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Why Marico is taking notes from start-ups to attract talent

Why Marico is taking notes from start-ups to attract talent

FMCG major Marico is carving out start-up-like units within its traditional business format with different designations, remuneration structures and work culture to attract talent.

Marico, like almost every company across industries, especially after the pandemic, is focusing on building digital-first businesses within its company. Marico, like almost every company across industries, especially after the pandemic, is focusing on building digital-first businesses within its company.

FMCG major Marico is carving out start-up-like units within its traditional business format with different designations, remuneration structures and work culture to attract talent as it ramps up its digital quotient even as new-age companies flush with PE-VC funds are on a hiring frenzy.

 “As we have been building the digital side of our FMCG business for the past three years, we also face challenges in talent attraction and retention,” Marico CHRO Amit Prakash told Business Today.  

Marico, like almost every company across industries, especially after the pandemic, is focusing on building digital-first businesses within its company. The hair-oil maker bought male grooming products start-up Beardo last year and recently acquired a majority stake in Ayurveda-based skin and hair care brand Just Herbs.

Beardo, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary unit, its other Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) businesses and its overall digital transformation unit are all run separately, the firm said.

“This digital talent will work on different work structures, compensations and designations so that attraction doesn’t become a challenge. For instance, the hiring practices, designations and remuneration approach within Beardo are independent of Marico and is designed in a manner that is befitting to the start-up and digital eco system,” said Prakash.

The listed company has long offered wealth creation opportunities through ESOPs to senior management, but it has also modified the salary structures of critical talent in these startup-like verticals a while ago to include ESOPs, Prakash added. “Earlier, people looked at brand value. Now wealth creation option has taken a strong pivot for talent to consider.”

He pointed out that Marico is a flat organisation which doesn’t believe in hierarchy and multiple designations. “We have junior managers, managers and partners. This works in a larger traditional organisation. But in a digital or start up ecosystem, we have also created 8-10 distinct designations to give them headroom for professional growth because that’s what talent from this ecosystem looks at.”

He said some people in the talent pool prioritise the salary over other factors and the firm, which has an attrition of 8-12 per cent, ends up losing talent. “This is a trend across the industry. But we don’t lose our critical talent. Besides, paying more money is not the only way to retain people. Creating the belief this is an organisation they can thrive in over a longer period of time is a larger hook for people to stay for an extended duration,” he said.

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