September 23, 2009

HR Symphony 2009- A detailed report

One of my classmate, Kaviya Suresh mailed me the following report which she documented during HR Symphony 2009:

HR – SYMPHONY 2009 – Documentation

HR Symphony was conducted by the Student Forum of the Department of MA Human Resource Management, Madras School of Social Work on Friday, September 18 at The Savera.

The theme for the symposium was HR Trends in 2010 and noted HR Professionals were a part of this event.

Inaugural Session:

The function was inaugurated by Ms. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, MP, Rajya Sabha who lit the kuthuvilakku and delivered the inaugural address.

Speaking about key issues such as the impact of recession, she said “Corporate Social Responsibility lies in the hands of today’s youngsters. Be it managing waste or making a difference to the nation, fitting it into the corporate work schedule is the need of the hour. HR is where the human connection begins and ends.” Ms. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi affirmed that the women of the country are a potential resource that has not been discovred yet. The women are not being given the recognition they are entitled to. She stressed on the Women’s bill in the parliament should have been 50% and not 33%. She also stressed on the importance of learning the tamil language.

The Department Newsletter HURECANE was released by Ms. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi on the occasion.

The Principal of MSSW, Dr. Fathima Vasanth, gave the welcome address. The Secreatary SSER, Mr. C.D. Jose welcomed the gathering. Mrs. Jayanthi Peter, Head of the Department of MA HRM, gave a brief presentation about the department and its activities. Ms. Bhargavi, President of the Students Forum, spoke about the journey of HR Symphony so far.

Keynote Address:

The keynote addressee of HR Symphony 2009 was Mr. M Mahadevan, CMD, Oriental Cuisines Pvt. Ltd. He has actively involved in setting up Fast Food Business along with various promoters under partnership and management contract basis in India. He was also involved in setting up of the Copper Chimney restaurant in Chennai along with the co-promoter of the Bombay Copper Chimney restaurant group.

Apart from the above he has set up 42 Bakeries & Restaurants in USA, Middle East, Africa, Canada, France and London under his overseas operations unit Company

Mr. M Mahadevan has been in the business of hotelier and catering industry for over 25 years in various capacities.

He is the promoter of the Company Oriental Cuisines Private Limited. The company commenced operations with China Town and Hot Breads and he was instrumental in setting up a chain of Hot Bread units in India and abroad. The Indian operations were subsequently transferred to a separate division from 2001-02. OCPL owns and operates in various cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkatta, Delhi, Trivendrum in the following Line of Business

10- Food Courts

12- Fine Dining Restaurants

20- Quick Service Restaurants

31- Bakeries

02- Lodging House

OCPL operates under the following brand names

China Town


Hotel Oriental Inn

Zara Tapas Bar

Noodle House

Wangs Kitchen

Kebab House

Just Juice.

French Loaf


Maple Leaf


Planet Yumm.- Food Court

In his address he said that the role of HR is on the upswing, recession or otherwise. He illustrated this with personal references to his 25-year journey and his recent switch to centralizing HR operations through his chain of eateries. Today his company has over 4000 employees, carefully hand picked by the HR Department. The HR Mantra of OPCL is “Motivate and Retain”. He believes in motivating his employees through proper training, briefings and monetary benefits. If the right amount of motivation given to the employees, they can be retained and will be loyal to the company. The Policy that the employees follow is to “Serve and save”.

Mr. M. Mahadevan was the recipient of the Best Entrepreneur award and was facilitated by the then Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Few of his quotes included “We don’t fish, but we teach people to fish” and “the future is for people with knowledge.”

Panel Discussion:

A panel discussion surrounding the theme of HR Symphony was moderated by Mr. Muthukumar Thanu, VP-HR, TAFE.

The panel members were Mr. R. Venkatanarayanan, GM HR, Rane Brakes Lining Ltd. Mr. R. Paneerchelvam, GM-HR, The India Cements Ltd., Mr. G. Udayakumar, CEO, Coremind Inc., Ms. Sharmila Gouthama, Founder, Green Books Consultancy and Ms. Kavita Shanmugam, Dean, Gemba School of HR.

The panel discussion centered on the theme of HR Symphony and the following were the opinions of the panelists with regard to HR Trends of 2010:

Muthukumar Thanu, Moderator:

  • More learnability leads to more employability.
  • The company must take good care of the External customer (client) and the internal customer (employee).
  • Resilience towards business should be developed
  • Importance of influencing employees

Paneerchelvam, Panelist:

  • Business literacy
  • Line of sight
  • To take up a tough role to get the best learning
  • How well a HR must facilitate the line managers to solve problems

Venkat, Panelist:

  • Scope to learn
  • Employee engagement
  • Creating trust
  • Humane peace

Kavitha, Panelist:

  • Achieving and creating a milestone
  • Understanding of the employees
  • Attitudes must be changed

Udayakumar, Panelist:

  • Giving time to oneself and the employee
  • To learn to grow
  • Importance of observation skills
  • Contributing in small ways for the growth of the company

Sharmila Gauthama, Panelist:

  • Ability to foresee trends
  • Ability to see how to contribute
  • Importance of social media

Research presentation

The research details, finding, inferences and results are attached at the end of the report.

Hurecane Presentation

A presentation of the Department Newsletter “Hurecane” was made by Mr. Vivek, I MA HRM.

Corporate Event

2 events “Ad-dict” and “Linked-In” were conducted for the Corporates present in the event. Ad-dict was a simple guessing game. An ad was played and the product or service has to be guessed by the audience. The winners of Ad-dict were

3rd place – Mr. Krishnan, Escalator

2nd place – Rangarajan, Neeyamo

1st place – Ms. Renu, Icon

Linked-in was a game to find the hidden link among three products or services. The winners of Linked-in were

3rd place – Pawan

2nd place – Avinash, Infosys

1st place – Rakesh Mohan, Neeyamo

Plenary Session

A plenary session on Corporate Goodness was handled by Mr. M. V. Cherian, DGM HR, National Head ONGC Schools, ONGC, which concluded the evening for present student and corporate force alike.

The contents of Mr. M.V. Cherian’s speech included how one should conduct oneself at the work place, the importance of communicating and expressing one’s thoughts and feelings in the right manner. He explained his concepts with personal anecdotes and how he handled worst situations in the easiest manner. He stressed on the importance of being diplomatic and the dangers associated with taking sides. Also, some of his important words were “the most imp thing in the word "organization" is 'I', if I organise myself, organisation will automatically organize itself. similarly in "management' the most important word is "me".”

The session concluded with Vote of Thanks by Ramya Radhakrishnan, Secretary HR Symphony and which was followed by dinner.

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