Responsible Management Education

HR Conference, 2016 “Rise of Virtual Team: Sustainability & Effectiveness in a VUCA world “


“Rise of Virtual Team: Sustainability & Effectiveness in a VUCA world “


IILM Graduate School of Management

16, Knowledge Park II, Greater Noida-201 306

17th December, (Saturday) 2016

IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida is in continuous pursuit of all-round excellence in Management Education by narrowing the gap between academia and industry. To that end, IGSM, Greater Noida organized a day-long HR Conference on the theme “Rise of Virtual Teams: Sustainability and Effectiveness in the VUCA World” on Saturday, 17th December, 2016 at its Greater Noida Campus. The Conference aimed to provide insights on dynamism of virtual team in a volatile economic environment. It focused on socio-emotional communication strategies and the changing role of leadership for virtual team effectiveness.

Inaugural Session:


The Conference began with a Welcome Address by Dr. Taruna Gautam,Director, IGSM, followed by an introduction to the Conference theme by Dr. Shyamali Satpathy, Conference Chair. Dr. Gautam addressed the students about the dramatically changing business environment where team members have to overcome space, time and cultural barriers to deliver and sustain in the competition. She also highlighted on new information age, internet of things and artificial intelligence are disrupting existing business models and affecting their long term feasibility. Dr Satpathy threw light on sustainability and effectiveness of virtual team in the era of globalization. She emphasized on the role of Socio-Emotional communication strategies and leadership for the effectiveness of a virtual team.


The Chief Guest of the Conference Mr. Anurag Gour, Marketing Head, Microsoft

Mr Gour during his Inaugural session discussed about his experience at Microsoft where he has been associated for over a decade. He also discussed on Digital Transformation due to the change in the VUCA World and about the challenges faced by the companies due to paradigm shift in the global business landscape.

With supporting facts and figures he spoke about the changes in the VUCA World and the constant transformations in the Fortune 500 companies. He said that technical infusion has lead to uncertainty and consequently to opportunity. He laid emphasis on employee engagement and role clarity for effective people management. .


The Keynote Speaker of the Conference  Mr. Sunny Sharma, Founder, Foetron In.

Mr. Sharma elaborated on the broad idea about the changes in the VUCA World.  He stressed on the fact that most important asset is the data which people do not want to share and it is very important to gain trust which comes from working in a team continually. He stated that the young people today do not want to be judged but want solution to their problems. He concluded the session by stating that the world is volatile and it for us to decide how to cope up with changing environment.


Both the speakers concluded that in order to get succeed, HR personnel must understand their responsibility towards the business, objectives and mission of the organization. The session was very interactive and students took deep interest in exchanging ideas with the speakers.


Session 1: Socio-Emotional Communication Strategies for Virtual Team Effectiveness



After the inaugural session, the conference proceeded to its first technical session where Professor Arun Gupta, moderator of the session, introduced the panel members and gave a brief idea about the objectives of the session.

The first panel member of this session was Ms. Runa Maitra, Founder & Director of People Talent Management. She started the discussion by sharing her own experience in working in different environment. She also said embracing technology like social media would increase networking and employee engagement.  A leader needs to keep people motivated, happy and actually connected with the organization which leads to increase in productivity. She laid emphasis on ability to understand and manage emotions in a virtual team for conflict management.

Manuel Pardhe, HR Head, Thompson Digital was the next panel member to talk. He shared his experience of working in different sectors seeing a lot of volatility. He also focused on the power of technology which makes it possible for the organizations to increase their connectivity which in turn leads to effective communication among the team members of different time zone. He also shared his experience of working in gulf country and in America. Lastly he concluded by saying if the organizations do not adapt to the technology they won’t survive.

Ms. Anjali Singh, Zonal Manager, Mahindra and Mahindra was the last panel member of the first session.  She continued the session mentioning the VUCA World gives a lot of challenges but gives opportunities as well. By giving example of UBER, she tried to explain how a disruptive innovation also has a social aspect that is of giving a lot of employment or empowerment. She also discussed on team dynamism and role of emotional intelligence to resolve conflict in a virtual team.

Session 2 – Virtual Team Dynamics and Role of Leadership for Virtual Team Effectiveness


The second session moderated by Professor Rajkishan Nair introducing the panel members to the audience.

The first speaker of the session was Mr. Murlee Dhar Shyamm, Vice President HR, RJ Corp Healthcare. Mr. Murlee initiated the session by quoting “An organization must focus on seeking for best employees, should be customer centric and should respect individual effort”. He also spoke about sustainable business practices by exploring new ideas that necessarily entailed risk. Further he reflected upon challenges that have been happening across the last decade with some influence areas key areas like globalization, digitalization and innovation.

