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Meet Anil Ambani, the HR manager

By BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai
June 27, 2005 10:08 IST
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When Anil Ambani entered the Reliance Infocomm headquarters at the sprawling Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City in Navi Mumbai for the first time in two years, he made his intention clear: he wants to be perceived as a people's manager.

His six-hour-long visit on Sunday along with mother Kokilaben, wife Tina, sons Anmol and Anshul and sisters Dipti Kothari and Nina Salgaonkar, was thus solely reserved for what he called Reliance Infocommers. And he did it in great style in full media glare.  

The Reliance Ownership Issue

Shankar, a housekeeper, for example, could not believe his luck when Ambani sat next to him when he was having lunch. The junior Ambani asked for a glass of water and enquired whether he was having any problems at Infocomm.

Shankar forgot his lunch and said, "Pet bhar gaya sahab (I am feeling full)."

Thousands of Infocommers were there to welcome Anil much before the S Class Mercedes Benz arrived. After a quick visit to the nearby temple, Ambani preferred to walk to I-Block, which houses the chairman's office, about 7 km away.

Sporting an off-blue striped shirt and a brown tie, he shook hands with several hundreds of people.

"I am going to break my previous record of handshakes today -- the first was made on my wedding day. Please help me in achieving the record though I will need a massage this evening," Anil said, profusely sweating in the humid weather. The loud cheer from Infocommers proved he has managed to touch their hearts.

Just short of I-Block, Anil noticed a group of young women in a corner and did not waste the opportunity to offer some sound bytes: "I see a lot of young faces in the company but very few women. We will increase the number of women employees in the organisation, and will be an equal-opportunity-employer," he said. 

Mahesh Prasad, president (applications), was there to welcome him to the I Block. Anil shook his hands warmly, saying loudly, "Prasad is the Priyanka Chopra of Infocomm."  Why Priyanka Chopra? "Well, she is one of my favourite actors," the CMD said, looking fondly at a visibly embarrassed Prasad.

While getting introduced with the employees of I-Block, he played to perfection the role of a compassionate HR manager: "I apologise for calling you all on a Sunday. I look forward to working with you personally to make it one of the most valuable companies in the world," he said, adding "If any of you are interested in sports, come and join me for a walk next Monday."

Later, addressing the Infocommers in a nation-wide webcast, Anil "saluted" them for their passion to work hard and complimented his elder brother and former chairman of the company, Mukesh Ambani, for his "outstanding contribution" to create the company. " I am truly grateful to him, " he added.

Stressing on accountability as the core principle, he said: "In building and sustaining a great organisation, for me, accountability is the flip side of authority. The two are married to each other. Just as you are all accountable, I am accountable too".

"We must be a company that is build around the wants and needs of customers. You cannot argue with customers... Customer Care is not just the responsibility of those who face the customers, but each and every one of us."

Apart from growth and customer care, he also stressed on net addition of subscribers. "Gross adds per month are important, we must focus on net adds per month". He said the employees would be rewarded with performance-linked incentives, adding that "future is only limited by your imagination".

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BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai
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