Capability Development: The ITC Way – Thane HR Group Meeting

Organizations recognize that victory is contingent on how capable their people are. They realize that poached employees are not necessarily equipped with the desired skills. The key lies in developing staff to meet the requirements of the organization. Dr R Sridhar, Executive Vice President, ITC Ltd, addressed this theme of developing critical capabilities at the October event organised by Thane HR, a group dedicated to bring together the HR talent pool to a common platform.

“While planning for new ventures, the companies plan for market potentials, technologies, products & services. I am yet to find a company that devices ‘capabilities’ well in advance”, says Dr Sridhar.  

Dr R Sridhar, Executive VP  , ITC on Capability Development at Thane HR

Dr R Sridhar, Executive VP , ITC on Capability Development at Thane HR

Below are the significant take-away from the Event:

 Have a Portfolio of Capabilities

The audience agreed that a sustainable future is only possible if organizations can sense, adapt, and respond to change. Dr Sridhar, therefore, advised on applying a portfolio of capabilities. This helps to ensure that the capabilities are in place, not only to run the business today but also to meet the demands of tomorrow. 


Portfolio of Capabilities by Dr R Sridhar


Acting on the Values

Value statement are not flamboyant promotional statements. Organizations, today, lack the mechanisms to translate values to actions. Dr Sridhar advises –

1. Values cannot be “set”:

Organizational values needs to be discovered. They must be found in the people working for the organization and their family background. The value finding process move upwards, starting from the individual level to the organizational level.

2. Leader’s need to subscribe the values:

Leaders are the role models. When they are consistent and follow the values, the values get translated to the bottom level. However, when leader’s selectively implement the values, those values do not reflect at the bottom level. 

ITC’s Remarkable Pune Laboratory


  • Problems at the former Bombay Plant:

When ITC’s Bombay plant was decided to be shifted to Pune, it became crucial to bring solutions to the two prevailing problems. Those problems were:-

  1. It was a ‘Control Based Factory’, following the Theory X principles.

  2. There was a lot of Status Quo due to the hierarchical organization structure.

  • 3 Solutions at the novel Pune Plant:

Three significant experiments carried out by ITC at its new Pune Plant were:-


  1. Adopt a Lean Organizational Structure

Central challenge was to transform the ‘Control Based Factory’ into a ‘Commitment Based Factory’. This was done through breaking the status quo arising from the layers of hierarchies. At the new Pune Plant, a simple division was made between the designations and workers are categories either as ‘Technical Associates’ or ‘Production Associates’.

  1. Co-managing the Responsibility

“All IR problems begin at the Canteen. Similar was the case at the Bombay plant as well.”, laughed Dr Sridhar. Employees were made a part of the various committees. This was done to create an ownership culture amongst the employees.

  1. Converting Problems into a Learning Laboratory

Dr Sridhar firmly advocated the need for experimentation and continuous learning. He suggests that, “to be able to manage the learning at a factory, you have to be a learner yourself. Learning and experimentation have to become a way of life!” Therefore, it was decided that the Pune Factory of ITC will become a Laboratory for the various management initiatives.

ITC’s Remarkable Pune Laboratory

Changes made at the New Pune Plant of ITC to solve the problems that the former Bombay Plant faced.


To sustain competitive advantage for large organizations like ITC, it becomes crucial to reinvent its processes. This can happen through Learning and Experimentation, which Dr Sridhar suggests, should become a way of life. An example of success is the ITC’s Pune Plant experiment.

 Experimentation - Dr Sridar



About Thane HR Group

Thane HR Group was founded in the year 1996 with an objective of getting the HR Professionals staying or working in Thane District on a common HR platform. Over a period of 18 years, Thane HR Group had many HR experience sharing meeting. Thane HR has successfully arranged for more than 150 such programs, absolutely free of cost! 


You can connect to Thane HR Group through the following website –

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About LNML Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies

LNML Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies is an independent department under Maharashtra Labour Ministry. It is one of its kinds in the field of labour studies. It has a glorious past of 67 years and has emerged as a stronger body which has contributed to the economy and industry in many ways.

You can connect to LNML Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies through the following website –

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Maharashtra Government Website –


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