47th HR Summit of Oil & Gas PSUs at The Sabhagaar Conference Hall, Fateh Prakash Palace Convention Center in Udaipur

18. March 2013 12:12 by Mr. Bhupendra Singh Auwa in Eternal Mewar

47th HR Summit of Oil & Gas PSUs at The Sabhagaar Conference Hall, Fateh Prakash Palace Convention Center in Udaipur

“Be ready to embrace change,” said Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar
during a special address at the
47th HR Summit of Oil & Gas PSUs
in Udaipur from March 14-15th, 2013

"We have to be ready to embrace change; we cannot be living in the past," said Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur during the special address at the 47th HR Summit of Oil & Gas PSUs being held in Udaipur from March 14-15th, 2013 at the Sabhaagar Conference Hall, The Durbar Hall of Fateh Prakash Palace Convention Centre. "Embracing change, without losing our core values and principles, demonstrates our ability to connect with the real world," said Shriji as he explained how the House of Mewar had kept itself connected and relevant to changing times for over 1400 years.

Shriji gave the example of The Durbar Hall itself, where the 100-strong delegates of the prestigious conference had gathered. "In 1947, at The Durbar Hall, my grandfather His Late Highness Maharana Bhupal Singhji presided over matters of the State of Mewar. Today The Durbar Hall has changed; it is playing host to conference delegates in our time. Despite the change, the essential character of The Durbar Hall has remained the same. Moreover, it remains connected to the needs of the time." He thanked Indian Oil Corporation, one of the sponsors of the 47th HR Summit, for having chosen Udaipur as the venue for the all-important conference.

Shriji said, "It is the MICE market (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) which is the driving force today in the tourism industry. We are happy that our efforts in developing the MICE market in Udaipur are bearing fruit now. We have state-of-the-art conference facilities and infrastructure to successfully host conferences like the 47th HR Summit." He personally thanked the Indian Oil Corporation Chairman, Mr R S Butola, and other senior Directors, for their guidance in making the Summit a success in Udaipur.

For the delegates, Shriji had words of advice. "Just as we in Mewar have always considered ourselves as Custodians of our assets, in PSUs too, you need to assume the role of Custodians of national wealth. Our duty is to preserve and develop the assets - both tangible and intangible - we have inherited to pass it on to the next generation. Custodianship is value-based principles of governance that go a long way in building institutions," Shriji said, sharing his learnings as the 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar.

Earlier, to facilitate the special address by Shriji, Mr Raju Mansukhani (communications' consultant with HRH Group of Hotels) shared interesting details and time-lines from Shriji's achievements as the Chairman and Managing Trustee of Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation, and the Chairman of HRH Group of Hotels. He said, "We wanted to introduce the history and heritage of Mewar, without which we cannot understand, appreciate or empathize with the values and work which Shriji has been accomplishing as the 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar. There is very strong sense of history and Time which distinguishes Shriji. He is very conscious of the legacies he has inherited as the 76th Custodian of the House. He has optimized the opportunities to handle the wealth and inheritance received in bequest and what he has added by his worth. His efforts through the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (of which he is the Chairman and Managing Trustee), and HRH Group of Hotels (of which he is the Chairman), are symptomatic of his insights into investment.”

“Shriji is a multifaceted personality – from being an aviator to a hotelier – he is respected through four continents for his strategic thinking, business acumen and ethical conduct. He has, among other things, modernized and extended the heritage variable into a strong family business, headquartered in Udaipur and spread across Rajasthan and India. The institutions he has created and nourished are the best testimony to his skills, and for doing so, he has used the core principles of family business, demonstrating his adherence to governance through Custodianship at all times." 
"2012 marked a new beginning as MMCF, the Foundation, in association with UNESCO India Office, organized the first-ever World Living Heritage Festiva," Mr Mansukhani said, adding, "In espousing 'living heritage', Shriji has provided heritage management a contemporary perspective for twenty-first century audiences. This is in sync with the ancient perennial values of the House of Mewar, and is providing innumerable avenues for societal growth. Living Heritage ‘has the power to transform regional economies, inject pride in our heritage and enrich our societal fabric’, it has been said by UN experts."

Excerpts from two archival films were screened for the benefit of the delegates: from the documentary-film titled 'Princely Mewar-A World Apart', the historical significance of Mewar over the centuries was established. In a moving sequence of the film, Shriji reads the letter written in 1947 by Maharana Bhupal Singhji as he agrees to the amalgamation of the State of Mewar with the Union of India. Clearly and unconditionally, the values of trustee-ship and custodianship are spelt out in this letter.

In the BBC documentary-film titled, Trouble-Shooter Returns, Sir John Harvey-Jones conducts an indepth study of modern Udaipur and is convinced that Shriji's commercial enterprises could be managed with fewer people and much less overheads. Though Shriji agrees with Sir John's findings, he explains to the economist that his mission is not based on cold commercial calculations. "We have centuries-old ties with the city of Udaipur and its people; if there is a cost being incurred today to maintain those ties, then so be it." he says with characteristic candour.

