The media and entertainment industry has undergone a sea change in recent years, especially with the dominance of multiplexes with has completely altered the movie going experience of cinebuffs. In this regard, the name that first comes to mind is PVR Cinemas, which has over the last two decades proved to be a market leader. The multiplex chain has always been in the forefront of adopting the latest technologies in order to provide the very best experience to its consumers.
With multiple locations and varied customer touch points in this business, employees play a very significant role in shaping this end experience for movie goers at PVR. In a recent interaction with CXOToday, Sunil Kumar, CHRO, PVR Cinemas, discusses how its recent deployment of Oracle’s cloud technology helped the company with a seamless connected HR experience, leading to a positive transformation in their employee centric processes, leading to a marked change in customer experience.
CXOToday: How is technology helping you in the hiring process?
Sunil Kumar: Hiring employees through recruitment agencies often prove to be costly. Today there are online tools however that make the hiring work simpler, for example LinkedIn is a great platform to source and hire mid-level and even top-level managers. As far as our internal HR process was concerned, we opted for Oracle solutions in order to boost our performance management system and the overall employee lifecycle.
Can you elaborate on the challenges you were facing before moving to Oracle solutions?
Sunil Kumar: Prior to the Oracle implementation, we were using simple Excel files for the entire employee lifecycle process. Data management was a big challenge as we had multiple sources and data which had to be collated and organized. We had multiple channels from which data was flowing so, information was scattered and single truth was not established. Moreover, managing data from different regions across India was becoming difficult.
Another key challenge was reporting and MIS. There was no HR dashboard. To create an HR dashboard was a difficult task because of the scattered information and data management system, sitting with multiple people. This was an area of concern for the top-level management.
CXOToday: What was the process of selecting the vendor? Can you tell us about the HR implementation process?
Sunil Kumar: We were looking at an HR system with a single source of data information and employee management. So, we did meet up with multiple vendors, both international and domestic vendors and settled on Oracle, as we believe that it met our requirements, from managing the entire lifecycle – from sourcing up to the employee exit. Also, it gave us a much unified way of sourcing people centric information. Finally, from an analytic perspective, Oracle has a real-time insight, which was very useful for top management in making key decisions. So, these were the few key important things that we looked at. The entire implementation process took us a year. By 2016 April, the results were showing.
CXOToday: What were the key benefits of the deployment?
Sunil Kumar: First and foremost, one of the challenges that I mentioned was data management system and the absence of a single source of data. So, one of the most important benefit that we got was that our data got migrated from excel files to Oracle cloud. We had a kind of complete background information regarding how the person has been performing from a performance management perspective, how has he delivered as against the goal that has been set up, how he has progressed, which location, the tenure. So, from a data perspective, it was very helpful, and we had everything. The second take was basis the Oracle system we were able to generate very detailed HR dashboard which was very important without which was an input about manpower, the manpower cost, the hiring time. So, this was a very useful thing for the management and the HR about having a very detailed analysis of what we are doing, and third thing was very important from a revenue leakage perspective, prior to the Oracle systems, everything was pretty much manual and at the end everything was on an excel file. So, the word revenue leakage was happening from a manpower perspective be it extra salary being processed for somebody who has not been there in the system. So, all those things from a manual process to Oracle systems was a big relief that we were able to control. Oracle helped us big time in managing those revenue leakages and that added to our overall revenue.
Q. Would you like to mention about any other recent HR technology deployment make by PVR?
Sunil Kumar: We keep upgrading our technologies and systems as part of the company policy. From HR perspective too, there have been lot of changes. Some years ago, we had chosen workforce management solutions from Kronos to manage its workforce. The solution helped us move all workforce data collection to one system, which will enable improved visibility and control. While that did help us in boosting productivity and reducing cost, the best part about Oracle deployment is that it seamlessly talks to other systems Kronos, thereby offering a seamless experience, which also helped us in making the entire lifecycle foolproof.
Currently PVR operates a cinema circuit of 617 screens at 133 properties in 51 cities. So we have realized early in our operations that unlesswemake our backend strong, it will be difficult for us to manage the entire operations and sustain as a market leader.
Q. Finally, do you think HR has found a prominent place in the boardroom? For example, whenever you want to deploy a new HR technology or a practice, how much is the CEO/top management supportive of the decision?
A. I would definitely say that the HR has more long way from where it was a decade ago, to where it is today and it definitely holds a very important position between the boardroom where the teams need with regard to the growth of the company and over there definitely, the viewpoint of the HR is taken very seriously and if there is any suggestion given by HR with regard to technological enhancements, it is kind of the board members input, the CEO and MD. What is also important is that implementation of new technology is important, but HR has to make sure that any advice which is being given with regard to the technology implementation has to be backed up with regard to what is written on the investment. So, once if you have an advice going in from your end to the board member saying that this is what we need to do, you need to tell the pro and cons of what are the benefits the organization would come back post implementation. I have experienced it in my last four to five years, it is taken seriously.