‘My aim is to hire and maximise local talent.'

Renault Nissan's director (HR — India) speaks to Brian de Souza on how the Alliance is staffing its operations here, what India offers, and the importance of diversity.

By Brian de Souza calendar 23 Jun 2014 Views icon4548 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Renault Nissan's director (HR — India) speaks to Brian de Souza on how the Alliance is staffing its operations here, what India offers, and the importance of diversity.

What are the challenges that Renault-Nissan faces on the HR front in India?
There are basically two challenges. Firstly, we have to find the right competency. And second, we have had to work on our distribution model following the parting of ways with Hover, our distribution partner.
Coming to the first one, we have had to hire new people with a new profile. The people we want to hire must be those who understand Renault-Nissan’s new strategy. Otherwise, they cannot sell the brand and then they must actually understand the brand itself so that they can understand the marketing and dealer communication which is a key part of the business.
In taking on new people, we cannot rely purely on past experience. Along with strategy, there is the aspect of motivation. It may not be difficult to attract talent but they need to be motivated. Renault-Nissan has a strong image of quality and we want people to believe in us.
Coming to the second issue, it is a challenge to motivate the dealer network and ensure that they are speedy and convincing in their dealings with the target audience.

How many people have you hired for the shopfloor and what is the ramp-up plan?
In terms of the core staff, we have hired about 150 people for both Nissan and Datsun. Our approach to hiring has been decentralised as it was our aim to go quickly and deploy staff as fast we could. Our sales and marketing is in Mumbai.
We also conducted a dealer induction programme – in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore – which was part of the strategy, brand building and awareness.

What is Renault-Nissan’s philosophy when it comes to hiring and retaining talent?
We are an ambitious company and that is well indicated by the investments that we have made in India. Apart from the two companies, we have an R&D company as well and we will continue to invest.
The crux of our hiring philosophy is that we are a company that offers the person real responsibility on the job. To put it succinctly, we rely on people. We look for young people, whatever their background and nationality, and we offer them a step ahead in their careers. We offer a person a long-term career with the possibility of being given an assignment in Renault-Nissan in any part of the globe.

Renault-Nissan is trans-cultural while India is multi-cultural. How does the HR function fit within this matrix?
The function of human resources is global. We are for complementarity and synergies in recruitment, training, and talent management. As the first HR director for Renault-Nissan in India, my aim to hire and maximise local talent. We look for potential talent across Renault-Nissan operations and look for talent within that can be used across either of the brands. We want the best talent in India, who can succeed in India, and are looking for people who can potentially be sent on overseas assignments.
As far as how India’s multi-culture ethos can interface with that of Renault-Nissan, I would say that being in India is an advantage. Indians are able to understand diversity. From India, we can learn how to understand diversity given the different languages and cultures. In that sense, being in India adds to our strength.
From a global perspective, diversity is a great asset. For Indians, working with both the Japanese and French is a new experience for Indians and likewise, it is an experience for people of other nationalities to work here. In our US operations, we have staff who have exposure and training from outside the US.

How important in training in the Renault-Nissan scheme of things and do you have language classes for French or Japanese?
We, as a company, are growing very fast. Training is important because we wish to excel in what we do. Also, training creates new opportunities for all our staff wherever they may be in the world. We have sent our India operations staff to France for training.
As far as language classes go, English is the official language of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

 

RELATED ARTICLES
'India holds the potential to be an electric vehicle export hub'

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar16 Nov 2022

Autocar Professional’s Shruti Mishra and Ketan Thakkar interviewed Horace Luke Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of...

‘We will do better than industry in domestic and international markets’: TVS CEO, K N Radhakrishnan

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar08 Nov 2022

The company expects to produce 10,000 units of the iQube in November 2022 and targets 25,000 units by March 2023.

‘We have gone through multiple cycles over the last few years. We are now on a growth path’: Rakesh Srivastava, MD, Nissan Motor India

auther Ketan Thakkar calendar20 Oct 2022

Nissan has prepared a country-specific business plan for India as priorities and product strategies here are different f...