Organizational Values

Initiating the business session on March 15th, Mr K S Jamestin, Director-HR of ONGC, highlighted the importance of organizational values and underscored the importance of these values being shared and lived by all employees. He said, "Organizational values are more important today than at any other time in history because the personal and societal context within which businesses operate is changing. Who you are as an organization, and what you stand for, are becoming just as important as what you sell." Research shows that companies that seek to align the values of the organization with the values of employees, and vice versa, have the best long-term performance, are enjoyable to work in, and more focussed on the needs of their employees and their customers, he added.

The Human Resources function, said Mr Jamestin, "has a special, singular responsibility when it comes to values. It is the HR's job to represent all employees, ensure equity within the workforce, and provide professional leadership, guidance and advice on the human side of business. It is HR's primary responsibility to role-model organizational values. HR professional must have deep and profound belief in the stated values and an unwavering commitment to lead, model and support those values." 

"Oil PSUs," he said, "have witnessed a transformational change in the business environment with new licensing, pricing regimes and diversification into alternate sources of energy. To successfully adapt to these changes, a cultural transformation is imperative. It is not a matter of choice but a business need for all of us. HR therefore has to instil and propogate the values on which the foundations of a new high performance culture can be built."

In his inaugural address on March 14th, Mr R S Butola, Chairman of the Indian Oil Corporation, had reminded the august audience that challenges before the oil and gas PSUs were growing exponentially, with complete de-regulation of the industry as the ultimate goal. "In the aviation and telecom sectors, we have seen how privatization and the entry of multinationals can turn the fortunes of industry-players," he said, pointing to the examples of Air India, MTNL and BSNL who were powerhouses once but are now struggling to survive and even pay employee salaries on time.

Mr Butola posed a challenging question to the HR Directors and their teams present: why is it that PSU managers who join the private sector are able to perform better for their new employers? He wanted to know the answer and urged the experts to 'identify the traits' of such performances and make it happen in the PSU culture itself. He raised more questions about talent shortage, methods of recruitment and training-development of HR. He felt the need to search for new solutions, innovative ideas from HR that would go beyond the confines of precedents set.

Challenges ahead

Job enrichment versus job impoverishment was another critical subject touched upon by the Chairman-IOC. He asked, "why is there a pressure in the PSUs to create more jobs at the senior level? Of course, managers aspire to get promote but they also aspire to be satisfied in their jobs. There is no point in promoting a manager to discover that he is dis-satified in his new assignment and is vitiating the atmosphere at the work-place." Mr Butola also wanted the entire process of performance appraisals to be reviewed, keeping in mind the changing profiles of PSUs managers.

In his special address on March 14th, Mr Satish Pradhan, Executive Vice President-Tata Group HR, was forthright in his analysis that communities and the environment are today impacting businesses like never before. In his presentation, Mr Pradhan said, "We are unaware of the anger of the excluded. Whether it is the tribals, the Dalits or SC/ST, corporations have lost the ability to decisively engage these external audiences in mutually beneficial ways." He warned that these excluded external audiences are no longer going to wait; they will sooner or later assert their rights. He hoped that HR departments of PSUs were able to track the trends of anger in society and communities and are able to frame policies that are suited to satisfy all major stakeholders.

Mr Pradhan, who has been at the forefront of recruitment in the Tata Administrative Services, said the young employees of today have different aspirations. "They are looking for power, money and they want it now! It is the duty of HR departments to understand these changing societal trends and convey them to their Boards," he exhorted the audience. Being a former PSU manager himself, Mr Pradhan kept drawing parallels between the work culture in large private corporations like the Tatas and the oil, gas or steel PSUs. "There should be no such demarcation as private sector or public sector: there is only the efficient sector and the inefficient sector," he quipped, as he took the audience through his presentation outlining the key challenges for both the business environment and the HR departments.

On employee relations too, Mr Satish Pradhan did not mince his words. The violence at the workplace, where specifically the HR managers have been targeted, is a matter of grave concern, he said. "Leadership in HR is an all-important subject; we have to groom talent. You cannot lead people if you remain isolated from them. HR is like a contact sport, you have to sweat it out with your teams. Otherwise there is no sense of belonging," he explained, giving several Indian examples and drawing upon his rich experience with the Tata Group.

The 100-strong delegates at the 47th HR Summit were also exposed to the rich culture of Mewar and Rajasthan. On March 14th, there was a special cultural evening organized at the Jagmandir Island Palace where delegates were ferried to on flower-decked boats. Under the starry skies, the songs and dances continued while the banquet was truly memorable for the delegates. On March 15th, at the Shiv Niwas Palace Pool Deck, a special dinner was organized to mark the successful conclusion of the 47th HR Summit.

Inaugural ceremony of the coffee table book "Icons of Mewar"

14. January 2013 13:25 by Deepali Bohra in HRH Group of Hotels

Inaugural ceremony of the coffee table book "Icons of Mewar" by Rajasthan Patrika at Sabhagaar Conference Hall, The Durbar Hall, Fateh Prakash Palace Convention Center, Udaipur on 13th January 2013

Check more about venues available at HRH Hotels - http://www.hrhhotels.com/Regal_Experiences/Conferences/venues.aspx

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