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HRedge Summit and Awards 2024: Elevating people, embracing AI

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

HRedge Summit and Awards 2024: Elevating people, embracing AI

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The HRedge Summit and Awards 2024, presented by Mercer | Mettl in association with ETHR World, brought together HR leaders and visionaries to explore the future of workforce management in an AI-driven era. This event celebrated innovative strategies and recognized trailblazers who are reshaping HR practices to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving job market. With a focus on adaptability, agility, upskilling, and fostering a culture of lifelong learning, the event highlighted the importance of balancing human intelligence with technological advancements. The awards emphasized the crucial role of HR in navigating these changes and empowering organizations to thrive.

Helmed by a powerful team of eminent HR gurus forming the board of jury, the awards honored trailblazing organizations and individuals at the forefront of driving innovations in the field. The jury, comprising conscientious and dependable thought leaders, set the rules and criteria for the awards, ensuring a fair and rigorous selection process.

More than 125 renowned business and HR leaders joined the one-day event.

Siddhartha Gupta, CEO of Mercer | Mettl, opened the event, emphasizing the need to empower people and foster a culture of merit. This set the tone for a series of insightful sessions featuring industry leaders, followed by the first keynote address, CEO insights: Charting the course for success in the AI era, by Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO & Co-Founder of Denave. He highlighted the profound changes in the business landscape and the role of AI in augmenting human capabilities and stressed the role of AI in augmenting human capabilities, leading to new job opportunities and increased agility.

“Partner closely with the HR team,” he advised, “as they help build the organization in partnership with its leader.”



The insightful keynote address was followed by the first mega panel discussion, Balancing the human-machine team up: CHRO strategies for driving human-centric productivity, moderated by Siddhartha Gupta. The session delved into CHRO strategies for enhancing productivity through human-machine synergy. The emergence of OpenAI has made AI solutions more accessible than ever before. Nowadays, the focus is not on whether organizations should adopt AI but rather on how quickly and effectively they can do so to maintain a competitive edge. Sandeep Girotra (Executive Director & CHRO, DCM Shriram), Megha Gupta (Head-HR, C2FO), Gautam Saraf (Global CHRO, Ferns N Petals), and Dharm Rakshit (Head-HR, Hero MotoCorp) shared valuable insights on leveraging technology while prioritizing human productivity.

Megha Gupta remarked, “Go back, think about your challenges, and understand the data you have. That’s the start of AI.” while Sandeep Girotra highlighted, “Natural smartness will always trump artificial intelligence.”



Building on the momentum of the mega panel discussion, our panelists shared their expertise and perspectives on Finding the perfect fit: Strategies for identifying, attracting, and retaining top talent in the AI era. The fireside chat was moderated by Devya Patney (Chief People & Culture Officer, Annalect) and panelists Aparna Vishwasrao (CHRO, USV), Lakshmanan M T (CHRO, L&T Technology Services), Atul Tiwari (CHRO, Spice Money), Sarma Chillara (CHRO, Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited), and Prasanth Nair (CHRO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Limited), discussed talent acquisition strategies in the AI era. To succeed, organizations must effectively identify ideal candidates, craft compelling recruitment approaches, and implement retention strategies that resonate with the demands of the AI era. While AI technology has undoubtedly made our jobs faster and more efficient, it is important to recognize that it complements rather than replaces human employees.

Sarma Chillara underscored, “It is important that people start building domain expertise. Once you have domain expertise, you are much more aware of work processes and how AI can help you with that. If you don’t have domain expertise, you don’t know how to use AI,” and Lakshmanan M T remarked that “people make data true,” emphasizing the human element in data-driven decision-making.



Delving into the business leader’s perspective aimed at fostering adaptability, upskilling, and resilience among workers to ensure readiness for the future job market, Prashant Mehra, Partner & COO of Grant Thornton Bharat LLP, delivered a keynote address on Building a future-ready workforce: C-suite perspective for navigating the era of Workforce 2.0.

Prashant highlighted, “The glue that makes sure whatever we do sticks together is the culture. The culture needs to be of self-accountability.”



He urged organizations to embrace change and equip their workforce with the skills needed for success in an AI-driven future.

The discussion flowed to the next mega panel discussion, Build, Buy, Borrow, Bot: Finding the optimal mix for investing in talent in 2024, moderated by Yasmin Taj, Editor – ET International (HR and CIO) and Head – Branded Content, The Economic Times. The panelists, Ruby Gupta (CHRO, Sheela Foam), Rakhi Jaggi (Head Talent Management, Sony India), Arindam Lahiri (CEO, Automotive Skills Development Council), Sweta Mishra (Managing Director, HR & Compliance, Indus Valley Partners), and Anurag Seth (VP for Enterprise Delivery, Great Learning) explored the balance between building in-house capabilities, acquiring external talent, and leveraging emerging talents. The discussion led towards actionable strategies for effective AI integration.

