Article: #43 Eureka Forbes: Bettering the Best

Employee Engagement

#43 Eureka Forbes: Bettering the Best

A classic example of an employee-centric organization which strongly believes in recognizing outstanding performance is Eureka Forbes. Ranked #43 in the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study, the company has been a potent nursery for growing people and developing leaders since its inception, making it one of the best employers in Asia and India.

every employee is called ‘Eurochamp' and consistently engaged and motivated through the four pillars of its unique people development strategy - Earning,Learning,Pride and Fun


Eureka Forbes has even given its people a voice in the running of the organization throught a novel body called 'Euro Senate'


A classic example of an employee-centric organization which strongly believes in recognizing outstanding performance is Eureka Forbes. Ranked #43 in the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study, the company has been a potent nursery for growing people and developing leaders since its inception, making it one of the best employers in Asia and India.

From the outset, every employee is called ‘Eurochamp’ and consistently engaged and motivated through the four pillars of its unique people development strategy - Earning, Learning, Pride and Fun. Designed to enable its people to realize their potential and aspirations, it makes them invaluable partners in progress for they become the drivers of its strategy, forging lasting bonds with customers as ‘friends for life’.

The only limit to employees’ earnings is in their minds as it is their performance which determines their earning. Learning has been institutionalized through the Eureka Forbes Academy of Learning and the sharing of knowledge facilitated through Euroshare, its KM platform. The company’s innovative practices in the area of Recognition & Rewards such as the Circle of Champions have become benchmark best practices in the industry.

Eureka Forbes has even given its people a voice in the running of the organization through a novel body called ‘EuroSenate’. This comprises of Eurochamp representatives elected by Eurochamps from each SBU to share their views in the management of the company.

To know more about how Eureka Forbes motivates and develops its people, People Matters talks to Suresh Goklaney, Executive Vice Chairman.

You just taught 700 students from Harvard your company’s sales management strategies. How are these strategies unique to your company and ensure that your sales employees get due recognition and rewards in their jobs?
Suresh Goklaney: The Harvard case study primarily concentrated on a unique tool that we have institutionalized at Eureka Forbes called ‘Bettering the Best’. This is a diagnostic tool that captures ‘moments of truth’ (customer touch points) and, in the process, helps our Eurochamps better their productivity and overall performance across diverse facets. It assists out leaders in identifying latent potential for development as well as enables them to understand the strengths and areas for improvement of their people.

Compensation for our sales force is squarely linked to performance with fixed and variable components for all levels (the fixed to variable ratio varies for each level). Performance is regularly monitored through our Performance Review and Development Plan (PRDP), which is applicable for all levels of Eurochamps. This unique tool tracks performance not just on sales numbers but on various competencies and developmental milestones as well.

We publish attractive bulletins every month that give regular recognition to the top achievers in sales till date. This generates a lot of excitement as sales people vie with each other to find a place in the coveted achievers’ clubs - Club 100, the company’s most prestigious Champions’ Club which recognizes the top 100 sales people, rewarding them with a holiday-cum-recognition at exotic locales like Dubai, Macau & Hong Kong as well as the Silver Circle Club, which honors the best among the best in sales and where about 1,000 top sales people get personally felicitated with great fanfare by the Top Management. Five time (consecutive) qualifiers at the Silver Circle Club are honored as Living Legends of the company and earn a week-long trip to South-East Asia. 10 time (consecutive) qualifiers are celebrated as Pioneer Living Legends and rewarded with a trip to Europe.

Over the years, these strategies have helped in building and driving the performance culture that Eureka Forbes is known for.

Your company gives rewards and recognition to the sales employee’s right from their 1st sale up to the 500th sale. How do these help in motivating the employees to perform better with each passing sale?
Suresh Goklaney: At Eureka Forbes, we strongly believe that if money was the sole motivator for working with us, we wouldn’t have retained some of our best people. We are firm believers in the saying ‘Success is directly proportional to the love of what you do’. When an employee achieves something extra from others, he needs a pat on the back, an appreciation that lets everyone know that he has done a remarkable job. This is the philosophy at Eureka Forbes that makes our Eurochamps go beyond their roles and raise the bar of performance. The recognition certificates on landmark sales serve this very purpose. They also serve as stepping stones that spur the sales people to cross the next landmark. In fact, each passing sale motivates them to perform better.

