Ad Here  
April
May
June
July
August
September
 
 
L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… No Maha Koottani in TN... Shanti and Sadhana through Music Silver Years of Madras Musings Things happen by accident and not by design... Shale gas and its shallow future Secularism and anti-Hinduism Delhi is distant Plummeting profits of PSBs WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Discoms deserve better… Building loyalty through the stomach Tribute – UCAL Selvan… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal A welcome initiative by the judiciary Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Tribute Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Editor's Says An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... EVM is tamper-proof Tatas moving out of urea production... Contrarian cousins Mu Sigma – is no more Tax agriculture Fortune 500 review Polls and promises Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Airlines in India: cost and space Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Road development slows down Tatas moving out of urea production... Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science London, London Narayan Another Indian music maestro at the UN Quality education through the PPP mode Delhi returns to BJP Make standards certification mandatory... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... For whom the bell tolls? Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Banning booze... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Computation of GDP – conundrums continue IAS invades NDDB... Russi Mody – a tribute No engine for this car CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Cutting the nose to spite the face Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Put expensive assets created to use... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Telangana in top gear… He continues the focus on social amelioration Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Nuclear power at the nucleus China invests in India Vibrant Gujarat Fortune for Indian Airlines Wise Presidents Sweeter prospects for sugar Strengthen the base... Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's The balancing act Wanted: a second airport for Chennai The Jan Dhan bonanza Lalu’s envy, India’s pride There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! A friendly business group EEC at the National Media Centre Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad …and of a popular trade leader PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals A think tank for Chennai Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara B H Kothari - a tribute Should we change the official year? Return to king coal for urea... The rise and rise of KCP Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Five star activism stalls development activity Adharma of opposition politics Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Preserving for the future Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna West Bengal: mindless malignancy The rise and fall of Annamalai University More Shakthi to Das’ elbow He saved millions from starvation... Towards speedy justice When small is no larger beautiful.. Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai The brown list of Venkitaramanan Gas is the way forward Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Which side are you, Montek? The star of Spencers is no more A glass full of corruption Funding the un-funded Editor's Notes When Ratan Tata visited SRM Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Gay abandon in pricing The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more More heat than light A professional at the helm of IRDA... Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik The sea- saw battle continues... Protest masters... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? The nuclear option ONGC at KG Basin Muffled voices for merit… Welcome GST When the President was rendered homeless… TIAM turns a full cycle Convulsions in The Hindu Haul over the coal Maximising the micro pricing … Why this malaise in medical education? Where a state respects its litterateurs… The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The Swadeshi Trump Demise of a media baron... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Roaring Ro-Ro facility IPL type auction for VCs? How Air-India loses customs... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya PC’s preference for professionals Multi-faceted Venkat A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Intellectual of rare qualities Moily’s bold thrust Auto components surge… An inexplicable neglect Quality silica from Neyveli Solar thermal shines… Boy, can you beat these? Waning interest in public discussions… A proud Madrasi TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... SoA @ 80 Tribute – M V Murugappan Rahman at CIC CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. An enemy’s enemy is a friend Tough task taking states together Build close rapport with business leaders Mersal magnified Medical costs hit the roof... Poor quality of university VCs Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Where is Rajaji? F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Delhi Chalo... IPL - no surprise this scam TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Music happens Kulandai was a giant Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Solar, solar everywhere … GM Technology at last! MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Small units prefers to remain small... Why land prices zoom in TN? Excel Generators provide the vital back-up TELANGANA at last…BUT Parliament in paralysis... The few handicaps... The why of tax incentives Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Welcome focus on core competence Kinetic Karnataka TGS- The king storyteller The Gulf aviation boom Sri Lanka votes for change Revving up the manufacturing sector Come elections, come advertisements... Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Breaththrough in malaria control Align crops to agro climate endowments… Engineering seats go abegging Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Noble nonagenarians... The power-full Hindujas Paytm karo... A more liberated TN… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Cement prices continue to rise… GNS - 100: our first subscriber Streamlining mandatory third party cover Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Revive development banks... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform A yen for wastage… Sweet news for TN sugar mills Pharma – overdose of copying Readers' Mail Modi and the lady Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital CII projects higher growth… Robber barons everywhere More tributes to GR When nations steal growth from one another… Shipping woes of Chennai companies Fuel for thought This scant respect for Law Permanent secretariat for TN GIM No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Don’t seem to feel the pulse… to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Delhi is distant… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Modi storms Silicon Valley When online building permits work…. Making ‘my Amaravati’... Valli, they are more marginalised Kudos to NDTV... A rich pool of talent not utilised….
 
