Cipla re-invents itself: New leadership framework and job bands


The pharma company announced its new credo, leadership essentials framework and global job banding framework as part of its continuing HR transformation.

This is the story of how an 80-year old company can re-invent itself under able leadership, to stay afloat and then emerge successful in a competitive arena, where businesses risk losing out if they stay stagnant.

Cipla just concluded its two-day Cipla Global Leadership Meet, held on 21 and 22 February, in Mumbai. Attended by about 100 global leaders, the meet was where the pharmaceutical company unveiled the One Cipla Credo, which is a big milestone in the larger organisational transformation that the company has been going through.

Along with the credo, Cipla also announced a new leadership essentials framework, and a new global job banding framework as part of its continuing HR transformation. “It is about setting a tone for what our values should be, and to align them with our mission and culture. The One Cipla Credo is about being purpose inspired. It defines our first principles, fundamental essentials required to be the kind of company we want to be,” shares Prabir Jha, global chief people officer, Cipla.

Prabir Jha

As the company talked about winning aspirations in line with its vision, it also articulated a new job- banding architecture, in addition to the credo and the leadership framework. Jha says, “Cipla never had job bands or grades historically, but as we grew we realised that to achieve our aspirations it was important to align everyone to one common job band structure, which then enables careers and mutual growth.”

The leadership essentials framework, Jha explains, focuses on three essentials—people, performance and health. Each of these has two further dimensions. Inspirational and talent mindset come under ‘people’; achievement orientation and systems thinking come under ‘performance’; and under health –which refers to organisational health–there is innovation, change, and enterprise first.

Each of these dimensions , in turn, has five observable or demonstrated behaviours, which help one understand the desirable behaviours and actions required to be an effective Cipla professional. In all, there are 30 such behaviours, which a Cipla leader anywhere in the world, in any business or any function, must consciously work on.

With the new values and frameworks being announced, the HR functioning in the firm will also undergo significant change. “All our downstream HR functions will also now need to be re-aligned to be in line with the new credo, the leadership essentials framework and the job bands,” Jha opines. As a result, the recruitment framework, the performance management systems, the reward mechanisms and a lot more will change accordingly in the coming times, so as to sustain and institutionalise the first principles.

As far as the new job bands are concerned, the company has divided the entire population into three broad categories and six bands from C to H. The entire workforce has been classified into these six job bands globally, and people will get their respective bands assigned and allocated accordingly. Jha shares that the company had to undergo huge mapping exercises to decide on the same.

The new job bands will formally go live from 1 April. The initiative is being called #MiRole project.

This shift is a massive transformation for any organisation to undergo, and by doing so, Cipla is looking to get future-ready and gear up for the coming decades after having spent 80 successful years in the business.


  1. Interesting approach and I believe leadership team would have done a lot of interaction with all the stakeholders to come at this conclusion. Project team would have spend good time to understand business process also but I have few observations on the dimensions chosen for the competency framework like :
    1. Certainly every thing is for the business or enterprise but if it is kept at the helm of leadership drive then nurturing culture of innovation in few cases would be at risk. It is true that for categorizing any behavior under these heads qualifying norms are well defined in advance.
    2.Pharma business requires well defined process, systems and international quality & others norms to compete globally and for that system thinking is required but again it is in contrast to innovation and talent mindset.
    Though these might be my personal observation on the framework since have not seen whole document.

  2. One cipla credo gives not only fruitful thought but also gives way to act with full strength and improve capability day by day to achive mile stones one after another globally.Its not an idea but right path to walk together with induvidual efforts in different simple ways for getting success in our targetes which make us global happiest one cipla family made for healthy world .

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