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R. Venkatanarayanan

R. Venkatanarayanan

President- HR &IT
Rane Group
HR Strategies in Place in your Company
The Rane Group is one of the leading Auto component manufacturers in India with a group turnover of about Rs.3000 Crores. The Group comprises of a Holding Company and 7 Manufacturing companies producing safety and critical auto components serving various industry segments - Passenger Cars, Multi Utility Vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles, Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicles, Farm Tractors, Three Wheelers, Two Wheelers and Stationary Engines. Many of our products are also exported to leading Vehicle and Engine manufacturers across the world. Rane has a Pan-India presence with 25 manufacturing plants in 8 locations in India.

Our HR Vision is to stimulate and nurture the intrinsic desire in people to learn, grow and enhance performance to achieve business growth.

We seek to create meaningful and enduring experiences for our people by delivering on our Employer Brand Promise of challenging assignments and continuous learning opportunities to realize their potential and grow professionally and personally.
Trends in HR Today
HR plays a strategic role in nurturing and supporting a culture of innovation and high performance. Leveraging today’s multi-generational workforce to pursue opportunities will be on top of the agenda.  There would be increased use of talent analytics to become more strategic and offer greater value. We would witness intensive use of technology in HR with more focus on social media.We will see new models of Employee Engagement evolving to promote and sustain a stable employee relations climate.
Difficulties in Planning Human Resources in a Dynamic Business
The coming decade will see some key contradictions in employees’ expectations with heightened uncertainties in the economy. People today are more collaborative, socially connected, highly mobile, seek recognition and are inclined towards social casting their lives. They will seek entrepreneurship and job security, well defined roles and variety at work, and challenging work and work life balance. This calls for paradigm shifts in every aspect of HR. With the wide array of choices, looking at mere supply-demand equation will no longer hold good for attracting talent.

People today look for purpose and meaning in work and the freedom to make lifestyle choices. Transformations in such an environment will be more successful through a collaborative approach. Spontaneous recognition will be appreciated. Such shifts bring about a compelling need to think differently and innovatively. As learners and process owners of various initiatives, the journey for HR would be one of exploration, shaped by discoveries of different possibilities leading to pursuit of diverse options.
The HR - CEO Equation
HR’s relations with the CEO will be shaped by its ability to understand the CEO’s expectations and be proactive in designing solutions.  This will increase trust levels, building a platform for involving HR inthe decision-making process.  It is equally important to share with the CEO the pulse of the employees and strengthen communication channels to ensure that messages from the top cascades down the organisation. HR too has to learn to think on its feet.

Biggest Pain Point in the Biz
In the backdrop of what we talked about setting realistic expectations, from the stand point of people’s aspirations and sustaining high engagement levels is a huge challenge.
Motivating Employees with Rewards
Rewards and recognition are differentiated based on performance and potential. They come in the form of competitive compensation, accelerated growth, larger and multidimensional roles, challenging assignments and special learning opportunities.
 

Optimum Skills Required in a Candidate for Recruitment
Broadly speaking, apart from the function specific skills, we focus on certain key competencies. At Junior levels, this would mean process discipline, execution, learnability, team working and problem solving. At Middle levels it translates as planning, result focus, team development, decision making and collaboration. At Senior levels we look for business focus, strategic thinking, ability to build leadership, maturity and commitment to values. Cutting across all these levels are the sense of ownership and a spirit of innovation.
 

Leadership Development Programs in Place and Consequent Results
In Rane, we invest in Leadership development. We have an array of growth and development initiatives that ensure a smooth shift to the next generation of leaders. Our philosophy of growth from within provides employees opportunities for both lateral and vertical growth. Our four-level Professional Development Architecture (PDA) holds the key in ensuring this by focusing on identifying high performing individuals and grooming them for future roles. The focus is on developing leadership, managerial and domain competencies at senior, middle and junior levels. At every level, the emphasis is on strengthening conceptual skills followed by experiential learning and customised coaching. The core constituents of our PDA are specific training modules, job experiences, and participation in cross-functional teams and varied programmes designed and delivered at our Rane Institute for Employee Development (RIED) and other institutions of repute. Participants identify specific development projects and execute them based on their learning during these programmes. The programmes are delivered in multiple modules spread over a long duration.
Identifying Leaders and Promoting Them
Our 3P Initiative (People, Performance and Potential) criss-crosses levels with a focus on identifying and developing individuals with exceptional performance and high potential. Such talent has a line of sight with the top management with specific and targeted retention measures such as accelerated growth, larger and multidimensional roles, and competitive compensation. Our Annual Corporate Talent Review meetings take stock of the ‘talent readiness’ to address emerging business challenges. Talent Review meetings are designed to review the current talent status and future succession needs in the organization.
Gen Y Leadership and Organization Culture
Engaging Gen Y is an exciting management challenge. They enter and stay with an organization that provides accelerated learning, stretches their intellect, and enhances their employability by future proofing their careers. Recognizing what motivates them and what is required to keep them engaged makes the difference. Gen Ys have grown up in an electronically connected world and appreciate a workplace that supports a collaborative culture. Open communication, experiential opportunities, fast-track careers, positive feedback, continuous real time learning and cutting edge technology work well with them.
Recruiting the Ambitious Gen- Y
It is a great process of discovery. Our Employer Brand Promise of challenging assignments,accelerating their learning and allowing them to experience a sense of excitement helps.
Attrition Management: Retaining vs. fresh hiring
We believe in retaining the best and getting the best out of the rest. A blend of promotions from within, lateral hiring from outside and freshers from the campus is how we manage.
The Best Promotional Techniques
We have embedded HR in Line leadership, taking it closer to the people. This helps in co creation of programs, policies and in their effective implementation. The idea is to partner with and build capacity in line leaders to lead HR initiatives.
Workplaces are changing. Cultures are evolving. Do you think the average employee today is different from his/her counterpart from a decade ago too? What is lacking and what does he/she need to keep in mind in today’s working scenario?
Those who joined organizations a decade or two ago also looked for challenges at work, aspired to grow and sought variety. It appears perhaps the same even today, except that the pace has changed drastically; it is much faster today. Those entering the workforce today have grown in a fast paced environment where the time lines had shrunk and are therefore impatient and expect results at the touch of a button. They are far more aware, ask questions, and are open to feedback and changing. Organizations need to create an eco-system which supports such generational diversity and aspirations.
How Best to Retain Talent
I would think that Industry attractiveness and Employer brand draws talent at all levels. Leadership experience, customized career paths, and rewards and recognition for identified high-pos will help not only in retention but go a long way in sustaining high engagement levels for increased efficiency and effectiveness.
Advice/ Suggestions to Fellow HRs
  • Creating and nurturing a unique employer brand by delivering on a set of brand promises
  • Using technology to create collaborative platforms for people to connect in real time to learn and grow
  • Sustaining change initiatives to navigate in an uncertain, complex and volatile business environment
  • Nurturing a culture of Innovation through relevant leadership practices
  • Leveraging multigenerational workforce for pursuing global opportunities
  • Promoting inclusivity and transparency
  • Developing a succession management system

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