Godrej: Transforming Its Organizational Culture

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Case Code: HROB226
Case Length: 15 Pages
Period: -
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: The Godrej Group
Industry: Conglomerate
Countries: India
Themes: Organizational Culture, Leadership and Change Management, Human Resource Planning, Change Management
Dave’s Killer Bread – Second Chance Employment to Ex-felons
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Bringing a Change in Organizational Culture

Over the decades, the Godrej Group stayed true to its founder Ardeshir’s ideals and morals. Under the level-headed leadership of Adi, the Group maintained a dignified public profile and a corruption-free image. The Group placed heavy emphasis on integrity, whether financial or intellectual. Within the organization, Adi served as an icon to emulate. He was considered to be humble and approachable, carrying his own bags while traveling and sweeping his office during a labor strike. Vivek Gambhir (Gambhir), Managing Director, GCPL, stated that there were no grey areas in the company when it came to morals. He added, “There is no book for guidelines, just strong signals sent by the senior management about what choices one makes and these stories filter down through the organization. They create visible signals as to what qualities they stand for.”..

Core Principles of HR

The Group believed that its talent management processes had to be altered to reflect the newer values and keep up employee engagement. The company strove to attract the right talent, then develop and motivate them with challenging roles, finally rewarding high performers..

Bringing in The Right Talent

To become a more experimental and creative organization, the Group began recruiting people from different educational backgrounds. Nisaba Godrej (Nisa), President – Human Capital and Innovation, said, “Being authentic to who we are is very important even as we progress and change. So while trust, integrity, fairness and humility are important, we are also trying to be more edgy, quirky, more creative and have a sense of humor.” ..

Workforce Diversity

The Group claimed to offer equal opportunities and to not allow any form of discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, color, religion, caste, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, or marital status. To further drive its agenda for diversity and inclusion, the Group had a ‘Diversity Council’ made up of business leaders and senior team members, who met every quarter to strategize and discuss initiatives...

Retaining Talent and Being The Best Place to Work

Gambhir stated that the focus was on creating an organization that was not only just a great place to work, but was also an inspiring one that made people charged and excited. He said, “Empowerment, quick decision-making, early responsibility is what we talk about. While we demand excellence, we also give space for other things. That allows you to be well-rounded.”..

Encouraging Conversations

The Group had grown internationally through acquisitions. It believed that its competitive advantage was its ability to maintain a fine balance between its global identity and its nurturing of local flavor in response to changing consumer needs. To sustain the agile, entrepreneurial spirit, the Group had a multi-local operating model centered on value-based partnering and operational autonomy at the local level. Across geographical clusters and function teams, the Group built strong collaboration through shared accountability and clearly defined ways of working..

Focus on Design Thinking

Experts thought that with very few differences between products – especially from a functional standpoint, customers were placing value on the overall experience that had been designed for them. Design thinking involved a creative and systematic approach to problem-solving by placing the user at the center of the experience. In organizational strategies, design thinking was being applied at two levels, namely, as an approach to bring about a culture shift that would handle day-to-day challenges, and as a major enabler of innovation. Thus, it was thought to bring about a shift in approach from the conventional management practices and establish new targets..

Road Ahead

In 2019, Godrej was named the ‘Most Trusted Brand’ in the FMCG - Diversified Category, while four other Godrej brands were ranked in the ‘Most Trusted Brands of India’ list in the Brand Trust Report 2019, by Trust Research Advisory . Tanya Dubash, Executive Director and Chief Brand Officer at the Godrej Group, said, “Brand trust is one of the most valuable intangible assets in the business, and it has become more important than ever because today’s consumers are bombarded with options. We are delighted with the ranking of some of our brands in leading position in the report. It is a validation of the kind of connect that we have with our 750 million customers in India.” ..


Exhibit I: The Godrej Group Timeline
Exhibit II: The Godrej Group’s Family Tree
Exhibit III: The Godrej Group’s Subsidiaries
Exhibit IV: Breakup of Total Income of The Godrej Group for 2019-20

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