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OPPI organises summit on HR Imperatives for Organisational Sustainability

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Discussions were held on HR policies and creation of sustainable work environment

Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) recently organised a summit on ‘HR Imperatives for Organisational Sustainability’ in Mumbai. Ranjana Smetacek, Director General, OPPI, gave the inaugural address and welcomed the guests. She said the vision of OPPI is to ensure that patients get affordable medicines.

This was followed by a group discussion where Smetacek; Sharad Tyagi, Vice President, OPPI and Chairman, Governance and Human Resource Management Committee and Managing Director; Boehringer Ingelheim; Dr Shailesh Ayyangar, President, OPPI and Managing Director, India and Vice President, South Asia, Sanofi; Homi Khusrokhan, President, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS); and Dr Mukund Rajan, Member—Group Executive Council and Brand Custodian, Tata Sons participated.

While setting the context of the conference, Tyagi mentioned that human resource (HR) is the nucleus core and ethos of an organisation and it plays an important role in long-term sustainability of an organisation. Explaining the reason behind the inclusion of non-pharma panelists in the conference, he said that some employee sustainability issues faced by other industries are similar to what the pharma industry also comes across.

Tyagi informed that the future editions of the event would see the presence of CROs as well, when queried by Express Pharma, on the lack of representation by the CRO industry at the event.

Ayyangar, while giving the inaugural address, talked about the growth of BRICS countries and cited examples from an IMF report which mentions the growing trends in the Indian and Chinese markets and predicts that India is going to grow by leaps and bounds. He said, “The challenge for us is how to create an organisational ecosystem and a sustainable human resource policy.” He further said that there is a need to manage a distinctive talent pool. He talked about the digital aspects for both the pharma and the healthcare industry, the e-commerce platform and telemedicine, which are helping companies to grow.

Ayyangar said, “Doctors today are using intranet, social media to reach out for professional discussion.” He also elaborated on various government initiatives where he cited examples of state chief ministers who are encouraging pharma companies to set up shop in their respective states.

Khusrokhan, in his special address, talked about development and conservation. He said that companies need a demonstrable commitment to sustainability as part of core values and strategy. He stressed upon CSR spending, environmental sustainablity, earning the trust of stakeholders and local communities.

He also talked about what HR department in companies can do to encourage employees to imbibe values that matter, ensure the company’s core values and sustainability.

Post lunch, the first panel discussion was on ‘Diversity and Inclusion.’ It was chaired by Ranjit Shahani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Novartis. The panelists were Harsha Bhogle, media personality; Poonam Barua, Chief Executive Officer, WILL Forum and Dr Ritu Anand, Vice President and Deputy Head—Global HR, TCS.

They discussed on wealth creation, sustainability, gender equality, and how equal opportunity can be helpful for everyone to get on the board. Bhogle said that there is a need for learning from each other, skills that could not have been developed otherwise, guru shishya kind of parampara and diversity. Discussions were also held on how to prevent attrition, what role should the HR play to retain the talent pool, favourable policies for women, networking, mentorship and sponsorship. Meenakshi Priyam, Head—HR (Pharma and Corporate) Novartis, summed up the panel discussion.

Dr Rakesh Sinha, Gynaecological Endoscopic Surgeon, enlightened the guests with his motivational speech on ‘Science in decision making’.

The second panel discussion on ‘Compliance and Governance’ saw participation from Tyagi, Subhasish Biswas, Corporate Ombuds, Wipro; A Vaidheesh, Vice President, South Asia and Managing Director, GSK; and KN Vaidyanathan, Chief Risk Officer, Mahindra Officer, Mahindra Group.

Vaidyanathan stressed upon the need for accountability among stakeholders. Vaidheesh talked about the healthcare scenario in the country, role of its multiple stakeholders and the challenges in the pharma and healthcare industry.

The last panel discussion was on ‘Employee Value Proposition.’ The discussion was chaired by Ayyangar and the panelists were Yugesh Goutam, Group President HR, JSW G; Raju Mistry, Group Head: Talent Staffing, Employer Brand and Group Leadership Programmes, Aditya Birla; Ronald Sequeira, Executive Director, HR, GSK and Yashwant Mahadik, Executive Vice President and Global CHRO, Sun Pharma.

Mahadik talked about how other industries are communicating in terms of value proposition and the learnings for the pharma sector. He also mentioned that pharma leaders are slow to adopt social technology.

Milind Thatte, Director— Commercial Development, Merck Serono summed up the panel. The summit ended with a vote of thanks from Sameer Tamhane, Senior Director—Human Resources, MSD.

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