Key learnings from NIPM NATCON2016, Mumbai

Major challenges of HR in different Countries.


  •  The major challenge in Bangladesh is unskilled people. Labour laws are not fully practiced and compared to other countries.
  •  Bangladesh is much behind in IT. As per an article published in CIPD, 80% of HR functions can be integrated with IT so that significant cost can be reduced. In reality, we have two choices, to do something and grab all opportunities ahead of others or simply stay and loss all the opportunities.
  •  It is the right time to take immediate action for Bangladesh to up-skill the people. It is a major responsibility for HR professionals within the organisation and in the country.
  •  The education is the backbone of any Nation and Bangladesh is much behind. Unskilled labour is very high in the country. If we provide 6 months vocational training, they can improve their skills and incomes.
  •  Regional cooperation is very important to address many issues. We need to collaborate in education and establish the common area of knowledge and education, strengthen HR associations and organise HR programs in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Hong Kong. There should be very wide and common platform where anyone can discuss the issues and can capitalize on challenges and transcend to opportunities.

 Sri Lanka

  •  The major HR challenges in Sri Lanka is unemployment. The labour force is only 4.6% of the population. People are deprived of the job opportunities due to the unemployment issue. The graduate unemployment is due to lack of skills. The education system in Sri Lanka is to enhance intellectual capacity of individuals. In schools, Children are being deprived of getting involved or associated with other activities like sports etc. At university level, Sri Lanka reformed the education system and developed curriculum in such a manner to provide opportunities for graduates to get involved in industries and acquire skills.
  •  The second major issue in Sri Lanka is Skill mis-match. There are many job opportunities available in the market but due lack of skill and unable to perform the jobs people are not getting employment. People lack in professional orientation. It is a major problem in Sri Lanka to maintain balance between demand and supply of the jobs.
  •  Brain drain is also a major challenge not only in Sri Lanka but also in the Asian countries. The competent people are attracted by the Western countries / developed countries.
  •  Social Security System is another challenge specially in Asian countries not in Western countries. People are tempted to look forward for government jobs due to social security system.
  •  Aged workforce is also a major issue in Sri Lanka. Based on statistics more than 53% of workforce are beyond the age of 40 years.
  •  Most of the Asian countries strengthened labour laws to attract foreign investment. In 1977, Sri Lanka Introduced free market economy but yet it is failing to attract right kind of investment due to stringent labour laws. As per report made by ILO, there are six countries i.e China, India, Korea, Singapore, Malaise and Sri Lanka are facing difficulty to attract foreign direct investment.

Hong Kong

  • Honk Kong is having 7 million people out of that 3.2 million is the workforce. The employment ratio of Honk Kong is 3.2 and inflation rate is 3.1. Hong Kong is very small place and economy is very handy. The major challenges are: –
  •  Standard Work hour: Honk Kong doesn’t have standard working hour. It needs to have legislation on labour which will help to solve many labour related issues.
  •  Lack of Infrastructure: Hong Kong is short of technical people which impacts execution of infrastructural projects
  •  Labour: Technical labours are short in the market so it is difficult to supply labours as per requirement.


  •  As the level of Economic development goes up, the nature of issues also change and therefore the issues we find in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka are different compared Hong Kong and Singapore.
  •  Singapore spends more money and time towards developing people for creating knowledge society for long term vision and quality of work life.