He further contributed to the session by stating that the strongest point of virtual team is its ability to collaborate across the world. He gave the example of a company named “Thread less” that uses crowd intelligence. He concluded the session by stating that a leader has a huge responsibility to make organizations future ready.

Mr. Anup Mittal, AGM, Retail Sales, Vodafone Ltd. was the second speaker of the session. He continued the session by sharing his own experience of working in a startup that delivered services like bouquet to the customers from there he explained the concept of “Virtual” He elucidated that virtual is something that is connected intangibly. He further continued the session by saying that leadership is a born quality. And some leadership qualities are to be developed as per the situation’s demands.  It is just the vision, mission, cohesiveness, and what the leader brings on the table.

Mr. Govind Kohli, AGM, HR, Jiva Ayurveda was the last speaker on this panel. He spoke about the role of leadership and mentioned that great leaders by themselves were not good enough for building world class companies; it required the concerted effort of talented employees who were aligned to a company’s mission and vision to transform a dream into a reality. As a leader, one has to ensure that he has to create social aspect of everything.

Valedictory Address & Vote of Thanks

Mr. Murlee Dhar Shyamm gave the Valedictory Address focusing on urge to be wiser, thoughtful, and doing a lot more research, to have clear vision for team effectiveness. He stated that the change in the VUCA World will make every organization to change the way it operates.

The students showed interest and responded with great enthusiasm while putting up questions to the panelists and guests speakers. The conference concluded with Vote of Thanks proposed by the conference chair Dr.Satpathy. She acknowledged all those who had contributed in making the conference a success.



“HR As a Strategic Business Partner”, HR Conclave 2015

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IGSM, Greater Noida organised a day-long HR CONCLAVE on the theme “HR As a Strategic Business Partner” on Saturday, 26th September 2015 at its Greater Noida Campus.

The event began with an opening address by Dr Taruna Gautam – Director, IGSM followed by an introduction to the theme by Dr. Itiliekha Dash, Area chair OB & HR at IILM Graduate School of Management.

Mr Sanjoy Mukerji, Managing Director of iClinic Healthcare and Diagno Labs was the chief guest on the occasion. He started with those values that a company must incorporate in its vision statement i.e. increasing both the shareholder’s value and customer value and making an alignment to at least one character of an employee to organization. Also he mentioned 5 key points that one must look forward to:

    • Every organization is becoming service organization. Therefore, it is important              to think of the policy to add values.
    • The frontline people are the most important people of the organization because they serve the customers.
    • Growth is the mantra that everyone should face and experience.
    • Organization should adopt the right culture to match with the product, customers etc.
    • It is important to integrate the communication process between frontline’s and executives.

Chandan Chattaraj ,President – HR (India & Global),Uflex Ltd was the key note speaker of the inaugural session. Mr. Chattaraj set the direction and elaborated on the broad idea about the whole discussion. With supporting data he spoke about “transformation”, how important it was to experience and understand it, than just learning new things. He emphasized on the idea that key investment for strategic role is knowledge and it was increasingly becoming investment centric than cost centric. He also mentioned that the strategy of UFLEX as an organization was to “Understand your people and your organization”. He elaborated on his journey from a Welfare Officer to a Strategic HR.

Both speakers concluded that in order to be in the centre, HR personnel must understand their responsibility towards the business, objectives and mission of the organization. 

SESSION 1: The changing role of HR leaders from background contributor to strategic value creator.

After the inaugural session, the conclave proceeded to its first panel discussion on the sub-theme “The changing role of hr leaders from background contributor to strategic value creator.” The first panel member of this session was Mr. Mainak Maheshwari. Mr. Maheshwari started the discussion with two questions.

  • Why is it changing?
  • What is actually changing?

While answering the first question, he reminded of how the importance people as an asset have changed the mindset with respect to generational shift. For answering his second question he talked about lot of job opportunities and startup culture and how the traditional perception about HR is changing. At the end of the discussion, he shared the lesson he learned from his experience; “an HR manager needs to be friend, philosopher and guide. For this, empathy and sensitivity is must. Always be futuristic”. He concluded that KRA/KPI should be aligned with that of business and there must be an understanding of complete business to grow with competition.


