In Conversation with Parag Bengali, Director – HR & Finance at Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd on Recession Fear
Parag Bengali is Director – HR & Finance at Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd. He comes with over three decades of industry experience. He has been responsible for talent management and capability development.
He has been associated with Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd for over a decade and has been driving business goals by focusing on culture and talent. A multifaceted professional, Parag has been a strong force, leading talent acquisition and being involved in L&D, reskilling, and upskilling as he believes that people make an organisation, who are its assets, and help accelerate the company’s business strategy.
Parag also steers the finance function at Bisleri and has been leading strategic financial planning, revenue management, and key business processes that help drive business growth. He has been involved in the business and fiscal affairs of the organisation.
Parag holds a degree of Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Q- How do you see the Indian economy amid recession fear?
The unpredictable set of significant events like the pandemic-induced lockdown or the war led to multiple repercussions, affecting the raw material, disturbing the supply chain, bringing instability in the currency rate and pricing. However, despite many unknowns, the Indian economy has shown resilience with a positive outlook for a sustainable high growth trajectory in the medium-term.
There is bullishness in the FMCG sector due to the fundamentals of the economy. These include a large young population, rising affluence and adoption of digital technology that continue to remain stable. Moreover, as per the World Bank, India will remain the fastest-growing economy in the coming years. Therefore, that gives us optimism even though the short term is very challenging.
Q- How do you see the current Indian job market next year, especially in the FMCG sector?
The pandemic-induced lockdown, which impacted the job market, witnessed growth in the last couple of months. The year 2022 saw a steady economic recovery, reflecting a positive sentiment in the job market. The pandemic had disrupted the growth of the FMCG sector; however, we are witnessing a demand and looking toward an optimistic recovery.
This rising growth in the FMCG sector will create more jobs as FMCG companies meet the changing consumer demand by investing in R&D and launching new products. Besides, multi-brand retailers and international chains are looking at investing in the sector in India that will further create job opportunities and meet the pre-pandemic recruitment hiring.
Q- Giving employees what they want becomes more challenging during a downturn; what, according to you, are the employee benefits to provide in a recession?
In uncertain events leading to an economic recession, being transparent and empathetic with your employees is imperative. Inspiring and reaffirming their capabilities and recognizing their talent through rewards motivates them.
During this time, skill-based training, reskilling and upskilling, and horizontal and vertical role development help in bringing team members together who understand the challenges. They come together as one unit, responding positively by delivering new benchmarks of efficiency and optimizing costs.
Besides, gainfully deploying the employees through insurance coverage and housing them near plants help in navigating the volatile time for better business health by always being available for our employees who make the organization – ‘A Great Place to Work.’
Q- What are your strategies at Bisleri to beat the downturn?
Water is an essential commodity consumed by every age group. The consumption of drinking water will certainly have a lesser or no impact on the category. Even during the volatile time, we as an organization was able to serve the consumers across the country due to our strong regional network of more than 145 manufacturing plants.
Our distributed strategy of producing and distributing the product in the market without any hindrance helped serve the consumers during these uncertain times. Also, through our strong regional network, we were able to create a disruption by launching the first-ever D2C platform in the FMCG category – Bisleri@Doorstep. This service helped in providing consumers with our wide range of products in the safety of their homes.
Thank you, Parag!