Now execute learnings from ASCENT conclave.

It was saturday morning and atmosphere was electric. With over 500 charged ions in a single room, entrepreneurial energy was enormous. Ideas, experience, wisdom, struggle stories, success talks everything was freely flowing during the day.

And then comes a time when stories end, when work begins. And work begins at your workplaces, with your teams. It dawns on you that listening wasn't just enough, you need actioning. So you can go back to another ASCENT conclave next year to hear the stories again or you can go there to tell your's. That my friend, depends on what you do between now and then.

Here's plugHR's attempt to make this journey of awesomeness doable for you. The ideas that you bring from ASCENT conclave would be turned into reality by your teams. Yes. the teams that haven't gone to the conclave with you. So it's you who'll have to translate, with clarity and then steer the journey. To begin with, here's a summary of what happened at the ASCENT conclave. Make notes, we'll help you action this.

HARSH MARIWALA kicked off the acceleration

The session began with Harsh Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Industries and Founder of Ascent share his nuggets on entrepreneurship.

2 things that he said : First, one has to constantly re-invent one self  in each stage of entrepreneurial journey. The challenges that you face are very different at different stages of growth. Second, he said Scaling up requires moving to getting things done rather than doing things yourself. No wonder, we smiled cheek to cheek, that's what plugHR helps you achieve.

Let me reiterate: Constantly reinvent yourself and start getting things done than doing yourself

Then came the man of steel SAJJAN JINDAL

Keynote speaker Sajjan Jindal, Chairman & MD of JSW group spoke about building a billion dollar enterprise. Simple down to earth personality, he spoke about his entrepreneurial journey and what it took for a simple boy from Hissar to become the largest producer of Steel in the country with biggies like Tatas already firm footed in the industry. Besides his business & financial struggles, where he saw various business cycles, he told something very critical; that while he was making business big he was never stressed out. Being an avid squash player himself and his wife being a badminton player, they could spend enough time in the sports club and always had a great family life all along. The whole plugHR team in the audience looked at each other and nodded in pride. At plugHR the sports and hobby question finds place in hiring assessment. Presence of a positive indulgence in a person's routine ensures that the person will find balance in work and life. When you have your sport to refresh you up, you don't need motivation tricks, simply because you can self motivate yourself.

Reiterating this: No matter what the struggle, keep up your sport, hold on to that hobby.


The stage was perfectly set for fireside chat on Brand Building with brand man Piyush Pandey of O&M and film maker Siddharth Roy Kapur. Piyush Pandey said "Products are made in labs and factories but brands are made in the hearts of people". He also spoke about how adversity creates opportunities when  lack of budget helps to push the envelope of creativity. Whether MP tourism ads or Fevicol, they all started on shoe string budgets. He stressed that over the years the expression of the brand can change but soul never changes. While answering audience  on #Indigo saga he said that if you are a great brand brand, people are forgiving, but only if you come out quick and honest, you can’t be slow and non responsive. Siddharth Roy Kapur spoke about why it's just not the content but how content is weaved into a story and how you narrate, that makes all the difference. He also spoke about how brand extension works. It was great to learn that

Reiterating: Brand is about creating relationships and power of content is weaved into the story.

AMEERA SHAH says don't ignore HR. And ofcourse finance and technology.

Next was Ameera Shah MD of Metropolis Labs and she passionately shared her story about how she started Metropolis. Post her studies she returned to India wanting to do something scalable and she joined her father's pathology lab to scale it. She took Metropolis from a single lab to 150 centers, 1500 collection centers and a multi country operation now. Investing in Relationships and personally driving lot of them be it with the Partners or Investors was key to the growth of her business. When she was asked what she could have done differently she said she sould have invested much more in HR, Finance & Technology.

Reiterating: Invest in relationships, technology and processes.


Generally post lunch sessions are great for dozing especially after the sumptuous lunch like this one with variety of cuisines and 5 deserts :). Anyway it was never a case here because post lunch it was time for a master story teller, lyricist and ad maker Prasoon Joshi and an ace photographer and film producer Atul Kasbekar. It was a simply superb fire chat when both these multi faceted personalities just took the crowd through the witty lines and deep thoughts. Prasoon Joshi recited some master piece couplets and evoked deep senses when he spoke words like "creativity is all about being comfortable with discomforts", on the bed of confusion lies the genesis of innovation,  the finer emotions and feelings that humans have may be only way to over-power technology in the advent of AI, music is available on a click but narrative behind it is lost, if you don’t have nostalgia then you are not a human, you are machine.

Biggest take away don't drive business cut and dry. Fill it with creativity, innovation. Bring in emotional connects.


The next session was with very experienced panelists Radhika Aggarwal of Shopclues. Kunwar Sachdev of Su-Kam, Vineet Rai of Aavishkaar/Intellecap and Pratap Nambiar of Thought Perfect. The whole session was on how to hire, who not to hire, how soon to delegate, who to fire, and how to develop leadership within the organization. Where Radhika had to hire, she looked at past record and ability to perform, where as Kunwar thinks CVs and interviews have no meaning, its only when a person starts working in 1-3 months you would know. Vineet says they propose pay cut from 90% to 70% being a social venture and whoever is ready should be good :).

We got reminded of plugHR's own hiring philosophy and pay cut being very much part of that. "That puts your skin in the game", says Prashant Bhaskar, founder of plugHR. No wonder plugHR built HR for Aavishkar and Intellicap. 

Last but not least it was time for Tanmay Bhatt from AIB a Stand up Comedian who with his great style, witty comments, contrasting view points but thought provoking statements narrated his entrepreneurial journey. He made sure there was a laughter riot in the hall as the session ended.


For some the day ended, for some day just began. Listening was easy, doing will hurt your backside. Let plugHR make execution a bit simpler for you. Here's what you can begin doing:

1. Do an ASCENT conclave re-run at your workplace. You be Harsh, you be Piyush, be the man of steel yourself and be a bit of Tanmay if you want. The only way to bring team up to speed is to give them the experience of what you experienced. Don't delay it or you won't remember.

2. Begin "getting things done" rather than doing everything yourself. Define Organization structure batter, define roles sharper, assign KRAs to people. If you can't, ask plugHR for help.

3. Bring out the hidden hobbies, pick up your sporting tools and play daily. Give yourself family time and allow team to also have one. While you were taking attendance, world moved on, it's time to re-draw your policy manual with updated policies. If you find it daunting, ask plugHR for help. We will re-do your policies in one week and bring to up to speed with the best.

4. Invest in technology that can free your human talent bank. plugHRapp is a simple cloud platform that automates all your core HR and talent management functions. Ask for a demo of that.

5. Improve your hiring practice by weaving story into your talent pitch. Re-look at your website's career page, it might need a big makeover. Re-do candidate communication, assessment process. Thankfully plugHRapp can make all this process run in a day for you. Ask for a demo.

Do these 5 things and you'll walk into next ASCENT conclave with pride of an accomplisher. You never know, you might be the next story teller on the panel there!

In case you want a hand in helping you execute, we are just a click away