  •  The current economic scenario in India and its growth remain robust around 7.5 % GDP growth as compared to global 3.5%. India is growing fast and entire world is looking to India. India merge a faster growing economy and also major economy in the world as per IMF report.
  • ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Govt. of India aims to focus manufacturing sector in the country. There are many positive initiatives undertaken by the present government. India established no.1 service sector in the world. Time has come to give more and more emphasis on manufacturing sector.
  • Digital literacy is the thrust area in India.
  • The challenges to Indian economy is to accelerate agricultural growth and rural development.
  • Time has come to change the role of HR. It can no longer be a support function. HR is the strategic business partner. First challenge is to change the mindset.
  • Encouraging employees to develop entrepreneur mindset is a big challenge. HR has to build ownership mindset among employees.
  • Managing cross cultural workforce, virtual office and digital support are other areas of challenges for HR professionals in organizations.
  • India will have the youngest working population in the world. The young workforce entering the market are different in their skill sets, outlook, attitude, needs etc. It needs altogether a different approach to manage this generation. The line managers and HR managers must understand the characteristics of the new generation and accordingly HR needs to revamp the entire people management system and practices for engagement of this new generation.
  • Recruitment of the top talent: Finding staffs of the right blend of skill, self-driven personality is the major task.
  • Retaining talent: HR not only should focus to recruit people but also to retain and engage the talent to business advantage.
  • To create positive environment to arrest brain drain and also the bright Indians or the potential Indians come back to the country and contribute here significantly.
  • Employee retention policy is must while seeing the market competition. Every company is having very tough competition. Retention of employees is very essentials. Everyday HR professional should think innovative ways to retain their employees.
  • Optimum productivity from the workers: When productivity is low HR should know the main areas including poor practices and lack of proper resources.
  • HR should initiate the following elements: Organizational efficiency, Technology to improve the operation. Reviving the existing organizational set up, implementation of continuous improvement approach and upgradation of skill set of people.
  • The main challenges of HR professional is HR has to take role of specialist now. The generalist functions are gradually outsourced. Day by day HR is coming to line function and routine matters are getting outsourced.
  • The challenges in India is how HR professionals can reorient them so that they can do strategic jobs and routine jobs can be outsourced.

Dr Roy of Birla Institute of Technology and –Md. Musharraf of Bangladesh SHRM on CSR and business sustainability at NIPM NATCON2016, Mumbai

Key Learnings

  • Corporate Social Responsibility is the continued commitment of the business to be ethical. Many business across world, particularly this part of the world, are not ethical.
  • CSR should encompass internal and external stakeholders of an organization and the community at large. CSR started for philanthropic work and still it remains philanthropic in many countries and organization. Many countries have not formulated legal framework for CSR.
  • Business has obligation towards its stakeholders. Business should improve quality of life of the people internal and external to the organization.
  • Caring environment: business should promote ecological development because business across the countries creates lots of pollution.
  • Transparency and Accountability in Business Practices: There should be transparency and there should be some kind of accountability towards community and country.
  • If the business does not have profit, then it is very difficult for CSR for sustain. Business has to perform well to be able to undertake CSR seriously. CSR needs money. Business performance and CSR performance are complementary to each other.
  • CSR leads business impacts on brand and reputation which intern results in better business performance.
  • There are studies which shows that company’s CSR performance is directly related to the level of employee engagement. Business goodwill now a day depends on how much you are doing CSR activities. CSR will bring the brand of the company and its product. CSR has direct impact on financial performance.
  • If Sustainability, Accountability, Transparency, environmental protection, human rights etc. are taken care of, we will have the happy world.
  • India Govt mandates 2% profit as contribution towards CSR initiatives. Many PSU and private companies are spending more than 2% leading the CSR initiative/ activities.
  • Bangladesh does not have a legal framework like India for CSR. However, banking sector in Bangladesh is doing lots of CSR activities. The banks are rated based on CSR performance in Bangladesh.

NIPM seminar on Labour Laws reforms 

​Compliance of Labour Laws is the pillar of Prosperity, says experts in seminar

Ghanashyam Mhatre, General Manager (HR) of the RPG Group delivering an inaugural speech in which he talked about the latest trends in international human resource management (HRM). One day seminar on ‘Liberalisation of labour laws : Pros and cons’  organized by Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA), National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) and Butibori Manufacturers Association (BMA) to educate the business fraternity of the city about the implementation and implications of reforms in labour laws at Hotel Centre Point Nagpur. He said  “Post World War II, Japan faced unrest among its labour class who went on strikes every now and then because there was a need for laws that benefited everyone.”  

