Game-changing impact of digital workers on HR

Having deployed over 1.5 Mn digital workers already, Automation Anywhere is on its way to becoming the world’s largest digital workforce platform. For organizations wanting to tread this path, it is an example of  how you can leverage the digital workforce for their cognitive automation skills and augmented intelligence, what fears continue to exist in the industry and what concerns you need to keep in mind as you head on to deploy a digital workforce.

In a recent roundtable hosted by People Matters and Automation Anywhere, industry experts from across organizations came together to discuss the game changing impact of the digital workforce on the HR function.

The session kick-started with the keynote session presented by Anurag Aman, Partner with Management Consulting (People and Change Advisory) at KPMG. Anurag brought to light some interesting statistics on the use of RPA and Cognitive Automation in the HR function, followed by a discussion led by Sonali De Sarker, Senior Director HR – IMEA, Automation Anywhere.

Sharing her insights on the impact of the digital workforce on existing processes and the physical workforce, Sarker said, “It’s important that we as HR practitioners actually move the needle rather than waiting for it to happen.”

‘HR is no more just a soft aspect of the organization’

Discussing findings from a recent survey by KPMG that assessed focus areas for HR ahead of the gradual shift to a digital labour force, Anurag Aman shared the following:

The global market for robots and artificial intelligence is expected to reach $152.7 Bn by 2025

Robots to replace 100 Mn knowledge workers

Digital workforce brings in a 30 percent increase in productivity

Digital workforce brings in an ROI of 600 – 800 percent with seamless implementation in specific tasks

Deploying a digital workforce is among the top 5 investment opportunities for CIOs

Sharing that ‘HR is no more just a soft aspect of the organization’ Anurag highlighted how cognitive platforms help augment and leverage human knowledge to perceive, reason and learn across functions. Interestingly, Intelligent Augmentation which is nothing but a partnership between humans and machines can be leveraged to drive impactful business outcomes, with both humans and machines focused on what they do best.

When it comes to strategizing and decision-making, intelligent automation happens in three stages. While humans continue to act and think like humans, machines are more occupied with providing information in the form of rules (workflow automation), learning (enhanced automation) and reasoning (cognitive automation and predictive analytics).

With the extent of impact of robotics and cognitive automation, there is definitely a resistance to bring them in as well. Addressing the dilemma on the right time to bring in the digital workforce and readiness of both the people and organization, Anurag said, “Ask yourself, are you doing it for efficiency, or are you doing it to really create an experience.” Some of the factors he suggested to consider as you tackle the dilemma are benefit of realization (cost vs impact), degree of transformation and availability of data.

With the augment of cognitive automation and RPA, there are a plethora of specialty roles expected to emerge within the HR domain. Some of these are:

People planner

Service delivery leaders

Robotics capability manager

Behavioural scientist

Process Optimizer

People Data analyst

Performance consultant

Employee experience consultant

People performance architect

People Strategist

What you need to know about digital workforce

HR can deploy digital workers across multiple functions. From sourcing profiles and coordinating interviews within talent acquisition, facilitating seamless documentation at the time of on boarding, staffing process automation, to leave record management and triggering messages to managers to intervene after gathering relevant data points, digital workforce does it all when it comes to transactional processes. As shared by Sonali De Sarker, bots in staffing process automation can result in reducing costs by 60 percent and time by 2x. Their team was able to save 140 minutes per new hire, by deploying over 20 bots within their HR team for hiring and onboarding, and they hired 700 employees in the time period. “Bots can enable the human in your employees, with less focus on transactional conversations and more time for meaningful conversations,” added Sarker.

Emphasizing on leveraging the physical-digital partnership between humans and bots, Sakshi Khosla, Associate Director – Human Capital, Max India said, “You need humans to infer insights, to make logical conclusions and use the data generated by bots”. She further added that a common mistake that organizations make in tech adoption is that they try to make it one size fits all. “That’s the issue, because every organization is different, every context is different, every context at a particular point is different,” added Khosla.

Stating how humans have always been resistant to change and how crucial it is to step up now, PepsiCo’s VP – HR India, Suchitra Rajendra added that while it is good to have a parallel process and see how things shape up, it is important to recognize the resistance and realize the impact, “If we don’t do it, we will be left behind.”

Key things to take care of as an HR

While a digital workforce significantly helps in timely tracking and updating of records, bringing down inaccuracy in data, streamlining processes, thereby providing much more time to the physical workforce to leverage their human skills, there are concerns that need to be taken care of before implementation. HR leaders need to focus on these critical concern areas as they think about bringing in a digital workforce.

