Article (January-2017)


Ethics in HR @ Piramal Group

Dr. S.K. Raijada

Designation : -   President -Corporate HR & Group IR

Organization : -  Piramal Glass Limited, Vadodara


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As the modern businesses constantly grapple with multiple challenges, ranging from dealing with VUCA world to creating and sustaining shareholder value; it is becoming increasingly imperative for them to hold the key differentiator or the core of the organization close to its heart.  While profits, market capitalization etc. are seen as an indicator of health of a company; a large number of organizations today are realizing a need to look at the culture; values; ethics etc. as one of the most pertinent metrics to build a sustainable trust with the stakeholders at large.

At the Piramal Group; our core values form our moral compass that guides our behavior at work.  The Group has defined its good citizenship behaviors that largely cut cross each of our businesses and unites the Group together in its quest to reach an aspirational 2020 business goals.

The very purpose of the Group is built around two prime drivers that have values and ethics at their core.  The first driver talks about our quest to 'Do Well' which holds our values of knowledge, action and care close by defining ways in which we are going to create a strong shareholder value and grow our existing businesses.

The second driver 'Doing Good' is built on the premise the profits cannot be achieved at the expense of social, moral and environmental considerations and therefore the business like ours can only thrive when we take into account the needs of society in which we operate and therefore create value through nation building efforts.

Each of our businesses have also identified a unique moral fabric within their respective business lines.  The businesses have realized that to stay relevant; they need to find ethical ways to alleviating social roadblocks to health and development.  For eg.while our pharmaceutical business is constantly looking for ways to reduce the burden of illness by innovating drugs and investing in research; the glass business is spreading awareness of using glass bottles over plastics and thus encouraging societies to adopt healthy lifestyles.

This environment of constantly re-aligning with the external markets; stakeholders; governments etc. necessitated a strong internal shift as well and therefore the organization has taken conscious efforts to align its systems and processes with the cultural DNA that promotes ethics and values at the core of its existence.

The HR function of the Group plays a critical role in holding this all together and over the last few years has played a crucial innings in consulting the business on ethical business practices for building value.

One of key change management initiatives that we have been driving across the organization is around defining and propagating the moral behaviors that will be encouraged and rewarded in the organization.  These have also been finely intertwined with our leadership behaviors that define the patterns that successful leaders display to achieve superlative and sustaining results within the group.


The role of HR has, therefore, also been that of a weaver of this moral compass with various process and employee touchpoints. Our performance management process of the Group today looks at humility as one of the measures of successful teams.  The organization strongly encourages its leaders to look for ways in which they can serve customers better; imbibe a humble approach to work;  collaborate across boundaries; think beyond what is obvious; look for ways to assist the growth and development of teams at large and constantly look for opportunities to deliver superior business results.  Each of these behaviors or Piramal Success Factors, like we call them, are built on our moral fabric to 'Do well and Do Good' within the business.  It serves as a constantly reminder to each and every employee within the organization about why we exist, our ethical responsibilities towards each other in the Group and towards our society and the world at large.

At the Piramal Group; Entrepreneurship as a behavior, which is widely encouraged and to be able to bring that value alive; the group encourages diversity by recruiting a workforce that is diverse and therefore unique in the talent and capabilities that it brings at the workplace. To facilitate such a culture of diversity; the group provides equal opportunities for its recruits regardless of region, race; disability; gender, marital status and sexual orientation.  Each of our open positions is advertised worldwide via the company's websites and intranet so that employees get an opportunity to explore careers within the group.
The social responsibility of the Group extends internally as well as we constantly look for ways to enhance the employee experience and promote ethical and values driven practices that curate finest leaders within the organization.  Some such experiences include:

  • Treating employees as equal partners in the business and therefore empowering them to bring ideas to the table and take up projects that are aimed at enhancing the business value chain.
  • Offering appropriate levels of remuneration and rewards and clearly communicating the role of ethical conduct in determining such recognition for employees.
  • Development opportunities that constantly reinforce the values and the success factors, thereby encouraging employees to clear their lens of business and world view through our moral compass.
  • Promoting a healthy and safe working environment so employees feel safe at work.  The prevention of sexual harassment committee is one such strong body formed within the group to safeguard and protect employees of all genders against such harassment. It encourages employees to speak up and seek redressal if they experience such a thing happening at the workplace.
  • Similarly; the group has a strong whistleblower policy that allows and encourages employees to speak up whenever they see a violation of our credo or moral business compass.  Employees have a good amount of trust that such escalations will be treated with utmost confidentiality and will protect the interest of the person speaking up.

At Piramal Group; we aim to lead the way and fulfill our aspirations with our ethical approach in business. We integrate our core values with our business value chain and allow them to influence and encourage the employee behaviors in a quest to build an organization that protects and enhances the interests of its stakeholders as well as build sustainable value for the business, both in the short and long run.