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Keep oneself relevant in job market through up-skilling: Sunil Somarajan, Reliance Capital

Technology is making several job roles redundant and the answer to keeping oneself relevant in the job market lies in up-skilling, said Sunil Somarajan, chief human resource officer at Reliance Capital.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 02.23 PM IST
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Technology is making several job roles redundant and the answer to keeping oneself relevant in the job market lies in up-skilling, said Sunil Somarajan, chief human resource officer at Reliance Capital. In an interview with ET, Somarajan talks about the changing role of HR due to technological advancement. Edited excerpts:

Q How has technology transformed the role of HR?
The transformation journey is inevitable. Some companies are just merely entering into it just because others are doing it. And there are certain companies who feel that technology could do something more for them.

The first part of the transformation journey is the company where they have got vision. The transformation is very much critical and where businesses are taking a lot of ROI (return on investment) in implementing technologies...Second part is diversification of businesses where they want to consolidate their infrastructure. All of them may not be in a position to invest money on physical infrastructure. So virtual offices are becoming more of reality. Today we are talking about a digital technology with transformation journey where virtual offices are there and you are trying to engage and connect with your team who's virtually sitting in some place and doing the job. That is where the real transformation is happening. Traditional, orthodox methods are gone, new digital methods are coming in.

Q Does widespread digital transformation also mean significant number of roles becoming redundant?
When we are talking about a digital transformation, we also have to address human transformation. I will not tell you that just because high digital automation is done, jobs will not get redundant; jobs are getting redundant. For instance there were times when I had 32 people managing personal files, their job was to do follow-ups with the candidate and ensure that the personal files are made. Now I don't require 32 people. I just need four. Those four people’s primary job is to complete digital processes in the system. Then what happens to those other 28 people? The 28 people need to get transformed and if they adapt to a system like this and upskill themselves, then they'd find a job.

Q So up-skilling is going to be an important area?
Of course. Indian companies, who are highly focusing on digital side, let's call them A category of companies and B category. Talent that adapts fast to these new technologies will get absorbed in such companies that are making fast progress in digital transformation. If they don't get absorbed, then they will have to look for the job in C category industries, where technology interventions are still at an amateur stage. There they will have a job. But in another five to 10 years, even those companies will adapt. So, by that time, these guys will get skilled up, and they would find a job. You have to change your approach towards your job.

Q Which are the areas of transformation that you are investing in?
There are three technologies we are heavily invested in. One is definitely our human capital management system, we brought in Oracle as our partner there where we invested in a big way. So today the entire operational piece of HR is digitized from end to end. When I say end to end, even interacting with a candidate to an exit alumni portal are digitized. There are less of human interventions once a candidate is on-boarded into the company. That's my second investment mandate. All my peripheral systems are digitized. The third piece is a lot of robotic automation is what we are doing now. So, we are engaging a third-party client and we are trying to bring in robotic processes in place which will build a lot of manual processes’ automation.

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