Sunday, April 26, 2009

No. 2 Hindustan Zinc Limited

Hindustan Zinc

Industry: Metals
Employees: 6,363
Workplace Units: 12
Business units: 13
Unique roles: 221

OUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE,’’ SAYS AKHILESH JOSHI, CHIEF Operating Officer, Hindustan Zinc (HZL), the world’s second largest integrated zinc and lead producer, “is to attract the best talent to some of the remotest areas of the country, where our mines are.’’ Fortunately, for HZL, a part of the global Vedanta Resources Group, the task hasn’t been difficult, thanks to the company’s employees, who have been its “brand ambassadors” and helped rope in talent. Industry-topping salaries and a great work culture have also helped.

HZL’s expansion plans and global operations have added to the lure. Production capacity of zinc and lead (metals) has jumped from 204,000 tonnes in 2002 to 754,000 tonnes in 2008, and is expected to touch 1 million tonnes by 2010. Mining capacity has also increased from 3.45 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2002 to 7.1 mpta in 2008.

For HK Mehta, Vice-President, Human Resources, HZL, the company’s policy of empowering individuals and giving them the freedom to carry out their responsibilities makes HZL an exciting place for its 6,363 employees. Its attrition rate of 12% is much below the industry average of 18%.

There’s also the lure of global career growth opportunities in other Vedanta group companies, to get familiar with cutting-edge technology at mines and smelters across the world, and to add educational qualifi cations. HZL helps science graduates in the company become engineers. It has tied up with the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, located within its Chanderiya smelter plant complex, for a three-year process-engineering course. Chosen employees can study alongside work, with the company partly footing the course fee.

This has benefited many, including 43-year-old Abdul Waheed, a science graduate from Kota Government College, Rajasthan. Waheed joined HZL in 1991 as a plant operator. Today, the Associate Manager, soon to become an engineer, has set his sights even higher. “In 18 years, I have got five promotions and my salary has more than doubled,’’ says Waheed. Like him, as many as 261 workmen have become executives from 2004 onwards.

Every year, HZL selects 50 ‘stars of business’ based on their performance and puts them on the fast track of growth and development.These stars become heads of ‘strategic business units’ in five to six years,occupying the second-in-command position in one of the verticals of the plant.This is a jump that would have taken 15-20 years earlier.

Sunipa Roy, 28, is one such star. A graduate from Regional Engineering College, Durgapur, she is already the strategic business unit head of the leaching and purification division of Chanderiya smelter complex, commercial unit-II, after just five years in the company. Her salary has risen from Rs 14,000 per month to Rs 75,000, not to forget the bonuses— three times a year—and other generous perks.

There is active employee interaction. “Every quarter, junior members of the company interact with the group Chairman, Anil Agarwal, to understand the vision and philosophy of the company,’’ says Mehta.CEO workshops are also common.

As MS Mehta, CEO, Vedanta Group puts it: “We provide employees a vibrant working environment that helps them to innovate, discover their potential and realise their professional dreams.”

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