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Wednesday, November 13, 2002

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An interview with Mr Rakesh Sharma, Director - HR, Amway India

What are your areas of operations?

Amway India, is an FMCG company with a different model of selling - which is called Direct Selling. Amway provides a unique business opportunity to individuals who can earn an extra income by retailing the products manufactured by Amway. Amway manufactures products, which are made available to individuals (who are Amway distributors - also known as Independent Business Owners) at wholesale price who in turn sell it to end customers at MRP - the mark up being anywhere between 15 - 20%, which is the commission the distributor earns.

Amway product portfolio has 4 categories -

Home Care

Personal Care

Nutrition & Well being and,


What are the areas of recruitment? And what kind of remuneration is given?

We recruit across functional areas such as Marketing, Business Development, Finance, HR etc. Recruitment is through a panel of placement consulting firms as well as internal job postings and employee referral.

Remuneration at Amway is one of the best in the industry and takes into consideration the level, pay for position, incumbent's qualification, experience and parity with others in the organisation.

What are the attributes you look for in your employees? And what are the growth opportunities?

Each job has "identified competencies". The selection and placement of individuals is based on these competencies.

Growth opportunities at Amway are aplenty. For instance, we encourage cross-functional exposure and training among associates. This exercise provides an opportunity to our associates to explore opportunities in other departments/areas as well.

An interesting aspect at Amway is `internal recruitment' under which for any position/vacancy, an internal advertisement is floated thereby providing an opportunity for our own associates to apply for the same.

What is the minimum qualification that you look for in your employees?

The minimum qualification criteria vary with position and function. For instance, we have Sr. Executive - Corporate Communications for each of the four regions of the country. The minimum qualification we expect for such a profile would be a management degree in marketing from a reputed institute with at least 3-4 years experience in a PR / Advertising.

On the other hand, an Associate Manager - Marketing would definitely need to possess an MBA (Marketing) with 6 - 7 years of marketing experience in a FMCG company. But, generally, the minimum qualification that we expect from our associates is a first class graduation degree. We also hire people from premier management institutes for managerial roles.

What keeps the employees ticking?

Amway offers a challenging work environment, encouraging openness, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. In addition, we also have a rewards and recognition programme for outstanding performance. This not only helps in `instant recognition', but also boosts the morale and motivation of associates. Some of the rewards we give like :

Appreciation plus award, Dinner for the family, Recognition plus program, Earning and calculating points, Person of the year award, are very popular.

Do you have an appraisal system? What is your system like?

Performance of associates is measured against their KRA's (Key Result Areas), which are set at the beginning of the fiscal year. There is also a mid-year performance review, which takes stock of the progress of the KRA's. The annual appraisal is a process under which the associates conduct a self-appraisal assigning ratings on a scale of 1 - 5.

The appraisal process is complete when the appraisee signs off the appraisal form after mutually agreed upon ratings and comments by the MDG/EDG (Management Discussion Group/Executive Discussion Group). At the end of this process, KRA's are set for the next year.

How do you contribute to enhance employee performance?

Amway conducts various training programmes which are identified by the organisation itself to help our associates not only in enhancing their performance at work, but to help in their overall personality development. In addition, associates are encouraged to identify any other programmes / seminars conducted by any external agency or an institute which they feel would contribute significantly to enhancing their performance. Such programmes are funded by Amway.

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