Sunday, December 14, 2008

Most Trusted Brands - PepsiCo

Our brands have done it again! After being nominated as the most trusted beverages brand by Readers Digest , brand Pepsi has now been ranked amongst the top 20 most trusted brands, across categories, by Brand Equity's annual survey (2008) of the Most Trusted Top 100 Brands.
Brand Pepsi is ranked 13th across pand India brands and is the only beverage brand in the Top 20 bracket. Pepsi is way ahead of competition, Coca Cola (42nd) and Thums Up (25th).

In the most trusted Food Products category, Kukure's peppy advertising and unique flavors contributed to it getting the Number 7 slot with Uncle Chipps following close behind at Number 9.

Lays was ranked 12th, which left PepsiCo India with three winning food products in the top 15 Most Trusted Food Products Category. Phew!

Making a Difference

A unique opportunity for our employees to make a difference to the lives of girl child is the newly formed association with Salaam Balak Trust, an NGO that runs a shelter for homeless girls in Gurgaon. The orientation program saw enthusiastic participation from employees and their families. Employees and the children of the trust had a lot of fun knowing each other over fun games and interactive sessions. The spark in the eyes of kids were worth the effort made by employees however small it may be. As part of further strengthening this association, employees and in some cases even the family members are currently visiting the shelter on pre-assigned slots to share their knowledge , skills and learnings about computers, art & craft, healthy foods and communication skills with the children to prepare them for better future.

Parenting the Fun Way

Ever wonder what goes through your kid's mind when you ask him/her to do something while they are interested in doing something else? Has handling tantrums of your kids been your most concerning thoughts? Does your kid find no fun in being with you offlately while all you mean is to get him/her to obey you on something that You think is right for them? Well, all parents go through these dilemmas but are unable to set a way that helps both parent and the child to create a loving, encourging and most importantly a fun environment.

To help employees on these issues a session on Fun Parenting was organized. The session was aimed at understanding various aspects of parenting like , knowing your parenting style, understanding child psychology, handling kids reactions and tantrums and bonding with your child. A few tips were shared on spending quality and fun time with children by the experts from Human Dynamics, our partners of PepCare program. After the session, we guess some kids would be wondering what happened to their 'not so happening' parents. Well, we hope for the best!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Switzerland of India - A trip to Shilon Resort

July, 2008, Shimla. Shilon Resort, perched high in the Himalayas provided a welcome break from city life. Located on the Kufri-Chail Road, it is unspoilt by tourist traffic, yet not too far from Simla.
We took the Shatabdi to Kalka and drove up to Shillon Bagh in a comfortable 3 hour ride (for those planning a trip there, remember to take meds for motion sickness as the road is a pretty winding one!). The resort, which bills itself as ‘forty acres of Switzerland’, comprises cottages set in the midst of an apple orchard. Well maintained lawns trimmed with roses, larkspurs, and calendulas stood out against the dark green of the firs and evergreens of the surrounding mountains. (My daughter Malini on the right enjoying at the Resort)
On our first morning there, some in our group decided to drive down and explore Kufri, Chail and Simla, while others decided to trek around Shillon Bagh and chill out on the lawns of the resort. At night, the resort arranged a bon fire for us. The kids ran riot, running around the garden while the grown ups huddled around the bon fire. The next day after lunch we drove down to Kalka to catch our train back to Delhi.
Thanks to PepsiCo, we had a lovely and relaxed holiday!
Contributed by Abantika Banerjee (spouse of Rajat Banerjee, GM Sales Development)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Message From Gautham Mukkavilli - Managing Director FritoLay India

Greetings from FritoLay Family!!
In the recent past, you might have received a chain mail contending that if you burn Kurkure, it would turn to plastic and is, therefore, harmful to health.

At the outset, we wish to assure you that there is NO merit in any of the contentions you have seen in the chain mail. We are sure after going through the details below; you would not only be sure of the quality of the product but would also inform those you know of the same so that unnecessary scare is not created by such malicious mails misleading the consumers. The contents of such malicious mails are, therefore, totally baseless.

