Thank you for joining us at the event.
-- Shanu & Deepak

Leveraging the Liquid Workforce


The emergence of the professional gig economy in the corporate sector is in its infancy. With the pandemic driven upswing in the job changes, rise in entrepreneurial mindset, and ease of working from anywhere, the future of the corporate workplace is all about leveraging the gig workforce.

  • The experiences of Business Leaders
  • What are the existing challenges?
  • Case based scenarios shared first hand
  • What does the future look like?
Chief Guest

Harsh Mariwala

-Chairman , Marico Limited
   Founder , ASCENT

Mr. Mariwala leads Marico Limited as its Chairman. He is also Chairman & Managing Director of Kaya Limited.

Mr. Mariwala’s passion for innovation, enthused him to establish the Marico Innovation Foundation in 2003 which works towards nurturing innovations in India. In 2012, Mr. Mariwala started ASCENT Foundation, a peer-learning entrepreneurial platform.

Sharp Ventures is the Family Office of the Harsh Mariwala Family. He also founded the Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI) in 2015, with the philanthropic aim of giving back to society.

Mr. Mariwala was recently awarded the All India Management Association (AIMA) Life Time Achievement Award 2021. He was also bestowed the EY Entrepreneur of the year award 2020 for India which is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.


Anita Ramachandran

- Founder & CEO, Cerebrus

Anita is one of the first generations of women professionals to become an entrepreneur and run a highly successful HR consulting and services organization.

She founded Cerebrus Consultants in 1995 to focus on HR advisory services, including Organisation transformation. Her reputation and innovative work helped her build Cerebrus into a national presence.

Cerebrus has over the last 25 years worked with over 700 companies in South Asia on a wide variety of HR projects.

She has been an Independent Director on company Boards for the last 20 years - including the boards of Godrej & Boyce, Aditya Birla Retail, Geometric software, Rane (Madras) and SwadhaarFinServe

Anita Ramachandran

Madhav Joshi

- Chief Executive Officer, India Health Fund

Madhav is Chief Executive Officer of India Health Fund – a Tata Trusts initiative which is the only organization in India that funds the development, de-risking and adoption of science and technology-led solutions which can help improve outcomes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of communicable diseases to create impact at scale.

Madhav has extensive global experience in building and running healthcare and nutrition businesses from working with Nestle, Abbott and Pfizer.

He has a keen interest in collaborative approaches which enable public-private partnerships and private sector involvement to strengthen the delivery of healthcare.

Madhav Joshi

Nitu Bhushan

- CHRO for South Asia, Pernod Ricard

Nitu leads the HR function for Pernod Ricard in the South Asia region. Prior to this, she has been the Regional HR director for Abbott, a global medical devices and healthcare firm for its pharmaceuticals division.

With over 18 years of experience in HR, Nitu has worked across various prestigious organizations such as Mondelez International, HSBC as a SVP – HR relationship, Asian paints and Accenture.

Her belief and focus has been on creating a convivial culture that enables an organisation's people to be their most authentic selves at work, empowered to thrive and grow in the organization.

Nitu Bhushan

Sameer Bendre

- Chief of Operations, Persistent Systems

A deeply passionate business leader with over three decades of overall industry experience in technology, finance, business operations, talent management and people development.

He is now the Chief of Operations for Persistent Systems, responsible for Persistent’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives and Risk Management.

He joined the company in 2004, and later took over the role as Chief People Officer, where he led the transformation of HR into a strategic function. As an active member of the entrepreneurship and social community, he was responsible for hosting the TiECon in Nagpur for five consecutive years and was co-founder of the TiE Nagpur Chapter.

Widely admired as a people person bringing to life a human centric corporate culture

Sameer Bendre

Santoshi Kittur

- Chief Technology Officer, IIFL Wealth

A seasoned entrepreneur with profitable exits to her credit, she has been deemed among the Leading Women in Tech and Diversity & Inclusion leaders.

Currently working as the Chief Technology Officer at IIFL Wealth & Asset Management, she has worked with global majors PwC, McKinsey & Co., Gartner Consulting and Infosys in the past garnering over 22 years of experience spanning business strategy and digital transformation.

She has advised the world's largest technology brands IBM, HP, Oracle amongst others on market entry, growth, pricing, product and portfolio strategy, across multiple geographies.

Santoshi Kittur

Leveraging the Liquid Workforce

How organizations are adapting their talent strategies to the “future of work”

The Keynote address

The Keynote address by Mr. Harsh Mariwala on his journey as an entrepreneur was full of valuable learnings for organizations of any scale or stage. It was fascinating to hear him share stories on challenging status quo and building businesses with constraints.

He also outlined the journey of a professional and highlighted how Marico has always imbibed the shift in the facets of human resources as per the need of the hour.

He touched upon how resource constraints fueled innovation in his businesses in the early days and how it gave rise to new ways of hiring. He highlighted the importance of HR as a function and shared on witnessing the shift from recruitment being a purchase to a marketing exercise. The one line from him that stuck with us was "War for talent today is as serious as war for market share"

Address by Manpreet Singh Ahuja - CDO at PwC India

Bringing to you Mr Manpreet Singh Ahuja’s thoughts on the present and future state of Gig Hiring in India! Being the Chief Digital Officer of PwC, which engages 3000 gig professionals on various projects, Mr. Manpreet brought a very nuanced view of the Gig Economy to our discussion.

He talked about the significance flexible hiring holds and the shift in thinking in modern professionals. He discussed how hiring has evolved over the years, bringing to question some fundamental premises such as the role of flexibility, work life balance, and purpose and meaningfulness in engagements. He also talked about how professionals now want to get rewarded for outcomes, as opposed to time spent in office. He then stated how the Gig Economy becomes a very suitable model of employment for achieving some of these modern objectives professionals aspire for, as well as being able to fulfill the need for niche project-specific skills.

Finally, he also shared the several major steps PwC has taken towards being a welcoming workplace towards Gig Professionals. We’re thankful to Manpreet for sharing his perspective and his first hand experience engaging gig professionals at a large scale!

The panelists

The panelists spoke about the shift they are seeing in the traditional hiring approach and how they have been sourcing and on boarding gig professionals, what policies and benchmarks they have set so far and what future needs they see emerging in their organization context of professional gig-hiring.

Anita has a background of leadership with many organizations and it was a pleasure to listen to her describe the changing times. She highlighted how the startup world has changed landscapes and is making a difference in how we operate, especially in the last five years. She mentioned the weight that the cost factor carries in establishing such fast growing companies. Naturally a shared resource would make sense.

Madhav, at India Health Fund, is working on niche areas such as deep science and deep tech and this demanded niche experts from the gig world. Madhav shared with us that in working with such experts, a scope of work has made more sense than a job description.

Sameer, has been in the tech world long enough to witness multiple shifts in ways of working. It was interesting to learn from him that although gig and contractual work is more prevalent in tech, it is yet to make way into more and more new areas in the vast world of IT, hence has a lot of scope to evolve.

The examples that Nitu shared with us highlighting the need to manage diverse talent for different markets, situations and expertise areas - was relatable to many of our audience members. While we were discussing the challenges of working with gig-professionals, Nitu also showed us the other side - on how gig professionals are sometimes even more accountable in their deliverables and outcomes - than permanent employees based on the nature of their work.

Santoshi, has led tech teams for multiple large organizations and she shared with us the impact of digital that many businesses have seen and highlighted the importance of changing operating models to adapt to digital. There are massive digital transformations happening in every organization, even in high touch relationship based businesses. Today we require agile methodologies, more scrum masters and a cloud working model.