Manual HR to Digital HR: What Would Drive The Change?


I think we now need to understand what trends would drive change. If the world is changing, if the world within companies is changing, if the world with our own lives is changing, what actually is happening? One is the world is getting mobile. Everything is going to be the part of your smartphone, and I think this is a big change. I hardly use the laptop anymore maybe I don’t even use my i-pad as frequently, but I do use my i-phone for almost everything that I need to do.

The second big change which is happening is the cloud. We don’t need to invest huge amounts of money for an on-site establishment of our own complex set of servers and databases. At a fraction of a cost, we have everything available on the cloud.

The third big thing that is driving change is analytics. It is the power to analyse and analyse quickly, work through tons of data to get the key insights, to see the key trends, positive or otherwise. And I think this is going to be a huge shift that is going to drive a lot of change in management thinking and therefore response time.

Fourth is about automation. A lot in the world of our employees is going to get automated. Jobs are going to get automated, jobs, therefore, might be getting redundant. It is also possible that a lot of transactions today which are done in many other ways would not need to exist because many things will actually get automated. I think this is a trend whose time has come.

And finally, whether it is AI induced, but this entire concept of internet of things, different things talking to each other, I think this is really the web that we are going to be living in. If you look at this reality the experience of an employee, the work of an employee, the job description of an employee, the expectation of an employee, the expectation of a manager everything is going to change. It is not about whether this will happen, it is about how fast it will consume all of us. I think this is a very important dimension that we must be very cognizant of.

As I tweeted sometime back, ‘AI is set to disrupt companies, its people and its culture. Will we be losers or winner through this shift?’ To me, the answer is very it depends on how we want to play this game. And I think the winners are the ones who will adapt and change a lot of their environment to make sure that they don’t resist a reality whose time has come. The losers are those who are going to be challenging and trying to prevent the tsunami which is all set to hit us.


And therefore if all of this is happening what would change? Decision making will change, the speed of decision making will change, and people who can make decisions will change. I think this is a huge move towards democratising organisations. It’s a huge move towards building greater accountability and transparency in systems.

The other thing is everything is going to get more social, more networked, more matrixed, more people communicating with each other, more people eliciting information from each other and inviting ideas. I think this is a big change where we will go beyond individual personalities. So the old landlordism mentality is going to change to a world which will be networked.

Which also, therefore, means that the world will have to depend more on collaboration. Because there will different expert groups which will come together, but not everyone is going to be an expert at everything, and you will need to leverage the power of the other. And I think this entire phenomenon is going to be a big cultural transition for organisations, for leaders and for hr functions to handhold.

And finally the employee experience will change. Because the nature of your employees will change, the demographics of your employees will change and therefore the way people will expect the organisation and the experiences at work will be very close now to the experience they already have in their own social and digital reality. I don’t think this divide between the private and workspace will sustain itself. And therefore to what extent would organisations, their systems process and culture need to change? But I think these are big dimensions of what would need to change.

And therefore if you were to look at an HR lifecycle everything from recruitment, the way we recruit the catchments we look at, the way we induct talent into organisations that are going to change.

The role of the entire employer branding, the role of individual branding, personal brands will become very very important. Because at the end of the day recruiters are going to be looking for people with strong personal brands.

And how many of us actually are aware of our personal brands, do we have one? How do we create our brand pull, both organisations and individuals? How do invest in it? That becomes very important.

Talent is going to be more expressive, they are going to be writing their comments on social media. There are going to be many more glass door clones that will happen, and how do you, therefore, look at managing the appointments and disappointments of vocal talent?

Therefore the role of leadership is going to change. There will be a disruption. Leadership for 30 years is no longer going to be the reality, it will be leadership of the moment and by the moment. Decision making by leaders or by people at large will get to be more data aided. It will be more transparent.

It will be very important to start looking at dashboards, real-time. I think a lot of results are going to be cut real time, quarterly results itself might be dated. You will measure things by day, by the hour, by the minute.

