More than 5 years ago, few would have thought about Idea Cellular emerging as a force to reckon with in the telecom sector
Five years ago, when the Aditya Birla Group (ABG) took control of the telecom business, Idea Cellular was a marginal player with regional presence and was fast losing its shares. But the last few years have seen a sustained sprint in capability building. People Matters spoke with Himanshu Kapania, MD and Vinay Razdan, CHRO of the company about the recipe of their success and the role of their ‘can do’ attitude in achieving such great heights in such a short span.
How does Idea Cellular benefit from being part of ABG?
Himanshu Kapania: The ABG DNA is linked to its people power, value system, CSR and corporate governance. This attachment to the company is the compass guiding us in the right action. This company is not driven by mantras provided by a CEO or a guru. In Idea, decision and action point stretch from the junior to senior team members, cross functional and across geographies and the managerial eco-systems harness this energy.
What is Idea Cellular’s differentiating factor? How do you attract and retain talent in this competitive landscape?
Vinay Razdan: Idea’s journey has been a terrific wonder story. More than 5 years ago, few would have thought about Idea Cellular emerging as a force to reckon with in the telecom sector. Idea’s transformational journey began when ABG took control of the organization in mid 2006. Our Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla, had a clear vision of what Idea Cellular could become. Today, Idea Cellular has a high brand appeal, which is backed by strong performance often outperforming the sector as well. So, there is a basic attraction in people to work with us, but that is not good enough. One of the most important things is what people working within the organization say about the company. You can have a terrific brand story and create a strong external image, but what matters is what people experience about the organization on a day-to-day basis. 40 percent of external hiring is done through employee referrals, which reflects our people’s belief and trust in the company.