Aditya Birla Group reshuffles top deck
28th June, 2016
28 June 2016
Mumbai: Aditya Birla Group, with interests from cement to telephony, has reshuffled its top deck by moving its head of strategy, Dev Bhattacharya, as the head of its new businesses such as defence, new ventures, solar business, payment bank and also the group's ecommerce company-Abof.com.
The new ventures include businesses nurtured in the group's incubator 'Aditya Birla Biz Labs'.
Bhattacharya joined the group in 1996 as vice president, corporate strategy and business development. Outsider to the group, Saurabh Agarwal, a veteran investment banker who was working with Standard Chartered Bank as their managing director, Regional Head of Corporate Finance, South Asia will replace Bhattacharya at strategy.
"We wanted to free up Dev's time and delink it from strategy and operations. Defence is getting evaluated and payment banks will come up for us too," said Santrupt Misra, director of group human resources at Aditya Birla and CEO of its carbon black business.
"We are planning to start the payment bank by the middle of 2017," group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla told ET in an interview on Friday.
"They (young employees) do not want to get slotted as an aluminium or steel person. In the last three years we have shifted 10,000 people within businesses in different roles and 4000 across different companies," said Birla said.
Search firms too say agree it helps the group and is a global practice that Indian conglomerates can afford to implement as well.
"GE is known to give employees different roles for their growth and Indian business houses have that chance as well. They can give their employees opportunity to work across businesses and geographies and this becomes an important retention method," says K Sudarshan, managing partner, India for EMA Partners.
The $41 billion conglomerate is planning to enter the defence sector and has begun exploratory talks with overseas companies such as Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defence contractor, US helicopter maker Sikorsky and Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.
The group has appointed one of the Big Four global consultants to help them with strategies and identify partners for its defence foray. The defence foray will also help the group's aluminium maker Hindalco Industries to supply to its defence companies.
O. P. Puranmalka, who was the managing director of UltraTech Cement, before he retired recently, has has now been retained as an advisor for their cement business with a mandate to turnaround the 21-million-tonne capacity purchased from Jaiprakash Industries in February 2016.
The group has also formed talent councils who will look after movements of top business heads across different levels. Birla, Misra and a few other business heads will be part of the Apex Talent Council, which is expected to take stock of talent every few months and define career roles for the top brass.
Amongst the lower order there will be a Functional Talent Council and a Group Talent Council, headed by second rung of management. While the first will look at shifting of talent across functions like marketing, sales, the second will see that employees move across business groups.