Empowering India’s Human Capital for the Future


AMCHAM’s signature event for the Karnataka Chapter ‘Empowering India’s Human Capital for the Future’ was held on March 4th in Bengaluru. Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chairman, AMCHAM and Chairman – Karnataka Chapter, AMCHAM, welcomed participants and set the scene for the evening. He talked about the disruptions in the supply chain, the importance of skilling, digitalization and AI in manufacturing. In his special address, Consul General Robert Burgess, U.S. Consulate General Chennai, broadly summarized the recent visit of President Trump to India and said it was a testimony to the U.S.-India relationship through the people to people ties. The joint statement defines areas of future collaboration, especially in defense and homeland security.


Mr. Abhijit Bhaduri, digital transformation coach, speaker, author and columnist spoke on ‘The Nature of Talent Demand and Supply in the Context of Future of Work.’ Mr. Bhaduri while speaking on the future of work mentioned leadership, talent strategy and culture as the three main areas that have undergone tremendous changes. He said that unlike earlier times worker, work and workplace now overlap each other. He also stressed upon the importance of leveraging skills sets and the agility to make necessary transitions. Quoting the mayhem cause by corona virus outbreak, he highlighted the importance of social factors happening outside the gambit of a workplace yet directly or indirectly affecting decisions. While data management was imperative, dynamic leadership, boundaryless work environment and trust also affects decisions and course of actions. He touched upon being creative and combining experience, hobbies and skills to be more productive. The audience interacted with him on topics like – understanding individuals at workplace, talent retention, content creation, value of informal learning and rewards, amongst others.


In a fireside chat on ‘Upcoming Labor Legislations that Impact the Talent Landscape and Cost of Delivery’ Mr. Chaitanya N. Sreenivas, VP HR & HR Head India South Asia, IBM and Mr. Vinay Joy, Partner, Khaitan & Co were the speakers. They started with giving a background of the proposed labor reforms, and for ease of doing business and compliance the need of reducing or simplifying the existing 44 central labor laws into 4 codes – wage code, occupational safety, health and working conditions code, code on industrial relations and code on social security. They also touched upon the current trade unions scenario in India and other critical areas such as the Provident Fund and the Maternity Benefits Act. They drew a comparison between the practices being followed by countries other than India like USA, France, EU, etc. and the need for upgrading the Indian Labor Code. Mr. Joy advised HR professionals to familiarize themselves with the expected changes as the government of India was planning to implement all the 4 codes in a single shot.


In the spirit of disruption, Ms. Rekha M. Menon, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Chairman and Senior Managing Director, Accenture in India and Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chairman, AMCHAM, had a candid interactive discussion on ‘People Imperatives for the Digital Age’ covering a range of topics relating to managing people in uncertain times, skilling, AI and more.


Next on the program was an engaging session on ‘Diversity and Inclusion at the Workplace’ with an eminent panel of speakers that included Mr. Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Cognizant India, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Mr. Vihaan Peethambar, Diversity and Inclusion, Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs and Ms. Shanti Raghavan, Founder and Managing Trustee, Enable India. The moderator of the session, Mr. Sudhir Shenoy, Chairman – Western Region, AMCHAM and CEO, Dow Chemical International, set the scene. The engaging session had panelists sharing candid, hard hitting insights as well as best practices. Some of the key issues addressed included: the current situation and landscape of careers of persons with disabilities in corporations, why inclusion should be an imperative and the role of leaders, how to personally set the tone for inclusion at the workplace and major challenges faced as a transperson with The Transgender Protection of Rights Bill 2019. The session brought to fore an important dialogue in D&I.


Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Government of Karnataka, gave the keynote address highlighting the reasons that Karnataka is the fastest growing state in India and how its connected to the global community. He shared opportunities for U.S. companies in the state and drove home the point that a company can really do anything in Karnataka. He acknowledged the work of American companies and pledged his support for industry. Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM presented Mr. Gupta with a momento and thanked him for his support. She thanked the official partner, Accenture, platinum partner, Rossell Techsys and the venue partner, The Ritz Carlton Bangalore. The evening concluded with networking reception and dinner.