Krishnan Nilakantan: Passionate Towards Implementing Best Practices In Learning & Development | CEOInsights Vendor
Krishnan Nilakantan: Passionate Towards Implementing Best Practices In Learning & Development

Krishnan Nilakantan: Passionate Towards Implementing Best Practices In Learning & Development

 Krishnan Nilakantan, Chief Learning Officer

Krishnan Nilakantan

Chief Learning Officer

Software for enterprises helps the organization transform their business and present complicated work more simply. Ramco Systems is one of those companies providing innovative enterprise solutions enabling organizations to transform. Ramco Systems is a fast growing enterprise software player disrupting the market with their multitenant cloud and mobile-based enterprise software in Global Payroll, ERP, Logistics, and M&E MRO for Aviation. Krishnan Nilakantan, Chief Learning Officer, ensures focus on Innovation and Culture to differentiate the company in the marketplace.

Krishnan Nilakantan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Madras and has completed the Executive Program in Human Resources Management from IIM Calcutta. Before starting his journey with Ramco Systems as a Chief Learning Officer, he worked with various big companies such as NIIT, New Horizons India, Cognizant, Reliance Industries, and more. Krishnan Nilakantan has proven success in handling massive project rollouts involving organization talent strategy development, leadership development, performance consulting, learning solutions design, learning delivery/ operations, learning impact measurement, and leading change management programs.

Krishnan engages in an exclusive interaction with the CEO Insights Magazine.

Define Ramco Systems as an organization and its position in the market. What is the unique proposition it offers to clients?
Ramco Systems is a part of the Ramco Group of companies. The way we operate reflects our core values where we put our customers first, think and act, keeping their best interests in mind. Our human resources practices are always designed to keep employees at the centre, and we foster a culture of innovation and excellence.

At Ramco, we believe technology should simplify businesses and it should free the customers, not tie them down. This philosophy has
been the driving force behind all our innovations and product developments. Today, Ramco is a force to reckon with in the Global Cloud Enterprise Applications market and it is the Number 1 choice of clients looking for future ready enterprise applications.

Ramco’s key differentiator is its innovative approach to developing products through its revolutionary enterprise application assembly and delivery platform.

Do not be obsessed with Return on investment, instead be focused on Return on Expectation

Elaborate about the learning & development framework built within the company, and which are the latest technology trends used to achieve the L&D goals.
Ramco is a product company, and we have Industry-specific ERP solutions for five industry verticals. These products address niche market segments and are among the top products in the market. Our products are developed based on platforms that are proprietary technology of Ramco and these proprietary platforms, combined with industry technology, give us a unique advantage.

At Ramco, we build our talent development based on the model we call FORCE, which is 4CE - Capability, Character, Care & Collaborate, Customer Centricity, and Execution & Excellence. The FORCE model becomes our foundation for Recruiting, Career Planning, Capability Development, and Performance Management. I mainly talk about Learning and Development where I focus on developing role based certifications incorporating all aspects of 4CE. We also use Automated Assessment tools, micro-Learning, social learning, and gamification approaches to drive learner engagement.

As a CLO, how do you drive organizational change through people and prioritize employee skills development?
Today’s workforce is keen on doing meaningful work and wants to understand their career opportunity clearly. We derive our learning and development strategy from the organization’s strategic goals which help us to achieve a precise alignment. When we translate the objective to learning strategy and mechanics, we can tell employees how capabilities are connected to the larger business objective. We have capability councils that provide guidance and act as change catalysts. We conduct many focus
group discussions to understand the employee’s perspectives and create awareness about the capability development focus. These awareness sessions, clubbed with manager engagement in identifying capability development needs, help us in our change initiative and drive our capability development agenda.

What are the changes in market behaviour that you anticipate and what are the opportunities you foresee?
Technical skills are no longer the core capability for the success of an enterprise, it is truly human skills, otherwise called Soft Skills. Many avenues are available today to acquire technical skills, and the tools available are also mature enough to support the skill acquisitions. At the same time, developing truly human skills needs a longer time frame and a safe ecosystem for employees to become proficient. This is where the organization will have to focus on securing the future because the technical superiority will not wow customers, they expect the people behind it also to have highly proficient truly human skills, and this would become the organization’s differentiator.

What advice would you give to budding L&D leaders?
As an advice, I would say that one should become the steward of their organization’s culture. Always try to align all learning and development initiatives to organizational objectives. Designing & delivering courses and programs aligned with on the job performance should always be the focus. Last but not the least, measure on the job performance and connect them to business impact.

Krishnan Nilakantan, Chief Learning Officer, Ramco Systems
Krishnan started his career as a software developer, developing an enterprise grade application on Power Builder and Sybase. Due to his passion for developing talent, he moved toward teaching and used to teach Software languages to aspiring software engineers for many years before venturing into the world of Corporate Learning and Development.

Hobbies: Gardening and Reading
Favourite Cuisine: South Indian Cuisine
Favourite Book: Leadership Wisdom: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma & Good to Great by James C. Collins

Destination: Yelagiri Hills

Awards & Recognition: Emerging Training Leader 2014 by the Training Magazine US.

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