 He appreciated the philosophy the Japanese adopted to form their labour laws. In Japan ‘we’ comes before ‘I’. The people and the government worked together to pen an inclusive labour law. “Honda, Toyota and many of their subsidiaries invested $trillions in China in the last decade… Japan doesn’t like China much, while they respect Indian culture and look upon India as the place where Budhism originated, but they chose not to put their money in India! Why?” asked “We have the world’s largest young population of under-30 who are looking for employment, we provide 25% of the world’s work force already, yet compared to China and Korea we have negligible FDI coming in”. He said the choice was with us – if we wanted to follow Japan and China’s examples or remain backward. “What choices we make, make us” he insisted. He also mentioned that there are 4 other ‘Tigers’ in Asia competing with our ‘Make in India’ goal, who already seem ahead of us. They are – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.

Session II : Recent Labour Reforms – Pros & Cons (Mrs. & Mr. Sarkar) 

It had many eminent speakers like Nandini Sarkar and Sushobhan Sarkar, Directors of C-Quel Management services, Dr. R. Krishna Murthy, Director Industrial Relations Institute of India and Advocate Firdos Mirza addressing the gathering which saw participation of over 300 large and small industries and companies of Nagpur including WCL, Central India’s largest employer.

In her keynote address Nandini Sarkar, stressed that it was a very positive development that today we had a Government that was ready to listen to people and was serious about amending and simplifying labour laws to bring about ease of doing business. She gave a presentation which brought to light modifications in various laws pertaining to human resource management and their impact on employees in every industry. Their company provides compliance service solutions to major companies and public sector undertakings. She continued with the presentation explaining in detail about the steps taken by the government and its benefit. “The Centre is pushing for digitization of labour laws and e-governance.” She informed that the government has introduced cloud storage application called ‘Digilocker’ where employees and organizations can store important documents. This, she pointed out that these measures are a part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Session III : Reforms In Social Security Schemes  (Mrs. & Mr. Sarkar). 

According to Sarkar, new rules will also benefit female employees during pregnancy as maternity leave has been extended to 26 weeks with pay. She highlighted that 25% of major corporations are non-compliant to the Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 and said, “Unfortunately, female labour is not treated with the dignity it deserves.” Sarkar said that the union labour ministry will recommend to the government to make ESIC optional so that employees could opt for private insurance plans should they wish. She informed that the number of permissions required for companies to commence business in the state has come down to 37 from 76 and will further drop to 25. “Since January ‘2015 18 international companies have submitted FDI proposals amounting to 59,107 crore and will create 1,23,340 jobs in Maharashtra.”

 Sushobhan Sarkar said stand firmly against non-compliance of labour laws. For that you should remain up-to-date with the latest amendments in the laws. Urging the participants to keep eyes and ears open to labour laws. “We should be aware of all the labour laws and pledge not to succumb to pressure.” 

Session IV : Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas – Modification Of Labour Laws and 

Session VI : From regulations to facilitation (E-governance) (Dr. R. Krishna Murthy)  

Dr. Krishnamurthy, Director of Industrial Relations Institute of India, minced no words in stating that India lacked a conducive work culture. He said “We are very intelligent people who are great when we work alone, but when in a group we fail to deliver. That is because we speak different languages and use words which mean different things to different people” he rued. It is not just rationalizing our labour laws that will help us grow but understanding the Management- Labour relationship and working on it. If labour unions are bad it is because Management is bad. “Law does not define, it only enables” he pointed out. He said when running an industry there is only one logic to follow – there is only ONE way to manufacture, the BEST way. Beyond that there is no Chinese way, Japanese way or American way! All the speakers touched upon issues such as PF, ESIC (which will soon be made optional) and handling of Contract labour.

Session V :  Nuances of Mathadi Act – (Adv. Firdos Mirza)

The concluding session was addressed by local High Court lawyer Advocate Firdos Mirza.

He have details of the 1969 ‘Mathadi Act’ unique to Maharashtra that was holding back business growth of the state. He said “The way Mathadi Act is interpreted and enforced by the Mathadi Board, which is itself not constituted legally puts great burden on the steel and power industries of the state”. By definition a ‘Mathadi’ worker was a manual, unskilled labour who earlier suffered much physical hardship because he had to carry heavy loads on his head or back. The then government enacted the Mathadi Act to ensure he was compensated adequately. Now with the deployment of cranes and other sophisticated equipments there is no work or requirement of a ‘Mathadi’ at all – but they continue being forced on Maharashtra industries who have no choice in the matter. “Would anyone willingly employ a man at Rs. 106/ minimum wage per minute – who did not comply to your orders, whose working hours you had no control over, whose numbers also you could not determine, and who you could not fire?” Though this act is in force all over the state of Maharashtra, where consecutive governments, even run by rival political parties were just continuing with it mindlessly, it is steel industries of Vidarbha that really bear the brunt, Advocate Mirza pointed out. 

