As Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) grows its association with global Oil & Gas giant British Petroleum (BP), the area of Human Resources in RIL is receiving a makeover of sorts. The Head of BP’s Human Resources, David Oxley is in Mumbai to review HR practices and working out to introduce large-scale digitization and technology deployment for various people processes. The top management of RIL is equally enthused about this. Prabir Jha, the Head of HR at Mukesh Ambani’s RIL was quoted as saying, “Reliance is looking at an upgrade of its people processes and practices to prepare it for the next wave(s) of growth. It believes that our aspirations will need differentiated caliber of leadership and domain depth in all our businesses. David Oxley, a VP of HR at BP, is spending time with us along with a set of other HR practitioners of BP to help us review and strengthen our HR systems.”
This transition to a more globalized approach with respect to personnel comes on the back of Reliance Industries rapidly expanding on the international front and establishing its presence across many countries. Hence, the company also conceived a program called the Reliance Accelerated Leadership Programme (RALP) in 2010 to groom a new breed of future leaders.
A New Approach:
A big part in the company’s new approach is taking a different look at the vast and diverse talent inits retail and telecom businesses; which are two of RIL’s fastest growing businesses. Most of the employees in these sectors are new-age employees who place a huge emphasis on work-life balance. Many of them include graduates from premier management institutions in India such as the IIM’s and XLRI. Recently, RIL moved to a five-day week schedule from April 1st to align the company’s policies with the changing employee demographics. All of this is done to ensure that it remains a preferred destination for top-draw talent in the country.
Creating a structure where decision-making processes are under control of respective managers has been just one of the key initiatives in places of late. The revamp of HR systems signals a radical shift in its approach towards people as it focuses more on consumer-centric business.
This change at RIL hasn’t gone unnoticed. Many experts at global search firms and recruiting firms feel that RIL is fast latching on to globally accepted best practices on the HR front. The general consensus is that if the company successfully marries its intrinsic strengths such as scale and flawless execution with global HR practices, it will be a great combination going forward.”