Kurkure is new age Namkeen made from Rice meal, Corn meal, Gram Meal, Edible oil, Seasonings, Salt, Spices and Condiments and Flavours (some or all in variants of Kurkure). All the raw materials used in Kurkure comply with the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and Rules that govern the manufacture, distribution and sale of food products in India. All ingredients are such that are used daily in our households for preparation of various food items consumed by the families. Every raw material we receive in our factory for manufacture of Kurkure (e.g. Rice Meal, Corn Meal and Gram meal) is thoroughly checked for all quality parameters and if any ingredient is found not meeting our stringent internal quality parameters or those prescribed in the regulations, the same are rejected and are not used in preparation of food.

The process of making Kurkure involves uniformly mixing these raw materials using water and the mix is extruded (extrusion is a process used for making many food products e.g. noodles, vermicelli, sevai, jalebi, breakfast cereals, pastas etc.), fried in a high-quality edible vegetable oil to develop taste and texture and then application of consumer loveable food flavour. The product undergoes series of quality testing and only quality-approved product is packed into the best packaging laminate using state of the art machinery to ensure delivery of acceptable quality Kurkure to consumers.

You would be delighted to know that Kurkure is made in automated plants in our three manufacturing locations - in Channo (Punjab), Kolkata and Pune. These plants are also audited and certified by various external agencies. These certifications include HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control point) certification by TQCSI (Australia), which confirms that products are manufactured in Food safety environment and manufacturing has adequate controls to ensure product tracking, American institute of Bakery (USA), one of the best auditing body which confirms process and product safety. Our Plants are ISO 14000 certified which confirms that the manufacturing process ensures environmental safety. Our plants are also certified to ensure that the product, process, environment and people safety have been maintained at very high level and this certification is issued by OHSAS 18001-(Occupational Health and safety assessment series) - (USA).

We look forward to your continued loyalty to our best quality products and would urge you to visit for any further information or details you would like to have with regard to product. We wish to take this opportunity to extend our invitation to you to visit any of our plants (Pune, Channo or Kolkata) along with your family and friends to get a first hand feel on the manufacturing process as well as strict quality controls we employ in manufacturing our products. Do leave us a comment or write to us if you wish to seek any further clarification in this regard. It would be our privilege to be of assistance to you.
We from FritoLay are committed to provide safe food products to our consumers.

Gautham Mukkavilli
Managing Director
(Add : PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. (FritoLay Division) 4A, Global Business Park, DLF City - III, Gurgaon - 122002 Haryana, India)
Comments from our consumers:
Hi Simi,
Thank you very much for such a pro active reply on the allegations. Perhaps this is the first time I am coming across a reply from a company on such chain mails. All Kudos to the team in PepsiCo. As a father of 2 young children you have imbibed a confidence in me to continue to relish your products.
Thank you.
Praveen Velmury
Tata Teleservices - 9246307788


From: vasan Thatai [] Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:33 PMTo: Feedback, Consumer {PI}Subject: Re: RE: Seek clarification

Dear Ms. Mehta,Thanks for the elaborate reply. I have any complaints about the quality. Having seen such mails in large number one often gets concerned. I felt to get a first-hand information directly from the manufacturer.....and now I am convinced. Appreciate your prompt response. Yes ! I shall appropriately inform those who create such unnecessary scare.Thanks.Vasan
Dear Mr. Mehta,

Thanks a lot for your clarification and lovely explanation.Wish you all Good Luck.

With Best Regards,

AN Hariharan
Cipla Ltd
MIDC Patalganga
Dist Raigad
Maharashtra – 410 220

Email ID : 'Hariharan' []

From: Jayaraman K [] Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 11:39 AMTo: Shankar, VR {PI}Subject: RE: PLZZZZ DONT EAT "KURKURE" VERY IMPORTANT

Hello Shankar Thanks for the detailed clarification. I am absolutely convinced and if you would send me a carton of Kurkure, I will arrange for free distribution to all the recipients in the chain mail. With best wishes jayaraman.k

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chalo Bazaar - Not to shop but to 'Sell'

On July 10th, the entire non-sales staff of Frito-Lay India got on to the streets. Don’t worry they weren’t doing any demonstrations or burning effigies. They were out there to work along with our sales executives sweating out in the scorching heat to sell the products and to bring some excitement in their otherwise monotonous lives. A truly commendable moment in the history of Frito-Lay India. All employees including our Managing Director left their air-conditioned offices and were working in the market place, talking to customers, checking the availability of the products, discussing with stockists, putting up racks, listening to shop owner’s grievances, chatting with consumers and helping the sales guys load - unload the stock. 80% of our corporate office staff devoted 800 manhours in a single day to meet their day's target which was 4 times higher than of a normal day. Every 5 minutes the cell phone would beep with a SMS flashing a victory that an employee has made either to open a new account or moving up the sales or to have introduced a new outlet to do away with the competition product.
Manjari our Executive Trainee from R&D shares her experience on “Chalo Bazaar Day” . Here's a picture of Manjari look alike.

