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Hottest information about 9th Annual Strategic HR MENA Summit


Hassan AMIN

Group Lead, Leadership & Management Development
Emirates NBD

3 Questions For Hassan Amin

How is digitalisation and technology going to affect HR and L&D?

Technology has played a vital role in bringing up the learning pace. Through LMS and other portals, learning and development occurs in spite of location and timing with saving the costs for both employee and organisation in a flexible manner. Digitalisation in learning is not only making learning easier but also more interactive, engaging and exciting. It has proved that new learning has imparted great productivity. The same applies to HR and other functions in HR like recruitment. The resourcing platforms are helpful for employer to know the candidate prior to selection. However, sometimes we get contradictory information from the internet, social media, articles, blogs, which may lead to confusion. So while living in the technology era, instead of information gatherers, we should be information curators.

Where is HR heading in terms of jobs and learning?

HR is heading towards AI in making recruitment easier and smarter from automated resume screening to robot interviews. Similarly, in learning, HR is dependent on various online learning solutions to have a flexible learning environment and locations in accordance with the employees’ convenience and availability.

What is your strategy to hire and retain talents in your organisation? How does it differ from your competitors?

In HR, our vision is:
To be an employee’s employer of choice and our business leaders’ strategic partner.
And how we do that is:

  • To help you realise your true potential by giving you the right opportunities
  • To provide innovative people solutions by partnering with business leaders
  • To align the work culture with our organisation’s core values

We differ ourselves by providing service excellence and innovation, being customer focused which comes from passion for performance, integrity and teamwork.

With a broad global leadership experience, Hassan has been working in the field of banking and finance for over 15 years. He has established himself as a dynamic asset in Human Resource, Leadership and Management development, Learning, Designing, facilitating, counselling, and coaching and is constantly in demand as a result oriented capability. His relationship with customers and clients has been firmly establish over the past ten years, having designed and managed numerous leadership and management development solutions with great success.



Head of HR
Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company

2 Questions For Rohit Manucha

How is digitalisation and technology going to affect HR?

The HR digitalisation journey within any organisation begins with an incremental change by adopting HRIS platforms. These begin with complementing the existing HR processes by bringing in a basic level process automation of structured areas and leveraging on HR master database management. The focus here is on efficiency and not so much on delivering employee experience.

The phase which we have started seeing off late is the advent of technology in semi-structured areas of HR, such as employee engagement, evolving this to HRIS 2.0 with chatbots for repetitive query resolution, etc. The focus is now moving towards making sense of captive data that organisations have on their employees and making decisions based on statistical modelling.

The next phase which will truly transform the employee experience by seamlessly employing design thinking in automating HR processes, systems and policies, is when the interconnected nature of the universe of HR is leveraged by machine learning algorithms. Imagine a world wherein a Job Evaluation Framework, which as we know, cuts across Total Rewards (i.e. Job Analysis, Grading & Pay Parity) / Organisation Design (i.e. Step Differential) / Talent Management (i.e. Capability Development Framework linked to Behavioural Competencies), can be through structured querying systems and unstructured free text machine learning algorithms, predict the future organisational structures (i.e. unique roles and reporting relationships).

Where is HR heading in terms of its role within organisation?

Within the HR function, a number of HR practitioner jobs are in an urgent need for an overhaul. We have seen the HR roles trying to find their place in the larger scheme of organisational dynamics, shuffling between employee (e.g. employee relations) and organisation (e.g. Business Partner) focused roles, without effectively managing a delicate balance. With the advent of AI in HR, a number of jobs with any semblance of structure would be automated within HR to move into data-based decision modelling.

Given the mobile nature of the talent pool across organisations, candidate datasets ought to be shared freely across organisations. HR practitioners need to play an active role here so that they can base their decision on holistic data points rather than relying on over generalised & selective information received from talent vendors and consulting firms.

Imagine a scenario wherein rather that countless 1:1 interviews, psychometrics or behavioural tests, an organisation has end-to-end information about candidate from previous employers, as well as the candidate’s activity across social platforms. This would augment the candidate profile assessment, thereby allowing organisation to make reliable/scalable decisions on the ‘employee-organisation fit’ without relying on subjective/biased and time-bound judgements.

This way, HR roles of the future can synergise organisational results by delivering enhanced employee experience.

