How Vedanta integrated a Japanese workforce post-merger

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The primary objective was to instil confidence among employees of its newly-acquired Japanese company and create a common vision for all stakeholders. 

In one of the recent additions to Vedanta Group’s portfolio, Cairn India Holdings, a unit of Vedanta Resources, acquired a Japanese firm, AvanStrate Inc. (ASI).

The acquired firm is a global manufacturer of glass substrates for high-resolution, thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels used in screens for electronic devices.

After the acquisition, the next step was to ensure a smooth transition for employees from different geographies of ASI, and make them feel part of the Vedanta family. To ensure this, the Company implemented a well-crafted initiative through the ‘internal growth ACT UP Workshop’, which witnessed the participation of leaderships from Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

The corporate marriage between entities brings its own share of fears, anxiety and apprehensions for employees. “There was a need to create vibrations that would make everyone feel part of one family and work towards achieving objectives at all levels—individual, organisational and the country at large. As an Indian MNC, we tried to bring a difference to those countries where we have acquired businesses by supporting the ambitions of its people and help achieve their goals,” says Praveen Purohit, group HR, leading strategic HR initiatives, Vedanta Group.

Through the two-day workshop, the Company created an environment where employees from different cultures embraced the values and best practices of Vedanta.

Employees shared their passions, ideas and suggestions for business growth. The platform also helped to identify leaders for higher leadership roles, to steer ASI towards the next phase of growth.

The team members embraced Vedanta’s ‘Seven Pillars of Excellence’–HSE (Health, safety & environment) & sustainability, innovation, technology & digitalisation, ethics, governance & compliance, quality, growth, people and giving back to community/society. All the leaders committed to share this with the larger team, across geographies, and leverage this to unlock value.

The workshop helped them adopt an ‘unconstrained way of thinking’, where employees can aspire for bigger goals without limitations. The Company nurtured employees by offering them the trust and resources to fulfil their aspirations.

In fact, Anand Agarwal, CEO, Sterlite Tech, shared his delight to see the passion, motivation and energy echoed by everyone to take ASI towards the next phase of growth. He says, “I am sure this inaugural initiative will enable us to imbibe the best practices of each other, thus mutually learn and grow.”

Praveen Purohit

There was a need to create vibrations that would make everyone feel part of one family and work towards achieving objectives at all levels—individual, organisational and the country at large. As an Indian MNC, we tried to bring a difference to those countries where we have acquired businesses by supporting the ambitions of its people and help achieve their goals.

The employees were advised to make benchmarking a way of life for transformational growth. “Benchmarking, a strong pillar of Vedanta, is critical as the Company needs to compare itself with the best in the market. This helps the Company figure out what needs to be done differently and also implement its best practices, adding value to its business,” adds Purohit.

The brainstorming sessions identified areas for speedy execution, such as production ramp-up, operational efficiency, new product development, customer centricity, people growth and development.

Ideas emerged and ‘cross-functional teams’ were formed with complete ownership and empowerment to drive these projects and growth agenda, fostering Vedanta’s philosophy of ‘thinking together, growing together’. The engagement also added value to the staff’s personal and professional development.

The leadership from ASI were proud to be part of the global Vedanta family, as it gave them the opportunity to adopt its best people practices. This initiative of knowledge transfer will be further implemented under a structured programme through talent exchange programmes and benchmarking plant visits.

In line with the objective to create a talent pipeline, the leadership panel including KPMG representatives from India and Taiwan also identified 10 high-potential leaders for higher leadership roles, through a structured assessment process.

Akarsh Hebbar

The workshop has seen many impactful ideas that will steer us towards the next phase of growth

“We have embarked on an endeavour to be the market leaders in this segment. The workshop has seen many impactful ideas that will steer us towards the next phase of growth,” says Akarsh Hebbar, MD, ASI.

There was a larger scope for mutual learning for other businesses in the Group to learn from ASI’s strength in technology, innovation, housekeeping and discipline.

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