The third quarterly meeting of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum was held on 14th August 2018 at Evonik Catalyst India Pvt. Ltd., Dombivli. The theme for the day was selected as HR Role in Integration: Mergers and Acquisitions. Evonik India had acquired Monarch Catalyst in 2015, which has now become Evonik Catalyst India Pvt. Ltd. Subsequently in 2016 and 2017, two more acquisitions were also made by the company. Hence, the hosts were well equipped to share their expertise on the subject.

After a short safety briefing, Ritu Joshi, Head HR – India Region, Evonik India, along with Raina Vaidya and Neha Bharadkar, Managers, Human Resources took over as hosts and presented the history of Evonik to the forum. Following this, Sanjeev Taneja, President India Region and Managing Director, Evonik India Pvt. Ltd. spoke on Evonik’s ‘Continued growth journey – Evonik’s footprint in India’. Being associated with the company for about 30 years, he was undoubtedly the best person to capture Evonik’s history, its growth and integration with various companies over the years. “Even though Evonik is only 11 years old, it is a combinations of a lot of companies most of which are about 160 years old. One thing which unites everyone, is resistance to change” he stated, emphasizing on importance of HR as an enabler to change as they become the eyes and ears of the organization.

“Journey from India to Germany: Germany to India”, Thomas Tacke, Managing Director, Evonik Catalysts India Pvt. Ltd., shared the current status of Evonik after acquiring Monarch Catalyst. To ensure a smooth transition, he said “integration is a two dimensional at Evonik – between the two different companies and with Evonik’s global company as well.” He also spoke of HR’s role in integrations from this aspect along with the histories of two companies being different, processes are also different. Keeping in mind these differences, he mentioned that there was a need for a ‘One HR Project 2018’ within Evonik Catalyst India.

Ritu Joshi then spoke of the experience form acquisitions from an HR perspective. She gave the about the overall concept for HR integration, and the various measures taken, such as:

1. Safety was made a part of the targets as a step towards safety culture
2. Transition of the Performance management process during and post the acquisitions
3. Alignment of policies impacting employee experience

Raina Vaidya, Neha Bharadkar and Satishkumar Nair from the HR team continued the presentation about the various projects in progress. They elaborated on the communication channels maintained before, during and after the acquisition and the intercultural training given to all employees to ensure a smooth transition.

After lunch, Satish Mahapatra, Vice President – Human Resources, C&B, Global Mobility, M&A, Siemens Ltd. presented the role of HR in M&A from the Siemens perspective. He elaborated on the many mergers and acquisitions from 2008-2018 at Siemens, the key steps undertaken during, role of HR in due diligence, and the various legal aspects of integration.

The day ended with an active discussion between the HR partners on the new changes in data privacy in today’s changing environment. Post the discussion, everyone was taken on a brief tour of Evonik Catalysts’ Quality Control and Research and Development Centre. On behalf of the entire forum members, Mr. Shantanu Ghoshal, Vice President – HR, Schaeffler Group gave the Vote of Thanks.

The attendees included HR Partners from companies such as BASF India Ltd., Bayer Group in India, Bearlocher India Additives Pvt. Ltd., Bosch Ltd., Covestro India Pvt. Ltd., Fuchs Lubricants (India) Pvt. Ltd., Häfele India Pvt. Ltd., Knorr-Bremse Technology Centre India Pvt. Ltd., LANXESS India Pvt. Ltd., Schaeffler Group, Siemens Ltd., TUV India Pvt. Ltd., Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. and Wacker Chemie.