Arindam Lahiri noted that “One skill that organizations need is learning to learn,” highlighting the importance of continuous learning in a rapidly changing landscape.



The summit was concluded by a debate on The Human-AI equation in HR: Enhancing efficiency or diluting the human connection? The session moderated by Anirban B Roy (Chief Revenue Officer, Mercer | Mettl) focused on the human-AI equation in HR. Participants Ruchira Bhardwaja (CHRO, Kotak Life), Manish Kathuria (Head-Human Resources, Honda Cars), Prashant Khullar (CHRO, Ecom Express Limited), and Rishu Garg (CHRO, DeHaat) debated on the balance between human and AI involvement in workforce dynamics. A poll conducted at the start and end of the session revealed that 66% of attendees believed AI would not dehumanize HR.

On this note, Prashant said, “Experience is all about the human touch,” emphasizing the importance of the human in providing a holistic employee experience.



The HRedge Summit and Awards 2024 concluded with the presentation of awards recognizing excellence in organizational and individual HR practices. The awards categories recognized organizations and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields.

The winners in each category were:



Skand Kumar Gupta Individual excellence awards HR innovator of the year
Keerthi Narayanan Individual excellence awards HR innovator of the year
Lavanya Nandakumar Individual excellence awards Excellence in talent acquisition strategies
Amit Jain Individual excellence awards Learning and development visionaries
Rashma Nathani Individual excellence awards Woman HR leader of the year
Bhargavi Divi Individual excellence awards Woman HR leader of the year
Robin Scaria Individual excellence awards CHRO of the year
Chargeback Gurus Organizational excellence awards Best employer brand of the year
KGiSL Educational Institutions Organizational excellence awards Inspiring workplaces of the year
Hitachi India Pvt Ltd Organizational excellence awards Diversity and inclusion champions
Sasken Technologies Limited Organizational excellence awards Best skill transformation initiative
SLK Software Pvt. Ltd. Organizational excellence awards AI adoption pioneer
Appfoster Innovations Pvt. Ltd. Organizational excellence awards AI adoption pioneer

The grand jury, comprising some of the most respected thought leaders and HR gurus, included:


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Mercer | Mettl’s HRedge Summit and Awards 2024 created a global community of forward-thinking HR leaders dedicated to driving change in the industry. The event highlighted the critical role of HR in navigating the AI-driven future, providing valuable insights and strategies for organizations aiming to elevate their workforce and embrace technological advancements.

Anirban Roy, Chief Revenue Officer of Mercer | Mettl, closed the event by reaffirming the ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence in HR practices. The day ended with networking opportunities and an entertainment session, allowing attendees to connect and unwind.


Key takeaways:


Empowerment through adaptability:

In the face of AI-driven advancements, businesses must prioritize adaptability and empower their workforce to embrace change.


Human-machine synergy:

While AI technology can greatly enhance productivity and efficiency, it is crucial to strike a balance between leveraging AI tools and maintaining a human-centric approach.


Data-backed decisions:

Data plays a crucial role in guiding AI integration within HR functions. By leveraging data analytics and insights, organizations can make informed decisions about talent acquisition, performance management, and employee engagement.


Continuous learning:

Rapid technological advancements require individuals to constantly update their skills and knowledge. Organizations should foster a culture of lifelong learning by providing access to training programs, online courses, and educational resources.


Human touch:

While AI technology can streamline HR processes, it is important to maintain the human element in HR practices. This involves fostering meaningful connections between employees and HR professionals, ensuring that employees feel valued, supported, and heard.

As we move ahead on our HRedge journey, we are committed to driving organizational growth, preparing for the future, and creating a world of work that works for everyone, a more vibrant and dynamic workplace. The true essence of progress lies not in the technology itself but in how we leverage it to empower individuals, nurture talent, and create inclusive and fulfilling work environments. Let us embrace the AI revolution as an opportunity to unlock the full spectrum of human potential, fostering a future where innovation flourishes and remains at the heart of every decision we make.

Originally published May 31 2024, Updated June 5 2024

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

Human Resource Management, also known as HRM, is the function that manages employees, starting from their recruitment and induction to development, appraisals and promotions, with the aim of maximizing their performance in-line with organizational objectives.

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