Friday, February 28, 2020

My interview at Globuzz Studios

My personal story about Intrapreneurship experience - Interview by Globuzz Studios..

I was on Facebook Live with Kunal Kshirsagar of  Globuzz Studios on 27th Feb 2020. I shared my personal story about Intrapreneurship (Entrepreneur within organization) experience.  It was nice interaction with Kunal and I am sure that you will definitely like my Leadership Journey. 

Please watch the interview below and ping your feedback in comment section. Best comments will get my book. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Make yourself redundant

We study to get the job; we don’t study to be employable. Our education system doesn’t create employable workforce. They create qualified people who don’t have any idea how their life will take shape. Even topmost schools (except vital few) who claim that they create best engineers or management students, are not doing good. Students get their placement because of huge alumni network.

However, everybody in life manages to get something. Not everybody does what they wanted to do but they choose something in life for the livelihood. Few gets job, they change jobs assuming their life will be good, but it never happens. Few choose to be an entrepreneur. Few fails, few succeed. Success stories are discussed, and failure stories are buried under the carpet. Finally, they do what they have in their hand, and life moves on. Those who are successful in their lives are because of their individual efforts and not necessary what they learnt in their colleges.
The problem starts when they start settling in their job. In the struggle of life, most of the employees just stop learning new things assuming that what they are doing today will remain forever. Accountants do the same job for many years, same is for HR Professional and salesperson selling the product in same way what he uses to sell a few years back. Most of the people just learn but don’t want to unlearn. They don’t understand that the world is changing so fast that methods, ways, tools are becoming obsolete very fast. This is applicable for all generations.
When I started my career long back, the HR department was just a support function. Main responsibilities were transactional like employee relations, legal compliance, payroll processing, recruitment, training & development etc. Everybody working in HR department was doing all things without giving much thought. But over a period of time, role totally changed, organizations realised that they need HR specialist in different areas of HR, not only the person handling everything and missing the core. That’s how HR Transformation started, new roles like HRBP, Center of Excellence Experts in L&D, Talent Management, HR analyst etc started getting attention. Those who change their mindset and learn for the future ensure that they are in the Game. Rest remained at same role and then went outside from the profession or working somewhere which they are not enjoying. Same thing happened in Finance with new roles like business controller, finance controller, business analysts, experts in different functional areas. This is in all areas of the business. This change is because of the market and not because of internal change. Customers are more educated and aware. They already know the features of your products and hence it is not only selling the products but selling the value proposition and benefits of the product instead of product itself.            
So, with high end technology, changed expectations from customers and market, we need to reinvent our jobs also. For this we need to think how we can make ourselves redundant.
Once I think that the job I am doing will not be there tomorrow, then what are that roles will be for me and then what I need to learn. In this process, learning is fast. You not only confirm your seat when there is reorganization but also increase your employability in the market.        

Friday, February 14, 2020

My message to engineering graduates during the convocation ceremony

My message to engineering graduates during the convocation ceremony of SVPM’s College of Engineering Malegaon (Bk), Baramati on 8th Feb 2020.

Principal of SVPS's COE, Dr. Mukane, CEO, of SVPM, Mr. Patil, dignitaries of the dais, on the dais, professors and dear students,

This day is important day in your life. You are going to start the new chapter. On the occasion, I congratulate you all. I would like to share few tips based on my experience to make the life better. 

(following is the excerpt from the speech)
Create Knowledge: You learnt the knowledge during your education. You learnt fundamental concepts, Principles and theories. Time has come to apply that, but most importantly before application, comes creation. Based on the fundamental knowledge, you should learn to create different concepts, models. You need to create the knowledge for the society, industries and ecosystem where you are living. Learn, Create and apply is the right sequence in knowledge management.
You are unique: Be the best you. Be confident and think that nobody is better than you. Your competition is not with others, it is with you. Always try to be better every day. Be open and always learn.    

