HR Policy Global

S01E14 - Decoding India: An Employee Relations Profile

Welcome to the Wild Side, a podcast that discusses the world of modern employee relations ten minutes at a time. This is a country-specific employee relations profile on India. In this episode, host Alan Wild discusses the three distinct labor sectors in India, the motivation behind the frequent strikes, or bandhs, and what to expect in the business of human resources there. Alan is the Global Affairs Director of the HR Policy Association, the leading voice in chief human resources offices today.

India has a long history of Human Resource Management and there are a lot of talented Indian human resource people that rise to the top of international businesses. Unlike countries in Latin America, Western Europe, and North America, labor relations in India requires a specific skill set and is different from the ‘rite of passage’ to senior human resource roles that exist in other countries. Old school employee relations skills are applied to India’s manufacturing industry and are complex, hardball, and need to be thoroughly understood. With a bureaucratic labor code and politically affiliated trade unions, it is imperative for employee relations managers to fix individual concerns fast.

Key Takeaways: 

  • India’s three distinct labor sectors, future goals of the Prime Minister, and what is holding India back. [1:44]
  • India’s labor code is bureaucratic and trade unions are politically affiliated. [6:48]
  • Largely politically motivated, strikes are frequent, disruptive, and sometimes violent. [8:51]
  • Why getting on top of individual issues fast is a key skill. [10:10]
  • The two most important issues for doing business in human resources in India. [10:37]