Rohit is the Head of HR at Aujan Coca Cola Beverages Company, which spans across 12 counties in the MEA region. He has an extensive experience in working with CEOs and C-suite leaders; in driving end-to-end organisational transformation across 19 countries. He has worked towards aligning organisations with their strategic agenda, managing change and driving sustainable performance. He has worked across a diverse range of sectors, covering companies with varying ownership models and at different stages of business life-cycle.
His core expertise is in ‘Organisational Transformation & Effectiveness’ and has developed case studies, white papers which are featured in various publications and is quoted in a number of leading HR magazines on a host of HR related topics. He has chaired and been a key note speaker at a number of global events across the UAE, UK, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, KSA, Thailand and Singapore.
Rohit advises Aujan Group Holding and its other entities on all HR related matters and functions as an SME in this field. He is also a Board member at the Change & Transformative Collaborative, UK; a visiting faculty at IMT Dubai, University of Dubai, PIBM India and Newstead Lab UK. He is also an advisor to the Ministry of Tolerance, UAE.
He won the ‘Compensation & Benefits Leadership Award’, India, 2017; ‘HR’s Rising Star’, UAE, 2016; ‘100 Most Influential Global HR Professionals’, India, 2016; ‘HR Leadership Award’, UAE, 2015. In the course of his career, Rohit has worked in KPMG, Hay Group (Korn Ferry), PepsiCo (ORC), Dunia Group. He is an alumni of XLRI, India.



Group HR Director
Bin-Shihon Group

3 Questions For Asim Qari

How is digitalisation and technology going to affect HR?

Monitoring the needs and behaviours of our Talents and new generations who are entering the workforce market and the way to deal with them have been always the biggest challenge. Yet, the HRMS/HRIS with its Talent Analytics has, indeed, helped to identify high-level indicators for groups of people inside the organisation and analyse it to know how and where to interfere. And now, with AI and big-data technology and its applications in HR, we can have even deeper analytics for people as well as indicators to identify “individual” needs by knowing a further set of behaviours inside and outside the office in such a digital arena we have today, so we can come up with a personalised course of action.

Where is HR heading in terms of jobs?

It’s very sad when we see the mature HR practices do only exist in enterprises and few SMEs. Which leaves us with majority of the SMEs having a Personnel & Government Affairs and neglecting the Talent Management and OD. Having said that, we can’t deny that HR maturity is getting improved overtime. So, I think it’s clear with the digitised world we live in and the automated systems, we will witness a lot of “Admin” jobs to vanish, like payroll and employee relations, and more of people like data scientists and analysts will be demanded in the market.

What is your strategy to hire and retain talents in your organisation? How does it differ from your competitors?

We saw many success stories of a “Talent Development” approach around us, which proved after decades how sustainable it is as a methodology to attract and retain talents. On the other hand, having many companies competing to acquire the talents has dramatically inflated the job’s market value and we can remember the term “War for Talent” in the beginning of the second millennium, which I believe is going to continue, although due to the impact of the global economic recession. What distinguishes us from others is our culture and the engaging work environment we can provide to our talents. So, the strategy that I focus on is attracting and developing young people, developing our leaders, enriching the job and workplace experience.

An experienced HR executive professional who leads the transformation of Companies to become a High-Performing Organisation. Has 20 years of HR Management & Development experience in Automotive, Healthcare, Banking, and FMCG with rounded expertise in different disciplines and challenge. Devoted to assist national companies transform to become regional and global players by leading their Governance and Organisational Transformation aiming to unleash the potential of their biggest asset “The People” and uplift the performance of their business.



Director Organization Design & HR Digital Transformation Program Lead

3 Questions For Bander N. Al-Shammari

How is digitalisation and technology going to affect HR?

Technology has completely redefined the role of human resources worldwide, from being an administrative unit in the organisation to its increasing role as a strategic partner in growing the business. Some of the technologies offer employees to become the decision makers in relation to the HR day to day activities. It is an important aspect as the talent practices will play a key role.

Where is HR heading in terms of jobs?

HR continues to improve and this will bring new opportunities in terms of AI and machine learning which will improve services and offer new roles for HR in data analytics, innovation, engagement and strategic HR. This kind of improvement will let HR think more about growing the Remote Workforce which will allow companies to look for talent, also, diverse and inclusive work teams are more engaged, innovative, and creative.

