Indrajeet Chatterjee, Group Head, HR, SH Kelkar Group was at the TSCFM campus recently to talk to first-year PGDBM students. Here are excerpts from the interview conducted by the students.
How do you motivate employees in the human resources department and how do you assist them in reaching their professional development goals?
First I would like to talk about professional development in our organization. Professional development in our organization is not restricted to particular departments but professional development for the whole organization. We have a clear focus in terms of training regarding skills, we have competency development programs on leadership, change management and problem solving. Training exercises in our organization are done on a continuous basis & training design is experiential in nature.
In our organization there are continuous learning opportunities & also we invite good trainers to talk and share experience & knowledge with our employees.To motivate our employees we have a performance management system linked to compensation, reward, recognition and we also have special reward programs for our employees.
Can you please explain talent management and how you go about implementing this? What exactly is talent acquisition?
Talent acquisition is all about hiring. Creative talent is our requirement so we hire PHDs in the chemical field, engineers and we will probably be hiring MBAs in the next 2 years. Hiring requires behavioral testing.
What do you think about the current job market situation and do you agree that jobs are easily available?
Jobs are available in the market but we don’t get the right kind of people. You are required to make a beginning and gain experience. It is important to prepare yourself. If you are not able to tell me what you know, how would I come to know? I can’t assume. So the way you present yourself, the way you communicate is very important. Finishing is very important.
What is the biggest difficulty/challenge that you face in your role?
Every day there is a challenge, I handle people outside countries, bright youngsters, seniors. All jobs have multiple numbers of challenges. Lots of challenges gives lots of learning.
As you know the current state of the Indian market, how do you handle the fluctuating prices of raw materials?
It is a complicated process. There are more than 200 chemicals required to produce 1 fragrance, through SAP, material planning & buying. Many raw materials are imported from other countries. Many chemicals are imported like benzyl, ethanol and also many other categories of chemicals.
What kind of challenges are faced by the fragrances and flavors company? And what are the possible opportunities?
Enough opportunities exist already in consumer goods as the population is growing, lifestyle is changing. For example, nowadays, the trend is more about male grooming so more deodorants are sold. In the consumer phase, lifestyle, products & other things are changing. Rural areas have purchasing power today. Thanks to the media, everything is known to everyone. For FMCG companies, the big market is rural India.
Since your company is number 1, who are the major contributor for such a success?
SH Kelkar has got very strong perfumery capabilities in the past 9 decades. There are very few Indian companies in this field. I am proud that we are an Indian company and plus we are ambitious and growing globally. We have a fair amount of professional and talented people in our company. We have a very important aspect i.e. a good vision. We can’t be complacent as we are not in the Top 10 globally. We want to be in the Top 10 and our vision is really very inspiring & motivating.
Do you think standing at the No.1 position is a threat in disguise as you always have to think about maintaining your position?
I don’t see any threat, any immediate threat, as we are always growing, we are growing at 3 times the industry. We want to grow and we are growing and going globally. We are expanding and growing & going global. Our challenge is more of earning respect at a global level.
As most of your products are exported, what are the challenges or cross cultural challenges you come across?
We employ people from various countries. Our root is India but we want to go diverse. Challenges as such would be to understand people from different countries, what kind of products are used by them, what kind of products to create which are relevant for other countries. To understand the culture, consumer taste & preferences, understand the gaps to add value to customer and supplier, to position ourselves is very important. We are fairly established in the international market and we are looking for 1% market share globally in the next 4 years, we are looking ahead for acquisitions.
Since your company is at number 1 how do you maintain that position?
We stand at number 1 in India and I think that we will maintain that but now our aim is to be globally recognized and we don’t even stand at the Top 10 globally so we would focus on that now, probably try to come in the Top 10 globally.