Leadership definitely will get lot more doors of objective inputs. It will never be completely objective because at the end of the day there will be calls to be made. But there will be a lot more of objectives measures.

And of course at the end of the day deployment of capital including human capital will become very central and therefore deployment of skills will be calls that will be made very carefully and closely.

And therefore the entire concept of talent management will be change, hiring right, placing right, valuing right, a combination of whether you need full-time employees regular employees vis-a-vis moving to a more team-based project-based set of external experts getting together. All of this will become a part of talent management.

So I think talent management will no longer be an internal exercise it will be interwoven with talent acquisition or talent supply. And talent supply may not be an employee acquisition or an employee supply.  Issues around work content will become very important. People are going to be looking at the content of their jobs, not necessary at the title of their jobs.

In a world of individual of free agents and high expertise, employee mobility will become very high and therefore lifelong employment as a talent philosophy might be in question. And thus how do you deliver long-term results working with individual free agents is going to be a reality of talent management. And all of this will need a huge amount of data to make sure we make decisions which are sharp precise and effective.

And finally, the entire concept of business partnering is going to change. For HR it is no longer going to be about doing transactions or making query resolutions, it is going to be about helping solve real business problems.

So what is the problem? I think HR is going to ask that question. What is the business problem? And therefore take the larger HR route, organisation design route, talent route, culture route, engagement route. Whatever route you take, it will be about solving the business problem. It will also be about enterprise risk mitigation, so I think HR will get to be central to being the business.

And all of this in the context of living tech-savvy and socially aware employees who will expect nothing less and whose demands will continue to be high. And in an era where there will be what I call information democracy this entire nuance of business partnering becomes very different than what we have classically seen for many many years.

For more such blogs follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.

Innoventia – Search For Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare

Keeping up with Cipla’s innovation-driven credo, happy to share one of our big initiatives towards the same. Check out Innoventia.Cipla.Com to participate & reinvent the way we deliver healthcare.

I take this opportunity to also write my thoughts on why an initiative like Innoventia is much needed in our times.

They say when data is tortured enough, it will confess to anything! This couldn’t ring truer than now- when ‘sharing’ has become a way of life, thanks to the digital takeover of our lives. Everything is under the impact of the fastest moving phenomenon in recent times: CHANGE. In fact, change is the new technology, permeating everything, especially healthcare.

We are already witnessing applications for blockchain and more uses for AI, especially in diagnosis. Analytics has become the new buzzword. In the broad sweep of AI’s current worldly ambitions, machine learning healthcare applications seem to top the list for funding. Clearly, healthcare is no longer about the passive delivery of diagnostics, drugs and infrastructure. Guess why?

Along with the diseases, patients are changing too – across the spectrum of understanding, knowledge, and management of diseases given the emerging technology canvas.

So what’s next? Innovation is the only answer – to tide this wave of life-altering times to transform the delivery of care.

Therefore, is it healthcare or tech care? A question that will perhaps be answered through the lens of innovation.

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

#WorldBookDay: Books That Have Influenced My Life

For more such blogs follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.

Meet Challenges Head On – Dr Ranjana Pathak To Women Leaders In The Making

My journey has been a roller coaster ride, filled with laughter and some tears. The challenges were numerous, since I started at the very bottom, this forces you to learn, understand the nuances of the job, the expectations of the organisation, and the regulators.

This job soon became a career and now a calling. I have always been driven, spent hours reading trade journals, studying books on key topics such as chromatography, the USP etc. By the way, the USP is a great book to learn from if you are in the lab. When I started my career, I was the only girl in the QC lab, it was daunting because I had zero experience, this was a challenge to overcome. For me it was a new country, working for the first time in my life, so I suppose the survival instinct kicked in. I have always been very focused. I have the drive to be the best in what I do. These two traits have enabled me to be a perennial student, keeping me in the learning mode. I never liked the status quo and always opted for harder tasks, taught courses because it would force me to learn and be challenged by pharma executives. The need to excel has been with me literally all my life which drives me to take challenges head-on.