Break invisible fences: You must have read the story of elephants. When they are very young and much smaller mahout uses the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. We also have conditioned our mind to play safe and we create invisible fences and strong chains which we don’t want to cross or break. That fences are like ‘I can’t do this, it is difficult, I have never done this, etc etc. All these are excuses we give for not doing something. This mindset is dangerous. We need to break those fences and remove negative beliefs, false assumptions and unnecessary fear.        
Success will come from simplicity: You are now engineers and understand complex theories and concepts, doesn’t mean you make life complicated. Engineers have the tendency to make things more complicated. Make things simple and the life of others. Your success will come from simplicity. Complex problems don’t mean that you have the complex solution. Find out simple solutions for complex problems.     
Life is always fair: Believe that life is always fair. There will be a lot of struggle, failures, frustrations but trust that every situation has some remedy. People around you may be unfair but life will always be fair for you. Something better will always be there.
Be a leader: Leadership doesn’t mean that you should have followers. Be the leader of yourself. Leadership comes through position and power which is not long lasting. But leadership which comes through your credibility, knowledge, wisdom is always long lasting. Create that credibility by your expertise, knowledge and wisdom.
You can curse the darkness, or you can light the candle, choose right option.
Don’t scare to do mistakes and failures: If you have the fear of doing mistakes, you will not do anything. Don’t be scared what will happen. Failures and mistakes will teach you lot of lessons. If you don’t try, you will never know what you can do. You are amazing person and you can do anything. Go ahead.

It must be a proud moment for all of you but don’t forget your parents. They must be prouder on your success. Recognize their contribution in your successes. I congratulate you and wish you all the best luck. I am sure you will rock going forward.
At the end, I would like to say that keep alive your dreams and aspirations. Don’t let it go away. I would like to recite my poem here…

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Education, Job, Career & Dilemma

Recently one of the former colleagues called me to ask about the expectations from fresh talent. Her son is doing his engineering from reputed college at Delhi and he is aspiring to go outside India for post-graduation. She met one of the career counsellors who assured her that if his services are taken her son will get the admission in Stanford, Harvard etc. No comment about the career counsellor here. It is their business.  
But she asked me some interesting questions which I think every parents and students may have in their mind. I thought that such questions are important to understand what those things are, students should focus on.
1. Is it okay to do the post-graduation in India from reputed college or instead take an admission in foreign university? 
  • Every student’s & parent’s dilemma. There are a lot of foreign universities which encourage students to take admission outside from their countries. If you have enough funds, it is easy to get admission in foreign universities. You can go in the US, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Germany or any other European countries.  Just you have to crack some entrance exams or language exams. It is not a big deal. Big deal is getting admission in top universities. If you are aspiring to take admission in top colleges in India, like top IIMs for business management, you have to prepare hard to crack the CAT. Getting admission in post-graduation in engineering in IITs is not that difficult. If you did your education in foreign universities, you may also get the job there. Question is what your purpose is. Lot of students still struggle to get a job in India, when they are back in India.
  • Just getting the degree or postgraduate degree (unless you are from Top Universities) doesn’t make you eligible to get a job in India. For entry level your institute background or university matters. If you are from reputed (Not mostly advertised) institute anywhere from the world, your chance to get the job at entry level is easy. But once you get the job, everybody is equal. 
  • In summary, if you want to study outside India, do it, but choose the university wisely. If you want to stay in India and study in top tier colleges, do it. But again, choose that institute wisely.

2. What are the top 5 things you see in the resume of an entry level candidate?
  • Funny thing is that all resumes are just copy pasted in the college by students. Their objectives are the same, their hobbies are similar. Placement officer gives the format and students just put the information in the resume. I don’t think, either college or students give enough attention in designing the resume. They are trained how to give interviews, how to speak in group discussions, etc etc. Hence, it is difficult to get the clue from entry level resumes. But then as a professional I will notice the following things in the resume.
    • Have the students given some thought while making his resume or just copy pasted the format?
    • His score in different exams,
    • What are that extra-curricular activities (leading the events, organising some fest etc) he has taken in the college to improve his soft skills?
    • What he did during his summer and winter internship?
    • What is his project and how seriously he did it?
During the interview the interview may ask more details about all above to understand the seriousness, depth, understanding of the student. 
3. What are those things one should focus to make a career in the corporate world at management level?
  • First message is don’t go by the title, go by the role. Titles may be misleading. Whenever you join any organization, focus on formative experience and learning. Formative experience is as under:
    • Building the functional or domain knowledge: In any organization, you need to be strong in your functional or domain knowledge. you have learned the concepts in the college, now it is the time to test them and understand them better. Practical application of your learning makes your foundation sound. Focus on more learning. Understand the things in detail. Strive for the excellence.
    • Perspective Building: As you grow in the organization, start learning about the people, culture, diversity and interacting with them. Start learning what are different perspectives and thinking pattern and how are they developed. Work with different teams, on different projects. Build the perspective in social, international context. Widen your horizon.
    • Leadership Building: This is about working on your personal style. Leadership not necessary means you should have a team to lead. It is about how you build your leadership by observing, learning and experiencing while working. 
As a professional when any resume and subsequently candidate comes to me, I will see how he learned in the organization, what is his development & experience pattern and how he has grown in the organization.
Please watch here to know more "How I build my Formative Experience." 