Mr. Vivek Tripathi was the next panel member to talk. He spoke about the importance of HR: “HR is too important to be left with HR. It has to be embraced by every part of the organization.”He threw light on “What is changing and what is driving this change?” Also he spoke of the major challenge faced in HR i.e. TRUST. He also emphasized on Values, their adaptability, integrity and passion for excellence.

Mr. Muralidhar Shyam was our last panel member of the first session. He started his session mentioning some major challenges that a HR department as a whole has to go through. Some of them he mentioned were: Talent Strategies, Core competencies, building capable teams as per KRA/KPI’s. He talked about the foremost role of strategic HR and also emphasized on the fact that effective strategies rest on three foundations ie. Value Creation, Value Delivery and value Capture.

Session 2 – Practices that differentiate the best organization from the good ones.

The second session commenced with video demonstrations on connecting customers and focusing on competencies. Mr Deepak Jalan, Group Head, Resource Management Group, Tech Mahindra opined that the core value of an organistion should be based on freedom to explore. “An organization must focus on seeking for best employees, should be customer centric and should respect individual effort”. He also spoke about sustainable business practices by exploring new ideas which necessarily entailed risk.

Ms Anju Sabharwal, the second speaker of the session shared her experience with Vodafone. She highlighted how the company’s initiatives like focusing on reward and recognition, knowledge empowerment, grievances redressal, girls education, organizing co curricular activities etc for its employees were making a difference in their well being. She concluded her session by emphasizing how happy employees contributed to organizational success and helps a company to build a brand.

Mr Abhishek Tiwary, Managing Director, KPMG was the last speaker on this panel. He spoke about the role of leadership and mentioned that great leaders by themselves were not good enough for building world class companies; it required the concerted effort of talented employees who were aligned to a company’s mission and vision to transform a dream into a reality.

SESSION 3 –Harnessing the power of Gen Y to drive business ahead.

Mr. Anupam Dubey, Key Accounts Manager-Utilities, at Paytm discussed the different features of Gen Y: techno savvy, entrepreneurial, environmentally minded, comfortably self-reliant, socio-mobi generation. He also mentioned that 50% of India’s GDP came from people with average age of 25 years. He suggested prospective managers to focus more on career opportunities and multi-dimensional growth, rather than evaluate growth in monetary terms alone. He concluded his discussion by saying “There has been a shift from work-life balance to work-life integrity.” Ideas for Gen Y already have arrived and in progress such as work from home, leadership development programs & innovation challenges and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Kunwar J Singh, Head HR, Rolls Royce deliberated on how we should equip ourselves in harnessing Gen Y. He also mentioned how Gen Y is different in terms of connectivity, technology orientation, productivity and job skills. He said that Gen Y were more inclined towards technology, and instance feedback and results, and that they were more opportunistic in their attempt to be successful.

The last speaker of this session Mr. Sujoy Basu emphasized that Gen Y were the People who wanted to achieve their goal by walking an extra mile if necessary. They had the extreme personality traits and believed in leadership and self motivation. They were self driven individuals who could avail every opportunity for growth. Mr Basu, emphasized the various initiatives taken by organizations today to harness the power of Gen Y, like recognizing innovation and their risk taking attitude.

Dr Arvind, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Ministry of Defense, Government of India delivered the valedictory address at the Conclave. In his address Dr. Arvind emphasized the growing importance of ‘knowledge as an asset’ in determining the prosperity of nations and the role of knowledge capital in fostering economic growth and prosperity.

Women in HR profession

A woman faces responsibilities, finding it frustrating to balance work and family life. Thinking that they are unable to give 100% commitment to either work or home, these women end up feeling guilty and give up their carrier. Women professionals with CA, MBA, MCA or BTech qualifications and technical and managerial experience have given up their jobs after marriage. Having put in years of experience in their specialized area, these women resigned their jobs for biological or transitional reasons. Regular timing, commuting for long distance and working during ungodly hours deter them from resuming a full time carrier. In their heart, they crave to get back to their work. But they cannot and this distresses. The concept of Flexi-plan Interim Managers will help fulfilling the needs of such women. They would like to work at their own pace in their own time from their own place.” Stay home Moms” who keep their career intact through this interim managers concept is very much prevalent in developed nations and is yet to find a place in India. But in our country it is ideally suited to take off, as we have a growing knowledge industry and a substantial pool of talented women professionals. Highly qualified women who take career breaks can’t find work when they are ready to return .They have to compromise on salary or status or both. To get that extra time of their own to look after their family, they are ready to compromise.

