It is a homecoming for Lalit Kar, who has rejoined Reliance Digital as the senior vice president and HR head. Earlier, Kar had worked with Reliance Digital for five years as the VP & head HR before moving to Mumbai International Airport as VP & head-HR for more than three and a half years. Kar will now be responsible for the entire HR function at Reliance Digital, which includes Reliance Digital stores, My Jio stores and ResQ which is the service partner of Reliance Digital.
The GVK Group is looking for a candidate to replace Kar as the VP and HR head of Mumbai International Airport. For the interim period, Sukumaran PP, group HR head and advisor to chairman and MD, GVK is shouldering all the responsibilities.
Talking to HRKatha, Kar said, “There are tremendous growth opportunities in the retail sector which excited and encouraged me to come back to Reliance Digital.”
“There will be more hiring, development, culture building and learning in the coming days. More new stores will be added and focus will be on increasing productivity in existing stores”
Kar was on a notice period for three months and left Mumbai International Airport on 24 January, 2019 to join Reliance Digital the next day.
Having worked with two different kinds of workforces, Kar explains that there are varied challenges in handling people in different sectors. At the Mumbai International Airport, the challenges were more about maintenance and ensuring that the work continues smoothly without a break, but in the retail sector the challenges are more related to productivity, development and learning.
According to Kar, in the retail sector, there is more of talent building than buying. “In our shop floors we have two types of employees — managers and associates. For the managerial roles we take on MBAs from tier 2 and tier-3 cities. They are put through six months of on-the-job training and 15 days of classroom lessons. After that, they have to appear for a written exam and an interview. Only if they pass these are they deployed at the stores,” shares Kar.
Currently, the Company is planning to add more stores in tier-2 and tier-3 cities and hiring is expected to increase in the coming months. “There will be more hiring, development, culture building and learning in the coming days. More new stores will be added and focus will be on increasing productivity in existing stores,” shares Kar.
Kar did his masters in personnel management and industrial relations from Utkal University and started his first stint as a personnel officer with ORIND (Orissa Industries), where he coordinated the activities of the joint management council, works committee and shop-floor meetings. He also took care of all the small group activities (SGA) and was responsible for managing the lifecycle of 800 contractual employees.
After ORIND, Kar spent 13 years at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), which owns brands such as Safal, Dhara and Mother Dairy.