Corporate Culture

Rooted in Community, Rising to Leadership: The ABFRL GET Program.

by ABFRLadmin | May 15, 2024

We at ABFRL, present excerpts from our internal newsletter “In Touch”, where we celebrate stories of
our people, their success stories and their contributions.

12 Years of Grooming Talent that’s led to 370 Success Stories.

The story of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) is intricately woven into the fabric of India’s progress. As the company expands its footprint across the nation, its commitment to building sustainable and inclusive communities remains resolute. One such initiative, standing as a testament to this philosophy, is the Graduate Engineer Training (GET) program. For over 12 years, this program has been quietly transforming lives, empowering young engineering minds from diverse backgrounds to embark on a journey of professional excellence. With 370 engineers groomed and still counting, the GET program boasts a rich legacy of fostering local talent and nurturing future leaders who are deeply invested in the communities they serve.

Building From the Roots Up: Investing in Local Brilliance

The story begins with a focus on local talent, a core principle ingrained in ABFRL’s ethos. Engineers are meticulously selected from Tier 1 and Tier 2 colleges in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Bhubaneswar – regions where ABFRL’s facilities are concentrated. This ensures the program directly benefits the surrounding communities, allowing young talent to thrive without needing to relocate and uproot their lives. This localized approach not only fosters community engagement but also contributes to the social and economic development of these regions.

The selection process is designed to identify a diverse pool of talent. Applicants from various engineering disciplines, including B.E Electronics & communication, Fashion Technology, Industrial Engineering & Management, Industrial Production, Mechanical Engineering, and Textile Technology, are considered. This diversity fosters a well-rounded team equipped to tackle the multifaceted challenges of the industry with innovative solutions.

From Potential to Proficiency: Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders

The journey for selected engineers starts with a multi-stage selection process. It begins with assessing academic performance. This is followed by an aptitude test that gauges critical thinking, reasoning, and analytical skills – crucial for navigating the dynamic world of manufacturing. Finally, group discussions and personal interviews allow the team to assess communication, teamwork, and leadership qualities, ensuring the selected candidates possess the potential to flourish in collaborative and fast-paced environments.

Once selected, the engineers embark on a transformative journey. They are placed in real-world factory environments, gaining hands-on experience across various departments. This immersive training equips them with the technical expertise, operational acumen, and leadership skills required to excel in the industry. From understanding the intricacies of production processes to mastering quality control measures, the program provides a holistic learning experience that empowers them to contribute meaningfully from day one.

Accelerating Growth, Amplifying Impact: Fast-tracking Success

The program is constantly evolving, with a focus on fast-tracking career progression. While it traditionally took 10-11 years for GET engineers to become Factory Managers, the program has been optimized to shorten this journey to 7-8 years for future batches. This accelerated path provides faster growth opportunities, fuels the company’s leadership pipeline, and allows individuals to contribute to critical roles within a shorter timeframe. This not only benefits the organization but also empowers individuals to achieve their career aspirations at a quicker pace.

Beyond Technical Prowess: The Heart of Leadership

While technical skills are crucial for success in the manufacturing industry, the GET program recognizes the importance of soft skills. The selection process actively seeks individuals who thrive in the fast-paced environment of factory floors. This ensures a workforce that’s not just technically adept, but also adaptable, collaborative, and possesses strong communication and interpersonal skills. These qualities are critical for effective leadership, enabling them to inspire and motivate their teams towards achieving shared goals.

Success Stories Speak Volumes: A Legacy of Community Impact

The program’s impact is evident in its tangible results. Importantly, it has contributed significantly to community development. By selecting local talent, ABFRL empowers individuals to build careers within their own communities, minimizing displacement and fostering local economic growth. This, in turn, strengthens the social fabric of these regions and creates a sense of ownership and belonging among the workforce.

More importantly, 36% of Factory Managers at ABFRL today are GET program alumni. This statistic speaks volumes about the program’s success in identifying and nurturing future leaders. These individuals are not just managing factories; they are driving innovation, shaping the industry, and inspiring future generations. Their stories are testaments to the program’s success.

A Testimonial from a GET success story

“I joined in the year of 2012, when I first joined ABFRL I did not know much about manufacturing. In my initial days of the training program I was allowed to interact with absolutely anyone in the company. If I had any doubts I could ask at any level.

I needed to understand first – hand what I could bring to the table here, what kind of role and responsibility would be. I found it to be a very open and flexible organization, where no one gave me a rigid framework, I was allowed to find my area of interest

I was given a 15 day stint in every dept at the agency, from store to factory floor. I was made to interact with every level of employee – from department managers to store workers.

In these 15 days, the first 13 days of the stint allowed me to observe and work, but in the last 2 days I was allowed to make actual decisions and take action, which gave me a level of confidence and technical know-how to tackle any challenge.

After these 6 months, I was placed in Europa Garments as an Industrial Engineer, 28 lines of stitching and I was placed in charge of 4. I worked in that role for one year. And then I was given a chance in Production. I had one support Industrial Engineer given to me. That was the first sign I found of the company putting their trust in me.

I have raised up 6 levels. 7 engineers now work in my team. The program is continuing with the same rhythm and resolve and we find that the new batches are more eager to learn and understand the different facets of the business.

My message to future GETs – It’s not going to be a walk in the park, it is going to be difficult and you’ll quickly find yourself in the role of a grown up. But the more your resolve to grow, the more you will find opportunities to succeed”

Gnanaprakash M. – Factory Manager
Little England Apparels, Tamil Nadu

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