SEE ALSO: The Future of HR

Profiles of women professional –

Working women are either postgraduates or professionally qualified with good communication skills. Majority of them are in the age group of 26-35 years and all of them are married. Women can be found in jobs related to Software Development, Customer Support Services, Front Office Work and Sales and Marketing. The women are mostly from upper middle income group who have their materialistic comforts taken care by their family’s economic status. They possess skills like programming, software development, auditing, web designing, content creation, recruiting, counseling, training, communication, copy writing etc. Most of these skills are knowledge based. The profiles of women both in government and private sectors are of following areas.

  • HR
  • IT
  • Customer care/hospitality
  • Teaching
  • Health care
  • Banking
  • Media
  • NGO
  • Politics
  • Fashion designing

Why women are preferred in HR?

Of all the managerial and professional specialty occupations, human resource management has the highest proportion of women. In 1996, women made up 62.5 percent of all “personnel, labor relations and training” positions – almost 14 percentage points higher than the average for all managerial and professional occupations – according to the U.S. Department of Labor. What’s more, the percentage of women in HR is double what it was 25 years ago, when women made up 31 percent of the profession. Relative to other fields, “HR has one of the highest percentages of women in top executive positions,” says John F. Johnson, an executive recruiter who places chief HR executives in Fortune 1000 companies. “You find a higher percentage here than in finance, legal or other functions,” he adds. And more women appear to be headed into the profession, based on the college students studying HR. For example, 70 percent of the student members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) are women, according to Beth McFarland, manager of student programs. Women have better prospect in HR.  Of course, women were unanimous in accepting that they are better at managing people. An Indian Information Service Officer said that while women manage work superbly even when unorganized .Personal experiences say that women are better at advising and mentoring. That’s probably one of the reasons why there are many women in the HR teams. Though psychologists warn of over-generalization based on gender, they opine that women are certainly better team players and more tolerant. But a clear-cut generalization that women are better managers is sheer short-sightedness and a highly biased opinion. Both men and women are individuals with their characteristic traits, which determine the managerial success quotient. Women’s way of communicating is not necessarily better than men but here it forms a big debate on the topic “Why women are preferred in HR”.

Figures released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) regarding its membership, often a reliable way to look at the HR industry as a whole, reveal a staggering fact. Almost three quarters (72%) of the total membership are women.

It can be rare in established industry professions these days to have the figures so heavily skewed towards one sex or another and rarer still to find that women have the predominance over men. So what does this tell us about the HR industry, the core skills required, and the industry’s ability to attract skilled professionals from both sexes?

It’s in the genes?

On a broad, generic level, it has often been said that the skills and qualities required to be a successful Human Resources professional lend themselves more to those of the female skill set. Organisational abilities, an eye for detail, empathy, non-confrontational negotiation skills, listening and an overall desire to help have been cited as aspects of the profession that are cited as more feminine traits.

Historical ground –

To understand why there are more women in HR we must look at the history of the profession in the UK, says Angela O’Connor, HR director at the Crown Prosecution Service. “The roots of HR go as far back as the late 19th century, when the role of welfare workers was to take care of women and girls in the workforce,” she says. “These welfare workers were all women, and as more women entered the workplace during the two world wars, the number in welfare work increased and their role expanded to include recruitment and training.” The development from the welfare role to personnel, and then to HR, took place, therefore, in a predominantly female environment – in much the same way, for example, that engineering developed as a mainly male occupation. And just as small, but increasing, numbers of women have entered engineering over the past few decades.

Historically, HR can trace its lineage to as far back as the late 19th century and the role of welfare workers. All welfare workers were women, and it was their role to ensure that the women and girls in the workforce were taken care of. As more women entered industry during the two world wars, the welfare worker’s role was expanded to include recruitment and training.

The movement from welfare role to Personnel, and subsequently from Personnel to HR took place in a mainly female context, just as other industries – construction for example – relied on a mainly male workforce. Having examined the roots of the profession and found them to be predominantly female, it starts to become possible to see how HR has maintained its status as a female-oriented industry. This is not to suggest that men aren’t, or cannot be, successful in HR, but more that women have historically claimed the industry as their own.

