The Strategy of Strategizing – Reliance Hazira’s Game Plan for Competitive Excellence

When every organization worth its name considers itself a strategic entity, what differentiates a good strategy from one destined for failure? Granted, things are seldom so “black and white” in today’s competitive landscape. But I am one for finding method in madness, and I feel that the success of an organization’s strategy ultimately boils down to two factors – consistency of the strategy and thoroughness of implementation. By the former, I mean a strategy which clearly identifies the organization’s overall vision and long-term goals, and then aligns everything – right down to individual goals – with this larger picture. The latter would include measuring performance regularly, benchmarking standards with competition and improving performance on a continuous basis.

Reliance Industries Limited has won much admiration – and recognition – for their vision, farsightedness and strategic excellence. The Hazira manufacturing unit has put in place a detailed strategic planning and deployment system that follows RIL’s vision to “grow on a sustainable basis and be the largest and most innovative, profitable, and admired polyester producer in the world”. Besides being the world’s first petrochemical company to win the “Deming Quality Control Award” for an Operations Business Unit, the plant has been noted for its energy and environment conservation measures.

RIL Hazira’s strategic planning process links the company’s vision to business plans which are further broken down to individual performance goals. The strategy and business plans are implemented by cross-functional teams, and they are discussed, evaluated and modified at regular intervals through meetings at various levels across the hierarchy. The business goals include customer satisfaction and employee development targets, and customer and supplier feedback is considered an important input for strategic review. Competition analysis and benchmarking is an active part of the strategic planning process at Hazira. Performance improvement goals are set based on these benchmarks, and they are reviewed – hold your breath – on a weekly basis!

So, are we done with the days when the word “strategy” was heard only in corporate offices, and factories were concerned with meeting only their production and quality standards? In other words, has the day of the Bigger Picture arrived?

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2 Comments on “The Strategy of Strategizing – Reliance Hazira’s Game Plan for Competitive Excellence”

  1. AM Says:

    I would say the “Day of the Bigger Picture” is here already! You have made some excellent observations there. If you look at any major corporate failure, you can see that it boils down to either a short-sighted strategy or flawed implementation. On the other hand, take the case of “unconventional” – but very successful – organizations like Shri Mahila Grih Udyog or Grameen Bank. What drives their success is a well-planned and well-executed strategy. The same applies to employees at all levels in an organization. A factory worker may not know to spell the word “strategy”, but he sure needs to know at least those strategic goals of the organization that are relevant to his role. Visit the shop floor of a Tata or Reliance unit, and you are sure to see messages of strategic importance (in the vernacular, of course) hanging on the walls – the vision statement, principles of Lean management, safety policy statement etc. Involving all employees in the organizational strategy not only ensures compliance but also creates a sense of loyalty and belongingness.

  2. naveen Says:

    Dignity Village is a project conceived by Rural Development Foundation, a trust & Promoted by NSA (INDIA) Private Limited both the organization dedicated to develop rural India. This Village Project is for active and productive living for the Senior Citizens in a village near to Chennai City.


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