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Unilever Thailand : Driving Business Growth With People Practices

Unilever Thailand’s Talent & Organizational (T&O) Readiness Initiative was recognized as a winner of this year’s Asian Human Capital Awards, awarded by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower. Khun Nardrerdee, Vice President HR, Unilever Thailand and Indochina, was at the Singapore Human Capital Summit to receive the award. Catherine Mudford and Perez Loh spoke with her and Drew Fernandez, HR Director – Total Customer Development, Food Solutions & Indochina Region, to find about more about this award-winning people practice.

Khun Nardrerdee joined Unilever Thailand in 2010 and worked with the rest of the Company’s leadership team to develop and launch the T&O Project that same year. The T&O Project involves the designing of an inspiring and bold ambition to make Unilever Thailand into an ‘unbeatable’ organisation that excels in a highly competitive market place.

Khun Nardrerdee explained that “Unilever Thailand’s vision is to double its business while reducing our environmental impact, and at the same time increasing the Company’s positive social impact”. An ambitious goal in itself, this was made even more challenging given the external circumstances: the Thai economy was in the midst of a recession[i] in 2010.

On hindsight, Khun Nardrerdee reflected that the T&O Readiness project could not have come at a better time: people have always been Unilever’s most important asset and a critical factor for its future success, and the initiative helped develop a single-minded focus throughout the organisation, helping it to deliver business growth in spite of the odds.

The T&O Readiness project sought to strengthen three key areas crucial for Unilever Thailand’s success: i) Talent and skills; ii) Organisation design and structure; iii) Performance culture. Systematically, the T&O Readiness team diagnosed the organisation’s level of development in each of these areas, and formulated detailed plans to further improve them.

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