Continue with intelligence, diligence during crisis: Director (HR) at Institute of Directors’ Conclave

Dated : 30 October 2020 12:15:00 PM

Speaking at a panel discussion of the Institute of Directors (IOD), ONGC Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal exhorted all to continue with intelligence and diligence to rise to challenges posed by the pandemic. Dr Mittal optimistically gave an expansion of COVID as Carry On Very Intelligently and Diligently.

Dr Mittal was delivering the keynote address during an online session at the IOD’s Annual Directors’ Conclave on 29 October 2020. The theme of the session was “Leading a Re-skilled, Digitally-aligned, Engaged and Empowered workforce, with a shared sense of Purpose and Coherent set of Goals”. The session was also attended by Chairman & Managing Director of IRCON International Limited Mr S K Chaudhary, Director (Finance) GAIL (India) Limited Mr A K Tiwari, President of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India Mr Ashish Garg and Chief Marketing National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) Mr Kunal Kalawatia. The session was anchored by professor of Leadership & Organization Development, University at Oxford Dr Graham Wilson.

Director (HR) speaking on re-skilled, digitally-aligned workforce at IOD conclave
Director (HR) speaking on re-skilled, digitally-aligned workforce at IOD conclave

Director (HR) noted that to navigate through the crisis, corporations like ONGC needs to focus on talent enablement rather than only talent management. “Even during the pandemic, the ONGC Board of Directors kept focus on creating a work environment where talent can be unleashed; while the employees can deliver their best and the organization benefits too,” said Dr Mittal.

Dr Mittal talked about the skill development training programs conducted by ONGC during the period of lockdown and subsequently. She shared that 220 skilling programs have been conducted in behavioral and technological skills so far since April till October 2020, to keep the re-skilling in context. “Young geo-scientists and engineers went for IHRDC certifications and kept the constructivism alive. So, staying agile, flexible and resilient are the key catalysts to cope with the challenge. The pandemic has enabled us to focus on sustainability.” Director (HR) noted that 7,464 out of 30,000 employees of the energy major benefitted through the on-line training programs which comprised over 60,000 training hours. She flagged the Oil Major’s long-term Vision 2040 and said, “We are happy to see that around 45 per cent of the current human resource will be there to see the Vision fulfilled.”

Dr Mittal stated that the Energy Maharatna took initiatives to keep the employees and their families engaged through several “Employees Engagement Programs” like “Make your Mask” contest, “Humans of ONGC”, etc. “Our priority was to ensure every employee enters the office with a sense of purpose and leaves with sense of fulfilment,” she emphasized.

Quoting English metaphysical poet John Donne, Dr Mittal said, “No man is an island entire of itself, Human beings necessarily depend on one another.” She emphasized upon the importance of standing united and staying constructive. Drawing attention to the greater good of teams working seamlessly in a collaborative environment, Dr Mittal informed the 600+ participants of the session on how ONGCians worked together to strive through the pandemic to maintain steady operations to keep the nation fueled during the crisis.

Dr Mittal noted that the on-field energy soldiers, including women employees, of the energy major worked voluntarily on extended shifts during the lockdown to ensure uninterrupted supply of oil and gas. She stated that the employees working from home also actively operated to ensure every possible support to ONGCians at remote locations and the families they were detached from. Director (HR) further mentioned that, during this period, the ONGC top management was in constant touch with all employees and their families from every parts of the country and immediate resolution of issues was ensured.

Delivering keynote address on “Board's Leadership & Strategy for Quality, Commitment and Consistency in terms of Performance”, CMD IRCON International Limited Mr S K Chaudhary stated that the Board of Directors in any company should vigilant enough to notice any sorts of miss-governance. He noted that companies should built trust of the government, investors, and other stakeholders. “Our role is not just to earn business profits but to also upgrade skills and work for the community, so that we can always be there during any crisis,” said Mr Chaudhury.

Speaking on “Role of Board for ensuring equitable and sustainable development for all”, Director (Finance) GAIL (India) Limited Mr A K Tiwari said that the Directors and the top management of a company must be courageous and not allow any sense of fear among employees, especially during the crisis periods like the pandemic. Mr Tiwari exhorted the top leaders of the companies to set example by being on site to motivate and encourage its employees to deliver their best.

Director (HR) at the IOD conclave along with Director (Finance) GAIL (India) Limited, President ICSI, Chief Marketing NPCI and Dr Graham Wilson
Director (HR) at the IOD conclave along with Director (Finance) GAIL (India) Limited, President ICSI, Chief Marketing NPCI and Dr Graham Wilson

President of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India Mr Ashish Garg spoke on “Emerging Role of Company Secretaries in improving Governance Structure and making Boards more Effective”. He explained how the roles of the company secretaries have change during the pandemic. He stated that the crisis has proven that the company secretaries should always speak what is true rather than what is sweet.

Informing on “Payments: The Human Face of Technology”, Chief Marketing, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) Mr Kunal Kalawatia gave an elaborative presentation, covering various key issues like, promoting financial literacy in the country, UPI Pay Safe campaign, the vision and mission to promote online payments network globally, etc.