Though it is different from person to person but many believe that the feminine attributes of female make them successful more than the men in HR. The reasons are;

  • Nature of the job – Traditionally, the perception is that men generally opt for jobs where there are fixed results, measurable and competitive, whilst women have traditionally chosen less aggressive, softer, industry roles. This perception leads to a noticeable result for which more women today are in HR jobs. HR is generally perceived to be a profession based around people and people skills. Men – and this is too deep a topic to be specific about – tend to be attracted to areas that are more systematic, more structured and more competitive. HR has been associated with a ‘softer’ social science background which tends to attract women, whereas men tend to prefer the ‘harder’ sciences. HR’s image and perception has served to turn men off joining the profession. As far as many people in the outside world are concerned, HR is a soft and fluffy job all about social and women are more attracted to HR because they are in some way genetically predisposed to the nature of the job. Women seem to be attracted to caring “people-based” professions such as HR, while men have traditionally preferred professions where success is judged on results. In male-dominated professions, such as sales, law or engineering, we can see the number of sales made, or court cases won, or bridges built or exactly what has been achieved. But in HR, it has not always been easy to measure our achievement. Women are more attracted to the humanist side of the work. More men would create a better balance, but they need to be excited and have a passion for the work. Having a lot of women in HR is not a bad thing, unless there are barriers for them to make the step to HR director level.

  • Ability to influence others through emotional intelligence – The key HR skills in many areas are the ability to empathize, relate and influence, and use emotional intelligence. Because women are more emotional then men and therefore employees feel more comfortable with someone who can express themselves emotionally then those who don’t. Women are generally more inclined towards behavioral approach system and they are generally scared of numbers so the best option to get into is HR as its all about Theoretical subjects and its mostly about psycho study… as HR is about knowing people and there behavior and thereby make decisions/predictions on the basis of peoples’ behaviour. HR is a job where the amount of power you have lies in your ability to influence other people, whereas in many other jobs, we have power through position. Women who come into HR and do well are particularly good at influencing other people. Women also seem to be less precious about positions; they seem to be more open minded when it comes to moving towards or away from a particular point of argument, whereas men often feel it is a sign of weakness.

  • Better advising and mentoring capability – Women are considered for HR as they can get to know and understand the candidates’ mindset well and they can have better advising and mentoring skill. And probably women are more attracted to HR because they’re in some way genetically predisposed to the nature of the job. And HR is a function where the amount of power we have lies in our ability to influence other people, whereas in many other jobs, we have power through position. Yes women are coming out of their traditional lifestyle, educating themselves ad making a mark in the work field. Most organizations have women who hold excellent positions in HR. They are contributing to every field like training and recruitment.

  • Better ability to understand – It might seem that HR really is a woman’s world, and if we take a closer look, we’ll see that women may be more nurturing and understanding in their interactions with people. The interesting part is women don’t shy away from talking to men…where men do not feel comfortable giving bad news to women or discussing sensitive issues. Men often have trouble melding fact, tack, and compassion. So, that is one of the reasons women do better in HR.

  • More patience and tolerance – HR roles require high patience and tolerance as the essential skill. Its well accepted notion that women are more tolerant than men. So women become automatic choice for HR role.

  • Multi-tasking ability – HR involves high level of co-ordination & process compliance. At times, there are many activities which may not require very high inputs from your side but needs to be executed simultaneously. Here once again female proves to be more effective than male counterpart.

  • Sincerity – Many researches have proved that women are more sincere at workplace in taking the responsibilities for which women are preferred in HR. Self-discipline, motivation, internal locus of control, comfort with risk- these are some attributes seen in women that make them sincere in their work.

  • Money management skill – It is rightly said that women can manage money better than men. As per women are concerned, their mind set up is too much different from men. They know how to spend money effectively.

  • Less popular among men – It is a fact that HR as a specialization is not very popular among men. They tend to opt for finance or marketing. So less supply of equally qualified male HR professionals is also an important factor which restricts representation in HR teams.


Future of women in HRD is booming, as the HRD is also growing in many organizations slowly.  If we then it can be concluded that men are still in HR at higher position. But it true that women move in HR more than other field and organizations are now giving chance to women to come up and utilize their talent in organization. There is a feeling that anyone can ‘do’ HR, that it is something anyone can pick up. This has led to a lack of professionalism within HR and a lack of focus on business outcomes. It is a challenge for women if they want their careers to be taken seriously and if HR is to be put on the map. The development of the HR business partner role, for example, requires business experience and qualifications. Now if we go deep into it we would be able to find the behavior pattern of women. Women today are creating new career models to use their MBA skills as well as time with their family. Beside of all as every aspect has two sides same as women are growing but they also face barriers in their working career, Lack of political savvy , Lack of career strategy, Work and Family,  Family and Work Assumed to be Exclusive’ Family-Friendly Policies’ and Work Commitment. There are many women which have set example in corporate world. They have proved well and sometimes better than men in many fields. Its true that our country data is lower than the other country but now day by day the data is increasing and it is estimated that it would go higher and higher.