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RIL launches largest-ever such scheme

The company, which is expanding in high-growth areas including retail and energy, is facing a job market where competition to retain people is becoming difficult, reports Suprotip Ghosh.

business Updated: May 19, 2008 22:48 IST
Suprotip Ghosh

Riding the construction of a new refinery and several retail outlets, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is turning a new leaf in the area of people management. During the last fiscal, it rolled out the largest ever employee stock option scheme (ESOS).

All told, 14,000 employees, constituting roughly 29.1 per cent of the total employee strength, have become the company’s shareholders through this scheme.

The company granted 2.97 crore options to its employees in three tranches in 2007-08, according to the company’s annual report released last week.

This is one of a string of measures that the company has put in place to nurture talent in an organisation that’s facing a huge shortage of manpower to deal with its expansion plans.

The company, which is expanding in high-growth areas including retail and energy, is facing a job market where competition to retain people is becoming increasingly difficult. In early 2007, RIL subsidiary Reliance Retail had rolled out a series of measures to retain its top brass.

Under the new plan, RIL is taking a complete re-look at its existing human resource (HR) processes. Hewitt Associates, a US-based consultant has been appointed to shape up the new HR strategies. Once Hewitt completes its work, new performance management guidelines and career opportunities will be put in place.

“The main objective being to take a re-look at the existing processes and benchmark with the best in each area and work towards going beyond,” said the RIL annual report.

Another overseas consultant, The Hay Group has recently completed job evaluation exercise for employees at RIL’s petrochemicals business. This will shortly be extended to other divisions. The Hay Group’s mandate includes, among other things, restructuring of employee hierarchy.

Attempts are being made to create a talent pipeline. For the refinery, RIL has been training a total of 1,700 carpenters, fitters and plumbers in Jamnagar. “We recruit people for out construction team and train them on soft skills,” said a Reliance official familiar with the development, who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the press.

The company has also hired 1,500 engineering graduates to cater to demand for its expansion plans. For the first time, a business management trainee (BMT) scheme was launched in the last financial year. “This will be an on-going annual initiative,” the annual report stated.