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Glenn P. Heidenreich, 53, Director, Human Resources (Asia Pacific & the Middle East), DHL, speaks on retaining key managers in high-turnover industries.

Hire for fit.

We, at DHL, use a competency-based model for hiring. This checks value-fit and functional-fit. We have listed behavioural and managerial competencies for 47 key positions across the region and use a customised selection guide that uses a combination of diagnostic tools like occupational and reasoning tests, and the competency grid. This not only improves the quality of recruitment and extent of retention but also brings down costs in the long run, by cutting down on expensive mid-career hires.

Invest in talent.

Our in-house talent management programme-the Management Development Planning Review-uses both the sleight and the pool method of managing talent. The first one identifies fast-trackers and develops them consistently, while the second looks at large groups of managers and creates talent bands. Subsequently, the managers are exposed to cross-functional rotations, learning programmes, and off-line support like mentoring. This has resulted in a 20 per cent reduction in turnover in the last two years.

Customise hr systems.

For a global company like us, creating and using global templates for functions is important. But, we always customise for individual markets. For instance, in India, hr interventions need to be tweaked to suit a market, which has seen rapid business and technological changes and a talent boom in emerging areas like software and e-commerce. Our local mentoring programme has been hugely successful in retaining key employees at the entry-level. We have had one exit in three years.

The bottom-line: create and retain a band of trained, motivated, and incentivised employees who will grow with the company.

Best CEO Picks

CEO;; Delhi/Mumbai; MBA with 8-10 years of relevant experience;, P.O. Box: 154, GPO, New Delhi-110001.

CEO; e-RPG; Mumbai; Engineer with MBA having 12-15 years of experience in automobile-related (Retail/Service/Autocare) industry; e-RPG, RPG Tower, Andheri Kurla Road, J.B.Nagar, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400059.

CEO; The Vysya Bank; Chennai; CA/MBA with relevant experience; The Vysya Bank, 18, Temple Avenue, Srinagar Colony, Chennai-600015.

Best Marketing Picks

Head (Sales & Marketing);; Delhi/Mumbai; MBA with relevant experience in the industry; P.O. Box: 154, GPO, New Delhi-110001.

General Manager (Marketing); e-RPG; Mumbai; Graduate/MBA with 6-10 years of relevant experience; e-RPG, RPG Tower, Andheri Kurla road, J.B. Nagar, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400059.

Executive (Marketing); Netlink Ranve Infotech; Delhi/Mumbai; Female graduate with relevant experience; Netlink Ranve Infotech; C-1/19, S.D.A., New Delhi-110016.

Best Overseas Picks

Head (Business);; US/Europe/Asia Pacific; MBA with 4-5 years of relevant experience; Chem Bazaar, 213-215, Dimple Arcade, Asha Nagar, Kandivli (E), Mumbai-400101.

Finance Controllers; Large integrated cotton textile major; Indonesia; MBA with 15 years of relevant experience; RM Associates (India), 217, Swapanlok Complex, S.D. Road, Secunderabad-500003.

Head (Production Planning & Control); Large integrated cotton textile major; Indonesia; Relevant qualification and experience in the industry; RM Associates (India), 217, Swapanlok Complex, S.D. Road, Secunderabad-500003.


Towards the end of 1999, future-oriented magazine, The Futurist made 10 forecasts about the 21st century. Here are four that relate to health and healthcare:

  • The number of centenarians worldwide will increase from 135,000 to 2.2 million by 2050.
  • By 2010, bio-monitoring devices that resemble wristwatches will provide users with up-to-the-minute data on their health status.
  • Exercise will promote mental well-being and a healthier body, helping people fight pain, depression, and chemical dependence.
  • The 21st century will see widespread infertility and declining birth rates.

Add to these predictions, the biotechnology revolution, which has created employment opportunities for researchers, clinical technologists, and health economists. The demand for infotech specialists in healthcare, with medical informatics now being an integral part of patient care, research, and healthcare administration, has also skyrocketed. Besides, positions have emerged in telemedicine, the maintenance of healthcare databases, and the management of tech-enabled modern hospitals. According to a study by Bangalore-based Asian Healthcare Services, around 2.5 lakh positions in healthcare will be created in India alone in the next two years. If these are not exciting opportunities, what are?


