The $4 billion group, which was once a pure play pharmaceutical company, is now also spread across finance, real estate and information management. The business house is planning to demerge publicly listed Piramal Enterprises' healthcare and finance entities into independent companies. It is looking to get into cement manufacturing through buyouts, according to a news report by ET. Piramal Group hired global consultancy McKinsey and Aon Hewitt in 2014 to help create new leadership programmes aimed at preparing middle and senior management professionals for future leadership roles. The group also restarted its management trainee programme around the same time.
The conglomerate selected 115 professionals for its middle management programme called Ascend and 35 professionals for the senior management programme called Summit. The programmes that started early this year hope to make senior managers better coaches and mentors, while giving cross functional exposure to middle managers. Piramal is looking at a similar programme for its junior management too. "It is a large scale overhaul of our human resources strategy. We have changed the way we look at new talent, existing people, new recruitments, compensations and rewards & recognition. It is a lot more aligned with business and much closer to market practices," said Piramal. She did not specify the expected number of new leadership roles in the future. The group is also working with business arms to come up with a customised learning and training plan for employees which will help the business achieve its goals for the year. It is also training employees to become better interviewers. "Conglomerates are getting more serious about leadership development because cost of leadership failure is very high. They want to understand who are the leaders who can run new businesses, established businesses or engineer a turnaround," said Rajiv Krishnan, partner, people advisory services at global consultancy EY.
Piramal Group is the latest Indian conglomerate to revamp its human resource and leadership planning strategy to meet the needs of a highly competitive job market amid a volatile business environment. Tata Group launched an initiative last year to create a pipeline of future leaders who will be mentored by multiple chief executives for up to two decades. Tata is also revisiting skill sets required for its future top leaders. The group already runs Tata Administrative Services, corporate India's oldest leadership training programme.