Target GenNext: Future Group to Tweak HR Systems

Group to build more data-driven, customer-centric processes in line with changing consumer mindsets and behavior

Future Group is revamping its human resource process and systems to build a more consumer-centric and datadriven organisation and achieve strategic business goals for 2020.

Plans include attracting young management talent at top business schools across the country this year and building teams of customer experience, design experts, data scientists and social media managers. The company has also introduced Chairman’s Club, wherein group CEO Kishore Biyani will directly mentor the top 100 employees.

“Our Vision 2020 needs a new people strategy . We have to change with the times. It’s about how you include the new millenials in your system, and deal with changing customer mindsets and behaviour,“ says Biyani. With an omni channel retail strategy and digital payments, the organisation will have to deal with younger customers, he adds. The omni channel strategy is aimed at integrating offline and online retail models to make buying convenient.

To understand young customers better, the retail major, which has around 36,000 employees and a turnover of around . 15,000 crore, is eyeing young management ` talent at top business schools across the country. It hired management trainees from top B-schools like IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta for the first time this year and has hired close to 80 graduates so far with a target of hiring a total of 100. The trainees will be mentored for a year on different projects and roles, before being absorbed in specific departments in 2016.

“We have got an amazing response at campuses and we were present on day zero and day 1 at top B-schools. Our compensation may not match that of top recruiters but we have clicked with students because of the brand connect, our work and values,“ says Kaustubh Sonalkar, chief HR officer at Future Group.

The group launched Chairman’s Club four months ago. The employees, selected after being nominated by their respective managers and a group-based evaluation process which includes personal interviews and psychometric assessments, will directly work with Biyani in realising Vision 2020.

While the Chairman’s Club includes a group of business leaders along with the chairman, at any given time he will have 10 employees under him. If there’s a business goal, there has to be a people strategy and a total rewards strategy, says Sonalkar. “The total rewards strategy is not just about compensation but development plans and other benefits. It’s about assessing people for skills, attitude and knowledge and getting your people ready to meet those goals and targets,“ she adds.

While the group attributes the revamp to changing customer base and needs, changes in people strategies could also be a result of greater online competition and rising popularity of young and dynamic e commerce companies which are eyeing top talent.

Private investors pumped in $2.3 billion into India’s e-commerce companies last year, according to consulting firm Technopak, giving them the wherewithal to attract and entice shoppers and pay competitive hikes to lure top talent.

“The single biggest factor in the changing HR strategy of brick-and-mortar retailers could be e-commerce,“ says Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak Advisors.

In line with the changing business models, e-commerce companies will lead physical retailers to reorient their people strategy to understand digital customers better.Customer behaviours and profiles are changing drastically, and logistics and supply chains need to be restructured for an omni channel strategy.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 24th February 2015

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