Prior to this, Kar was V-P and head-HR, Reliance Digital.
Lalit Kar has a new role up his sleeves. He has moved to GVK as V-P and head-HR for Mumbai International Airport.
In his role, he will have to implement a change management programme, which includes hiring, training and developing the workforce to offer best passenger services.
Kar says, “Airports are no longer a place where just aircrafts land and take off. In fact, it is a great retail and real estate joint as well.”
However, referring to the big challenges in this sector, Kar says, “There is a shortage of professionals in this sector, which is why one has to build talent and not buy talent in this sector.”
As airports in India were handled by the government owned Airport Authority of India, the entire objective and strategy was at a different tangent back then. Post the privatization, two companies – GVK and GMR – emerged as the specialised players in managing airports.
So it terms of talent acquisition, there was only one source for the each player.
It’s been a decade since GVK had taken over the Mumbai airport and there are still certain industrial relations issues that need to be resolved. And this will be on the top of the priority list for Kar.
“The industrial relations has o be harmonious for uninterrupted passenger facility at the airport,” says Kar.
When GVK took over the Mumbai airport, it had enrolled 300-400 employees from Airports Authority of India.
“In the initial part of my career, I have managed industrial relations and I am back to the same now after handling corporate HR for few years in between. I am enjoying my stint,” he asserts.”
He spent 13 years at the National Dairy Development Board, which owns brands such as Safal, Dhara and Mother Dairy. During his stint at NDDB, he shouldered various responsibilities in different capacities.
One of the significant roles he played was when he was deputed to Bhavnagar, to head the HR of an ailing company dealing with Dhara products. The company had a very poor history of industrial relations and militant unionism. But, Kar successfully closed it down through intense engagement and protracted negotiations, resulting in acceptance of VRS by 100 per cent employees.
Kar, who was earlier V-P and head-HR, Reliance Digital, was responsible for managing human resources for the electronic retail formats of Reliance Digital, Digital Express, Digital Xpress Mini, iStore and the after-sales service vertical, called ResQ.
In his career spanning over 24 years, Kar has been involved in three start-ups and one closure.
He is experienced in the entire spectrum of HR starting from industrial relations to organisational capability building.
Kar has spent more than a decade managing HR in the organised retail sector.
With a master’s degree in personnel management & industrial relations, from Utkal University, Kar started his career with ORIND (Orissa Industries), which was one of the top three refractory makers in India as well as the leading exporter of refractories from India.