Business Today

Relying on HR automation

RCom delivers employee value with its Intranet portal. That differentiator could be its trump card in the tough times ahead.

Anusha Subramanian        Print Edition: February 7, 2010

Scale in any business, they teach you at business schools, is meaningless if it is not matched with productivity. Being in the hypergrowth telecom business, Reliance Communications, or RCom, has seen customer demand soar as at other phone firms. How it has dovetailed that growth with employee aspirations is what makes its story different.

RCom, which runs its business out of a 140-acre campus in Navi Mumbai, does so by offering "scale and scope of opportunities to its employees to grow in their careers", says Rajan Dutta, President, Corporate HR, at the company. Part of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), RCom is India's second-biggest mobile phone services firm with some 92 million customers.

Automation of HR processes at RCom, a company of 53,000 employees, helps reduce stress on the organisation and throws up far-reaching benefits. Every event in an employee's lifecycle is managed on the company's Intranet through its portal, MyWorld. It captures a potential's interest to work at RCom, does regular reviews, productivity tracking, training and even exit interviews.

Job rotations both at RCom and between it and ADAG, for instance, are driven by daily postings. Even in the middle to senior levels, managers have moved to ADAG's direct-tohome television, Big TV, and employees are encouraged to make such movements. Employee interest is kept high in the portal with ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and other top executives blogging on it.

"With automation, the HR department is focussed on development of employees, how to create value for our employees and how to engage them better," says Arup Gupta, Vice President, Corporate HR. RCom was placed second alongside bigger rival Bharti Airtel in the telecom sector behind stateowned BSNL in this year's BT-Indicus-PeopleStrong survey.

RCom, which hired some 4,000 people in 2009, a year that saw industry peers shed flab, has programmes to help its people pursue courses at Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore and XLRI. "High performers are taken through various development programmes, which not only help them in their current role but also help them develop and prepare for future leadership roles," Gupta adds.

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