“The current times are very uncertain and unpredictable, especially in the oil and gas business. Here, HR managers have to face the challenges and transform them into opportunities,” said Adil Zainulbhai, the chairman of the Capacity Building Commission of India and the Keynote speaker at the inaugural session of the 60th HR Summit for Oil and Gas PSUs hosted by ONGC during 24-25 June 2022 in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.
The summit unfolded with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the visiting dignitaries
The diamond jubilee commemoration of the Industry HR Summit aimed to discuss topical HR issues and share the best practices. It was themed ‘Innovation, Creativity and Engagement: Nurturing Sustainable Organizations’. Besides ONGC CMD and Director (HR) Alka Mittal, GAIL CMD and Director (HR) Manoj Jain, Balmer Lawrie CMD and Director (HR) Adika Ratna Sekhar, IOC Director (HR) Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, EIL Director (HR) AK Kalra, Oil India Ltd Director (Finance) and Director (HR) Harish Madhav and BPCL Director (Finance) and Director (HR) VRK Gupta also participated in the summit. Senior executives from HPCL, MRPL, CPCL and NRL were also present.
Adil Zainulbhai, chairman of the Capacity Building Commission of India, speaking on recent challenges in human resource management
Deliberating further on managing the human resources in an organization, Mr Zainulbhai, who is also the chairman of the Network18 Group, asserted that predictions may likely go wrong but building the future is necessary. He informed the gathering that despite the uncertain future, India is still expected to do well economically so “this” has to be utilized well as an opportunity. “The scale of the economy demands a lot from strategic economic sectors like petroleum companies. Since the pace of change is very fast, energy demands are continuing to rise and so, we need to embrace that both as individuals and as institutions.
Adil Zainulbhai explaining that the rapidly changing domain of business involves new challenges for HR in an organization
Citing the examples of how the government panned out digital technologies like Aadhar and UPI across the country, Mr Zainulbhai noted PSUs that have phenomenal capabilities can achieve a lot in comparison. He said the challenge for PSUs is not only to embrace the latest technologies but also to do it early enough. “Leading PSUs are expected to help the national economy to be among the top, use technologies to leapfrog, and create an entity with the ability to respond fast to environmental changes,” he added.
Discussing what can HR do to embrace agility, Mr Zainulbhai underscored that the support of the government enables PSUs to be more agile; in comparison, the private sector doesn’t have the national missions which PSUs have. Hence, teams in PSUs can be formed by making potential use of talented manpower and be empowered to achieve these missions.
The audience listening attentively to Adil Zainulbhai’s advice on effective management of employees
“The ways are to be formed in the specific context of the particular organization. Every challenge is unique. The collective training capability of oil PSU institutions is better than foreign universities that can be leveraged, especially behavioral training. External exposure is needed for people, even technical people. Executives need to go out and see how others are doing,” he explained further.
Mr Zainulbhai said that many organizations nowadays are placing young people in senior positions as they are more tech-friendly. He stressed that HR executives also need to have a detailed exposure to technology because it changes the mindset and the ability to perceive things.
Senior executives participating in the interactions
“It’s a challenge. Take the example of a technology that you can handle better than your children. Let the young executives mentor the seniors. Organizations with a strong culture do well during disruptions and uncertainty. In this way, HR can help in building a strong culture that focuses on business, not necessarily financial but on something around stakeholders as well. Moreover, PSUs have a strong possibility to transform that culture and help build the nation and create a strong society,” he explained.
Earlier, ONGC CMD Dr Alka Mittal, in her welcome address, recalled the commitment of the oil and gas PSUs toward nation-building. At the 60th HR Summit, she announced that the executives have gathered once again to look forward to navigating challenges and leveraging the opportunities therein. On the occasion, CMD spoke of thinking and acting collectively in the current VUCA - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – world.
ONGC CMD Dr Alka Mittal delivering the welcome address
She said that the recent pandemic and the rapidly changing business scenarios worldwide have taught us a lot. “Digital technologies enabled us to stay together. We learned to be more empathetic and had to keep the show running as the nation needed us. HR managers and professionals across organizations had to remain resilient and take care of human resources. Even in the post-pandemic world, digital technologies still remain in demand. The youth is energized just like in the previous case to use the digital technologies with which they grew up. The purpose is now to create sustenance and employee engagement.”
Mentioning that ONGC, at present, is collaborating more on learning and development, CMD said that such HR summits should be conducted in a hybrid mode so that people can connect with experts in other parts of the world to gain more knowledge and expertise. “We are growing young due to big crew change. We need to be agile and inclusive. We choose Mussoorie as the venue as it has an aura of its own and also because ONGC was established in Dehradun in 1956. I hope all of you have a memorable experience at this HR summit.”
Director’s Round Table held on the sidelines of the summit where various industry-level issues were deliberated
Meanwhile, in his secretarial address, IOC Director (HR) Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra informed the gathering that the businesses, today, not only anchor on financial metrics but also leave an impact on the society and its people. Here, HR plays a critical role as the one witnessed during the pandemic, by focusing on people.
IOC Director (HR) Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra explaining the PACE model
“A business is a social enterprise. That’s why the theme of this summit is quite apt, thanks to ONGC. Delegates to this 60th HR Summit should take away some sustainable points from the exchanges that are taking place as it will ignite your needs. While the ‘Top Down’ approach has always been the traditional way to manage, now the style to be ushered upon is the ‘Bottom Up’ approach.”
“We must use the technologies but not become slaves to them, unlike cellphones. The PACE model, which stands for Performance, Ability, Culture and Experience, is the focused area of HR that requires unwavering attention. In recent history, this model has yielded rich dividends across several organizations,” Mr Mohapatra added.