Machilipatnam Manufacturers: A case study


Your Task
The preliminary findings from the interviews and the summary of findings from the climate survey and interviews with ex-employees of Machilipatnam Manufacturers Limited (MML) are presented in the following case. Diagnose the causes of employee attrition as well as retention and prepare a strategy of Talent Retention and Management in MML on the basis of the data.

Machilipatnam Manufacturers Limited (MML) is a company located in Machilipatnam a town about 290 kilometers from Hyderabad and 40 kilometers away from Vijayawada a commercial town in AP. Machilipatnam is not highly industrialized and has hardly two or three large size factories. It has three colleges and many schools. Most of the schools are Telugu medium and there are only a couple of English medium schools. Vijayawada which is about 40 Kms away is known to be the educational center of coastal Andhra with many engineering and medical colleges. MML employed about 250 Engineers who are put in to seven levels starting with a Graduate Engineer Trainee to General Manager. The unit head is a General Manager Mr. Kesava Rao popularly known as KR.

KR is 47 years old and has started his career with MML and has risen to the current level fast by the age of 38 as he was very close to the MD and has been loyal. The company sponsored him for the one year MBA program in UK about five years ago. On return from the program KR has introduced a few systems to improve quality standards and it is rumored that he is putting high pressure on the employees to deliver results. The attrition of engineers in the last three years has gone up. Complaints of morale and motivation of employees is on the increase. Wherever the corporate HR Director visited the MML, he heard subtle remarks against the GM that he is a tough task master he had no concern for employees and their growth. MML is a part of a professionally managed and family owned group with diversified interests. The group MD, and the corporate HR are located in Hyderabad. The MD and HR Director thought that the employee attrition was attributable to the pressure tactics and coercive style the GM is using. The GM is known to be a tough task master, hot and coercive in style. At least that is the perception the HR manager carried from his interactions with others. However KR is close to the MD and delivered results. No one dared to say anything to him. How to bell the cat is the issue. The corporate HR was under pressure to do something to reduce and arrest the talent drainage from MML. It is reaching alarming proportions. As Engineers at the younger and middle level are leaving it is putting extra strain on the company and the company has acquired a good name globally. The orders are on the increase and a big order is expected from Germany.

A year ago an attempt was made by the group HR to initiate a climate survey by a team of local consultants. It was reported by the HR head that the unit head KR discouraged the consultants from conducting the survey by putting them many embarrassing questions using his MBA knowledge. The consultants also pointed out that if the GM is not cooperative there is very little the climate survey can do.

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