The Oberoi Group – Translating Dharma into Best Practices in HR According to HVS India reports, India ranks 41″ in world tourism arrivals and has the potential to be in the top 20. About five million tourists visit India, annually. This number is projected to increase to 18 Million by 2016. India’s national market is also growing with 540 Million domestic travellers a year. As a result, the hotel business is going through major changes in the country, which with the entry of several international chains has led to a competitive landscape. The Oberoi Group was established 75 years ago by the founding Chairman, M. S. Oberoi, on the core values of persistence, humility and a strong belief in people. The organisation now has 13,280 employees worldwide with a female to male ratio of 1:2.35, working across thirty hotels, five luxury cruisers and the Group’s other business activities. The key challenge in the hotel industry, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is to engage a diverse group of employees through specific initiatives and participative efforts constantly and consistently. The Oberoi Group has based its people practices on its core values, which it refers to as its Dharma. This case study is a walk through the Dharma-based people practices and initiatives that the Oberoi Group uses to engage, nurture and retain its talent. Respect Ethics The company’s Dharma – is the starting point for everything the organisation undertakes. The adoption and evolution of the Dharma was a participative process across all hotels in all locations. This exercise validated the core values endorsed by the founding Chairman, which include the conduct that applies to all aspects of the Group’s business. Trust Care The Oberoi Group’s Dharma comprises: Teamwork • Highest ethical standards in everything the organisation does Communication . Teamwork Fig 2.1: The Oberoi Group’s Dharma Customer first, company second and self, last . Care for the customer . Two way communication Respect for every employee Safeguarding safety, security, health and the environment • Avoiding short-term quick fixes in favour of long-term healthy precedent So, how does an employee know that he or she is doing the right thing? By making every decision and basing every interaction on the company Dharma. The Oberoi Group’s Dharma has been expressed in the form of specific conduct expected from every employee and the organisation has put in place robust mechanisms to enable and make it easy for employees to practice it. Dharma in Action “Conduct, which exemplifies care for the customer through anticipation of need, attention to detail, excellence, aesthetics and style and respect for privacy, along with warmth and concern”. The Oberoi Group does not view itself as being in the business of hotels but as being in the business of memories. Although guests check in and out with just their baggage, the aim of the company is to create memories that stay with them, bring them back and encourage them to recommend the chain to others.


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