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Industry 4.0 - People & Cultural Imperative

Smart Manufacturing: - Cultural Imperative

(This article is written by Vinod Bidwaik & Swanand Deshapande with inputs from Rahul Bagale

On 24th Jan 2020, Kalinga Management Institute and Kontempore organised a good session on Smart Manufacturing where almost 20 senior HR, Operational Excellence and Manufacturing professionals came together and deliberated on different aspects of smart manufacturing. There were 4 groups who discussed about People, Process and Technology. Overall it was a great discussion, however in such discussions, participants tend to discuss a lot generic stuff and this needs to be made clearer in view of changing technology.

I realised that I should take this topic for further discussion on my blog. I also have my certain views on this topic and let’s discuss what is all about.

Smart Manufacturing is that way of working where computer-integrated manufacturing- like Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Robots, PLCs and automatic machines are deployed. It also means manufacturing processes have high levels of adaptability and rapid design changes. Digital information technology is used widely; the workforce is multitasking and flexible. In Smart Manufacturing processes are well defined, design is simple & lean and workforce is super capable to handle technology and rapid changes. Industry 4.0 is the next step in smart manufacturing. It requires continuous innovation because lifecycle of products & technology will be going to get shorter & shorter.

In such scenario what are those people elements we need to consider? There are many. There were few questions we need to ask while working on Industry 4.0
  • What is your people strategy and future talent requirements? (People Strategy)
  • What kind of workforce you need? (Skills, Capabilities and Competencies)
  • How do you build that capabilities to work in Industry 4.0? (Talent Management & People development) 
  • What are those cultural elements we need to consider? (Organizational Culture) 
  • How effectively you will implement this change? (Change Management)
Let’s discuss one by one:

People Strategy: While designing any strategy you need to keep in mind, the customer and the market in which you are operating. Always keep in mind the consequences of the strategy on end customer. This is applicable in all strategies in the organization. For this you need to evaluate the current situation, what customer expects, and what are those changes you need to work on. 

It is well explained in the following diagram.

Future Workforce: We need a workforce which is agile, flexible with right mindset. Entitlement mindset will not have any roles in the organization. There will be more roles with individual contributors instead of team leader’s role. People will have to operate multiple machines, robots, 3 D printing machines. They need to learn, understand those machines. Machines will be much more complex mechanical parts will be integrated with electronic parts & then finally with software & internet.  If there are some issues while operating, they also need to know the troubleshooting. For this technical knowledge with analytical skills and problem-solving skills will be required more. Teams will be more empowered, and they will be able to take decisions on the shop floor about the product quality. Concept of dual role started in many organizations due to few roles becoming redundant. Hence, multi-talented employees will be in demand & for sure they will be assets of any organization. Future workforce of India needs to excel, since we are not that much agile while contributing to job. Concept of freelancer/Gig worker started taking its shape, such gig jobs will be evolving by reducing full time requirement. 

Demographics of workforce shall change; team shall consist of young as well as experienced people. They both will operate from different consciousness & maturity. Old people will bring in experience & young people will bring in fresh ideas. The main challenge is to create confluence of old & young in order to make them work collaboratively on a common goal. 
Workforce required in smart manufacturing shall be open to learn & adaptable. The rate of change in technology will be much faster & will exceed our ability to adapt. Self-learning & curiosity will help us adapt that fast-paced technological change. In the era of smart manufacturing skills are perishable. Everyday, we are hitting with new technological challenge & hence today’s skills will be outdated tomorrow. So, we need people who can self-learn, curious, agile, adaptable & multi skill. 

