and triumph”, wherein, actress, model, and philanthropist, Lisa Ray, talked about what it takes to be true to oneself and triumph over odds.

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