What is your strategy to hire and retain talents in your organisation? How does it differ from your competitors?

Talent management is a part of Sipchem’s HR strategy, and one of the important aspects is the talent acquisition strategy. We follow a competency-based system for a consistent recruitment process to ensure the candidate is the “right fit” and has the “know-how” to fill the role. While selecting the applicants, we conduct several assessments based on job such as; ELS, emotional intelligence, personality, job matching and leadership. The ultimate goal is to have an effective, dynamic and future-ready workforce that is determined, eager to learn, flexible, and adaptable to changing environments for ultimate business success.

We conduct employee engagement survey on annual basis and through this survey we gage important dimensions touching our talents which actions will be planed based on the results. Also, we offer a healthy work-life balance through sponsoring GYM/health centres to our employees.

Sipchem established the targeted cultures under three pillars; Performance, Collaboration and Empowerment. We aim to leverage the best to establish a unified culture that is aimed at making our people thrive, grow and inspire.

There are some other opportunities that are offered to our talents like internal posting which is “Internal Gate” allowing employees to know what are the current open opportunities and opportunity to apply in case of profile matching. More programs and initiatives applied:

  • Clear expectations and goals
  • Creating an open work environment
  • Providing opportunities to grow and learn
  • Providing professional certification & sponsored programs
  • Recognition and reward
  • Investing in new technologies

Leading Talent Management function to achieve organisational goals and objectives by assess organisational needs, develop aligned human resource solutions and implement development strategies.
HR Leader in several projects; HCM SAP Success Factors implementation Project; leading HR related aspects in terms of Project Change Manager & HR Functional Resources & HR transformation Project in related to Competency Management, Performance Management, Career Management, Learning & Development and Employee Engagement



Director Organization Design & HR Digital Transformation Program Lead

3 Questions For Dr. Guna Rethinan

How is digitalisation and technology going to affect HR?

Digitalisation and technology will definitely re-write the entire HR practices in the near future, which is NOW. HR used to accommodate technology to match and fit their policies, procedures and practices, BUT now HR requires to revamp leveraging technology as the fundamental enabler of digitalisation in re-imagining the HR policies, procedures and practices with enhanced experience for their stakeholders.

Where is HR heading in terms of jobs?

Current jobs are being re-designed for enrichment through deconstruction, optimisation, digitalisation and consolidation of capitalising human-centric ability to create value to the business. Jobs that are routine and mundane are extracted for digital workforce (RPA & AI) and new jobs are being re-invented and are expected to be delivered in collaboration with man-machine. Jobs will be consciously re-examined for optimal performance as digital technologies mature without losing the human elements.

What is your strategy to hire and retain talents in your organisation? How does it differ from your competitors?

The main strategy is to democratise the work activities to inspire and engage the talents while exploring and building skillset abilities to continuous employability. Establish the platform to freely explore not limited to defined job scopes but collaborate with various networks of talents and learn from each other. Talents are exposed to huge variety of hand-on skills improvement through continuous feedback approach that lead to incremental self-directed improvement. The feature of self-directed learning and preparing the talents for future skillset readiness differ us from competitors.

Dr. Guna Rethinam is also known as Dr. G among colleagues in the corporate world. His aspiration to be a competent valuable professional has inspired him to embrace with growth mindset while building essential competencies in organizational and people matters. He continuously explore the unexplored paths in an uncharted territories (new scope of work and industries) that stretch his learning agility and abilities. His 25 years of vast experience from various leading industries like Telecommunication, Automobile Dealers and Big Four Consulting firms gave him the edge to apply innovative organizational practices and create values in a businesses.

Currently he is leading futuristic transformational programs such as HR Go Digital (Blockchain, AI, Mixed Reality & Robotics), Future of Work Re-Design, Building Digital Capabilities, Re-Imagining Employee Experience in the Digital Age. His transformational goal is to re-design and roll-out future proof organization structure towards a Co-Agile, engaged and inspired work culture. Despite his current exciting roles in corporate world, he continues to share his expertise across various digital channels, professional forums, conferences and informal networks that continuously building the socio-capita know how capabilities across the regions



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