Process understanding needs to be excellent: Employees who will be working with digital workers need to have the right understanding of how automation works. Get the right people to map the processes and educate them on how automation works and how to work with bots.

Upskilling/reskilling teams: Leaders need to identify what kind of jobs employees can take over, as bots take over transactional and routine work. A recurring concern in the digital age is the threat to job opportunities for humans. Addressing this concern, Sarker said, “It does not threaten the job of your team members, rather it upskills them. Design the bots according to your requirement, and make it accessible and usable for your team.”

Change management with business: Have conversations with business about where HR as a function needs to deploy bots. Understand the scope and assess the impact. With deploying a digital workforce being among the top five priorities for leaders today, it is important to understand the investment perspective before trying to bring in digital workers just to join the bandwagon.

User experience perspective: With your employees being the ultimate users, and co-workers of bots, it is essential to understand where to implement them. When you face an issue, you do not want a machine, you want to interact with a human. “We need to understand when we need to pause the machine interaction and interface directly. We need to make sure we know when to intervene and make the experience right,” added Anurag.

In the digital age and what appears to now be a race, organizations have been contemplating implementation, and struggle with adoption. In the race to on board digital workers and stay ahead of the market, one must not forget to evaluate and assess if the organization and people are ready for that change.

Source-People Matters


Insurance cover a must for fintechs participating in RBI sandbox

MUMBAI: The start-ups taking part in Reserve Bank of India’s proposed regulatory sandbox would be required to take an insurance cover based on the risk of operation and potential customer liability before entering the program, the central bank said in its final framework document released on Tuesday.

Sandbox entities shall be required to take liability/indemnity insurance of an adequate amount and period to safeguard the interest of the customers,” as per the document. The regulator had earlier placed a draft regulation inviting stakeholder comments on the public domain in April.


The cover of the policy would be based on factors such as exposure to customers, the number of claims that may arise of a single event and number of claims expected during the operating period of sandbox.

The policy cover shall begin with the start of the testing stage and end three months after the exit of the sandbox entity from the RS.”


The framework document also doesn’t provide any legal waiver to the companies operating in the sandbox. Furthermore, any loss incurred by the customer would have to be borne by the sandbox entity, the central bank said.


The Regulatory Sandbox is a special environment to enable time-bound testing of innovations under a regulator’s oversight. It allows for the testing of new financial products, technologies, and business models under a set of rules and supervisory requirements, with appropriate safeguards.




Hiring activity picks up with more demand for sales and marketing, IT sector professionals

Hiring activity picks up with more demand for sales and marketing, IT sector professionals

In Delhi and Mumbai, IT sector hiring trend grew by 27%

Hiring in production and maintenance, and banking saw a dip of 10% and 21% respectively

New Delhi: Hiring activity picked up in July across India with sales and marketing, and IT sector recording good growth and banking sector witnessing a sizeable dip, a fresh survey has found.


As per the survey, hiring for professional sales and business development grew by 11%. Other functional areas which observed a rise in demand were Accounts (11%), HR (10%), Marketing (10%) and IT Hardware (7%), as per survey.


However, hiring in production and maintenance, and banking saw a dip of 10% and 21% respectively.


While for the entry and mid-executive level (0-7 years of experience), the hiring trend saw 16% growth, it was 10% for mid-management roles with 8-12 years of experience. Hiring for senior management roles with 13-16 years of experience were up by 6% and Leadership roles grew by 4% in the hiring activity.


Among cities, in the national capital region of Delhi, the hiring activity grew by 10%, in Mumbai it saw a 6% growth and Chennai it was 10%. Bangalore and Hyderabad recorded 20% and 24% growth in July 2019 as against July 2018.

In Delhi and Mumbai, IT sector hiring trend grew by 27%. However, FMCG sector recoded a 7% dip in the national capital. There was an increase in demand for entry-level professionals with experience of 0-3 years by 14% and 9% in Delhi and Mumbai respectively.


In Pune, the rise in hiring for IT-Software and BPO were 29% and 7% respectively, while hiring in the auto sector witnessed 2% dip, the survey said.




