S Sunder

Why Upskilling Is Key for the Future of Work | S Sundar | JMD | Shriram Transport Finance Company Limited

S Sunder

Shriram Finance born out of the merger of Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC) & Shriram City Union Finance (SCUF) stands tall today as India’s largest retail NBFC. The driving force towards realizing the group’s vision of providing credit to the ‘Aam Aadmi’ is its 50,000 employees all working in unison. Treating employees benevolently isn’t viewed as an added cost that cuts into profits, but as a powerful energizer that helps grow our enterprise into something far greater than our founder R Thyagarajan had envisioned.

Our employees are our strength and going forward in mind and spirit we want to ensure we are doing our part to see they are adequately skilled and ready for the smooth transition into the larger roles of the new group. The World Economic Forum predicts that over half of all global employees will need to upskill or reskill by 2025 to keep up with the evolution of jobs. In this light, we are flagging off upskilling programs to transform our employees inside out for their as well as our mutual benefit. Employees today want to be seen, valued, and listened to. They want equity, dignity, security, balance, flexibility, and autonomy. They expect opportunities for growth, learning, meaningful contribution, and fulfilment. We strive to provide all this and more.

World-class, people-centric organizations stand apart because their skilful employees perform yearly. A measure that must also be acknowledged to the employer’s learning and development team, that routinely looks at upskilling their skills. This practice is essential from time to time to stay relevant, be competitive and finally on course to realizing the organization’s desired objective in future.

For employees irrespective of rank, this is a win-win proposition as the learning imbibed will be applicable lifelong not just in professional circles but many times in one’s personal life as well. In the event of larger strategic mergers like the Shriram Finance group, employee training programs must be in sync with the group’s vision and essay embedded values to the recipient employees. The mission is that post upskilling the 50k+ employees they will now be ready to cross-sell the merged entity of Shriram finance’s products better.

We have activated ‘Shriram hubs’ cells to enable employees to undergo dedicated training on the merged entity’s products. To address the sheer number of employees across the organisation, we have developed novel programs to address each in a particular segment.

Hybrid training – Divided between e-learning and physical training this approach is best for reaching a wider employee base. E-learning allows for the development of a specific curriculum that was effectively used to train employees for their required upskilling. Moreover, physical training was imparted through 50 trainers, who in weekly batches train 500 employees every week.

The In-House MBA program – Our Shriram Management Education Scheme (MES) is an ingeniously developed 18-month MBA program that covers 3 semesters in business management. The program is designed to help employees hone skills like influence, and empathy, and build business strategies; it helps managerial staff make a career pivot; to accelerate the pace of their professional development and to expand and diversify their professional network.

Leadership training by experts – Successful leaders can transform organizations, enhance value creation, create efficiencies and engage their employees to deliver better results. The transformation of potential employees into successful leaders is important for any large successful merger. Hence we find merit, in going the extra mile, identifying the right resources and overseeing their leadership training by trained experts. Done organically under the same hubs, its mission is to encourage managers and leaders to grow inside the pool of the organization and secondly get an upskilling that aids in their respective roles in the new organization. As part of any large entity, leaders would have operational challenges; the training sessions have particularly been picked to
take the cue to handle their teams and do the larger role better.

Digital Upskilling – one in three jobs are likely to be disrupted in the next decade because of technological changes taking place each day. We have adopted new digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to achieve the best, cost-effective outcomes of our processes and have upskilled employees to effectively upskill digitally and prepare themselves well in advance for future ways of working. Skills such as AI, ML, data science, business analysis, data visualization, digital marketing, and cyber security are new-age skills which are needed and help employees better adapt to change within the business.

Today Shriram Finance, stands as India’s largest retail NBFC and we are confident to make a formidable footprint in the market for our products, and we are sure that it is our employees who will open the doors for our long-term success.