RIL Steps in to Help Em­ploy­ees ‘Step Up’ To roll out two schemes to re­tain ta­lent: one to help em­ploy­ees chart own ca­reer by chang­ing func­tions, other for growth in the same func­tion

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy: Pursuit Of Profit - Dev­ina.Sen­gupta @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Re­liance In­dus­tries (RIL) is rolling out a cocktail of ini­tia­tives to re­tain ta­lent, al­low­ing ca­reer ro­ta­tion and ver­ti­cal growth within the oil-to-tele­com con­glom­er­ate.

Un­der its Ca­reer Ac­cel­er­a­tion Pro­gram (CAP), the group will al­low em­ploy­ees to chart their ca­reer growth by chang­ing their busi­ness func­tions af­ter a se­ries of tests and in­ter­views. The ‘Step Up’ pro­gramme will help an em­ployee grow within the same func­tion, with some men­tor­ing to gear up for the next level quickly.

Th­ese are part of the group’s ef­forts to strengthen the em­ployee-em­ployer re­la­tion­ship as it gears to launch the data-fo­cused mo­bile tele­phony busi­ness this fi­nan­cial year.

Re­liance In­dus­tries, owned by In­dia’s rich­est man Mukesh Am­bani, had made an at­tempt pre­vi­ously to build ta­lent at the se­nior level. Around four years ago, the group rolled out a pro­gramme for the se­nior man­age­ment, called the Re­liance Ac­cel­er­ated Lead­er­ship Pro­gram (RALP).

With the help of con­sult­ing com­pany McKin­sey, the group had short­listed around 90 can­di­dates over three years. They were ex­pected to be men­tored by the chair­man, top brass and posted in the strate­gic of­fices across the group. In­dus­try in­sid­ers said it never worked out well and many of those who were short­listed have quit the pro­gramme.

There have been no re­cruits un­der RALP since 2013. An ex­ec­u­tive from the group said there may be a pause, but it will hire for RALP when the need arises. Right now, the fo­cus is on build­ing ta­lent from within through CAP and Step Up.

“At Re­liance, it is our pol­icy to de­velop young lead­ers, so that they take on higher re­spon­si­bil­i­ties at an early age. This is done across all busi­ness and func­tions,” a Re­liance spokesper­son said in an email.

“This ob­jec­tive is achieved through var­i­ous lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes such as RALP. In ad­di­tion, we have launched many other lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes such as CAP and the Step Up pro­gramme,” the spokesper­son said.

The group is also try­ing to bring in changes in terms of per­for- mance man­age­ment, work-life bal­ance and give it an im­age of an em­ployee-friendly em­ployer.

This be­came im­por­tant es­pe­cially when it saw a spate of ex­its from the hu­man re­source sec­tion last year. In July 2015, Pra­bir Jha, then the chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer, re­signed and the post was taken up by Hi­tal R Meswani, a cousin of Am­bani.

“The feed­back from all such pro­grammes has been ex­tremely pos­i­tive and we stand com­mit­ted to th­ese pro­grammes and hope to build on the suc­cess till date to make them truly in­dus­try lead­ing pro­grammes that pro­vide un­prece­dented op­por­tu­ni­ties to young lead­ers for growth and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment,” the spokesper­son said. A few months ago, com­mu­ni­ca­tions unit Re­liance Jio In­fo­comm, ahead of the slated com­mer­cial launch this year, of­fered its servi- ces first to em­ploy­ees and sought feed­back from them. The Jio of­fice at its cor­po­rate head­quar­ters saw a new look. It has no cab­ins, not even for chair­man Am­bani.

On Fri­day, Re­liance In­dus­tries re­ported a 16% year-on-year in­crease in net profit, in­clud­ing ex­cep­tional items, at .₹ 7,398 crore for the quar­ter ended March 31. Af­ter the re­sults an­nounce­ment, the group said it is await­ing spec­trum in­te­gra­tion that it ex­pects to get from a shar­ing-and-trad­ing pact with Re­liance Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, be­sides scal­ing up its user base to a few mil­lion be­fore launch­ing 4G ser­vices un­der Jio.

Busi­ness houses across In­dia are relook­ing at ways in which they can re­tain their best lot and pre­vent them from join­ing com­peti­tors. They want to em­pha­sise that there is a ca­reer tra­jec­tory planned across lev­els.

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