Mumbai, September 8, 2023: The 17th edition of the Manning Modern Retail (MMR) 2023 HR Conclave, hosted by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), was held on August 24, 2023. This significant event brought together CEOs, CPOs/CHROs, academics, and industry experts to explore the theme: ‘Nurturing Human Capital for a Digitally-Ready Future Organization.’
In an era where numerous companies are embracing automation and cutting-edge technologies, it is clear that success isn’t solely dictated by technology. Rapid upskilling is now essential. Businesses are at a pivotal juncture: either invest heavily in skills for the future or confront the hurdles of an underprepared workforce.
Speaking about MMR 2022, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said, “In a world where technology and digitisation are propelling us forward, we must remember that the heartbeat of our industry remains its people. MMR 2023 is dedicated to understanding and addressing the multifaceted landscape of retail HR practices, ensuring that we not only keep pace with the technological revolution but also foster a workforce that’s agile, adaptive, and ready for the challenges of the future. As we gather to exchange insights, our primary aim is to sculpt a future where our human capital remains our most valuable asset, even in an increasingly digitized world.”
The key highlight of the conclave was the Keynote address delivered by Sunil Kataria, Chief Executive Officer, Raymond Ltd, and a special entertainment segment featuring celebrity mentalist Karan Singh.
Speaking about defining HRs role in digital transformation of an organisation, Sunil Kataria, said, “Defining the organisation’s digital vision becomes crucial, particularly at the CEO level. The CEO holds the responsibility of charting the course for the digital strategy and establishing its core focal points. Subsequently, the HR department should outline its position within this digital transformation and clarify its own perspective on its contribution.”
‘Studio HR’ was a stimulating new addition to the MMR conclave aimed at creating an environment that encourages impromptu open dialogues between industry veterans and HR leaders. The session was moderated by BS Nagesh, Founder – TRRAIN & Chairman – Shoppers Stop Ltd.
Notable speakers at MMR 2023 included retail stalwarts such as Ritesh Mishra, Managing Director , Marks & Spencer Reliance India; Saurabh Kalra, Managing Director, McDonald’s India (West & South); Dhruv Kaura, Chief Operating Officer, Tasva; Karan Mehta, CEO – Easybuy – Landmark Group; Nandini Mehta, CHRO, Metro Brands Ltd.; Nirav Jagad, Chief People Officer, SUGAR Cosmetics; Parineeta Cecil Lakra, Country People & Culture Manager, IKEA India; Seema Arora, Head HR-India Business, Lenskart.com; Tanuja Tewari, CHRO, Bigbasket among many more.
Speaking at digital transformation, Tanuja Tewari, CHRO, bigbasket, said, “In the recent years, rapid rise in availability, range and ease of automation has enabled organisations to leverage employees’ potential and drive business efficiencies. As the digital transformation moves towards an increasingly advanced AI landscape, it is crucial that the human capital is equipped to keep pace with fast-evolving business needs and technology. In this digitised world, the capabilities enabled by HR will be pivotal in building resilient, adaptable and future ready organisations.”
Speaking about becoming future ready, Karan Mehta, CEO – Easybuy – Landmark Group, said, “The fear of losing in the near term is very real for most organisations. But the threat of losing relevance looms even larger. That’s why becoming future ready is straightforward. But it takes courage to drive it. Hence, so as not to fall behind on its advancements, organisations must make regular shifts in its know-how and build future ready skills in their human capital to stay ahead of competitors over the long run. Companies open to experimentation, pivoting where required, building relevant skills in people, and committing at scale, will continue to grow from strength to strength in this ever-changing digital era.”
The conclave concluded with the 7th edition of the Retail HR Awards, recognising the Best Employee Engagement Practice (Organization Level) and Emerging Young Leader in HR (Individual Level)
A) Best Innovation in Retention Strategy
Winner: Max Fashion
1st Runner-up: Reliance Retail Ltd (Fashion & Lifestyle)
2nd Runner-up: Nexus Select Mall Management Pvt Ltd
B) Emerging Young Leader in HR (Individual Level)
Winner: Dasari Rajkiran, Reliance Retail Ltd (AJIO Business)
1st Runner-up: Navneet N Tewani Reliance Retail Ltd (HR Platforms & Systems)
2nd Runner-up: Arif Anwar Reliance Retail Ltd (Reliance Trends)
Manning Modern Retail (MMR), Retail HR Conclave is focused on developing ideas and resource capabilities to understand the retail industry’s most pressing issues around people practices. Over the years, this conclave has become an essential annual gathering for the retail HR fraternity to explore, engage and exchange ideas on moving towards sustainable growth.