All set for a New Economy career in healthcare? Check whether you have the right skills.

A genuine sense of desire to help other people. If your primary goal is to accumulate huge sums of money, other professions could offer better choices, though healthcare is a fairly lucrative career today.

Strong service-orientation and patience, with an eye for detail.

If you are at the management level, the ability to work with people, build, and manage teams is also needed. Strong survival skills are a must.

  • An affinity for technology. As a profession, healthcare is increasingly becoming technology-driven and the demand for people with technical skills who can operate sophisticated equipment has soared. Engineering, too, is playing a majorrole in advancing medicine and making diagnoses quicker, easier, and more reliable. Even if you are not a techie person, a good understanding of technology is essential.

An interest inventory or test can help you pinpoint the healthcare careers that would be a good fit. These tools will help you to determine whether you possess the qualities necessary to enter the profession or make a successful mid-career transition. Talk to professionals and visit facilities that employ various healthcare personnel, before you decide to sign on the dotted line.


The top-level: CEOs, CFOs, heads of operation, heads of marketing, heads of technology, heads of engineering, heads of hr, heads of purchase, heads of clinical services, heads of medicine, and heads of nursing.
Qualifications: Requisite functional degrees along with a MBA or a degree/diploma in hospital administration.
Compensation: Rs 18-45 lakh

The middle-level: General Managers/Vice-Presidents in accounts, marketing, sales, relationship management and administration, hr, purchase, technology, engineering, and services. Senior doctors, nurses, dieticians, and clinical technologists.
Qualifications: Requisite functional and medical degrees. An MBA for management positions.
Compensation: Rs 8-18 lakh

The lower level: Officers/executives in finance and accounts, sales, marketing, technology, engineering, and administration. Junior doctors, nursing assistants, and clinical technologists.
Qualifications: Requisite medical and technical degrees: B.Sc./B.E./ B.Com.
Compensation: Rs 2.5-7 lakh


Horlicks Hangovers
The sleepy giant probably needs to wake up and smell, well... Horlicks, if not coffee. SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare (SKBCH), the very stiff-upper-lip British FMCG major, has just lost its marketing head, R. Shyam Sundar. Sundar, widely regarded as a whiz-kid, has been responsible for steadily building volumes in key product categories such as biscuits, and for SKBCH's much-touted rural marketing foray.

This is not the first time the firm has lost an ace marketer. Some time back, a star manager handling the Crocin brand joined the Bangalore-based Now, Shyam will join the high-profile insurance company New York Life. SKBCH, often berated for its conventional and even slow response to changing market forces, has been talking of providing 'exciting growth opportunities' to its best and brightest. Clearly, that's not happening. What can we recommend, other than a sip of its own rejuvenating brew?

To each his own...
Another internal customer has moved, this time from Dabur India Ltd. Its hr chief, Yogi Sriram, who joined the company with a posse of other professional managers, including ceo Ninu Khanna from Colgate-Palmolive and SBU head Deepak Sethi, who came from Cadbury's, has just gone to Western shores. He could be joining Larsen & Toubro, which is on a major hr refurbishment drive. Yogi, who had a long innings at abb India and left in the midst of restructuring, probably did not fit in with the family-driven culture of Dabur, say internal sources. To each, his own, we suppose...

The high-profile hr chief of the Tata Group, Manab Bose, is on his way out. Though he has ostensibly been posted to Bangalore to carry out corporate restructuring, he could soon be joining the academia at iim-Bangalore. Various reasons-including lack of cultural fit-are being cited as the cause of the imminent departure. Corporate India's loss and academia's gain?

