Realty+ Webinar “Manpower Strategies Post Lock-Down” Discusses HR Strategies

Realty+ Webinar “Manpower Strategies Post Lock-Down” Discusses HR Strategies
25/04/2020 , by , in News/Views, Past Event

Realty+ webinar “Manpower Strategies Post Lock-Down” brought forth the HR perspectives and company’s strategies for business continuity once back to normalcy. The webinar was organized in association with Nisus Finance & Services Pvt Ltd and See & Recruit. The Technology Partner for the webinar was Indus Net Techshu.

Adil Malia, CEO & Founder The Firm, began the discussion saying, “The real estate sector for the last 5 years has suffered successive calamities. They have been paradigm redefining moments one after the other. First came RERA, then Demonetisation, GST, the shifting of the millennial mind-set, the high inventory and low liquidity trap and finally the acute need to professionalise the industry. In such a scenario, the pandemic has added to the woes of the sector and leadership of organizations will be forced to balance financial crisis and employee’s retention.”

Amit Goenka, Managing Director & CEO at Nissus Finance shared, “Currently, workplace management and engagement of employees and continuity plans while working from home are on top of mind for all businesses. In fact, this might become the new normal going forward.”

Tushar Rathod – Chief Executive – See & Recruit added, “While, everyone is talking of layoffs. On hiring side we are seeing, organizations hiring more on finance and IT side as funding will garner more attention going forward and technology becoming important will need people to maintain systems as backbone of the company. So there will be people demand in some departments and will see growth in coming months. ”

Leadership Views

Sanjay Dutt, MD & CEO. Tata Realty And Infrastructure Ltd explaining the impact and the recovery of the industry said, “In the past 10 years, real estate has been hit with a number of statutory reforms due to the fact that it was in a very nascent stage of being a governed business. But professional real estate companies with good governance structures were not so impacted by these reforms. However, the disruption due to COVID has gone deeper. It has added to the depth of recovery. We believe the office segment of real estate will take a year or two to regain its previous numbers. The most seriously affected will be retail. As for residential sector, due to multiple reasons it will take at least 2 years to return to normalcy.”

Abhishek Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, Puravankara Limited looking at positive aspect gave an example of China which is bouncing back. He said, “Take the middle path for your business continuity plans. There will be a lot of political realignment and businesses will have to recalibrate across value chains. There will be consolidation in business and a cultural shift will require reimagining the way we work. India is one of the growth engines in the world.”

HR Experts Opinions

Sharing his thought on working from home in real estate Dr. Bhagirath Shanbhag, GM & Head HR & CSR, L&T Realty stated, “This WFM concept is a transition for the entire sector. Very few employees are actually able to do productive work. As an employer we need to view this concept as a We Care rather than a We Monitor situation. There are a lot of suggestions to save the economy and everyone is looking for measures to save their organisation. We are looking at a digital transformation as a top priority. There are many thoughts that are coming forward. I believe people are working at home and things are happening. This can actually give a cue to the industry that this could be the future of working even post the lockdown.”

Arrman Chaudhary President- People & Culture – M3M India added, “As HR professionals we have noticed a psychological impact on our people due the uncertainty of the pandemic and the overall situation. All the negative news also plays a role. As HR we really need to take care of our people. We need to recalibrate our value statements. Our line managers need to lead the way and be transparent to employees. We all need to fight together to get over this crisis. We need to emotionally train our people as there is a lot of anxiety. Ultimately and organisation is all about its people and it will always be like that. Business cannot run without manpower.”

Aditya Adyar – Head HR at Piramal Realty sharing the situation of construction workers said, “We are taking care of the food and daily needs of our daily construction workers. We have adhered to all the safety norms. Even during post covid we will take care of all the health and safety norms. It is important to show them that we will take care of them during these times. It is the humane thing to do. God forbid something does happen we will shut down everything and take all the necessary precautions. Prevention is better than cure, however, we will be prepared for everything.”

Smita Mitra, Head HR, Gera Developments Pvt Ltd added, “We are looking at each project with a standalone perspective as we expect the sites opening up for construction in a phased manner. While, we are taking care of workers at each site, they will be engaged accordingly at each project. I see a very clear value being added by HR heads at this point, creating a backup plan for business continuity. Focus is not on cutting costs but recruiting the right talent and revisiting all the processes.”

Ruhie Pande, Chief Human Resources Officer – Godrej Fund Management & Godrej Housing Finance speaking on the moral of the people at a time like this and the overall survival of the industry said, “In these unprecedented times we are all learning on the go. Right now no one has all the answers. I feel at this time, HR, management and employees ought to work together. In fact in times like this employees may come up with really great solutions. Hence it is best to involve employees upfront in the plans and not keep them in the dark. Transparency, involvement and communication is critical. The reality is that no one will come out unaffected and it will take at least 2 years to deal with the situation.”

The Legal Angle

Richa Mohanty Rao, Employment Law Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas explaining the employee laws and the ethics behind pay cuts and layoffs said, “The central Government has implemented an act wherein all employees should be paid their full salaries during this period. So, if any employees’ services are terminated action can be taken against the employer. Even reducing wages in a unilateral manner faces the risk or prosecution under the IPC. So any salary reductions or layoffs should be done with mutual consent. The risk will be felt more in the blue collar works of a company rather than senior management. However, the entire situation is questionable and there have been writ petitions filed by employers challenging this petition in court. At a time like us any mutual solution is the best way.”

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