If you wish to contribute to the HRN blog, please get in touch by emailing content@hrn.io. You can follow us on Twitter @HRTechWorld.

Albert Einstein once said “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” It appears that more and more HR departments adopt Einstein’s wisdom as a motto for Learning, Training & Development. Instead of commanding what information employees must learn at regular intervals, the strategy is increasingly shifting towards utilizing technological offerings to create a platform for continuous, often informal and peer-to-peer, learning. Each company tries to find a model that would be a perfect fit to its unique nature – size, corporate culture, budget, geographical span, etc. We decided to talk to Surya Prakash Mohapatra, HP’s Head of Knowledge and Capability Management for India, about the company’s way of optimizing technology and platforms to facilitate employee development.

What Learning & Development projects are you currently spearheading?

I am currently leading a few very strategic projects in the organization. One of the projects is to enable frontline managers to develop into change leaders. We are planning to effectively deploy the 70-20-10 model in this program. Another project I am driving is to build a Coaching Framework for Middle and Senior level leaders in the organization. The third project aims at setting up a best-in-class next-Generation learning experience room to enable employees to learn and collaborate using technology.


How does HP integrate HR tSurya Prakash Mohapatra profile Pic2.jpgechnologies into its Training & Development functions?

HP is the largest  Information Technology Company in the world.  We understand the power of Technology very well. But at the same time we are also aware that technology  is only an enabler. It is only a means to achieve an end. We do leverage tech
nology wherever we feel it is appropriate. We are using a very advanced search engine with capability for contextual search. We use mobile learning extensively in addition to other tools and applications. We use enterprise social media platforms to facilitate collaboration and learning.


What would be your advice for efficient utilization of social platforms for Training & Development purposes?

Take care of the Three ‘A’s and the utilization of your social media platforms will be meaningful. The three ‘A’s are: ACTIVE, AGILE and ALIVE.

Create knowledge champions in the organization to keep your enterprise social media buzzing with activities. Always remain agile and quickly adapt to new requirements. Keep your platform alive by making it interesting. Always keep the element of surprise on.

The other piece of advice is “unleash the power of social platforms to build/augment Communities of Practice (CoPs) in your organization.”


Whose presentations are you planning to attend at HR Tech Europe 2014 and why? 

While my plan is to attend as many presentations as possible, I am definitely planning to attend the following two sessions:

I have lots of interest in HR Analytics and am very keen to explore more about this. I am also interested in learning more about the sweeping transformations currently revolutionizing the HR practice.


Surya Prakash Mohapatra will be presenting at HR Tech Europe 2014 on Day 1 on the subject Collaborate or Perish: Leveraging Communities of Practice For Organizational Development in the “Future of Workforce Learning” track. 


  • Surya P Mohapatra

    Thank you very much, Saida.

  • Alpana


    Mr.Surya, Its a beautifully articulated interview. You have hit the point coming to the viability of the social platforms when it come to T&D with the mention of 3A’s. Any learning can only happen when the content on the social platform is being updated time to time, is agile and for sure interesting. Its a great put off when you find that the content not being updated for months together. Any knowledge with a pinch of humor is always welcomed and it makes the learning interesting too. Many Cos in India still ban its employees from using smart phones at their work place. Its a information age. Classroom training will soon become an outdated thing in the future. Give employees a platform to be trained at their convenience and then bring them to the classroom for sharing their learning experiences. Keep sharing. Its a pleasure reading your thoughts. 🙂

  • Surya P Mohapatra

    Thank you so much Alpana for your valuable feedback

  • Rasmita

    Well Done Surya. One of the best ever interview so well articulated & so simply described. I am sure this is going to add values to all those HR & L & D professionals. There can be internal and external circumstances in an organization environment that require a change and a leader like you have brought in that very well in HP. Changes in the environment – Usually, changes in the external circumstances of an organization require a change in leadership to help the organization to adapt to the new environment. And when technology is used as an enabler it brings a positive impact among its competitors, suppliers, buyers, substitutes and potential entrants that require some radical changes in leadership to solve the new challenges they encounter.Changes in the vision of the organization – In general, there could be changes in goals, scope, competitive advantage, logic of an organization that could be prompted by internal or external changes, or simply as a way to change the path of the organization thinking about the future. And once your razor-sharp insight means you excel at customer segmentation, acquisition and retention. You marry clean communication with strong analytical skills and a solid commitment to providing trainees and your people with a sharp mentoring skill. HP must be feeling so proud of you who has grown and continue improving businesses the world over. Indeed a pleasure to read this very thoughtful interview . As they say “There ought to be more scrupulous honesty in big business men than in any other human relation. For big business requires teamwork on a gigantic scale.” And you proved that Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra.

  • Prashant Gakhar

    Very interesting and engaging dialog Surya.
    Very well put across , technology is just the enabler. In the end its about people and its about how you mange knowledge so that the employees grow with the organization.
    I kook forward to your presentation at the Hrtech europe.
    Wish you all the very best sir!

  • Anonymous

    Only an active and agile leader like you can bring alive the vision of any learning organization. Cheers to you Mr.Mohapatra and wishing you the best in all your endeavors !

  • Surya, frankly speaking I have followed your fan following in FB in the Learning and Development group and knew you had a spark to be inservice. After reading this interview it has affirmed my conviction. Great article…simple, action oriented and all encompassing to leverage the learning skills. But before putting all this in the participant’s plate do get them to be in the receiving mindset… all strategies fail if the learning motivation is externally thrusted. Personal Misson of all people at all levels has to be encouraged to make them think beyond their short term goals. Create acknowledgement milestones, certification process and edification events within the organization. The grandeur is not important as consistency is and we have the entire learning space well ventilated. Keep going…keep writing and keep enlightening. Success in all forms.