As a student of Human Resources Management from XLRI, it is always a delight to have an opportunity to see things in a realistic setting. Since day 1, my interests have lied strongly in the area of Industrial Relations and Labour Law. I was absolutely delighted when I had the chance to have a plant visit in my dream company - ITC Limited. The location was Munger and we were going to understand the nuances in the production process of their small cigarette division.
The Forum for Industrial Relations at XLRI (FIRE@X) coordinated with the HR team at ITC and 20 people across both batches landed in Munger ready to soak in the all the knowledge we could. As HR students, we were taken on a tour of the shop floor to understand the process and discuss what challenges they face on a daily basis. We had multiple leadership talks including one with the President of the Union.
But of all things, the most enriching experience was learning the CSR activities that ITC had undertaken in the area over the years. ITC has been contributing to the betterment of schools in the area. They had implemented innovative practices among the students such as the student council which was appointed to look at various activities around the premises.
Students in the council were assigned departments and had roles defined accordingly. The health department looked after personal hygiene of the students. The cleaning department made sure that the housekeeping staff cleaned the classrooms, bathrooms etc. on time. The education department had to look after school and academic supplies of each individual student and made sure that every student received all necessary items.
To facilitate a sustainable model which would keep running even without ITC, they had created a school corpus where each student contributes Rs.5 a month and the teachers at the school contribute a small amount as well. This fund is used to pay for the cleaning activities as well as for any repairs that might need to happen in the school premises. This was being done in at least 4 different schools in and around Munger.
The next initiative that we got to see was the vocational training center that ITC has setup for people in the area. Every 2 months, a batch gets into various programs such as hospitality training, electrician training, service training and various other market driven courses. They take a nominal fees from each student for administration and upkeep. ITC even follows up with them for one year after they pass out to track their placement status and to make sure that they are doing well in their job opportunities.
They have setup multiple centers and are facilitating training and job opportunity creation for young people in villages around Munger. They also are keeping track of the alumni and are conducting community awareness programs with trainees from previous batches to encourage more and more participation.
It was a great learning experience to look at these CSR activities up close and understand the effort that ITC is putting into sustaining these models.
I look forward to this visit next year too!