Mr Milind Sardar, Head, Corporate Division, Madhavbaug Multidisciplinary Cardiac Care Clinics & Hospitals made presentation, AKS University, Satna, Johnson Lifts Private Limited & United India Insurance Company Limited were supported the event.  


Prominent industries owners and representatives were present i.e. Indorama , KEC International, EROS Group, Johnsons Lift, MOIL, WCL, Gammon India, Hindalco, Mahindra & Mahindra, Reliance Power, Cytec India, GMR  Warora Energy Ltd, Indoworth India Limited, Bilt Graphic Paper Products Ltd, Calderys India Refractories Ltd, Star Circlips Pvt Ltd, Adani Power, Ashok Leyland Limited, Bajaj Steel Limited, Grindwell Norton, Jayaswal Neco, JSW Steel, Raymonds,  Mangrul Mills Ltd, MAHAGENCO, Pee Vee Textiles Ltd, Unitech Power Transmission Ltd., Wheels India Ltd., Zim Lab Ltd, Shilpa Steel & Power Ltd, Santosh Carewell Services Pvt. Ltd, Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan, Gimatex Industries Pvt.Ltd, SMS Envocare Limited, 

At the end of session, Mr. Ashit Sinha thanked all the speakers for giving inputs on various laws and asked the participants to raise their doubts & challenges. Those includes, inadequate medical services at ESIC, implementation of digitization, intervention of non-social and political bigwigs, changes in labour laws from time to time because of global competition etc.

Mr. Anand Toal, RVP, Central Region of NIPM gave assurance to all the participants that questions which have came up after the deliberations will reach the concern highest Government authority and the appropriate follow-up will be taken.

Mr. Pradip Raut, Head (Human Resources), KEC International Limited and Joint Secretary of BMA thanked all the participants for their overwhelming response & huge gathering on a very short notice because of which this seminar concluded on a very high note. He expressed his opinion that the industries should unite on common agenda for the overall development of industrial region. He gave example, on how the Butibori Dongargaon toll plaza that was started illegally was closed by winning case in Supreme Court with the joint efforts of all.     

At the outset, VIA President, Atul Pande, BMA President, Nitin Lonkar, NIPM RVP, Anand Toal gave their concluding address and also thanked the guest speakers. Aditya Saraf, Chairman – HRD Forum VIA made an introductory remark and conducted the proceedings and Pradip Raut, proposed a vote thanks and summed up the event with the facilitation of organizing committee members by giving momento by the hands of Dr, Krishna Murty & Mr. Atul Pande to Mr. Rishikesh Toal, Mr. Ranjit Pande, Ms. Shobha Bhagia, Ms. Sonali Pathak, Mr. Yeshwant Hande, Mr. Amar Mohite, Mr. Dipak Mehunkar, Mr. Bhupendra Shahane, Mr. Hemant Suradkar, Mr. Manish Manapure, Adv. Atul Pathak, Mr. Manish Sanghavi, Mr. Abhijeet Ubarhande, Adv. Bansod.

About NIPM

NIPM, the short form of the National Institute of Personnel Management, is the only all-India body of professional managers engaged in the profession of personnel management, industrial relations, labour welfare, training and HRD in the country. It came into existence in March 1980 as a result of merger of two professional institutions, namely the Indian Institute of Personnel Management (IIPM) established in 1948 in Kolkata and the National Institute of Labour Management (NILM) established in 1950 in Bombay,now Mumbai.
With its National Office at Kolkata, NIPM has a total membership of about 8,500 spread over 53 chapters all over the country.

NIPM is a non-profit making body devoted to the development of skill and expertise of the professionals engaged in the management of human resources through regular lecture, meetings, seminars, training courses, conferences and publication in its chapters all over the country.