Mandala, connecting the dots!

In Pondicherry I met a person that really impressed me: Ms. Anjali Schiavani, CEO and founder of Mandala, business partner of Women on Wings with which I worked for two days early March with Ronald van het Hof. Anjali is such a special, energetic and entrepreneurial woman! Driven and with a very clear vision about the future growth of her company Mandala. Anjali started Mandala in 2002 in a small room and now 180 employees work in the stitching unit, situated behind the office of Mandala. A few miles from there, a second unit will be in process from April 2016, so the number of women at work will more than double in the coming year.

During the two day workshop with Anjali and her management team, we had fruitful discussions about the strategy, structure and philosophy of Mandala. Mandala has some real ambitious goals to reach the coming years, so it was necessary to think over the current and future organization. What kind of changes are required if you want to grow. We asked all 5 management team members to draw the organization chart of 2016 and how they think it will be in 2019. We discussed the differences and what would be the best option for the future organization.

We also did an HR role playing game. I asked the HR manager to have a job interview with me as an applicant for Mandala. Afterwards all participants had some very good suggestions to improve the introduction of Mandala in the interview. Start an interview to explain the Why (very important to convince applicants!), What and How of the organization. With the learnings, we did a second interview which was so much better. What a difference!

Another topic was building a communication structure. Starting from the top level we discussed what meetings were required to get a clear communication between all management team members/ departments. The planning of all meetings will be made visible to all people in the company. Last thing we discussed were roles and responsibilities. I explained two different types of job descriptions. One based on tasks and another one more on roles. Mandala already made some basic profiles. They now will compare the differences and work it out in final job descriptions for all staff members in the next two months.
During the two days, a lot of seeds have been planted. Now, the management team of Mandala has to see to it that the seeds get all the attention to make them grow. But I’m sure they will succeed and more and more connect the dots, also in the internal organization.

Annemarie van Holstein
HR professional Women on Wings