KSOM Organizes Mega HR Konclave on ‘Rise of Phygital: The New HR 4.1’


KIIT School of Management (KSOM) in association with Schools of Biotechnology, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Law, Mechanical Engineering, Rural Management, Computer Application and Civil Engineering organized its 12th Mega HR Konclave on 25th September 2021. The conclave was one of the biggest HR events to have been held in India and witnessed participation by 500 eminent corporate personalities and international speakers from five countries spanning three continents. It had an audience of more than 10000 from industry, academia and the student community.

In his inaugural address, Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS welcomed all the esteemed dignitaries and expressed his happiness to be connecting the students and corporate dignitaries. He also spoke about how KIIT in this ‘phygital’ mode has managed its 10000+ staff in an admirable way, thereby getting the best Workplace of the Year Award by Times Higher Education, 2020. He mentioned that ultimately the effectiveness of the workforce depended on effective and empathetic leadership.

Maintaining relationships, good human interactions and managing emotions in the ‘phygital’ world is critical to organizational success, stated Prof. Sasmita Samanta, Pro Vice-Chancellor, KIIT-DU.

Dr. Saroj Mahapatra, Director, KSOM welcomed the esteemed guests and introduced the theme of the conclave. Dr. Sanjay Muthal, CEO, Kontempore Leadership & Business Solutions, Knowledge Partner of the Conclave, mentioned that the HR Konclave at KIIT has become one of the key events in the country’s corporate calendar. He talked about how the workplace today has become ‘Phygital – a combination of physical and digital’. He said that the pandemic has fast tracked the implementation of technology across various industries. Prof. Hrushikesha Mohanty, Vice-Chancellor, KIIT-DU spoke about how rapidly the challenges of the corporate world are changing. Organizations should deal with changes with a humane touch, he emphasized.

Mr. K. A. Narayan, President HR, Raymond was the first keynote speaker. He opined that virtual will never be able to replace physical and in a digital world, human relations would be the most critical cog in business. The second keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Milind K. Oza, Executive Chairman, Wollongong Coal Limited, New South Wales, Australia. He explained about the changes that his company faced with the outbreak of pandemic. He cited a few good aspects of the hybrid mode like effective communication and better efficacy of the workforce.

Prof. Satya Narayan Mishra, Dean, KSOM, proposed the vote of thanks and summarized the deliberations.

The inaugural session was followed by an International Panel Discussion on the theme – “Rise of Phygital: The New HR 4.1”, moderated by Dr. S. K. Mahapatra. The panellists were Ms. Taiwo ‘Dayo-Abatan, Group Head, Human Capital and Corporate Services – Primera Africa Finance Group, Lagos; Ms. Surani Amerasinghe, Head of Human Resources – Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, Sri Lanka; Mr. Eugene Lam, Sr. Vice President, HR – ST Engineering, Singapore and Mr. Michael Miliopoulos, Human Resources Director – ANTISEL, Greece. The panel spoke about various proactive things HR did during the pandemic like forming Employee Assistance Teams, taking care of employee families, giving emotional support to employees and getting the workforce adapted to the changed workspace. It concurred that the future of workspace was going to be ‘phygital’ and enhancing employee relations, upskilling employees and achieving better connection with them would become imperative for organizations.

The International Panel Discussion was followed by nine breakout panel discussions across various schools of KIIT-DU. Some of the themes under discussion were ‘Revamping Work, Workforce and Workplaces’, ‘Human Resources: The Fosters of Knowledge Sharing and Harnessing the Power of Science’; ‘HR Redesign in the ‘Phygital’ era: A Strategic Focus in the Rural Workspace and ‘How Future-proof is the Reengineered Workspace?’ The panellists were eminent speakers from various national and international corporations.  

A total of 46 interactive workshops by distinguished industry practitioners followed the panel discussions. The conclave provided students with an opportunity to interact with business leaders from the industry. It created a platform to connect industry professionals, academia and students.

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