Exclusive Interview With Virender Bhatnagar, Chief Operating Officer At SMAC

Q: The attrition rate in Indian companies is 14% higher than the global average. What do you think are the factors behind such a high attrition rate? How can firms deal with this problem effectively?

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A: The attrition rate is high in India because of dissatisfaction among employees, unfavourable environment and lack of opportunities. Also the leadership in many organisations is unable to provide their employees with a growth plan.

 

Q: How can the right programme help you reach your potential?

A: Employee engagement is critical. A programme that focuses on bettering the levels of employee engagement is the need of the market. When employees gain a sense of pride in their work or are passionately engaged can they be expected to put 200% effort at work.

 

Q: What factors are missing from the Indian L&D industry, and how do you think this expectation gap can be bridged?

The primary issue is when a person makes the transition from university life to professional life. There is a huge gap between what they learn during their education and what the industry needs. This problem is currently being addressed by hiring consultants. For example: Lean Manufacturing or Lean Six Sigma is not taught at the university levels, and there is negligible amount of training for them. Organisations have to spend a lot of time and effort into training college graduates as they are not in alignment with the industry standards. Companies put a lot of effort into making these trainees productive.

 

Q: How do you think the introduction of artificial intelligence will impact organisations?

I believe in a system where people use their creativity, which is missing in AI, to analyse the data correctly. Natural intelligence is more important. Artificial Intelligence needs to be applied carefully.

 

Q: How do you think automation and demographic changes will impact HR and L&D paradigm?

Automation is required to reduce security concerns, and improve precision and quality. Automation will open a lot of opportunities. If market demand goes up, expansion takes place and this results in more jobs being created. This is how China was ahead of India all these years, they understood that cost reduction can have a positive impact.

 

Q: What are the current deficiencies in L&D programmes and what innovations are required to bridge this gap?

There is too much focus on soft skills rather than creating of an understanding. The industry lacks practicality. The L&D industry needs to create focus teams, groups, clusters for a specific task. I feel you learn from your network rather than an individual. Collaborations need to be enforced in the industry.

 

Q: What are the competencies that the employees and leaders in your organisation need to develop to deal with change and innovation?

Employees and leadership need to focus on soft skills, communication, learning & development. They need to be able to develop subordinates who are aligned with the values of an organisation. By listening to others, rational in their decision-making and have the habits to keep people away from problems and see the bigger picture. At a junior level, the focus must be target-oriented, while the leadership needs to drive organisations out of ambiguity.

 

Samvardhana Motherson Auto Component (SMAC) is a Samvardhana Motherson Group company and specializes in aluminium die casting and machining with technology from Reterra Inc., Japan. The company has state-of-the-art equipment with robotic die casting, heat treatment, shot blasting, precision machining, inspection, testing and heat treatment facilities. The company manufactures parts for 2 wheelers & 4 wheelers.

 

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