Everyone on the street was staring at me. I got on to the tempo (a three wheeled vehicle being used to carry the stock to markets).When tempo picked up the speed I was afraid of rolling down on the road. I was equally apprehensive about the sale of the products and meeting the target. With these situations I started my venture for the Chalo Bazaar Day. However little did I know that all my worries would culminate into an evening when I really felt and wanted to speak out to my mom with the words like “mummy I have grown up, have become responsible, and have tasted the real struggle of fieldwork and bla bla bla……………. . Wanna know why…….go ahead.

Entire staff had started talking about the Chalo Bazaar Day (CBD) since Tuesday. I received information about the area I needed to work in and also got the two forms, but was not clear what I have to do with them. The real bombshell was when I came to know that the target was 4 times than that of a Route Sale Agent’s regular target. Now, that seemed impossible more so for a girl…….sorry a lady (have grown up friends……) who has been into restaurants and malls as a fastidious customer. But I did take it as a challenge.

I reached Rohini, Sector-8 at 10:30, an hour late against the scheduled time………….Was a little tensed about getting late (new employee…impression…seriousness…etc etc…) but came to know that Meenu (my colleague) and I were one of the first people to reach there among others. I heaved a sigh of relief. My distributor was a perfect gentleman. He went to bring his car for us so that we feel comfortable. That was very nice of him but somehow it could not materialize. Then came the unforgettable part. I popped on a tempo for the first time in my life. Scare, embarrassment, fun, laughter…………emotions poured over me.

I sold lots of Cheetos “Ben 10” packs and also Quakers (picture)…convinced Panwalas and Kirana men that all of it will be sold and not to worry……………Guys believe it, I hadn’t planned anything……. and I was planning the stuffs instantaneously. The tough part was to handle the complaints of shopkeepers and retailers. Knowing that I have come from the corporate office, shopkeepers and retailers shared there problems about stock unavailability, racks, margins, discounts etc with me which I very diligently noted down and assured them that these will be taken forward with the head office.
Another interesting part of my day was a cute little fight I witnessed between two perspective consumers about our two new flavors. A little boy around 5 years of age was fighting with his father to buy Saif’s Spunky Pomento (Saif seems to be hit with kids now-a-days with his movies catching up with little ones very successfully) whereas his father who seemed to be a die hard Dhoni fan was insisting on buying Dhoni’s Balsmic Blast. A perfect example of on- the- ground activation of our campaign “FFF – Fight For Flavor”. I just smiled at my RSA when both of them ended up buying both the flavors. It’s a delight seeing consumers loving our product!!

CONGO…………..My hard work as a seller of my products really paid……How?????? Guys I sold products worth staggering Rs. 10,000 against the set target of Rs. 5500……..nearly double. No I am not faking, friends, it’s true. At the end of the day when I was reverting back to the distributors point where everybody was eagerly waiting for the target feedback I saw our RSA, Pawan,very hardworking, poor fellow had to sit on a metal platform the whole day because there was not a place for him to sit.

Guys, there are no free lunches in life and one has to work hard for getting his fish. I have got this philosophy well embedded in me, thanks to the CBD. Well not ending with a philosophy stuffed notes, I should add that I will look forward to such opportunities yet again. But for now……….let’s enjoy some new kurkure “tedha hai par mera hain”…………………he he he…and be a little naughty with our new “Naughty Tomato” flavor

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Just Kidding

Jayashree loves to play with her little kid when she gets back home after a tiring day. The smile on little ones face makes her forget all her worries and tensions. She quickly starts to finish all her regular chores for the evening and sits down to feed the baby his dinner. "Tomorrow I must close the financial report of the month and submit the final numbers to the boss. I have to be back home on time to take chhotu for his vaccination as well. Hope the quarterly update meeting gets over on time and am able to send the summary to the headquarters before that", she thinks. Her husband enters and finds her smiling on her own and asks, "hey, who are you smiling at?" She suddenly gets back from her thoughts and says,"just wondering about the regular jobs for tomorrow and also that its feels great to be balancing it all. Its so satisfying. Never thought I would be able to sail through it all after the baby."

