Reliance Industries takes steps for talent retention


MUMBAI: Reliance Industries is rolling out a cocktail of initiatives to retain talent, allowing career rotation and vertical growth within the oil to telecom conglomerate.

Under its Career Acceleration Program (CAP), the group will allow employees to chart their career growth by changing their business functions after a series of tests and interviews. The ‘Step Up’ programme will help an employee grow within the same function, with him getting some mentoring to gear up for the next level quickly.

These are part of the group’s efforts to strengthen the employee-employer relationship as it gears to launch the data-focused mobile telephony business this financial year.

Reliance Industries, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, had made an attempt previously to build talent at a senior level. Around four years ago, it rolled out a programme for senior management, called Reliance Accelerated Leadership Program (RALP).

With the help of consulting company McKinsey, the group had shortlisted around 90 candidates over three years.

They were expected to be mentored by the chairman, top brass and posted in the strategic offices across the group. Industry insiders said it never worked out well and many of those who were shortlisted have quit the programme.

There have been no recruits under RALP since 2013. An executive from the group said there may be a pause, but it will hire for RALP when the need arises. Right now, focus is on building talent from within via CAP and Step Up. “At Reliance, it is our policy to develop young leaders, so that they take on higher responsibilities at an early age.

This is done across all business and functions,” a Reliance spokesperson said in an email. “This objective is achieved through various leadership development programmes such as RALP. In addition, we have launched many other leadership development programmes such as CAP and the Step Up programme,” the spokesperson said.

Reliance Industries takes steps for talent retention

The group is also trying to bring in changes in terms of performance management, work-life balance and give it an image of an employee-friendly employer. This became important especially when it saw a spate of exits from the human resource section last year. In July 2015, Prabir Jha, then the chief human resources officer, resigned and the post was taken up by Hital R Meswani, a cousin of Ambani.

“The feedback from all such programmes has been extremely positive and we stand committed to these programmes and hope to build on the success till date to make them truly industry leading programmes,” the spokesperson said.