STALWARTS DELIBERATE ON BUILDING A FUTURE-READY LEARNING ORGANIZATION
AT THE RAI RETAIL LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT 2022
Shining the spotlight on the role of the L&D function in helping
organisations be future-ready in the light of the rapidly changing
dynamics of the retail industry, the Retailers Association of India
(RAI) recently concluded its annual Retail Learning & Development
(L&D) Summit 2022 that was held virtually over January 19 & 20, 2022.
RAI Retail L&D Summit primarily focuses on exploring the most
exciting tools and technologies that are currently transforming
learning, including AI, predictive analytics and VR. The summit is a
platform to explore fresh ideas, modern innovations and new initiatives.
uncertainty becoming a constant, organisations need to identify and
address the skills gap while also focusing on helping employees develop
their enduring capabilities like teamwork, critical thinking and
resilience to thrive. Retail L&D Summit 2022 brought the retail
Learning and Organisation Development fraternity and industry captains
to engage in a common dialogue on various facets of building a
future-ready, resilient organisations.
the context of the summit, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers
Association of India (RAI) said, “Today, we thrive in shared economy
concepts. Learning initiatives could also be built as a collective
framework enabling anybody from anywhere to take up initiatives. This
would possibly mean a common learning management process that all of us
in the industry could use for easier interoperability as the pandemic
has also created new aspirations in the minds of the individuals and new
ideas around work-life balance. If we are able to create assets that we
can use interchangeably, and create robust processes then we will be
able to easily switch over capabilities of one person to another without
losing on efficiencies and progress. The discussions at the Summit
revolved around exploring such digital avenues for a more efficient
people and processes in retail.”
the two days, six thought provoking panel discussions had retail CEOs,
CHROs and CLOs deliberating on the many aspects of Learning &
Development in the context of the modern day shared and distributed
resources. Topics discussed at the summit were Building
a Future-Ready Learning Organization, Reimagining learning and
development in retail to make frontline future-ready, Role of Academia
in Shaping a Future-Ready workforce, Employee Wellbeing & the Hybrid
Work Environment, Embracing the Gig Economy- Impact on learning &
Organisation Culture, among others.
Delivering a Keynote on the first day of the summit, Rajendra Mehta, President & Group CHRO, Welspun Groupsaid that, “Consumer
is at the forefront of change which we are seeing subsequent to COVID.
The race to occupy market share is gaining momentum. Organization’s will
succeed if employee capabilities are aligned and prepped towards these
expectations. This L&D Summit focuses on bringing critical
strategies towards building a Learning Organization keeping
organizations future-ready. I wish RAI, all its members and retail
institution the best in the journey ahead.”
A discussion on the ‘Role of Academia in Shaping a Future-Ready workforce’ included panellists such as Dr.
Kartik Dave, Professor and Dean, School of Business, Public Policy
& Social Entrepreneurship (SBPPSE), Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD); Dr.
Gagan Katiyar, Chairperson-PGDM (Retail Management Program), BIMTECH;
and Abhishek Sharma, Regional Campus Director – North, Pearl Academy.
The Chief Guest on the second day of the summit, Hemalakshmi Raju, Chief Learning Officer (Hydrocarbon Business), Reliance Industries, delivered a special address on Humanizing Digital Learning followed by a riveting panel discussions on the topic. During her address, she said, “Fully
understanding and leveraging digital and human enablers is how we can
convert the skilling challenge into a skilling opportunity. Only then
will we be able to meet the speed and scale demands for skilling. In
2022, organisations should focus their efforts on this front.”
Retail Heads, HR CXOs and leaders speaking at the summit were Saurabh Kalra, COO, Hardcastle Restaurants; Rajiv
Nair, Group CEO, Kaya; Sadashiv Nayak, CEO, Future Retail; Sandeep
Varaganti, Chief Business Officer - Marketplace, Reliance Retail; Manavi
Pathak, Head - Talent and Learning, Trent (Tata Retail); Narayanan
Sabharatnam, Head-Retail Training, Titan Company; Neeti Sharma, Talent
Partner, Global HR, Adidas; Naveen
Kumar Nerlaje, Head Human Resources, Licious; Jeeva Balakrishnan, Chief
Talent Officer, Reliance Retail; Swatee Sarangi, Global - Head
Learning, Leadership and Organization Development, Dr. Reddy's
Laboratories; Karanjeet Uppal , General Manager - Learning and
Development, Bata India; Dhanashree Thakkar, Vice President HR, Bharti
AXA Life Insurance; Isuru Kalamulla Waduge, Country Leadership and
Competence Manager, IKEA; and Neelam Ahluwalia, Vice President -
L&D, Bigbasket among others.
The summit concluded with recognising retail organisations that demonstrated enterprise wide success as a result of employee talent development through L&D interventions. The award for ‘Best
Learning & Development Strategy’ was given to Infiniti Retail Ltd. –
Croma, while United Colors of Benetton, India was recognised as the
First Runner Up and Marks & Spencer Reliance India as the Second Runners Up.
the young dynamic talent in the L&D functions within retail
companies who have made a huge impact to L&D functions in their
respective organizations, the ‘Learning Champ’ award was given to Srinivas Balaji, Reliance Retail - Fashion & Lifestyle. While, Arpita Mishra, Skechers South Asia was recognised as the First Runner-up and Mohan M, Reliance Digital as the Second Runner Up in the award category.