Talent Management & People Development: This is crucial even today, but going forward, HR have to focus on skilling and re-skilling their employees. You have to define talent philosophy practically. Gig economy will change the dimensions of the workforce. You need to figure out ways to make your talent more flexible, agile and technically sound in the areas they operate.

There will be scarcity of ready to perform talent availability.  So, hire for the right attitude or difficult to develop competencies (as stated in above points) and train for skills. Creating tour of duties to fulfill budding aspiration will be a challenge & polices needs to flexible for that.  Many jobs will perish & new kind of jobs will be created to meet the requirement of IIoT. 

People Development: In future, people having ability to impact on organization results will only survive. Hence, employee needs to go work extra miles to take next role will be preferred. By coming out from your comfort zone and acquiring knowledge will be pathway for the future. For career growth one needs blends of variety of sectors including manufacturing, consulting, FMCG to understand challenges of other sectors.
Culture and Change Management: This is a big change management. Identify the
theme and create your culture agenda to work in the Industry 4.0. 

Industry 4.0 shall require a culture of learn fast & fail fast. Mistakes should not be treated as a sin. Culture should allow people to think out of the box & experiment to meet changing demands of technology & clients. How you take decisions will matter. Teams need to involve every stake holder while making decisions. On the other hand, this should not consume a lot of time in order to beat the high rate of change. Challenges should inspire people to do more & achieve more.  
Industry 4.0 will require involvement of stakeholders even outside organization. Clients, outsourced technology partners, suppliers should be involved at right place in order to create sustainable products & technology. 

Culture should encourage risk taking (of course calculated) & inspire people to take initiative and lead. It should also facilitate constant learning, sharing of experiences. Creating such learning platform online & offline will foster innovation. 

Performance management should measure people on team’s performance/ delivery and not focused on individual goals. Successful deployment of product, technology will be a key goal to look for. Behaviors such as collaborative different views, putting team’s objective above self, empathetic listening, taking initiatives & being emotionally intelligence will contribute to the team's success. 

Leadership will require a big shift. Carrot & stick approach will not work. There will always be better ways of doing things. Gone are the days of leadership who says, ‘My way is Highway’. Democratic leadership which intends to collaborate on different ideas will thrive. Micro-management shall be the last thing to do. Leadership will cascade down the culture. Leaders must earn respect, colleagues/subordinates will not respect you only because of experience & age. Leaders need to be on the job with the people. Participative & servant leadership only will create right ‘Smell of the Place’ for Industry 4.0. 

Culture should allow different leaders to emerge in a different situation. Every situation & challenge will demand different skills & leadership style. One size doesn’t fit all.  No single leadership style will sustain. 

People will face change very often & hence they should not view change as a threat to them. Why most change management attempts fails? : Is because people feel insecure & make it a question of their survival. Once this happens, they only focus on survival not proliferation or growth. Following strategies may help change succeed:
  • Make people part of the change & let them drive it. 
  • Make people clear of: ‘What's in it for them?’ 
  • Show people the fruits of change & explain them how it is good for them
  • Train people on emotional intelligence so that they won’t operate from reptilian brain and think logically. 
  • Appoint change ambassador in sphere of organization so that they watch it carefully & drive it democratically. 
  • Take constant feedback from people & change ‘Change management strategies’ if required. 

Constant change is inevitable in Industry 4.0 & it should become part of people’s lives. 


Industry 4.0 will be an exciting as well as challenging future in terms of technology & people. Every day, people need to sharpen their saw in terms of skills. Developing, retaining & creating talent will be hard task for HR on the backdrop of high rate of change. Culture shall play a vital role in smart manufacturing as it will drive required behaviors for successful journey in this new era.  Constant emergence of new leadership along with change champion strategies stated above will make Industry 4.0 more fun place to work. As everything’s is revolving around the customer, change is vital in the organization. However, at the same time CEOs are expecting ROI less than 3 years, hence typically working on margins is crucial for head of business. Let’s gear up for it! 

What do you think? What are those capabilities we need to develop in view of Industry 4.0? What are those Skills, Capabilities and Behaviours? Please click on comments to respond.

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