The Pandemic Has Unleashed Changes that Seem Unthinkable: Sanjay Bhatnagar, Sony India

In the conversation with BW People, Sanjay Bhatnagar, National Head, HR, CSR, Admin and Facilities, Ethics and Compliances, Device Sales & Marketing, Sony India talks about the definition of future and adaptability towards technology and hope for better.


Recovering from this Pandemic; physical and mental health would need attention to keep the employees healthy and safe. What are your strategies?

Yes, that’s right, while we recover from this pandemic, physical and mental well-being requires a lot of attention from one and all. Keeping this in mind, during the lockdown period, we initiated several projects addressing this need. We encouraged our employees to engage in physical fitness activities every day through virtual sessions conducted by expert trainers. We specially organized a live session with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for our employees on mental well-being and to address the dilemmas faced by them these days. In addition, we are regularly conducting internal contests, health, and safety sessions and sharing best practices while working from home to keep them going.

During the shift to digital and online; don't, you think everyone is differently capable of using technology. Is upskilling/ reskilling is the need of the hour to stay relevant?

Adapting to new online practices is not only the need of the hour but also required for increasing the productivity of our digitally connected workforce and even reaching out to our customers digitally. We have already initiated many training programs for upskilling our employees to bring them closer to the digital wave in the industry.

Do you feel some skill gap where Millenials are more tech-savvy and elders or veteran people are less tech-savvy? How are you efficiently addressing that?

Millennials are relatively more tech-inclined, however, the good part with our workforce is that we are agile and nimble, and we have quickly adapted to the new ways of working. The majority of our workforce has already attuned to the new digital ways of working and managing teams.

According to you, what is the definition of New Normal?

The on-going pandemic has unleashed changes that seem unthinkable just a few months ago. For us, New Normal is the majority of our workforce working from home as their safety and well-being are of paramount importance to us. For staff members who have resumed work from office or are required to visit the market, the utmost level of safety and hygiene standards are being practiced with precisely crafted and well communicated operating procedures in place.

Being in the contactless world abiding by all those physical distancing norms what are your techniques to keep the employees engaged?

The HR team is constantly in touch with all employees to enquire about them and their family’s safety and well-being and prepared to provide 24/7 support in case of medical exigencies. We have offered a “top-up insurance cover” to support employees and their families if there is a need to be on home-quarantine. This scheme is over and above the Mediclaim cover benefit.

In addition, we are regularly sending update emails to employees, organizing digital sessions with top management, running various employee engagement initiatives, conducting several internal and external learning webinars to ensure that our employees never feel that they are alone. Sony as an employer is standing tall with its employees in these adverse times and show that ‘Sony Cares’.

Do you think technology is a threat to people relationship building or that people vibe?

While there is no replacement to physical presence and face to face interactions, the entire world is in this together and we have no choice but to adjust to this new normal. We will have to get accustomed to support and even maintain the emotional touch digitally.

More dark truths will appear in terms of economy, employment, and business; What is your advice for people who all are on the verge of losing hope?

‘The Best is yet ahead’ and ‘Rough Seas make great sailors’ are two of my personal mantras to help remain motivated and upbeat in these times. I suggest everyone stay calm as this too shall pass soon.

What is that one thing you always do to keep yourself upbeat and sane all the time?

I meditate each day for 15 minutes and play with my dog as these two things work as a stress buster for me.


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