Country-wide floods may spike up insurance losses

Country-wide floods may spike up insurance losses

This could push up insured losses from natural disasters from 2014-2019 to Rs 30,000 crore

Floods have ravaged parts of Assam, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha over the past few months. Almost 60-70 people are said to have lost their lives across the country in various flood-related incidents, apart from massive loss to property and vehicles. It is expected that this will lead to a rise in insured losses.

Initial estimates suggest that insurance claims could touch Rs 50-60 crore in the next few weeks. If the monsoon rains intensify, the situation could worsen. This could push up insured losses from natural disasters from 2014-2019 to Rs 30,000 crore.

Cyclone Fani that hit Odisha in April/May led to insurance losses of almost Rs 2,000 crore which causing a rise in underwriting losses for general insurance companies. This means the claims paid exceeded the premium collected. Similarly, the Kerala floods led to claims of Rs 1,400 crore for life and general insurers.


“We have already faced a hit in Q1. If the rain situation continues, the combined ratio will also suffer,” said the head of underwriting at a private general insurer.

Claims from global natural catastrophes in 2018 were pegged at $76 billion, according to the Swiss Re sigma report. The combined insurance losses from natural disasters in 2017 and 2018 were $219 billion, the highest-ever for a two-year period.

In India, the Mumbai floods of 2005 were one of the largest cases of insurance loss events. A Swiss Re sigma report said that in the event of torrential rainfall, rapid urbanisation reduces avenues for water discharge and can lead to heavy flooding. Such was the case in Mumbai in 2005, when flooding after heavy rains resulted in one of the largest insurance loss events ever experienced in India ($0.9 billion, according to sigma data).

In the last five years, losses due to catastrophes have led to insured losses of almost Rs 25,000 crore. This includes losses due to the Uttarakhand floods, cyclones Hudhud, Fani and Phailin, the Chennai and Kerala floods.


The share of uninsured catastrophe losses varies by region. A Swiss Re report said it was typically higher in developing countries where infrastructure construction and implementation of catastrophe risk mitigation measures did not keep pace with economic growth. However, there are areas of under-insurance in advanced countries too, even in those with known medium to high exposure to certain hazards.

Insurance companies have a natural catastrophe clause that covers damage to property or vehicles for these incidents. For death due to such an incident, a term insurance cover will provide the life insurance claim.

The centre fully funding this initiative is not a feasible idea. Having a catastrophe bond to fund the claims from such incidents has been a model followed in other markets, but not yet allowed in India. A natural catastrophe pool to fund major incidents was under discussion about three years back, but it hasn’t yet been implemented.

With the rise in the number of natural catastrophes in the country, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) chairman Subhash C Khuntia said they are looking into the possibility of having a few pilot projects in vulnerable areas to offer property insurance.



Jobs boom: India Inc looking for digitally skilled workforce, demand set to surge at scorching pace

Jobs boom: India Inc looking for digitally skilled workforce, demand set to surge at scorching pace

NAASCOM said the top priority for it was to reskill this base and has taken a number of initiatives, the first of which was proposed tie-ups with educational institutions.

The demand for digitally skilled workforce would rise at 35 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate till 2023 of the current talent base of four million, Information Technology body NASSCOM said here Wednesday. NAASCOM said the top priority for it was to reskill this base and has taken a number of initiatives, the first of which was proposed tie-ups with educational institutions.

“Lack of talent availability is one of the key challenges faced by organizations. We want it to make it as job one initiatives (to reskill talent base)”, NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Human Resource Summit here. She said of the four million jobs in industry, 60-65 per cent of job profiles were expected to change in the next five years.

“By 2022, 54 per cent of all employees will require significant reskilling and up skilling”, she said. Under the National Association of Software and Service Companies initiatives to reskill the talent base, the industry body planned to tie-up with around 30 universities this year. “This year we plan to have tie-ups with about 30 universities.

In fact, the first such tie-up is with Chennai based SRM University”, she said. NASSCOM, Success Lead, Futureskills, Kirti Seth said the industry body last year focused on emerging technologies and this year it would be on developing “professional” skills of existing talents.

Some technical skills required by companies include big data analytics, Artificial Intelligence while professional skills include problem solving ability, storytelling, negotiation intelligence among others, she said. If reskilling does not happen, companies may look at recruiting from each other as the biggest task was the talent issue “right now”.

“It is the biggest challenge we need to overcome. Today, mergers and acquisitions is one of the key charters of every company”, she said. To a query, she said NASSCOM was bullish on achieving the USD 5 trillion economy as envisaged by the Central government. “It is a pretty realistic goal… “, she said. The Centre has set itself a goal of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.


