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BW Businessworld

AI Can Minimize Learning Gaps

An esteem panel of HR experts shared their experiences of improving learnings using AI in their respective organizations at the 5th HR Excellence Awards 2020 organized by BW Businessworld

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The panel discussion on the topic of deployment of Artificial Intelligence in reducing the learning gaps across organizations—from large retail chains to telecommunication equipment manufacturer was highlighted by an esteemed panel of HR experts who agreed on how AI is enabling learning and development function of organisations. Experts said the data driven approach is helping in identifying the learning needs of the workforce. They said, it is also helping them in minimizing the cost incurred on training and equipment, the organization with appropriate tools required to enhance the productivity.

Session chair –Sunil Kumar, President exchange4media & BW Businessworld started the discussion saying he wouldn’t go into a debate of what AI can or cannot do. Can it replace human emotions or not, etc.? Instead Kumar requested the panel to speak about the nature of their business in terms of where they work and what their respective companies do.

Abbas Jalis Rizvi, Head of People Program, MOAI Ericsson who belongs to one of their five global market areas said it is the most performing market area for them as the technology divergence is huge: right from 2G to 5G one can find anything out there, he said. Rizvi added that it is a very complex organization: “We need to upscale the people who have 2G and this is a pocketed approach. You have to basically think about what kind of business areas or geographies that we need to target. When we are talking about enhancing the competence, and learning and development also happens to be a very interesting area when we talk about what because in one area you have reached saturation but now you are trying to sell a solution over 5G platform. So then you need to have a sales program. So we have a sales excellence program.”

Kunal Gupta, CEO, Founder, Value Innovation Labs who is a first generation entrepreneur and coming from a technology field, runs a business which is into tech HR. He said that his company uses a lot of machine learning, Artificial Intelligence Systems, data crunching in terms of understanding people, profiling people and understanding and combining what product mix is going to work for them. “The core work for us is providing solutions for other companies in the area of tech-HR, marketing automation platforms etc. “There are different departments and each department is obviously going to have a different set of people. We need to focus on what are the future business needs. We are still a small organization and at times you have to let go of people as some skills cannot be upgraded. While any technology learning or soft skills learning has to be embedded as a system which is largely people led they has to be clarity in what is needed in the organization,” said Gupta.

Venkataramana B, Group President – HR, Landmark Group India said there are a retail chain based out of Dubai and in India they run Lifestyle, Home Centre etc. “We have a very labour intensive organization with 27,000 employees. We have a lot of competition with the e-commerce giants, and we are also getting into e-commerce. As far as technology goes, we have upscaled ourselves in various areas of HR. I think if we look at it from the strata of a large industry, I mean also the front end staff, we need to make learning very interesting. So what we did in the past is definitely still continuing through. We used a unique methodology,” he said. Venkataraman said the employees need to be given soft skills as at the end of the day it is customer service orientation at the front end. “Also functional knowledge needs to be given where they understand the product starting from the very basics,” he added.

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HR Excellence Awards 2020