The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in association with Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) and Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) organised the 4th edition of Automotive HR Conclave in Chennai. The day-long HR conclave supported the theme, ‘Digitization and Disruption: HR Re-imagined and Redefined’.

The conference was held to address several key issues, that are relevant to the emerging megatrends in a digitally disrupted work environment, even offer digital solutions, improve capabilities required for the future, plan workforce strategies and re-skilling the workforce to prepare for the jobs of the future.

The HR conclave was aimed at creating awareness for business leaders, HR managers and young HR executives from the automotive industry to collectively discuss the various challenges faced by organizations and leaders in the automotive space at present. The event was attended by more than 100 HR professionals.

Welcoming the dignitaries, Mr. N V Balachandar, Chairman, SIAM HR Group and President – HR, Communication & CSR, Ashok Leyland said, “More than a knowledge body, SIAM is a forum to share experience, knowledge and perspective to ease our professional life.”

“Technology should be in alliance with the human mind, which cannot be replaced. People should embrace the technology irrespective of digitization, disruption, industry 4.0, robotics and AI. With exciting demography and growing new gen population, India has the potential to create work and accept the technology in all sectors including manufacturing and services”, he added, while speaking on technology and machine learning.

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Mr Raman Kumar Sharma, Senior Vice President & Director, Honda Cars India, Ms Bhavna Batra, Director, People & Organisation, PwC India, Mr N V Balachandar, Prof B Gurumoorthy, Mr Vinkesh Gulati and Mr Sudhakar Panda during the inauguration

Prof. B. Gurumoorthy, Chief Executive of Society for Innovation and Development and a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science shared his insights on the impact of digital transformation in the field of manufacturing, optimization of the process to modernize HR functions and digitization as a catalyst for design, manufacture & production.

He spoke about the frugal Industry 4.0 that can really help Indian society since we may not be able to easily adopt high-cost technology solutions, especially at SME space.

The day-long conclave included various interesting sessions including capabilities of the future and human resource strategy, Human Machine – Reskilling for future jobs, a motivational session and a panel discussion on Employee experiences- thriving in the digital world.

Technical Sessions

In a panel discussion held during the technical sessions, Mr Rama Shankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella India Lighting on the topic, ‘Human & Machine reskilling for Future Jobs.’ “When it comes to change, we tend to know or realise how much we know about our field. The biggest question, might be ‘what do I not know, that I not know! I think in forums like this, it helps us when we share and hear the practitioner’s example and experience”, said Mr Pandey.

Mr Rama Shankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella India Lighting

“Descriptive analysis will not take us to real prescriptions, but we try to bridge that gap. And if we allow experimentation, we can achieve precise analysis which help us fill the space between man and machine”, he added.

Mr Pandey also spoke about the “dramatic” change to technology dependance over the past five years. With the new, upcoming generation favouring, quicker, efficient and reliable options, integrated with technology, it is crucial to start thinking about reskilling the man-machine interface.

During a panel discussion on the topic, Employee Experiences in a Digital World, Ms Priyamvada Balaji, Director, Lucas TVS, spoke about the use of technologies in the training process of employees. She said, “There are a lot of video based learning and other initiatives. In our company, TVS Training and Services, we give training based on the shop floor and by government regulations. At this level, we were exploring if we could do some level of digital or virtual or interactive training, to see if productivity can actually go up.”

Ms Priyamvada Balaji, Director, Lucas TVS

“This would help correcting the minor errors, which the team can learn to identity by viewing a video and will surely help the productivity improve in a long way”, she added.

Ms Priyamvada also highlighted about the use of Augmented reality for design and production. She stated that, with the implementation of Augmented reality catching up in the process of manufacturing, products are designed in more advanced and precise way. Hence, training workers to use the technology, is soon set to catch up at the entry level.