Skillsoft Blog

Highlights from India Perspectives 2019


Highlights from India Perspectives 2019
Mike Hendrickson, VP, Technology & Developer, Skillsoft addressing the audience on creating a more equitable future with technology.

India Perspectives 2019 just finished. Themed “Accelerate Your Learning Workforce for Digital Transformation,” the conference was a phenomenal success with 150+ attendees, 100+ companies, 20+ speakers and seven award categories making it the biggest and grandest event to date.

The day was busy with multiple speakers and sessions. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • The opening keynote address was delivered by John Frederick, Chief Administrative Officer, Skillsoft, who shared all the content and technology enhancements coming from Skillsoft and SumTotal over the next year. This includes Skillsoft’s new partnership with IBM Watson, which will help deliver AI-powered learning and career development to customers, and Wintellect, which further augments Skillsoft’s commitment to providing the best Technology & Developer Meanwhile, SumTotal has added LinkedIn Learning to its growing library of content aggregation partners, giving customers access a wide range of content across numerous domains. Frederick also touched upon several technological enhancements in the SumTotal platform, including bundled content authoring capabilities via DominKNOW, a more responsive design and Percipio Experience Services integration. He reiterated Skillsoft and SumTotal’s continuous focus on empowering their partners and customers with exceptional content and talent development.


  • Harlina Sodhi, Co-Founder, Believe In Yourself, hosted a stimulating Women in Action panel discussion titled “The Role of Learning in Digital Transformation.” The panelists included Bidisha Banerjee, Group Vice President, Learning Culture and Employer Branding, Welspun Group; Heather Savile Gupta, Group HR Director, MullenLowe Lintas Group; Hemalakshmi Raju, Chief Learning Officer, Reliance Industries; and Potoula Chresomales, SVP Product Management, Skillsoft. The participants highlighted the importance of skill-sharing, learning agility and creating a secure workplace. All the panellists agreed that bite-sized learning that is facilitated anytime, anywhere is the easiest path towards upskilling an organisation’s workforce.


  • Stefaan van Hooydonk, Chief Learning Officer, Cognizant, offered invaluable insights into creating a learning blueprint for a digital economy. Through his presentation, he explained how the first step towards learning always needs to be curiosity. The curiosity of the learners when aligned with the needs of the organization results in organization-wide upskilling, which is, in fact, the need of the hour.


  • Morné Swart, Vice President Global Product Strategy, SumTotal, presented, “Talent Agility in an Emerging Workplace” where he discussed why acquiring the right talent and retaining it through constant engagement and growth opportunities is of the utmost importance for present-day organizations. He also discussed the essential nature of digital adoption in the modern workplace.


  • A panel discussion hosted by Kamal Dutta, Managing Director – India, Skillsoft and SumTotal, captured success stories and best practices in talent development. Joining him on stage were Janardhan Santhanam, Head, Digital Talent Development at Tata Consultancy; Jagjit Singh, Head of L&D, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories; and Sujay Puthran, Head HR, Atos Syntel. The group engaged in a spirited discussion on “Transforming Learning – Stories from Practitioners.” Accelerating innovation, offering best-in-class customer experience, gaining market share, and facilitating continuous learning were just some of the benefits highlighted by the panellists.


  • Potoula Chresomales, SVP Product Management, Skillsoft, spoke about what’s new and upcoming with Percipio. By eliminating friction and adding persuasion to the concept of continuous learning, Percipio is redefining learning experience in the workplace. With deep personalization and rewards such as skill badges, Percipio is providing aspiring learning journeys within organizations.


  • Mike Hendrickson, VP, Technology & Developer Products, Skillsoft, offered his thoughts for creating a more equitable future in a session on “Continual Adaptability: Distributing the Future More Evenly” wherein he shed light on the importance of talent agility and continuous learning.


  • Debasis Dutta, Vice President, Product Management, SumTotal, led a discussion titled “Understanding the Employee Lifecycle – A Blueprint for Modern Talent Development,” which covered the key motivators of any employee during his journey with a particular organization.


  • Janani Ravi, Co-Founder, Loonycorn, led “Driving, Not Diving: A No-code Approach to Getting Stuff Done With ML.” This session was an enriching discussion about the role of machine learning in data aggregation and classification and driving an organization towards success.


  • Another panel hosted by Morné Swart explained how learning drives talent development and growth. After the discussions we heard case studies from Skillsoft and SumTotal customers including JSW, NIIT Tech, Tata Steel and Hexaware.


  • When a leader focuses on an earning culture, they can foster insecurity among employees. However, when a learning culture takes its place, paradise exists in the form of security and continuous growth. This was the key takeaway from the keynote address, “Getting Saraswati (Learning) Culture to Collaborate with Lakshmi (Earning) Culture,” which was eloquently presented by Devdutt Pattanaik. He highlighted that leaders need to acknowledge their insecurities and create a learning culture around them to achieve optimum productivity and success.


  • Lastly, we announced the 2019 Innovation Awards winners. This year’s winners included industry leaders such as NIIT Technologies, Atos Syntel, Tata Steel, KEC International, HCL Technologies, Tata Communications, Adani Enterprises, Zensar, Firstsource Solutions, JSW Steel, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Nestle India, Mungi Engineers, Nucleus Software and Hexaware Technologies in various award categories.


As all these sessions were going on, we had a unique way of capturing the key learning points and presenting it to our audience through LIVE Scribing. An expert creative designer sketched concepts, words and weaved it with beautifully drawn visuals to create a structured synthesis of the keynotes/sessions. Here’s the output of our guest speaker Devdutt’s session.


Another significant addition was the introduction of creative blocks, which when put together brought the whole idea to life. As you can see below, we used our Learning and Talent Maturity Framework as a model.



I want to thank everyone who joined us in Mumbai, and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2020.


Kamal Dutta is the Managing Director at Skillsoft and SumTotal, India.

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