The Circle of Champions has been specifically created to provide Eurochamps with a continuous platform to pursue higher and higher levels of excellence. It has had a considerable impact on employee retention. On confirmation, a Eurochamp enters the blue level of the Circle and, as her / his performance accelerates, journeys up to the other levels (bronze to silver to gold), earning greater recognition and rewards at each level. Special unique identification has been designed for each level along with training and learning opportunities to enhance performance and growth. The Circle of Champions helps Eurochamps put their careers on the fast track and lets them bring their aspirations and dreams to fruition.

Recognition and celebrations are often done in a way such that not only the Eurochamps but their respective families get recognized too. This simple objective makes Eureka Forbes a large family of successful and happy individuals.

Eureka Forbes believes in the overall development of its employees and helps the employees in designing their career path.

Ranjan Kumar Ganguly

Ranjan Kumar Ganguly joined Eureka Forbes in March 1981. ‘Ganguly Da’, as he is fondly called, has the distinction of being the first employee of Eureka Forbes. Starting as an Accountant at the time of the company’s inception, he rose steadily up the corporate ladder, ultimately heading Direct Sales for the Eastern Region in 1994. At that time, this region was contributing 7% to the national kitty. Under his able leadership, it grew by leaps and bounds to become the fastest growing region with a contribution of 20% to the national business in 2010.

In the interim, the company underwent a major organizational restructuring in 2000-01 and Ganguly Da took over the operations of all business channels and support functions of the region as the overall Region Head. In January 2007, Ganguly Da was given additional charge of overseeing the Direct Sales operations in the Northern and Central regions as well.

The year 2009 saw him taking on the responsibility of Service Operations for all business verticals. Customer Service, as a business line, needs deep insight and understanding, along with a commitment to value-driven leadership and a high people focus. With the relentless focus that is so typical of him, he has ensured that all these aspects have been firmly entrenched in the Customer Service & CRM functioning, taking EFL to even greater heights.

The host of accolades that the Eastern region has earned over the years bears ample testament to his leadership qualities - Best Region for Accounts four times, Best Region for Service for the last eight years, and the highly coveted Managing Director’s Award for overall business excellence four times in a row! This region is also the first in the company to earn an ISO certification for service operations in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar.

Ganguly Da’s core belief has always been ‘a team with a unified focus can achieve wonders’. And over the years, this belief has been vindicated several times over. He has been instrumental in developing several leaders of high calibre who are now in senior leadership positions in the company. Today, Ranjan K. Ganguly is part of the Core Leadership Team as Senior Vice President, Customer Service and a critical player in strategic business initiatives such as the implementation of SAP across the country.

V. Mathialagan

V. Mathialagan joined Eureka Forbes in July 1986 as a Sales Representative through campus recruitment at the age of 21 after completing his graduation. The concept of Direct Selling was new in India and the culture of EFL seemed very exciting to a youngster like Mathi. His first assignment was to launch Aquaguard in Kerala, which he did very successfully, and within a year, he was promoted as Group Leader. In 1990, Mathi was transferred to Chennai where he became Divisional Head at the young age of 25. As part of his development, he was moved to Trichy so that he could experience rural markets. Mathi proved to be an exceptional learner, absorbing the concepts of profit centre, financial management and leadership development with alacrity.

By the time he was 32, Mathi was heading the business of two states, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as Regional Sales Manager. Recognising his potential and astute business sense, over the next two years, Mathi was given additional charge of other business segments as well - Retail, Institutional and Projects. During this period, he was assigned the responsibility of structuring and documenting salesman training and sales force management as a process. This was also a time when outsourcing call centres to India began and manpower shortage had reached alarming proportions. Mathi was a key player in establishing a structured process of recruiting manpower from rural towns and training them quickly in a scientific manner. This project attracted the attention of Harvard Business School professor Narayan Das. Prof. Das documented the process as a case study in the Harvard curriculum and also invited Mathialagan to HBS as a protagonist.

Mathi’s winning streak continued as he went on to become the National Head of Direct Sales at the age of 42. He was nominated to participate in the Executive Management Programme at the S. P. Jain Institute, Mumbai. His latest achievement is his promotion as Vice President - Direct Sales in 2010; a journey from Salesman to Vice President, a journey that truly epitomises what Eureka Forbes is all about.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture, #BestPractices

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