MUMBAI: Reliance Industries (RIL) has formally launched an internal constitution known as Reliance Management Services (RMS) to define processes and policies for the first time in its 38-year-old history as India’s largest private sector company looks to embrace next generation practices.
RIL unveiled the new framework before 150 top executives at a function held at Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s South Mumbai home Antilla on October 6. As part of RMS, the company also unveiled a series of human resource initiatives including steps to promote the wellness of employees and simplify policies.
A Reliance spokesperson confirmed the launch of RMS but declined to provide details. The sevenhour function saw David Oxley, BP’s senior vice-president who oversees an HR transformation programme at RIL, setting the tone by posing questions to Ambani on the reasons for initiating change.
“Oxley asked simple and quick questions. Mukesh Ambani presented his views,” said a person who is aware of the development. BP has a stake in RIL’s hydrocarbon blocks.
The new system clearly defines the critical policies, processes and execution measures for segments ranging from topics such as HR management to risk management.
RMS clearly spells out what needs to be done within a specified time. For instance, the new framework provides guidelines on the delegation of authority and clearly explains how it should percolate from top to bottom. Similarly, it also explains the processes to detect risks easily and quickly.
The launch of management system RMS will accelerate the pace at which contemporary HR practices are put in place.
Apart from implementing a five-day week last year, RIL has set in motion a series of fresh HR initiatives. Prabir Jha, who joined from the Tatas to head RIL’s human resources function, is spearheading the new initiatives.
These changes are meant to simplify policies, encourage education, promote wellness of employees and reward talent at various levels. The new changes, among other things, include discontinuation of service bonds and extension of maternity leave for six months.
RMS, which was conceptualised out of the learnings from the business transformation initiative launched in 2011, will reshape RIL’s practices at various levels and inform decision-making from top to bottom, sources said.
“Interestingly, the genesis of this transformation is rooted in a deep spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Sangeeta Singh, partner, HR consultancy firm Sanguine Consultants and former partner (HR) at KPMG. “So professionals within are innovating with processes, systems, technology, ideas. It is an invigorating time for the younger professionals as they see senior leadership talent being brought in and new ideas being seeded as they watch.”
Executive committee members such as PMS Prasad, Alok Agarwal, Nikhil and Hetal Meswani and LV Merchant also spoke on the transformation at RIL at the meeting. Ambani summarised the essence of RMS in his concluding remarks.
Historically, RIL was perceived to be managed by the top 100 people as its founder Dhirubhai Ambani nurtured the practice of creating loyal leaders good at executing mammoth projects.
As technology redefined management practices and the attitudes and needs of the younger generation changed, current chairman Mukesh Ambani set the ball rolling for a business transformation initiative. “What got us here will not take us to where we want to be in the future,” Ambani was cited as saying.
Ambani also believes that the average life of the top 100 corporations in the Standard & Poor’s list is 30 years and RIL needs to re-invent itself in a rapidly changing world.
India’s third-most valuable company is making huge investments in consumer-facing sectors such as telecom and retail. The company is planning an investment of $11.7 billion in the telecom business and going for massive expansion of its retail business.
The formal launch of Reliance Management Services is aimed at institutionalising systems and processes as RIL embarks on expansion and diversification while adding more young people to its employee profile.
“This level of change will have a significantly positive impact on employee morale, buy-in of the larger organisational vision, individual productivity and most of all, a sense of belonging with the company,” said Singh of Sanguine Consultants.
(Economic Times, Oct 13, 2014)