Jayashree is our GM compliance working with finance function where the diversity ratio is compratively lower than other functions. I happen to interview her one day for our newsletter and here are the excerpts:
How does it feel to be back after maternity leave?
Jayashree (JS): Feels rather uncomfortable in the beginning, since your thoughts are on the baby – how is he coping, is he comfortable and so on. With time, you learn to switch off home when you are in office and switch off office when you are home.

What was the response of your colleagues & Supervisors when you returned?

JS: Generally everyone was interested in knowing whether it was a boy or a girl, what had we named him, what arrangements I had at home for looking after the baby, how was I coping with work & whether my baby was keeping me awake through the night and so on….

What thoughts come to your mind when you decided to go the family way?
JS : Lots of thoughts crossed my mind – to name just a few:
· the infrastructure that one would need at home to look after the baby – this is vital
· Whether the manager would be willing to allow you to adjust the work timings a bit or allow you to work from home, if this is possible for the role that one has
· How to manage career and home?

What kind of support did you get from PepsiCo during this period?
JS: All infrastructure required to work from home – data card, courier docs to my place, send the rider to pick them up etc.

Do you have any suggestions for PepsiCo to deal better with gender diversity / to make this place more female employee friendly?
JS: It would really really help if we can have a crèche at our office to keep babies upto at least 2 years of age. The cost can be picked up by the employees who use it.

Jayashree's phone rang which she picked up quickly and said,"baby ko kela dena mash kar key, thoda dudh bhi daalna usmein" (give him mashed banana and put some milk as well). She smiled at me and said,"time for lunch for baby and for me too. Catch you later. Bye."

Career opportunities for Women at PepsiCo

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Monday Blues

I got up from my bed at 7 am….oh my God! It’s another Monday…In another two hours I have to get ready, search for my shoes, belt, wallet, my Yamaha keys (I call it Tiger) and have to reach office…

…..lying in the bed I could visualize how the office would be on a Monday morning…………the large 10000 sq ft office will be fully packed with professionals acting busy, all 7 conference rooms will be engaged with people pretending to have meetings, some at their workstations some on phone, some will be glaring at their laptop screens, a few would be figuring out the way to come out of their weekend mood and a few chirpy ones would also be gossiping in the corridors… oh My God! It’s another typical Monday where my boss will review me on my projects.

I reached office at 9 am. My boss reached at 9:45 am and as usual I am at her workstation with my D630 laptop (my life) ready for all downloads.

I get a call from Vasudha, R&D Manager…. “What should I do for Southern Challengers” she asks me. In the corridor Nishi Malhotra (the happening EA) from MD’s office checks with me, “Which team do I belong to? Southern Challengers or MT Max?”

In HR Cubicle I could hear Manvi, our OD Manager talking with someone on phone (old American accent) “ Avijit, why don’t you update me on Western Warriors Agenda and Sales Achievement Communication Plan” ??????. She otherwise generally talks about CGM (its PepsiCo’s Career Growth Model)

Muralidharan, the irritating Trade Manager asks me “When will I come to know about my team?” And adds another question rather quickly and aggressively “Where are my cheer leaders”….

Why Vasudha from R&D talked about Southern Challengers, Nishi about MT Max, Manvi about Western Warriors achievements and why the hell Muralidharan is enquiring about Cheer Leaders instead of his trade routes….all these funny questions on a Monday which visually has no connection to their regular job!

After getting puzzled for some time, I suddently realized its all about FPL. What is this FPL????????

FPL has created a revolution in the organization. Currently the talk is on for “Chalo Bazaar Day” and taking entire office to the market. I mean the ones who have the privilege of sitting in this air conditioned office in Gurgaon’s upscale Global Business Park, will now have to go to market and sell the product in this scorching heat along with the frontline sales men. In the next two months of FPL, there are plans of road shows, spot awards, exciting month end meetings, website, trip to Dubai, meeting with Indra Nooyi…etc etc.

Frito Premier League (FPL) is a summer mega sales contest of Frito-Lay between May to July 2008 focusing on sales target achievement and market share. Ok, our name sounds quite familiar with a well known contest recently happened. But what the heck! It has no connection with any one of those. It is our own league. The great Frito Premier League.