Source: The Financial Express.

Date: 19th July 2019.

“Tech Mahindra introduces artificially intelligent HR humanoid”

K2 leverages Artificial and initiates conversation without any need for wake-up commands.

Tech Mahindra, a provider of digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services introduced K2, the first Human Resource (HR) Humanoid for its Noida Special Economic Zone Campus in Uttar Pradesh, India. A perfect blend of knowledge and kindness, K2 will take over the routine HR transactions to provide constant assistance to the HR team in creating an enhanced employee experience. Tech Mahindra’s first HR humanoid was introduced in its Hyderabad campus, earlier this month.

K2 leverages state of the art Artificial Intelligence technology and initiates conversation without any need for wake-up commands. Keeping in mind the needs of the specially abled, K2 can respond to queries with text display along with Speech. K2 can address general and specific HR-related employee queries as well as handle personal requests for actions like providing payslip, tax forms etc., and will enable the HR team to focus on other important areas for employee development.

Harshvendra Soin, Chief People Officer, Tech Mahindra, said, “In today’s digital era, the changing talent landscape is making it imperative for organisations to not just be customer focused, but more ‘human experience’ centric. At Tech Mahindra, we are focused on leveraging technology to further enhance human experiences by making them more personalised and meaningful. K2 has been designed to add value to the employee lifecycle across various touchpoints and ready ourselves to be a workplace of the future. We believe the future will be more human than we think.”

Tech Mahindra plans to deploy the next Humanoid in its Pune campus following the NSEZ campus and will further enable K2 software for an enhanced engagement with improved communication skills to carry out empathetic conversations from associate’s wellness perspective. The organisation will also enable it to leverage mobility and spatial awareness to engage with Associates rather than just keeping it unidirectional.



Source: Money Control

Date: 25th June, 2019


Warm Regards,


Brene Brown on 6 problems that arise without ‘brave leadership’

“Courage is teachable, observable and measurable,” she told attendees at #SHRM19. But what happens when it’s missing?

Many employers have value lists, but few managers know how those values translate into action — making those lists next to worthless, Brene Brown, speaker and researcher at the University of Houston​, told HR managers during the Monday general session at the 2019 Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference.

Brown had one answer for ​how HR, strapped for time and resources, can make the workplace better: brave leadership.

“We asked leaders all over. What is the future of leadership? Who will be standing in five years? Who won’t be? And for the first time in my career, the answer was saturated across everyone I interviewed: We need braver leaders. We need people who can make change and rehumanize work,” Brown said.

Brown said her research subjects had trouble defining “what makes up a brave leader?” Instead, she asked: What does the absence of brave leadership look like?

Not having tough conversations

Not enough challenging conversations take place, generally, Brown said. Corrective conversations (the typical tough conversation) usually aren’t fun, but in avoiding them, managers choose a worse alternative and talk about those who have done wrong, rather than to them. This can allow the problem to fester unabated.

HR practitioners should remember that asking managers to have hard conversations is like asking an airline passenger to fly the plane based on their number of frequent flier miles, Brown added. The manager may not inherently have the tools to do the task; but HR can enable the development of those skills.

Not embracing fear and feelings

Brown called this missing skill “the worst one on the list” due to its inherent difficulty. HR leaders tend to spend “an unreasonable amount of time” dealing with people’s fears and thus end up “playing whack-a-mole” with unproductive behaviors triggered by those fears. A leader has to be okay probing the fears and insecurities that may underpin behaviors, but it can take serious time — and emotional engagement — to do so.

Getting stuck in setbacks

Failure is necessary for innovation, but if leaders want to embrace failure as a cultural norm, they need to model for their people how that may look. “We spend 20% of our energy fixing it and 80% helping pull people out of ‘the shame s—storm,'” Brown said. “People have to be responsible for their own bounce.”

That bounce — usually referred to more broadly as resilience — can be taught, but timing is key; you can’t teach people to get back up from a failure “when they are on the ground,” Brown said. Education on resilience and bravery, as Brown called it, needs to start during onboarding.

Falling for action bias

People want to fix problems, but defaulting to action before strategizing about the issue can lead to solving the same problem over and over again. Proper problem identification often requires someone “to sit in vulnerability” to discover what really went wrong, Brown said. That process can be painful, but it is often necessary to solve underlying issues once and for all.

Source: HR Dive

Date: 25th June, 2019