Pepsi's Cup of Woes
It's woes for the cool beverages major as well. Peppy Pepsi has trouble brewing, with Customer Development Director Chitra Talwar, planning to quit. Chitra, a seasoned professional who spent 15 years at Britannia before joining Pepsi, was reportedly unhappy at the premium placed on the marketing function (and the functionaries) and the resulting differential treatment. The company, so far, has denied her resignation plans but sources say that the hunt for a replacement is on. The lady has not disclosed her plans. A classic case of not treating the internal customer well...

Extension Unlimited
While on Pepsi, head honcho P.M. 'Suman' Sinha, is staying on for two more years. The reason: of course, his proven track record and a long, fruitless search among Pepsi's ranks across the globe and in the general corporate firmament, for a replacement. Should we say cheers?

Poaching, No Holds Barred
At Seagrams India, too, it is celebration time! In anticipation of good days with the removal of quantitative restrictions, the company is fortifying its ranks through unabashed poaching. It has just appointed the veteran Mohan Shukla as head of corporate affairs. Shukla was poached from Voltas where he served for 19 years in various capacities, including liaising with the government. Its new division, Key Accounts, which will handle all the foreign brands, will be headed by Prathmesh Mishra who comes from Inertia Industries of 'Sandpiper' fame. The cup, or the glass, truly runneth over...


After completing graduation, I paid nearly Rs 1 lakh to gain admission to a Microsoft certification course run by a Bangalore-based software company, where I also worked as a trainee and earned a small stipend. After my course, I was placed in a company which subsequently closed down. I lost faith in software as a career option and tried my luck in MBA, but failed. What should I do now? Should I continue with software ? Or should I try for an MBA from a second-grade B-school?

These things do happen. Many institutes do create a lot of hype about placements, but sometimes fail to deliver. But there is nothing to be disheartened about. If you are interested in software, you should stick to it-you may need to upgrade your skills, which you can do with a part-time course. Doing an MBA would mean another two years of study, and would set you back career-wise. Also, doing a course from a lesser-known institute would limit your placement prospects and you may be disappointed all over again. But the question is, do you have an interest in software or management? Be sure to answer this truthfully.

I am 19 years old, pursuing graduation in Economics at a prestigious college in Delhi. I have recently got through a hotel management course. Should I join the course or should I wait to complete graduation, and then do a two-year diploma in hotel management? By then, I could also have other career options, though I think I would like to have a career in hotel management. I am totally confused and want your advice.

If you are sure about a career in hospitality, then this may be a good time. What is the guarantee that you will get admission after your graduation? Do you want to take the chance? However, if you want to keep your options open, you should continue with your graduation-though I must warn you that eventually you will have to pursue some post-graduate course-a mere bachelor's degree may not get you the best career opportunities.

I am 30, and am presently employed with a prestigious television network in the South as a computer programmer and Web designer. I am an MCA and have also completed a course from NIIT. Now, I want to go for software development. How do I go about it? Do I need more qualifications? Should I do an MBA? Or should I just start job-hunting? Where should I apply and how do I get a break if I want to go abroad?

Software jobs are widely advertised both in print and on the Net. You need to choose an organisation which sends people abroad. There are a lot of jobs available at the moment. You have an MCA and that should stand you in good stead-all you need to do is to update your skills about new developments in technology, which can be done through short-term programmes.

I am a senior government official. I have held administrative positions and have good operational skills. I have also been interested in infotech and have done, on my own initiative, some computer courses, including one from NIIT. I want to retire early and set up a chain of computer education as well as services centres, primarily in North India. Would the market support such an endeavour? How do I get capital and help regarding course-content as well as the range of services?

Computer education at the moment seems a lucrative proposition. You do need capital for investing in hardware and real estate. You need to partner with someone who has the capital or go to a finance company for a loan. However, since you have no experience in the field, it may be difficult for you. Instead of going on your own and competing with well-known players like NIIT or Aptech, you could become a franchisee of theirs. The companies then support you in terms of marketing, course design, training material, and the selection of trainers. You need to have space available at a good location and some capital to invest. Since these companies are well known, you will not have to spend much time raising awareness about their programmes.

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