For our final segment of “MDI in conversation with ABGLP,” we have one of our very own, Chinmay Jain, MDI Alumnus of the Batch of 2016. Chinmay has gone through the HRLP and has been an Aditya Birla Group loyalist right from the time of his summer internship!
Where did your journey with ABG start?
My journey with ABG started in April 2015, incidentally as a summer intern. My project was with the domestic textile business and the best part about it was that I was given a live project that they were actually working on, which was related to the appraisal scenario at the time. This gave me a really good insight into how seriously they take their training and leadership programs and I was impressed with the organization then itself. I was fortunate enough to receive a Pre-Placement Offer from the Group and considering the kind of experience I had, I was only too happy to accept.
In June 2016, I joined the Group as a full-time employee. We had an 11-day induction program wherein we had several interactive sessions with the leadership. Following which we were assigned 3 stints of 4 months each across the businesses to get rounded exposure from the organization following which we were finally absorbed into a particular role and function.
What is similar and different for the HRLP with respect to the other programs (such as LEAP LEAD and FLP) across the gamut of ABGLP?
So just like the other programs we are expected to complete 3 stints of 4 months each across the organization. It's an extremely structured program and the Young Talent Management (YTM) team ensures as far as possible that the candidates do one stint with Group HR, one with the business HR and one with the unit HR. Apart from this, there is a conscious effort to ensure that at least one of the stints provides international exposure to the candidate.
Another differentiator for this program is that after completion of the three stints, every individual who goes through HRLP has to do a compulsory plant HR role for 2 years. This practice ensures that all the HR employees are exposed to the on-ground experience that comes with working in a plant and develop some knowledge about industry relations (IR) and union-management etc. Since 70% of ABG’s revenues come from manufacturing products, this is a great way to acquaint newly joined employees to the actual on-ground realities of the business.
That sounds like a lot of hands-on exposure. Can you tell me a little about your plant stint?
Coincidentally, I’m currently in the process of wrapping up my two-year plant HR role. I was working with the pulp and fibre business. For the first seven months, I was at the Vilayat plant, Baruch, Gujarat. Here I looked after recruitment and L&D for the plant. After a first few months there, my CHRO took a bet on me and gave me this amazing opportunity of being the single HR resource at an Excel fibre plant in Kosamba, Gujarat. It was a new facility coming up and things had to be figured out from the ground up. Dealing with 1000 contract labours, their compliances and their punching was a serious challenge. I also had to look after the recruitment of the staff and workmen. Since it was a new plant in the making, designing and implementing new processes and systems had to be done sometimes proactively, other times reactively. I was looking after both HR and IR and in effect had the role of an HR head in a small plant. The confidence put by the leadership in me was heartening and extremely motivating. My role in this plant lasted for a year and a half.
Incredible experience this. That’s definitely an interesting story for us juniors back home! Speaking of which, what’s it been like out in the world after MDI? Is the ManDevIan spirit alive within ABG?!
Absolutely without a doubt! As ManDevIans, we have that spirit and energy to drive change and bring about a difference. MDI is a school for Thought Leaders and Change Masters and at a company like ABG, you are presented with numerous opportunities to bring that change. My journey so far within the organization has been a case example of this. It’s been a genuine pleasure bringing the MDI way of doing things to the Aditya Birla Group and seeing it bear fruit.