NHRD Conference beings with a focus on Entrepreneurship

The annual conference of the National Human Resource Development (NHRD) network began on a grand note at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore today. An ebullient crowd of more than 2000 people comprising of HR professionals, students, academia, exhibitors and companies from across India assembled early in the morning, lending an aura of exuberance which was in sharp contrast to the early morning winter chill.

This year the 2-Day conference celebrates the Spirit Of Entrepreneurship and features exclusive sessions with founders and startups. A live telecast of the event is available on and it can be viewed from across the globe for free. So those who were unable to attend the event can definitely tune in to profit from the wealth of knowledge being shared by achievers from all walks of life.


A mammoth crowd seated at the 2016 HRDN Conference in Bangalore.

The Inauguration featured a welcome address by Mr Balachandar N and Mr S.V Nathan welcoming the delegates to two days of learning. This was followed by the Keynote address which was delivered by Prof Ram Charan, a world renowned author and speaker on human resource management. The morning session concluded with an awards ceremony where young achievers from business schools were felicitated with the Prof Ram Charan Awards.


Office bearers of NHRD with Prof Ram Charan (In red sweater) and the award winners.

The afternoon session began with a talk by Mr Gaur Gopala Das who spoke on the power of purpose, value based conscious capitalism, sensitivity based human asset motivation and spirituality based life handling mechanisms. He spoke extensively about how employers can create a conducive environment for employees to prosper. He ended his talk with an emphasis on the importance of cultivating spiritual values in an organization and how that would lead to the propagation of integral humanism.

gaur gopal das speech

Mr Gaur Gopala Dass of ISKON delivers his talk.

The afternoon session of the conference featured talks and sessions by the founders of Inmobi and Quess Corp. They spoke about how a startup handles it’s human resource requirements and how acquisitions can help accelerate growth. Ajit Isaac , CMD of Quess Corp spoke about Quess Corp’s IPO and how it was one of the most successful IPO’s concluded in recent times.

panel discussion

From left to right Mr Srikanth Balachandran ( Global CHRO, Airtel), Ms Priya Jain (Head of HR Paper Boat), Mr Babu Vittal ( HR Head Shopclues), Mr Narayan R Thammaiah ( Chief People’s Officer Accel).

What followed next was a panel discussion featuring HR heads from Paperboat, Shopclues, Accel and Airtel. They shared some salient points that can help startups in managing their human resources. Some of the points discussed are given below:

  1. In startups, the founders are usually busy with business plans and marketing their products so HR takes a backseat. It thus become important for the HR heads to communicate effectively with the top management.
  2. HR is often seen as a barrier, most startups do not understand the importance of hiring the right HR head. They often do not hire a HR head and instead rely on non-HR professionals for recruitment which can in the long run turn into a costly mistake.
  3. HR is often the backbone of a successful startup and founders would do well to focus on this function. Talent creates value, not money.
  4. HR is not just about hiring. About 50% of HR is concerned with hiring while the remaining 50% is about retaining talent, motivating employees and communicating business goals regularly.
  5. Every startup wants to hire smart people. Too much focus on just skill sets can lead to lop-sized growth. You need all kinds of people to make an organization work.
  6. Most Startup CEO’s are averse to lengthy processes, so HR Mangers should reinvent processes and ensure they comply with the startup culture.

The next panel discussion was on the role of HR heads for startups and featured conversations with entrepreneurs such as Mr Ravi Gururaj (CEO Qikpod), Mr Anand Bhaskar (CEO Planet Ganges) and Mr Hari T.N (Head HR Big Basket).

Exhibition at NHRD Conference

The 2 day event also has an exhibition running parallel to the main conference and features stalls from people and companies from the HRM Ecosystem. Some pictures follow below :

The Crowded Aisle of the Exhibition Area.

The Crowded Aisle of the Exhibition Area.

crowds aisle

Stalls at the National HRD Network Conference.


Exhibitors interact with curious onlookers.

stall orange

An exhibitor shares a light moment with an onlooker.

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