Marico India in the last one year has increased its gender diversity percentage from 17 per cent to 24 per cent. Chief Human Resources Officer, Amit Prakash, says that over 40 per cent of the company's hires in the last 7-8 months have been women. However, the FMCG major's diversity agenda looks beyond just having a higher representation of women in the workforce. "There is a need to have an adequate social representation in the organisation so that we are able to understand the needs of our consumers effectively," says Prakash. Therefore, Marico is not only looking at hiring people from the LGBT community or talent which is differently-abled, it is also trying to bring in diversity in terms of educational background.
The consumer goods major which typically hires from B-schools and from engineering colleges for operational roles, is now hiring talent from humanities streams of premier institutions such as St. Stephens, Lady Shriram and St Xaviers. It has also hired retired armed forces personnel who have completed Executive MBA programmes from the leading IIMs. While one typically hires people from the armed forces in administrative roles, Marico has hired bulk of armed force personnel in sales functions. "Since this is their second career, they are not confused and they exactly know what they want to do. This will contribute a great deal to the long-term stability of the organisation," explains Prakash. He also says that people from the armed forces are far more resilient and have sound leadership traits.
The company plans to hire 30-40 specially-abled people with visual and physical disabilities and also those who are on the autism spectrum. "The organisation first needs to be ready to include them. We need to sensitise our staff as well as get the infrastructure ready so that they are able to work seamlessly." Although building a diverse workforce that looked beyond women has been on the cards for a while, the company, in the new normal is looking at further strengthening its gig workforce. "We have hired senior resources who commit 2-3 hours of their time to Marico. With location of work no longer a concern, we are increasingly open to hiring highly talented resources as gig workers," explains Prakash.
Marico has always prided itself as an innovation-led organisation. The company has created six teams which are either working on an innovation or are creating disruptive marketing and sales strategies. "The disruption could either be disrupting in a particular geography or scaling up a nascent category in three years." The Rs 7,439 crore FMCG major has a work of 2,300 people, of which 1,500 are in India.