Auto Kontempore, Chennai was the third edition in the series for Co-Creating a Sustainable Approach for Talent management in Automotive Sector. The first edition was held in Delhi in November 2017 and the second edition was held at Pune. A consultative report was created as an outcome of the discussions conducted in the first two editions through Large-Scale Interaction Processes. The present event at Chennai was following up on the same to create a sustainable approach to Talent Management in the Automotive Sector with views taken from the three important automotive centres in North, West and South of India.

The event witnessed the coming together of industry stalwarts on a common platform for identifying the present and prospective challenges faced by the auto, auto components and ancillary sectors related to talent sourcing and management. Participants explored issues from the widest possible perspective and endeavoured to come up with some innovative and bold solutions to the most imposing questions on talent issues being faced by the industry.


Auto Kontempore at Chennai, like the previous two editions, pushed the boundaries of ideas and dared to explore beyond where most industry events venture. The process started with a brief introduction by Prof. (Dr.) Kumar Mohanty, Director, Corporate Relations of KIIT School of Management, Content Partner of Kontempore.

The opening address and context setting were done by Mr. Nitin Seth, President – LCV, Ashok Leyland who was the evangelist for the event. This was followed by a true crowd-sourcing of ideas achieved through a Large-Scale Interactive Process (LSIP) facilitated by Mr. Bimal Rath, Founder of Talent Triathlon which is the content partner of Kontempore and co-facilitated by Prof. Surya Mishra, faculty of marketing at KIIT School of Management, content partner of Kontempore. The LSIP discussions were presented, augmented and further supplemented in a panel discussion at the end.

As part of the LSIP, the participants were divided into 7 tables to have a 4-step discussion process. In Step 1 participants made their individual observations regarding talent-related concerns faced by the industry and their ideas to action to help mitigate or solve these challenges. This was followed by, in step 2, intense discussion amongst the group members. In this step Various challenges, their impact and ideas to solve them were collated at each table and curated on a separate chart sheet. Step 3 was a world café, where various table members visited other tables and each table presented their collated work in the earlier step to all other table members. A lot of agreements and questioning followed this intermingling of the groups. As step 4, the tables regrouped and prioritised top 3 challenges and 3 ideas to help solve those challenged. The outcomes were noted on a separate chart.

The table leaders then participated in a panel discussion to discuss and present their table’s and their ideas.


Mr. Nitin Seth, in his context setting address, pointed out the various challenges facing the auto industry – starting from talent acquisition, leading to talent engagement and talent development and ending with talent optimization processes.  The growing skill gap in India, he pointed out, would be 25 crore workers by the year 2022. He highlighted challenges in training the millennial workforce and leadership challenges face by the leaders belonging to earlier generations. He proposed a model of developing talent pipeline by collaboration between the government, industry and academia. He listed a slew of special initiatives undertaken by Ashok Leyland which have tried to mitigate some of these challenges and embrace a few more. From collaboration with institutes to facilitating training under the NEEM and NTTF programs to going to completely paperless recruitment and on-boarding he showed the path on how to go about addressing the talent challenge in the auto industry.


Challenge Ideas to Solve
Education and Skill Shortages

–          Basic Communication skill

–          Problem solving skills

–          Critical Thinking Skills

–          Application oriented syllabi

–          Responsive to industry needs

–          Teaching Contemporary Skills

–          Co-Creation of syllabus with institutes

–          Industry Projects

–          Online Certification courses

–          E-Learning with reward

–          Tailor-made 1-year advanced program funded by student and guaranteed by the industry

–          Companies have to set aside time and resources for providing education and expertise to enhance employability through but not limited to the National Employability Enhancement Mission

–          Research and collaborative articles between industry and academia

Retention of Talent –          Retention Bonus

–          Rewards and Recognition programs

–          Structured retention for fast tracked employees

–          Rewards for subject matter experts

–          Well-articulate career road map with achievable goals, rewards and growth to be published from the joining period and to be reinforced periodically

Talent Development

–          Development of multiple skills

–          Rewards and Recognition

(Role models and Values)

–          Continuing education courses

–          EDPs

–          Short term assignments

–          Job rotation

–          Multi-location experience for promotions

–          Rewards for values and not performance only

–          Set Learning and development Goals, track and recognize

–          Brainstorm on the industry changes and impact on talent requirement and develop talent accordingly


–          Academic + Industry + Government

–          Closer liaison between the three

–          Creation of a neutral hub for seamless interaction in special sectoral hubs


–          Transition from IC Engine based vehicles to Electric Vehicle and Autonomous Vehicles

–          Tech ladder – encourage tech career paths

–          CDIO – Concept + Design + Implement + Operationalize

–          Profile to have both breadth and depth

Gig Economy –          Better planning for job requirements

–          Companies need to create platform to give more short-term employment

Mobility –          Location driven compensation
De-skill and talent transfer –          Robust process driven approach
Talent Management –          Leadership Development
Talent Succession and Backup –          Future leadership programs

–          Talent Pipeline – both internal and external

–          Clear progression roadmap development

Employee Engagement –          Team Rewards and Recognition

–          Tell me / Show me / Teach me / Reward me

Attitude and Expectations of Employees –          Millennial Training Programs

–          Soft Skill Training Programs

–          Millennial diffusion workshops