Custom program case study: Indian railways

Indian Railways is one of the largest railway networks in the world under single management. It is also hard to imagine India without Indian Railways: often referred to as the “lifeline of India”, Indian Railways operates over 63,000 km of tracks, handles over 5 billion passengers per annum and transports some 600 million tons a year of freight. With approximately 1.4 million employees, it is the largest employer in the country. One of the fastest growing companies in its home country, Indian Railways has successfully engaged into a far-reaching transformation process to meet the challenges associated with profitable and sustainable growth.

Learning program
HEC has been working hand in hand with Indian Railways to develop a learning program for their “Divisional Railway Managers”. The DRM position is a senior one and is a major stepping stone to take on board-level managerial responsibilities. Achieving the goal of a coherent, viable and sustainable transformation of Indian Railways entails change which impacts every level and facet of the organization. Divisional Rail Managers play a critical role in this process as decision makers in their own business units, but also as the agents of the wider and harmonised diffusion of a new vision and new management orientation at the corporate level. The main objective of the DRM program is to prepare participants for “the challenges of transformation” of Indian Railways. More specifically, the program is designed to: • Develop the participants’ vision of the transformations impacting industry both at a global and local level; • Prepare them to work in a changing environment and be the change agents in their organization; • Hone their business skills in selected areas that form the core of Indian Railways’ goals (e.g. finance, customer orientation, etc); • Help them evolve from functional approaches to a transversal managerial outlook; • Develop their leadership skills. • Over a two-week period, the program delivers a mix of learning activities, including: • Company visits providing opportunities to benchmark best practices (Dutch Railways, RATP, Air France are examples of visits made in 2006); • Classroom activities and targeted theoretical inputs; • Company-specific projects to embed concepts and learning within Indian Railways.

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