India Inc's major corporates are increasingly forming 'Millennial Boards' to gain insights into the changing needs of their young customers as well as to keep ahead of the disruption curb.
In corporate parlance, the term refers to a shadow board consisting of only millennials, who are tasked with suggesting changes in the company's current outreach and product development policies.
Market watchers feel that through these boards, the organisations want to use this group's point of views to co-create initiatives, practices and solutions that make them ready for the future.
Accordingly, sectors like IT, consulting and professional services in India had taken early steps by forming these boards, and the trend is now growing across industries.
"The past year has brought to fore the necessity to be on your toes with innovation and unconventional decision making," said S.V. Nathan, Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte India.
"Organisations want to bring in different perspectives and unfiltered views from the younger workforce on issues with significant business impact. Much like gender diversity, generational diversity drives better informed decision making. Also, it makes business reason to include them in the mix. They are a force to reckon with," Nathan added.
Sudhakar Rajendran, Partner and Enterprise Risk Leader, EY India, cited that India Inc is preparing for a change via adopting new skills and methods.
"Programmes around young and future leaders are now transforming into 'Shadow and Millennial Board' related concepts as organisations recognise the need for a fast change, keeping pace with the dynamic environment. How soon they hand over the reins to the new generation remains to be seen," Rajendran said.
Besides, the adoption of the board concept shows the failure of traditional channels such as pulse surveys and employee town halls to capture the latest trends.
"With an increasing number of startups disrupting the industries, it is now getting institutionalised to tap into new thinking from 'Millennials' and have similar disruptive or new ideas incubated and originated within larger organisations," said Sunit Sinha, Partner and Head, People, Performance and Culture, KPMG in India.
"It reflects a new thinking in India Inc. This is mostly because the usual channels of engagement like pulse surveys and employee town halls rarely capture the true sense of what's happening, and with an overwhelming majority of India's population under 35 years of age, no organisation irrespective of sector or industry can ignore the thinking and the needs of this segment of people, customers or the ecosystem at large," Sinha added.
According to Aaron Dias, member of Adfactors' newly formed Millennial Board: "The Millennial Board constituted by Adfactors is an initiative that gives young professionals a brilliant opportunity to work closely with industry stalwarts who are part of the leadership and pick crucial learnings.
"At the same time, it gives them an avenue to express themselves and bring the power of disruptive ideas to the table. I strongly believe that the experiences of those who are part of this initiative will stand them in good stead throughout their respective careers."