Last year, Piramal Enterprise’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance (PCHFL) acquired debt-ridden Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL). With the merger of PCHFL and DHFL, the former also absorbed close to 3000 employees of DHFL.
Talking to HRKatha, Vikram Bector, CHRO, Piramal Enterprises, shares that the integration of DHFL employees started four months back and that it will take a full year for all employees to assimilate and fit in at Piramal culturally.
To make this happen, the company has initiated a programme called ‘Project Sangam’ which focuses at cultural and business integration of DHFl employees.
Earlier, the employees at DHFL were in an uncertain state, surrounded by a lot of ambiguity. However, things changed ever since the employees became aware of Piramal taking over, because they trusted in the brand and the values of the company.
During its bad times, DHFL saw a lot of attrition. The environment was quite negative. “The staff strength of DHFL fell by about 50 per cent during the resolution process,” says Bector.
To take people into confidence, the company had very early on announced that there will be no layoffs. Nobody lost their jobs as PCHFL absorbed all the employees of DHFL.
As the employees of DHFL had not received any increment for almost a year,“ we also announced 6.5 per cent increment in the initial phase of the merger process,” shares Bector.
When DHFL was going through its bad phase, it had also mobilised a lot of people internally. Many sales professionals had been moved to recovery. In the integration process, Bector reveals that PCHFL frequently conducted surveys to check the pulse of the integrated employees. Through the survey, Piramal discovered that the DHFL employees sought professional growth. Therefore, it was decided to “to seamlessly shift erstwhile DHFL employees into the new entity without any loss of jobs”. Additionally, “370 employees were assessed and onboarderd into new roles at PCHFL,” enumerates Bector.
“We sent a message to all employees that we are a ‘listening organisation’, willing to listen to them and shaping the culture, retaining good practices and working on any areas that need improvement”
Vikram Bector, CHRO, Piramal Enterprises
The survey also revealed that the people wanted to work on different and newer products. Bector is very confident that the newly-integrated employees are very excited to work with the company as they have a diverse set of financial products from home and property loans to used car loans.
The initial feedback from the employees of DHFL conveyed that they wanted to retain certain cultural aspects of their previous company, which were namely, opportunity to grow, collaboration and fast delivery of results. “Establishing a feedback channel allowed us to know our newly integrated people better. It also sent a message to the employees that we are a ‘listening organisation’, willing to listen to them and shaping the culture, retaining good practices and working on any areas that need improvement,” asserts Bector.
Another major part of Project Sangam was to establish various communication channels. The senior leadership organised a number of town halls with the integrated employees, to provide everyone with a clear vision of the way forward. “Often, in this process people are very unclear about what’s next. Town halls, video messages and news letters from senior leaders helped employees understand the company’s vision, the growth plans and new ways of embracing the phygital ways of working,” states Bector.
New hiring plans
Going forward, PCHFL also has plans to hire more employees, majorly for its retail operations. The Company has already given 2000 offers with more focus on generating employment in tier-III and tier-IV cities of the country.
Piramal Enterprises has been using the interviewless technology for the last six months. The Company is leveraging this method to hire frontline employees in roles such as that of relationship managers and senior relationship managers. Candidates are hired if they pass the automated tests, based on their responses. There is no face to face interview in the hiring process.
As per Bector, PCHFL has already hired 1400 people via this process.
For hiring senior-level employees, such as zonal and regional managers, Piramal Enterprises is planning to introduce video-based technology in the hiring process.
In this technology, the candidates are posed certain questions after which the algorithms analyse their responses and read their facial expressions to draw certain readings or points for assessment.
Bector reveals that as of now it is just a pilot project and will be formally introduced soon at PCHFL and the pharmaceutical business at Piramal Enterprises. This video-based technology will work offline and is being introduced to reduce the one-on-one interview time.
In the new talent-acquisition process, 25 per cent people will be freshers or people with very less experience. The hiring activity will take the employee strength of the newly-merged company to 5000.