Strength from synergies, diversity – A Case


It’s been six months since Gillette India adopted the P & G way of working, and the changes are more or less in sync with what was envisaged. It was the coming together of a laundry and shampoo maker and a blades and battery maker. An unusual combination, one would reckon. But the entire machinery was set up with gears — big and small — meshing well together to transfer motion.

Employees coming from Gillette have been integrated into the P&G fold in terms of operating systems, culture and people practices.

However, unlike most integration cases, P&G and Gillette are trying something new. The two companies are looking at potential areas where they get the best of both worlds in order to create new systems that are different and better than the previous P&G or Gillette ones. For instance, P&G is strong in distribution reach. This has enabled Gillette to enhance its reach by 36%.

Gillette, on the other hand, is good in terms of its domain knowledge on modern trade and its reach in the canteen stores department, which P&G is now leveraging. The two are not wasting time in reinventing the wheel, and are instead going to dwell on the positive aspects of both companies.

The HR department is overseeing this initiative, as integrating two cultures can become difficult, particularly when it involves two multinationals.

A central team was set up to lead the integration of the operations of the companies. This team had representation of key work groups and functions from P&G and Gillette which ensured that the needs of both companies were met in planning and executing the integration plans. Several Gillette managers have moved into key positions in P&G across categories, functions and levels. One had heard a lot about the positive work culture in Mumbai, so it was a reasonable trade off. Post the integration announcement, Mumbai was a possibility they all had at the back of their minds and one has to be flexible about mobility in today’s dynamic environment.

The organization has been looking up to the ex-Gillette managers to provide solutions to a lot of integration related matters. Support was thus needed to remove the biggest worries regarding housing and schooling of children. Such support helped to smooth the rough edges they had in this transition.

Pre-boarding sessions were conducted which broadly contained an overview / introduction to P&G including the company’s history purpose, values and principles and operating processes / systems. It also included training on transition management to equip them to deal with the transition to the P&G way.