In summary, it is my purpose, drive, doggedness, persistence and courage that have enabled me to overcome the numerous challenges that faced me and I know I am not alone! I have also been blessed with having a very supportive family, bosses and colleagues.

Challenges for women leaders

Time is the biggest challenge, the pharma industry is competitive and by nature, timeline bound. There is seldom tomorrow, everything seems to be needed yesterday, a very fast paced, exacting and demanding industry, full of challenges, some anticipated and others binding. For women, to play their classical roles in society and families becomes difficult, because of their innate nature.
Women from time immemorial have been jugglers, they must juggle the needs of their families, children, work, friends, communities etc…the list goes on and on.
Given that the number of hours is limited for all, women need to be able to prioritise the ‘must dos’, and let go of those tasks that cannot be done and will not matter in the long run, ‘take help’ from family members, friends, neighbours to be able to juggle everything on their plate.

Creating a conducive growth environment

The government can and should execute laws that are conducive for women to work, the organisations then must follow through to make the workplace environment safe. School and universities should promote science and maths so children join science rather than hanker for business degrees alone, don’t get me wrong we need those as well but I think I see a tip towards business. If there is no product, there will be no business to manage. Today’s generation wants instant gratification, the millennials are different from the baby boomer generation, their needs and tolerances are not the same. Careers in disciplines other science seem to be more popular. The pharma industry needs sharp scientists, engineers, biologists, microbiologists, physicists, computer science etc. to ensure that new drugs/devices are developed, existing drugs are made more affordable, the quality is uncompromised. This is a daunting task where the government can help in ensuring the platforms exist. The government can do a lot to make this feasible for women/ girls in urban and rural schools.

Need for regular campus placement

There are more number of science graduates coming out of universities who want to join the pharma sector. However, due to lack of job opportunities, they have to change their career goal. To address this, the pharma industry needs to be present on the campus to educate the graduates of tomorrow about the needs of humanity (need for medicines) and the need of society.

Success Mantra

To my newcomers and those that are stalwarts: Always do the right thing, be courageous, know your subject, believe in yourself, look at yourself in the mirror each morning and say—Wow, I am looking at a great piece of art that is going to make a huge difference today!!! If I can do it…You can do it better!!

This article originally appeared in Express Pharma.

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Books: A Cerebral Affair

“A Reader lives a thousand lives before dying. Those who never read live only once!”

All of us enter youth and the corporate world with the quiet confidence that we can change the world. Alas, this lasts only “until the coarse necessities of physical existence drag us from the height of thought into the mart of economic strife and gain”. Our everyday challenges – finding and then doing well in a good job, keeping up with an often fragile relationship, the heavy load of expectations from our parents and ourselves, lack of clarity on what we really want to do in life, the rat race and constant comparison with our peers – often pull us down into mediocrity. And the grand idea of being the very best we can gets quietly put aside.

So Why Read Books?

If we agree that good counsel can help us become much better, what better guide than books? Mentors and teachers can come and go and may turn out to be false Gods. Why not drink from the ageless wisdom of good books, learning from the myriad experiences of some of the best of our species?

As Durant said, “When life is bitter, or friendship slips away, or perhaps our children leave us for their own haunts and home, let us come and sit at the table with Shakespeare and Goethe…”

But What Exactly To Read?

There is a book for every mood and occasion. Choosing few recommendations is not easy (±130 million books have been written!), so let’s decide how we will choose:

  • Life-changing: Will make us wiser. That can bring fundamental changes in our thinking and attitude, answer the big Why questions.
  • Engaging and Fun: We want to grow, but also enjoy the journey. We may not have the patience (yet!) to go through deep but boring books.

Let me start with a few recommendations from my side (click each link for more recommendations and a short summary)…

(If you want more, see my blog on 100 Books To Make Us Wise).

Part of what makes a book memorable is our own life experiences that can relate to it. So look out for what appeals to you. Obviously, choose the books very carefully. Good books can be an everlasting love affair, just as bad books can be more enervating than a date gone horribly wrong.


For more such blogs follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.