Rebuilding India’s Enterprises: People Come First

"Skills are the future currency" - Dr. Augustus Azariah

Dr. Augustus Azariah, HR Head, IBM India


Jaya Gomathi Mirra R

Speaking at NSoJ’s summit on Rebuilding India’s Enterprises: Public Policy Responses, Dr. Augustus Azariah, one of the most prominent thought leaders in the Indian IT industry renowned for his futuristic approach in the area of employee and labour relations, elucidated the effects of the pandemic on the globalized IT sector.

He remarked that the past six weeks had been a journey to him which has helped him identify three modes of changes in behaviour while adopting to the new normal and this ranges from reaction and responses, transition to acceptance as we strive to stay calm, introspect and realize that the world will never be the same place to moving swiftly and rising up to the challenge.

Dr. Azariah quoted real life instances of agile mindsets and heroism to highlight the concept of the duty of care which in tort law refers to a legal obligation posed on an individual to follow certain standards of reasonable care while situations of foreseeable harm to others.

He insisted that this obligation is to be viewed not merely from a physical standpoint but also an emotional one. He remarked that the major positive change was people identified to be the crucial constituents of organisations. In the attempts to allay the widespread fear prevailing among people, he stated that it was vital to clearly envision the future and equip the workforce with necessary skills to face the hindrances and embrace the new normalcy.

Dr. Azariah emphasised on the need for people to pause, observe and gain perspectives while moving forward under a leadership which should ensure transparency, directness and honesty. His talk also keenly focussed on the workplace changes involving prioritisation of work and heightened measures of safety. Dr. Azariah referenced his pandemic plan devised in 2011 to imbibe crisis management readiness as part of the Business Continuity Programme and he concluded by reinforcing that people come first.

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