E-Newsletter from
Vol 3, Issue 02, May 2021
Back to Newsletter
Human Resource Management
Employee training is an important part of all HR activities in an organization. Training and development improves the efficiency and effectiveness of people. The case is about a small pharmaceutical company in India. Shyam, the Unit Head HR, was faced with tough questions on whether training given to the employees was effective. While he had certain notions on why employee training had been required during the past year, he wanted to use HR analytics. He wanted to understand whether there was any correlation between the training programs and improvement in employee performance within the company so that he could take remedial measures.

Training Analysis at Mesotime
The case describes how the New Delhi based start-up SpeakIn Communications Pvt Ltd (SpeakIn) sought to position itself as Asia’s largest tech-enabled network of thought leaders and experts through its multilingual online business learning platform. SpeakIn offered individuals, businesses, and enterprises access to curated sessions and high-quality content from thought leaders, experts, and speakers across industries and geographies. The case looks at how SpeakIn focused on building the learning content offered with customized and curated content in multiple languages including Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi, and English on a single platform. Additionally, the case describes the various steps that the company took to transform itself from a physical to a digital business model after starting as an offline model in 2016. The COVID-19 pandemic further created an opportunity for SpeakIn to become a full-fledged digital platform offering live virtual sessions and e-learning content to its customers through webinars and Masterclass.

SpeakIn: A Multilingual Online Business Learning Platform
The case describes the various factors that led to the outbreak of violence at the iPhone manufacturing facility of Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Pvt. Ltd (Wistron) at Narasapura in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The case first touches upon Wistron’s operations in India beginning 2018 with a facility in the Peenya industrial estate in Bengaluru that assembled iPhone SE and 6s models, followed by the Narasapura plant that began operations in 2020 to manufacture Apple’s smartphones including the new iPhone SE (2020). The case then focuses on the details of violent unrest on December 12, 2020, when thousands of contract workers and some outsiders vandalized Wistron’s Narasapura facility alleging their salaries had been reduced and that payments had been delayed for over six months. The case details the preliminary enquiries initiated by the Karnataka State Labor Department, The Department of Factories, Boilers and Industrial Safety, and Apple which found several violations by Wistron and its contractors. The violations related to, among other things, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; Factories Act, 1948; Contract Labor (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970; and Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct. The case ends with the corrective measures taken by Wistron and the possible direct impact of this event on the company’s future and its supplier relationship with Apple.

Labor Unrestat Wistron’s iPhone Facility in India
The case describes Unilever’s initiative to implement a new AI-powered internal online talent marketplace, ‘FLEX Experiences’. The case focuses on how Unilever followed an entrepreneurial approach in developing FLEX by developing a ‘minimal viable product’ (MVP) and testing it on a small group of employees followed by a phased roll-out across the organization over two years to cover 100,000 employees. The case then touches upon how the AI platform benefited both the company and its employees in various ways. FLEX offered great support to Unilever when business agility became critical for business continuity during COVID-19. During the pandemic, Unilever quickly redeployed about 8,300 employees from businesses and markets that had slowed down to areas where its business was still growing. FLEX reduced internal hiring bias and increased networking that promoted diversity. Unilever employees were able to work on projects for a small or large proportion of time which helped them increase their expertise in a current skill or build new skills and experiences. The company’s overall productivity increased by 41% and there was a 20% increase in internal collaboration time. The case ends with the outlook for Unilever’s future plans to ensure that all employees are reskilled or up-skilled to work within or outside the company or transition to a new model of employment.

Unilever’s AI-powered Internal Talent Marketplace Unlocks Workforce Capacity
The case describes the various initiatives of Aries Group founder and CEO Sohan Roy (Roy) that were instrumental in the Aries Group becoming the leading design/inspection firm in the Middle-East and growing into a consortium of 56 companies in 16 countries by 2020. Roy’s initiatives focused on Model Management Principles and Efficiency Management Systems that helped the management and employees become more committed, valued, responsible, efficient, and productive. The case touches upon Roy’s varied interests in areas like poetry, cinema, theater, and visual media and how he converted his passion in these areas into business opportunities in fields as varied as Maritime, Entertainment, 3D Technology, IT, Media, Multiplexes, Healthcare, and Tourism. It then focuses on the efficiency software system EFFISM, Roy’s latest initiative to improve employee productivity and performance. Developed in-house under Roy’s guidance by Aries International Maritime Research Institute (AIMRI), EFFISM helped employees improve their productivity through proper time management. It also helped the management track and monitor every activity in the Group companies in real-time. EFFISM was also instrumental in bringing down operating costs and effectively managing remote working employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sohan Roy’s Innovative Employee Benefits and Efficiency Improvement Initiatives at Aries Group
The case describes the Training & Development process at Big Bazaar aimed at improving the level of performance of its employees at various levels by overcoming the emerging challenges as a new entrant in the market. It captures the various methods of training and development along with the framework used by Big Bazaar. Big Bazaar realized that customers were not happy with the response they received from employees at the stores. To provide training to the employees, a systematic process was carried out by the Human Resource Department. Identification of training needs was important from both the organizational as well as the individual's point of view. Big Bazaar laid out a detailed process for the training and development of its employees. The programs like Zonal office training and in-store training helped the employees to evolve and had a positive impact on the company's productivity and profitability as a whole through methods like coaching, mentoring and on-the job training.

Training & Development Effectiveness at Big Bazaar
The case talks about the ‘Share the Care’ parental leave policy launched by Procter & Gamble (P&G) India. Under this policy, all new parents including biological parents, domestic partners, adoptive parents, or same-sex couples, would be able to get fully paid leave of eight weeks with an additional six weeks’ recovery leave for birth mothers. The case also touches upon the other employee-centered policies launched by P&G India over the years, the challenges faced by the company, and its future plans.

P&G India's Inclusive HR Policies
The case talks about the feasibility of the four-day work week that was set to be introduced by the Indian Ministry of Labor and Employment as one of the work options in the newly formulated labor codes. In the four-day work week, working hours would be increased to 12 hours per day, with a three-day weekend. The case discusses the possible benefits of the four-day work week and its adoption by several international organizations. The possible pain points of such a proposal are also described. If such a policy is implemented, what the impact will it have on employees and the organization as a whole?

The ‘Four-Day Work Week’ Proposal in India: Will it Work?
The case discusses the initiatives taken by India’s largest Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), to enable its employees to strike the right work-life balance. The case delves into details of HUL’s various Human Resource (HR) policies and explains how each of the policies made the company’s employees execute both work and personal responsibilities better. HUL’s initiatives to cater to the varied needs of its women employees are explained in detail. The measures being taken by the company to keep itself abreast of the changing needs of new-age employees are also mentioned. So, will HUL continue to remain an ‘Employer of Choice’ and a ‘CEO Factory’ in India?

Hindustan Unilever Limited: Providing the Right Work-Life Balance

Unsubscribe | Visit icmrindia.org
Case Research Center, IBS Hyderabad
Reach us at: casehelpdesk@ibsindia.org
© Case Research Center IBS Hyderabad, 2021