How Allcargo is benefitting from cross-industry hiring

In the last three years Allcargo has been consciously hiring people from pharma, telecom, FMCG and even consumer electrical

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Allcargo Logistics appointed Suresh Kumar R as its CEO for India operations and business this year. Kumar who moved from Vodafone Idea, to join Allcargo, comes with extensive experience, having spent three decades of his professional career in the telecommunication industry. Wondering why a senior person from the telecom space should be chosen for CEO position in the logistics sector? We did too, and therefore, we decided to find out more.

Talking with HRKatha, Indrani Chatterjee, group chief people officer, Allcargo Logistics, shares that the Company has been consciously exploring talent from other industries, such as pharma, telecom, FMCG, and consumer electricals. Chatterjee herself was hired from the consulting space!

Chatterjee reveals that although the Company was earlier open to hiring from other industries, it was not really making conscious efforts to do so as it is doing today. Now, while hiring a senior leader, Allcargo emphasises on hiring the best talent, possessing domain expertise, and people- leadership skills. It looks at those capable of building strategies and innovating.

“Bringing in leaders from outside the logistics industry facilitates cross-pollination of knowledge. This helps Allcargo look beyond the already established processes and norms, and challenge the status quo, which leads to greater innovation,” points out Chatterjee.

While hiring from another sector, Allcargo looks at people from multinational companies that have evolved businesses and presence across geographies. The Company also looks to hire leaders who come from big Indian business houses. “Talent from Indian business houses comes with entrepreneurial skills, which we emphasise on,” tells Chatterjee.

Chatterjee highlights the fact that Allcargo does not necessarily look for cross-industry leaders in all roles. While hiring for some departments, past experience in the logistics industry does matter. However, for other roles, the Company is very much open to hiring from other industries.

“Bringing in leaders from outside the logistics industry facilitates cross-pollination of knowledge. This helps Allcargo look beyond the already established processes and norms, and challenge the status quo, which leads to greater innovation”

Indrani Chatterjee, group chief people officer, Allcargo Logistics

The reason why the Company has been focussing on getting people from other sectors, Chatterjee explains, is because “the logistics industry in the country is going through tremendous digital and technological transformation, which is why people who can bring innovation to the processes are required, to bring about a change in the organisation,” tells Chatterjee.

It is not as if the Company is looking to hire senior leaders from other industries to fill only senior- leadership roles. Other middle-management and entry-level roles are also open for cross-industry hires.

It does take time for senior leaders and people at CXO level, who come from other industries, to understand the nuances of the logistics sector. Therefore, Allcargo has a buddy or mentor programme, where senior leaders from the Company mentor the new hires. Chatterjee shares that it generally takes three to six months for newly-hired leaders to understand the nuances of the logistics sector in India.

For other roles, the Company has an induction process where employees are made to understand the logistics sector.

Chatterjee shares that hiring talent from the industry segment which has gone through various changes will add value to the logistics segment.

Allcargo is also keen to hire digital talent from the IT and technology sectors. With this level of openness to cross-industry hiring, the Company aims to become leaner, faster and more innovative in its processes.

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