Article: Interview: Jubilant FoodWorks & Talent management


Interview: Jubilant FoodWorks & Talent management

In an interaction with People Matters, Biplob Banerjee, the Executive Vice President - HR and CSR at JFL talks about the talent challenges, recruitment strategies, automation and other HR practices which are synonymous with success.
Interview: Jubilant FoodWorks & Talent management

With Domino’s and Dunkin Donuts franchise, Jubilant FoodWorks Limited is one of India’s largest and fastest growing food service companies with a network of 1,125 Domino’s Pizza restaurants across 264 cities (as on July 17, 2017), and had 55 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in India (as on July 17, 2017). And they couldn’t do it without the right talent. 

In an interaction with People Matters, Biplob Banerjee, the Executive Vice President - HR and CSR at JFL talks about the talent challenges, recruitment strategies, automation and other HR practices which are synonymous with success.

Biplob joined Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd. in May 2015. He has over 19 years of experience in both enterprise and consumer space in India. He is an alumni of XLRI Jamshedpur with Post Graduate Diploma in Personal Management and Industrial Relations.

What are the talent challenges in your industry, especially when you have to deal with a multigenerational workforce? (especially when your talent is two types – one who are customer-facing, as in store-managers, and other at your corporate offices)

While there may be few different challenges at restaurant front and corporate office, however the major ones are common in both places. It is very important to understand the true feeling of employee w.r.t. aspiration, state of mind, satisfaction with job, development opportunity, emotional and psychological support, support from supervisors,  opportunity to have fun, good compensation, promotion opportunity, self-development, recognition for a good job done, ability to contribute etc. Millennials may have few more expectations. Our focus is always to understand, manage and get everyone to drive the big purpose of the organisation. 

What are the different levers/dimensions to re-assess to create an environment for this workforce to work?

We feel that inspirational leaders and technology are the two critical pillars in this direction. At JFL, we are a team of around 30,000 spread across 264 cities in India. Firstly, it is critical to have inspiring leaders and not just good leaders to lead, drive and deliver. The ones who have exceptional people skills to align and motivate while taking everyone along at the same time. Secondly, with the rapid digital disruption and technological advancement, it becomes imperative for a customer facing company to adopt and leverage latest technology at the same pace which includes areas such as HR, IT, SAP or attendance monitoring apps. Our focus is to leverage these in the best way.

What has been the distinct recruitment strategy which has helped JFL to stand out?

Our strategy is to recruit people who have customer-centric orientation and the ones who care for customers. This may sound like a cliché but everyone at JFL has NPS target (Net Promoters Score share full form). We carry out an extensive assessment to attract a certain kind of candidates who are humble, understanding and loyal to processes and practices to provide the best customer experience. This also sometimes leads to rejection of candidates who may be bright and intelligent but do not suit our customer centricity. Moreover, we provide opportunities for career development and not just regular promotions. Therefore, a frontliner may become a CEO and we have witnessed such cases in the past as well. In fact, there are very few industries or organizations which offer such career growth. We have many employees who joined JFL at the starting of their careers. They have stayed with us for long tenures and done well in all spheres.

A lot of the processes in the food industry has been automated. How has it affected the employability at JFL. And how are employees being re-skilled in the automated processes.  

It’s a continuous journey. With every technological change such as ERP, HR app etc we follow the practice of reskilling and redeploying. Our HR Team is also part of all relevant events and sessions that help them to understand the impact of technology.

What are the biggest benefits of JFL employees?

At JFL, employees get the opportunity to develop cross-functional capabilities along with key business dimensions so their learning is not just limited to their own function only. They receive great exposure and learning opportunities, especially in digital transformation. They can even approach the CEO directly for more learning and guidance. We have an open access culture. Lastly, they get to work with a brand with universal appeal.

What’s the attrition rate at JFL.

We have an attrition rate of 8% at the restaurant level and 3% at the corporate level.

JFL last year had introduced a programme about differently-abled employees to be able to handle the managerial roles. Also, the company had planned to have one differently-abled worker in tier-1 city outlets that have 25 or more workers. Has it been implemented? If so, then what has been the impact/implications in your organization. 

The progress in this program has been encouraging and we have been able to cover 50% so far. We are yet to reach a milestone due to need for advanced training. Realising this we have revised the process and are expecting to witness good progress going forward.

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Topics: Technology, Recruitment, C-Suite

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