BIG BEGINNING The HR consultant builds a research initiative with India Inc and academics; programme will be a repository of Indian success stories
To support world-class, India-specific research in the areas of human resources and leadership, HR consultant Aon Hewitt has built a unique initiative along with companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Vodafone, Genpact, Deloitte and Essar besides academics from top business schools.
The made-in-India programme will address key HR, talent and people management issues faced by industry leaders and organisations alike. “The vision is to bridge the gap between academia and industry imperatives through data-driven robust research that will act as the action agenda for organisations to implement at the workplace,“ said Rajeev Dubey, group president, HR and corporate services, at Mahindra and Mahindra.
Along with Dubey , the founding members of the Aon Think Tank include Sandeep Chaudhary , CEO of Aon Hewitt, and several HR heads: TK Srirang of ICICI Bank; Ashok Ramchandran of Vodafone; Piyush Mehta of Genpact; Adil Malia of Essar; and SV Nathan of Deloitte India. Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad professor Biju Varkkey is also a member. The objective is to focus on homegrown research on talent and leadership. “In HR, there is a larger reliance on what emanates from the West. There has been very little thought leadership emerging from India,“ said Aon Hewitt’s Chaudhary. “The perception is that there is not much being done in Indian organisations; that’s not necessarily true.“
Organisations in India don’t pay enough attention to practices and principles developed locally.
“The reason for that is that we do not have enough research and supporting data on Indian practices and business solutions,“ Dubey said. “I believe that going forward it will be the fusion of West and East in all possible facets of business practices that will define the successful company of tomorrow.“
The initial research corpus committed by the founding members and Aon Hewitt is around `. 20 lakh with the two research studies being completed in two years. The topics are, `Transforming Leadership: Role of Values and Self-Concepts’ and `Talent Development: Exploring the Derailment Factors, its Impact and the Way Forward.’ The initiative is ongoing, with funding and mentoring of additional research themes.
The exercise will seek to plug the gap between theory and practice.
“The whole academia and industry connect is missing in the people and HR piece,“ said Vikas Verma, director and leader, selection and assessment solutions, Aon Hewitt, who is also t heading the research. “It exists only l for placement. Globally, consulting is close to research.“ Unique HR Challenges The programme will also be a repository of Indian success stories that have rarely been the focal point of discussions among teachers and students. While several Indian corporate houses have earned global acclaim for business practices, these narratives remain untold.
“There is a severe dearth of Indian case studies for management students t to learn from. Most of the management schools in India are using for t eign case studies, which are unable to provide the Indian context or realities as they exist on the ground,“ said Srirang of ICICI Bank. “Hence, the graduating students come ill-equipped to deal with the management challenges hat are specific to a growing economy ike India.“
The research will document the DNA of HR in India. HR heads list compensation, rewards, legal and regulatory ssues as being areas in which aping Western models may not lead to the right solution.
“India has unique HR challenges. Some are generic while some are specific–demographic, employability and significant geographical nuances,“ said Mehta of Genpact. “The collaborative part of the project is unique. It will add huge amount of value in understanding HR.“
The effort should make it easier to overcome some of the hurdles to research. “This project gives researchers access to funding and workplaces-both these have been challenges,“ Varkkey said.
Srirang pointed out that some public sector entities have scripted their success without the use of much-fancied ools such as incentives, bonuses and stock options. Studying the cultural at ributes and business acumen of such organisations is important, he said.
Source:- The Economic Times ( Mumbai)