Sunday, April 26, 2009

No.7 Eureka Forbes


Industry: Consumer durables
Employees: 9,400
Workplace locations: 243
Business units: 4
Unique roles: 106

AT EUREKA Forbes, employees who have put in two years in the company are eligible to contest an in-house election for ‘councillors’ and ‘senators’. In 2008, 270 candidates contested for 56 seats (42 councillors and 14 senators); they even drafted their own manifestos, and articulated plans to develop their ‘constituencies’. All employees cast their votes through a secret ballot to elect the ‘house of Eurochamps’. Councillors meet once a month, the senate once a quarter, to address employee issues. “The idea is to ensure the voice of our people is heard in the decision-making process,” says Suresh Goklaney, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, Eureka Forbes: “The concept has helped us eliminate barriers in the flow of knowledge and communication across hierarchies.”

For a direct-selling company like Eureka Forbes, employees are its single biggest asset. The company looks to take people with average educational qualifications and turn them into performers through a mix of training and performance-based incentives.The company runs an induction programme for newcomers and a refresher course for front-line employees. In 2000, Eureka Forbes tied up with Narsee Monjee Institute of Management and Higher Studies, and floated an academy to offer management diploma courses to its employees. The academy is still active. The company is now planning to team up with premier B-Schools to co-develop sales-centric training programmes.

Succession planning is also a critical item on the company’s agenda. It is working on a programme that will help it spot potential managers and mould them for bigger roles. So, a front-line sales person can grow to become a Vice-President.

Eureka Forbes, says Goklaney, is highly performance- driven. “Compensation at all levels is performance-linked and the variable component varies from 40-60%,” he says. However, attrition is high. “Although it is 4% at senior levels, it is 30% at the front-line,” says Harsimran Singh, Senior Vice-President-Human Resources & Organisational Effectiveness. Still, she says, there’s a silver lining to this high rate of attrition: “It helps to align the employee base with regular performers.” And that helps the business—and, in turn, the people who run it.

Source : outlook business

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