Conversation with Anuranjita Kumar – Team Capabiliti at SHRM India 2016 [Podcast]

We were at SHRM India Annual Conference a few days ago where we got the opportunity to speak with leaders and some brilliant minds in regards to the learning space. We are converting these conversations into a series of podcasts.

In this episode, we will highlight the conversations with Anuranjita Kumar, MD and Chief HR Officer at Citibank, South Asia. Here, she gives her views on what L&D means, who its key stakeholders are and what is the role of communication and technology in helping drive a smooth learning process.

Can you tell us a bit about the session you just attended at the SHRM Conference, 2016?

Anuranjita: The session was about looking at or rather crystal gazing for HR and looking at the CHRO role as a version 2.0. So it’s a bit like looking into the future, what to expect, what we should do differently and what we should continue doing now, which works well and will also hold us well in the future.

How can organizations ensure that trainings actually lead to an increase in productivity in employees?

Anuranjita: I don’t think that training is a means to an end. I think we need to have a big picture view when we are talking about development and productivity. If we are looking at enhancing productivity of employees, I think there are multiple avenues including the kind of experience we are giving to the employees, the kind of exposure in terms of diversity of assignments we are giving to the employee and then the kind of education which is where your training will have a role to play. I think, it’s the combination of these three which has to work hand in hand for any training intervention to be effective. Training alone cannot simply enhance the productivity until and unless it’s a very technical driven training which is a must for the job. I also think that many a times post training interventions are critical to ensure the training is effective and it ties up to the experience and exposure of the employees.


L&D is a very broad term in itself, so who owns it? Who are the key stakeholders for learning and development in an organization; is it a single person or is it a distributed ownership, according to you?

Anuranjita: I think it’s the employee who owns their own learning and development. I think anybody else is just facilitating that learning and development. But I think as an employee I have to be driven about what I want to do in terms of my learning and development. Then you can reach out to HR, your manager, business head or an external coach, or a facilitator. To see how they can help you to achieve what you are looking for. But if the employee does not know what he/she wants or where they are going, then I think anything will take you there, right!

What according to you is the role of dialogue in creating a focused L&D approach?

Anuranjita: I think dialog is critical in any learning and development intervention and I think we have to be in constant communication with employees, with stakeholders in terms of what the need is, how we define it and then how we intervene in it. So, dialogue rather a more transparent open dialogue about a collective outcome is critical to achieving what we want.

What do you think is the role of technology in ensuring a smooth learning process?

Anuranjita: I think technology is an enabler and especially when you do mass interventions. Its clearly an enabler and I think with the new generations like say the millionials or the re-gens I think it will be the medium to be leveraged in the way we communicate to them. So it will play a critical role.

About the Author

Ankit Sindhi