“Re-strategizing, reviewing and re-learning key aspects in the new normal”

Rajesh Uppal, Senior Director (HR & IT), Maruti Suzuki India shares his perspectives on business continuity during lockdown...

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Rajesh Uppal, Senior Director (HR & IT), Maruti Suzuki India highlights how IT & HR strategies redefined business continuity for Maruti Suzuki during lockdown. He mentions although the lockdown came suddenly, the company managed to cope up with it well. He also mentions the current remote working mode is better than traditional working mode, especially for a manufacturing firm like them. For instance, 500-600 people are being trained simultaneously, and reviews are taking place on a daily basis on a department and management level.

Uppal goes on to mention some of his key learning from the last 5-6 weeks:

  1. The push to and response to digital has been phenomenally high, right from top management to every other department. Accepting digital has now become a cultural thing.
  2. Employee health and work-life balance has now become core to the company’s decision-making. Tracking of health and well-being of more than 50,000 employees now possible through the company’s internal health tracking app, ‘Wellness Mitra’.
  3. Improvement in communication has been remarkable as it is much clearer, frequent and transparent than traditional times.
  4. Flexibility and agility are needs of the hour as going forward, life is bound to be extremely dynamic and fast-paced.

Finally, Uppal emphasizes on the following 3 aspects going forward in the way the company is going to function:

  1. Re-strategizing the way the company is going to work, for instance, training employees digitally, doing customer transactions digitally, etc.
  2. Reviewing existing company processes to make them leaner, focussed and effective as cost is a big issue, for instance, looking at contracts and so on.
  3. Re-learning on ways the ‘new normal’ will work, both from leadership and functional stand-points, for example, the company’s internal Learning Management System (LMS) has already been moved to Cloud to sustain the increased workload

Uppal also expresses hope that the company will re-emerge as the market leader like it has been, even post-COVID.


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