AB InBev India, the beer and beverage company has embarked on a transformative journey that places a strong emphasis on talent development and sustainability. This journey is encapsulated in its ‘100+ Challenge’— an innovative talent-attraction programme that empowers students to drive innovation and tackle real-world challenges.
Tanvi Rohatgi, people director, AB InBev India, states, ““AB InBev has a strong focus on talent development, offering various programmes such as the global management trainee programme (GMT), sales volunteering programme (SVP), marketing volunteering programme (MVP), supply chain volunteering programme (SCVP) and future leaders programme (FLP), to nurture talent in different areas.””
Launched this year, the ‘100+ Challenge’ aims to bring together various stakeholders, including government and industry, to address sustainability issues. However, when it was realised that youth were missing from this initiative, it was expanded to include youth participation, inviting the best minds to solve problems.
The primary purpose of the initiative is to identify and engage top talent and leverage their potential to address significant challenges. It has successfully engaged 13,000 students from 30 premiere colleges.
When attracting talent through the ‘100+ Challenge’, AB InBev India has specific requirements in mind. It looks for individuals who possess original ideas and high levels of curiosity and ambition. Additionally, when forming teams, it emphasises not only collaboration but also diversity and inclusivity, aligning with its top principles.
“Before recruiting new talent, we have a comprehensive orientation programme in place to help them understand our organisation’s values, culture and people. As part of this programme, there is a specific session dedicated to sustainability during which we provide an overview of our sustainability initiatives and invite participants to engage in discussions while enjoying some refreshments”
Tanvi Rohatgi, people director, AB InBev India
Talking about the company’s hiring strategy, Rohatgi shares, “This initiative serves as the initial touchpoint before we engage with students on campus. While our primary focus has been on-campus recruitment, we have expanded to include internships and talent programmes. We understand that building relationships and nurturing talent goes beyond this initiative, and we aim to create lasting connections.”
The evaluation criteria that majorly guide the company’s selection process include assessing whether participants are addressing sustainability concerns and contributing to the community.
“Once selected, they begin developing their ideas. Those who are shortlisted are paired with mentors who guide them through ideation, challenge their decisions and provide valuable insights. Mentors continue to support participants throughout their journey.”
After the selection process, the objective is to not only recognise winners but also provide them with opportunities within the company. Top performers have the chance to present their ideas to an external jury, potentially leading to future leadership roles within the organisation.
Rohatgi reveals, “Before recruiting new talent, we have a comprehensive orientation programme in place to help them understand our organisation’s values, culture and people. As part of this programme, there is a specific session dedicated to sustainability during which we provide an overview of our sustainability initiatives and invite participants to engage in discussions while enjoying some refreshments.”
The aim is to continue being a magnet for exceptional talent. We invite individuals who align with the values and culture, providing them with the flexibility to pursue various avenues within the organisation.
AB InBev India’s ‘100+ Challenge’ is also closely aligned with the increasing demand for green jobs and sustainability. The company has a dedicated team focused on sustainability whose work goes beyond mere desk-bound activities. This team collaborates with farmers, striving to innovate and assist them at every stage of the supply chain. Whether it’s implementing smart agriculture techniques or participating in climate-change initiatives, its commitment to sustainability is evident.
One significant reflection the company has had from launching this initiative is that sustainability is often seen as a ‘good to have’ rather than an integral part of business operations. It conveyed this feedback to all the finalists, emphasising the importance of integrating sustainability into their initiatives.
Another observation is that, while initial ideas may be promising, scalability is a critical factor in the success of any venture. “We’ve noticed that some ideas may have limitations in terms of growth potential. Therefore, we encourage participants to consider factors such as supply-chain security and resource allocation to ensure long-term success,” explains Rohatgi.
However, it’s important to note that the company’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond this initial orientation. Rohatgi emphasises, “Every person who joins our organisation undergoes a detailed orientation programme. Sustainability is a core element of this programme, where we highlight its significance not just in the short term but as a fundamental part of our long-term vision. We share our commitment to sustainability, highlighting our dedication to improving the lives of farmers over the past century.”
The company strongly believes that sustainability efforts aren’t isolated and that they have a ripple effect throughout the entire supply chain. This recruited participants works closely with its procurement, supply chain, logistics and marketing teams. In essence, working on sustainability within the company can be seen as a green job itself. Every member of the organisation contributes significantly, in some capacity, to the broader sustainability goals pursued by AB InBev India.