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Ask Arpita Mukherjee for Advice
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Advice Request
Arpita Mukherjee
Arpita Mukherjee

Arpita Mukherjee

Human Resource - Recruiter

Tata Power Company Ltd.


Arpita Mukherjee is a member of:

- Expert
HR Strategies In Place
Some of the key strategies we have adopted are in areas of Capacity & Capability building, supporting gender diversity and engagement building. With Tata Power aggressively entering the international markets, it is very important for us to manage the running operations. Capacity building though not the goal for the current year, is an important aspect for the future. Hence, to avoid lateral costly resources, we are aggressively hiring graduate and post graduate trainees in the field of engineering, finance, HR, legal etc. This pool is then carefully nurtured to bring out potential leaders. In terms of capability, not only are we building internal resources for international markets, we also see a need of skilled labors for our domestic growth. For this we plan to grow in house skill building institute which will cater to all our future needs and may be that of the Power industry as a whole in the future.
Advice to upcoming professionals
We are entering into a world of uncertainties. The most important thing right now is to make a good foundation. It is very imagine to wear blazers and present business cases in the B Schools. Life outside that is not as easy. You cannot give ideas if you don't know the actual scenario. Hence, my suggestion to all upcoming professionals is that they should be open for jobs that make you slog at the ground level for a couple of years because it is only there that you learn the actual work. You might have brains but it is only during the first few years of your career you earn the matter and experience. The one with a good foundation will survive. Ideas are as good as their actual implementation.
HR Challenges:
Depends on whether Human Resource is seen as a support function or a function that partners in achieving business goals. Ideally Human Resource Strategy flows from the Business Strategy. The HR Strategy should be able to overcome the challenges the business faces. The business scenario will keep changing, there will always be a dearth of skilled man power. It is only the vision of the HR which can make a company future ready.
Pain Points:
HR is the link between the management and people. The perception of HR by the other employees is generally negative because because we are seen as a department with a lot of power which is mostly misused. Often HR becomes the face for the bad new the management has to convey. This has let to a scenario that not a lot of HR initiatives are not seen very positively. Employees see us calculating ROI for all small things we do for them. The scene in Tata Power is a little different because of the legacy of philanthropy our leadership has demonstrated for ages. We see our employees as our greatest asset and show them utmost respect.
Being different from other stream
Unlike an engineer or a CA who deal with tangible things like money and machines, HR deals with people. It is their career, their lively hood, the future of their families that is in your hand. You can make or break it. Day in day out you deal with confidential information about people and the company. Like they said in Spider-man: With great power comes great responsibilities.
Current job profile
I am currently part of the Strategic Team of Tata Power HR and looking after Leadership Hiring & Recruitment Strategy. I am also looking after HR Risk Management, which becomes the basis of HR Strategy.
Recommended Reading
Silicon India happens to be a very good online journal for keeping oneself updated. A few more I can recommend are the Harvard Business Review, Economic Times, Outlook ect. Biographies of leaders is a genre I highly recommend for learning from other's mistakes and gaining inspirations. One of the books I have recently read and liked was Breakout Nations by Ruchir Sharma on emerging economies. It was quite an eye opener. Rather than suggesting a book or a journal, I would suggest people to keep the habit of reading. Be it the one liner twitter, or a website or some good journal subscription. One thing that will keep you afloat in this ever changing economy is keeping yourself abreast on the critical incidents that turn the wheel. This helps in becoming future ready compared to shockers for people living in the comfort of a Utopian world.
Leadership Programs in Place:
One of the programs I had introduced in my previous assignment with Tata Power as the head of learning & development of its subsidiary was Leadership Coaching. The program was designed with personal interactions, 360 degree feedback and self reflection tools. Six of our Senior Leadership Team members went through this program and highly praised it. There is a time when you cannot discuss some of your misgivings with your immediate colleagues or superior. A third party consultant becomes very helpful in lending objective feedback in this case.
Current HR Trends:
We are seeing a major inflow if the operations / technical resource into the HR field. More often than not, they are highly successful in their jobs. This is because they have a first hand experience of what goes on in the shop floor. We in HR field need to understand the importance of knowledge of what goes on in the ground level to deliver better policies.
Parting Thoughts
Looking forward to reading the views of fellow HRs on these questions. Will be glad if you can organize forums for exchange of such thoughts.
Helping to develop the country
A professional should always keep the bigger picture in mind. It is like the story where three masons working on the same wall thought different things about their work. One thought he was laying bricks, the other that he was making a wall while the third thought he was helping build one of the architecture marvels of the world. It is only when you look at your work in its greatness that you are at your highest motivation and giving your best. We all need to do our bit and together it will help our country do good.
Recruiting new generation:
With world moving into faster technology, the Gen Y wants to achieve faster. We need to accept that they are a lot more informed that the previous generations and hence they might actually be able to move faster in the ladder. We cannot pull the age old engagement tricks on them. We need to leverage on the fact that this generation is ready to open up and tell us what they want. Best is to form Cross Functional Teams of their own generation to figure out how to handle them.
Improving Education system
There is a lot of scope for variety of education in India. India was a pioneer in education when the world had none. This is because of the vision and attitude to bring on to the table what we would utilize years later. Today the industries like Tourism and Education is so much lacking in the right resources. That's only to name a few. We need to look beyond the current needs and develop university specializing in fields where we require resources in the near future. With such a high population of youngsters, India has a huge potential it can leverage on.
Advice For Fellow HR Leaders:
We need to keep ourselves abreast of whats going on around. We are the experts in HR. We should be in a position to offer solutions to the business and not the other way round. Everyone thinks that they are experts in HR. We need to show that we know better.
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