This contest has been designed to reward individual performers and team performers covering 100% Sales Team spread across 5 teams South, East, North, West and Modern Trade including our channel partners

This FPL contest is an organization-wide momentum with ExCom taking ownership of each team personally and has more than 6800 awards for our Sales and Support Teams. The teams have been categorized into 5 Sales Regions – South as Southern Challengers, North as North RDX, West as Western Warriors, East as Eastern Tigers and Modern Trade as MT Max. Each of the team is owned by one Ex Com (Executive Committee) member with non-sales office employees playing the role of Cheer Leaders (Support team).
Some exciting titles are :
  • Player of the League
  • Master Blasters
  • League Champs
  • Champion of Champions
  • Heros of the huddle
Hai na exciting ?? For the next three months, every Monday rather every day, I will see each one of our employees talking about FPL and working hard for their teams to win….Monday never seemed to be so exciting before...
- contributed by Krishna Kumar, Sales HR Manager

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Do you Engage Every Day?

Frito-Lay India's HR Program recognized for being top 6 Innovative practices in the industry
It’s not too long ago when we mentioned about our clean sweep at the Employer Branding Awards in January 2008. Our guys just can’t sit without making any stir in the industry. Dev Raj Sharma, our Operations HR head was complaining last time around as we could not showcase our Operations HR innovative practice called ‘Engage Every Day’ at Employer Branding Awards since there wasn’t any specific category for such an initiative.
This time however, he had his way and sent his registration for ‘Innovation in HR’ awards organized by DMA & Erehwon and undoubtedly became the only one among us to have reached the final stage after great amount of grueling and auditing by the Erehwon representative. In fact, this practice has already made its mark on the PI world and has won ‘Talent Sustainability’ Award by Indra Nooyi. To give a brief overview on the practice this is an initiative led by our plant HR teams which connects Frito-Lay India with all its stakeholder on an ongoing basis making it a way of life through a 3 way connect:
· Connecting with employees and their families on a personal level
· Connecting with the community through CSR initiatives & community leaders
· Proactive engagement with bureaucrats on community initiatives /CSR agenda

(photo: L to R Dev Raj Sharma – Vice President Operations HR, Suchitra Rajendra, EVP Staffing and OC, Sudharshan Banerjee, Managing Director India Market Business Advisory Board (Jury member) & Suweshi Sharma Agro HR Manger Frito-Lay India accepting the trophy).

A short AV can be viewed on you tube link -Engage Every Day

Our other two entries on ‘People Certification Process and Employee Communication program were also seen as Best Practices that other organizations can imbibe. To give a snapshot, People Process Certification is a unique self paced online learning tool designed to on-board and build capability on People Processes. It has this very interesting format based on Karate Belt System. Employee Communication initiative is an innovative design to reach out and engage existing employees, potential employees and impact external environment to build the employer brand.

The other two apart from us were – HCL on its program of Employee First – where the HR has many flexible programs of meeting the needs of the employee. And Carborundum Universal Ltd (part of the Murugappan group of South) for its innovative recruitment where workers were hired as supervisors in a new factory which was technology intensive.

DMA Erehwon had received 40 odd entries. Some of the other organizations that have participated are Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance, Crompton Greaves Limited, NIIT Technologies Ltd, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), CavinKare Private Limited, IPCA Laboratories, HCL Technologies Ltd, Zensar Technologies, Indian Hotels Co Ltd, Aviva Life Insurance Company India Ltd., TATA Projects Limited, Coromandal Fertilizers Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd, Satyam Computer Services Ltd, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Aricent Technologies (Holdings) Ltd and Wipro Technologies

Through an exhaustive round of debate and dialogue and shortlisting , 21 entries were first chosen of which further 12 entries (4 of which are from PepsiCo – 3 from Snacks and 1 from Beverage) were chosen for the third round which was the in-context audit. From these 6 finalists were given an opportunity to present their practices in front of the Jury and a live audience of about 150 delegates from various organizations across India.

Heartiest congratulations to our Beverage division to have won the 1st runners up trophy for their highly innovative and unique PepsiCo Values roll out initiative. Don’t miss how it was done, call up someone in HR PepsiCo and find out. We have a lot more to tell!