Building loyalty through the stomach

A problem affecting the IT sector relates to the high rate of attrition. In India even top companies in this sector like TCS and Infosys struggle to tackle this issue. They try to crack this issue by recruiting new hands in large numbers continuously and keep supplies in abundance that will not affect work in progress.

I understand from Bala Swaminathan at Chicago that such a problem is of concern to Silicon Valley as well. He refers to the offer by several top software companies in San Francisco to offer for free or at highly subsidised rates a variety of food as part of the service package. He says it seems to be working well in improving the retention rate.

I travel back six decades. I notice the effectiveness of building loyalty through the stomach.

S Anantharamakrishnan (SA), who pioneered setting up the auto component sector, effectively adopted this practice. SA built his empire after the acquisition of Simpson & Co. Addisons Paints and Chemicals and India Pistons promoted by Simpsons were set up within a couple of years of independence. SA continued with his spree of acquiring a number of companies from the British who were packing up and were in a hurry to dispose off their businesses. In quick time he acquired over a dozen of these that ranged from Addison & Company to George Oakes, Stanes Tyres, Stanes Coffee, SRVS, The Mail… which came under the umbrella of Amalgamations Ltd. In the late 1960s the group had 26 companies that employed over 16,000.

I remember a few factors that contributed to harmonious industrial relations and growth of this conglomerate. One was the ability of SA to spot, encourage and retain highly dedicated business managers. Till the demise of SA in 1964 the group had such leaders in profuse and these were picked across nationalities and states.  If WW Ladden was the initial inspiration and supporter, SA continued to retain and benefit out of the brilliance of other managers like H B Stanford, R K Stanford, E O Austin, V A Watts, M V Venkatraman,  P L Kumar, A K Bose, J V P Rao, M K Raju… who helped not just to expand production and the range of services but, more importantly, in setting up new companies.

The second factor of great value related to the sumptuous bonus offered for the employees. Of course wage levels were low and a bonus of a few months on basic wages did not make a deep dent in the overall earnings of the companies concerned. But this was an important factor to attract and retain workers. This was helped by progressive trade union leaders - R Venkataraman and K Gurumurti.

Yet another factor in this regard relates to the company providing sumptuous food to all employees. This proved to be another big attraction in building loyalty and retaining the workforce. This became the trend and has been practised by other industrial units. The TVS group entered into manufacturing in a big way in 1962. I remember the focus on providing quality food here as well. Same quality of food was served from the chief executive to workers down the line. I remember enjoying such food with Suresh Krishna at Sundram Fasteners, Hosur.

The Hindu canteen also earned a reputation for offering food cheap and an incentive to call on your friend at Kasturi Building.

With increasing costs and pressures on top line, such practices of free food or food at heavy subsidy are under strain. Srihari Balakrishnan of the KG Group of companies in Coimbatore mentions that his companies do not offer free transport or subsidised food and that it does not suffer any disadvantage. With wages no longer low or modest in companies of comparable sizes, such benefits are bound to be under threat. In a way this should be welcome as a corporate can focus on its core activity and not spend energies on managing canteens.

 

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
RELATED NEWS
ABOUT IE
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
 
PRIVACY POLICY
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
 
CONTACT US
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Guindy,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236
EMAIL: indecom1968@gmail.com