Tata Motors is expanding its talent base via innovation, opportunities and upskilling, says HR Chief | The Financial Express

Tata Motors is expanding its talent base via innovation, opportunities and upskilling, says HR Chief

Biswaroop Mukherjee, Head Human Resources – Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors believes that the rapid transition of Industry 4.0 and ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Shared and Electric) are greatly influencing the workforce. He outlines how the company is deploying various tools to keep its employees future-ready.

Tata Motors is expanding its talent base via innovation, opportunities and upskilling, says HR Chief
Tata Motors' Advance Power Systems Engineering Tech Centre in Pune.

What are the key general skills that you look at while hiring freshers?
At Tata Motors, when looking for the right talent, we seek to determine how they fit in terms of our vision and ethos. While education and qualifications are still at the top of our list when hiring new employees, empathy and social skills have generally been the deciding factors, especially in this post-Covid era. Additionally, we have been investing in individuals who have an agile and adaptable mindset so they can learn new technologies and develop skills necessary for the effective use of emerging tools in their work.

What skills and qualities do you look for in employees?
Rapid digital transformation and the emergence of Industry 4.0 have intimated us to prioritise and cultivate skills suited to meet the fast-changing needs of the auto sector. Along with looking for individuals with soft skills such as strong communication and a problem-solving mindset, we actively seek people who can deftly adapt to the automated processes and robotics employed on the shop floor.

Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared (ACES) are the four technology-driven mega trends that will determine the future of the automotive industry, and as such, we are looking for people who bring skills and knowledge in these areas.

Biswaroop Mukherjee: “The educational curriculum must be designed taking into consideration the technical skills and job profiles in demand.”

What are the challenges you face when hiring new talent?
There is a shortage of ‘experienced’ talent in auto electric and electronics area. In addition to existing players the numerous ‘start ups’ who have entered the field and the demand for talent is fuelling attrition. Moreover, there is a supply challenge, the education curriculum from ITIs (Industrial Training Institute’s) to MTech needs a revision to ready graduating students for the ACES world.

Do you think there is a gap between academia and industry? How can this be bridged?
A dynamic and competitive business landscape has compelled organisations to continually invest in young, specialised, ready talent. However, because of the way traditional education is set up, it is difficult for organisations to build and sustain a pipeline of competent individuals. There is a growing disconnect between what students learn and the skills required to address real-life workplace challenges.

The educational curriculum must be designed taking into consideration the technical skills and job profiles in demand. Additionally, academic institutions must collaborate with businesses to create programmes that provide students the chance to experience Industry 4.0 directly and learn how to put their newly gained knowledge into practice. These early experiences can set the base for an individual’s growth in the future.

What are you doing to attract, train and retain young professionals?
Growth and culture are key to the employee value proposition. At Tata Motors, our endeavour has been to provide every person with the opportunity to realise their full potential.

We encourage employees to pursue growth opportunities by exploring open roles, and as our business is on a growth trajectory, we have numerous opportunities. We also provide job rotation and opportunities for them to work on projects outside of their current roles through a structured programme, allowing them to develop new skills or gain exposure.

We are in the midst of a cultural refresh programme that has been carefully crafted with the active participation of all employees across the board.

What is your hiring target for FY2023?
Tata Motors is expanding, and we have been hiring for a while now. We are continuously seeking quality talent at all levels for various functions such as Advance Engineering, Product Development, P&SQ, Supply Chain, Operations, and Commercial functions. ACES will be the future of the industry, and we are accordingly expanding our talent pool by bringing in individuals with similar skills.

Tata Motors shopfloor.

Are there any additional training programs or courses that you have incorporated to upskill your existing workforce?
We are constantly investing in upskilling our employees in ACES . This initiative is not limited to manufacturing functions, electric vehicles or specific levels, but extends to all functions – from Engineering and R&D to Sourcing, Manufacturing, Sales, Service (including training dealer and service partners), for all our employees, from shopfloor associates to senior management, across CV, PV and EV businesses.

We have developed the ‘Future of Workplace’ strategy to address the rapid technology disruptions and changing market dynamics. It equips our workforce with in-demand skills such as High Voltage (electric vehicles), Mechatronics (Industry 4.0), Auto Electronics and Vehicle Communication. Parallelly, we are building a young, competent, adaptable and digitally enabled workforce through our organisation’s flagship full-time apprenticeship programme.

How do you ensure to retain your hardworking employees? Are fiscal incentives the only way to motivate employees?
Our greatest asset is our people. We are committed to fostering an environment at work that inspires them to discover and realise their full potential. By acquiring a variety of experiences, completing challenging tasks, and consistently learning and upskilling, they are equipped to perform their best. We encourage them to establish rewarding careers and become future-ready by identifying, nurturing and developing quality talent at every stage of the employee lifecycle.

We have embraced the post-pandemic way of life and work while putting employee well-being first. We are collectively promoting new working practices by institutionalising hybrid modes of working, digitising procedures and refreshing our culture.

These adjustments encourage employees to adopt innovative working practises and give them a feeling of purpose within the company, which helps businesses retain their people and close the talent gap from within.

Automotive industry has one of the most diverse workforces.

What are the policies laid down to ensure work-life balance for your employees?
At Tata Motors, we have shifted to a hybrid working model since Feb 2021, which we believe will be the future of work.
Our focus is on fostering a flexible and adaptive work culture for our employees. We have been cognisant of the necessity of incorporating inclusivity and a culture of sustainable well-being for a thriving work organisation. The hybrid model has also emerged as a cost-effective combination of working out of an office and from home.

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