At Dabur India Ltd, a leading FMCG company that manages a diverse portfolio of products – each at competition with a number of companies from skin care to home care products, the emphasis of digital transformation and HR strategy is focused on the millennials, who form a part of both, the customers and employees.
In the past few years, the growth of digital technology has made strides in improving the operational and process efficiencies within the sector. Distributors at the point of sale use software that track the movement of stock; and this data is also registered at the organization’s central repository of data. An ecosystem of new digital technologies is now enabling the company to turn this data into information, which is further analyzed for insights and action points. So, sales persons today have intelligent inputs at their fingertips and can see buying patterns of stores, forecast demand, identify trends and respond real-time to the emerging needs.
There is a shift in how the organization reaches out to the customers in today’s world. The digitally savvy customer is constantly making choices not by watching television ads or reading newspapers, but through channels of e-commerce and m-commerce. This means social networks like YouTube videos, the Facebook pages for the Company and its various brands, app reviews and blogs, all have a powerful influence on the customer’s decisions. One of the HR imperatives as a result of this shift has been to create a digital marketing team that acquires candidates not from traditional FMCG talent but from a diverse set of companies.
Role of HR in digital transformation
From a workplace perspective, it has been important to focus on making Dabur India an employer of choice to attract the right talent. The focus has been to match the comfort level that digital natives are used to. Earlier, the FMCG sector was heavily dependent on pencil and paper work, but this method of operation is almost alien to the new generation. And so, understanding the behaviours and needs of this cohort, who don’t take past practices as given and do not respect hierarchies unless there is a logic applied has been a key change. They also crave for a variety of experiences and want to work with organizations that match their own personal values.
From a technology standpoint, we have recently implemented an end-to-end talent management suite that takes care of the routine work of the HR professionals, so there is more time for data mining and insight generation. HR is no longer a custodian of information that becomes an inquiry center for everyone. With the implementation of a human capital management package, access to information and insights is simpler. A recent example of this was a Dabur car-pool initiative when the Delhi government’s Odd-Even scheme came into force. We created a database of employees’ names, contact numbers and classified their car numbers. In a span of 72 hours, an app was launched through which employees close to the car location could book a seat through the interface. This is the kind of opportunity that digitally enabled co-creation can provide – in this case between the HR and IT departments.
From a change management perspective, it was important to align the inter-generational workforce in the face of digital transformation. This meant forming teams that were a mix of digitally savvy young workforce and experienced workforce. Managers are also sensitized to the need of being more open to the questions from their younger colleagues. And mentoring and reverse mentoring opportunities needed to be created. Digital transformation of our learning and development has also led to the gamification of our learning modules. We are currently partnering with a gamification company to digitize learning content and to make it more engaging.
The digitally savvy customer is constantly making choices not by watching television ads or newspaper but through channels of e-commerce and m-commerce