Human is NOT a Resource

I recently had the honour of being invited as one of the speakers to ‘Human is NOT a Resource’ HR conclave organized at the Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore on June 7-9, 2019.

Set at the scenic foothills of the Velliangiri mountain range, the sessions were interspersed with yoga and meditation for a truly productive and fulfilling conclave.

Ideology behind the Conclave

The conclave, organized by the renowned yogi, mystic and author, Sadhguru, is an eye-opener for the next generation of HR managers and business leaders. The objective of the conclave was on learning how to transform your organization into a high-performing and joyful organism.

People are any company’s most prized assets. Instead of considering and treating them as mere ‘resources’, we should view them as ‘possibilities’, whereby we envision the company functioning as an organism. The program was based on the five pillars of enabling this: Purpose, Structure, Process, Inspiration and Culture.

The Significance of Organization Structure

My topic was ‘Structure’.

As the pioneer of organized value fashion retail in India, leading V-Mart over these past several years has been both a challenging and fruitful experience for me. In keeping with our goal of serving our customers, especially in tier 2/3/4 cities and townships, with value-for-money fashion apparels, I well know the importance of organizational structuring.

This has especially been crucial over the past five years as we continue to expand our footprint and crossed the 200 store milestone last year. Moreover, as our employee strength crossed 7,000, a makeover of our organization structure has been necessary.

This is important from three perspectives: Firstly, to ensure we continue delivering the best possible merchandise at the least possible prices to our stores across India; secondly, to ensure we are forever aligned to the evolving demand of our customers; and thirdly, and equally important, that we ensure our employees are truly empowered and happy in serving our customers and take a delight in their day-to-day operations and career at V-Mart.

Divisional Structuring and Management

We have recently identified four different ‘zones’ for V-Mart, each under a different Zonal Business Head. The objective was to move to a federated store structure to move closer to the store. Moreover, we are now better aligned to address the concerns of our employees as well as to truly appreciate the worth of our store CSRs.

The Role of Technology in Organizational Re-structuring

Leveraging technology has been undoubtedly one of the cornerstones in accomplishing the overhauling of systems and processes at V-Mart. As we forge ahead to be an omni-channel player this year, the technological significance gains further credence.

Now, we have in place managerial and operational structures which ensure cost-savings, speedy decision-making and optimal quality. Towards this, we have leveraged several technological platforms over the past years, most of them custom-developed to ensure they meet the needs of a fast-paced retail company like ours.

Time to Transform!

All in all, it was a truly wonderful experience as I got to hear the presentations given by some of the best industry leaders and HR experts. Rightly said: It is time to transform how you view your employees and accordingly utilize not simply their strengths, but proactively work on their weaknesses – for humans are not a resource, but rather organisms with unlimited possibilities – which can be leveraged for both their self-development as well as the development of your organization at large.

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