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CASE IV: Fragrance Company Limited

IIBMS – Fragrance Company Limited

Petals Company Limited (PCL) was initiated in the year 1919. Since then, it had produced a number of brands which enjoyed customer loyalty. It had adapted well with the changing environment and had entered into a strategic alliance with the S & G Limited, the producer of personal care products. The new company Fragrance Company Limited Was formed as a result in 1993 with equity participation from S& G and Petals Company Limited. This company marketed the products manufactured by the PCL. This alliance had given PCL access to the latest international technology in soaps and detergents. Thus, Fragrance Company Limited was now ideally placed to offer high value, international quality products at competitive prices. It was already an exporter of toilet soaps, detergents and cosmetics. It was a private organisation headed by Dharamchand, with its company’s headquarters at Mumbai and seven units all over the country with one of the units at Faridabad. The turnover of the company was Rs 900 crores. The company marketed the products using the latest international technology in soaps and detergents.

The organization structure was traditionally hierarchical with the senior vice president at the top of the management, the supervisory heads at the middle level and the workers at the shop floor. The company had 450 permanent workers, and 150 contract workers, with an average age of 32 years. The recruitment policy framed was to employ freshers. The various departments in the organization were: purchase, finance, systems, engineering services, excise and dispatch, operations and personnel department. The personnel and administration department were headed by Gyanchand and the functions of the personnel administration department were: recruitment, selection, training, counseling, performance appraisal, internal mobility of employees, negotiation With workers, fixation and implementation of rules and regulations regarding wages, salary, allowances and benefits to the workers. The philosophy of the company was based on Total Quality Management (TQM) and Kaizen. The company was highly environment-friendly and was oriented towards customer’s satisfaction.

Fragrance was facing an acute crisis due to high rate of absenteeism among its permanent workers. The losses were soaring high. There was loss in production, and high expenses and indiscipline were also observed. The personnel administration department conducted a survey in the year 1998. They found that the rate of absenteeism was about 20% on an average. The rules and regulations regarding leave were-12-17 days of leave with pay, 7 days casual leave with pay, 5 day sick leave with pay, extra leave without any pay. The benefits were provided as per the Employees State Insurance Act. The data collected revealed that 36% of the absenteeism was due to transportation problem, 48% was because of the workers staying away from their families, 52% due to festivals, 32% due to farming, 48% on account of alcholism, 80% on account of social occasions/marriages and 76% due to sickness of family members.

The other findings were that approximately 80% of the workers were married and they had children to look after and hence had a greater tendency towards taking leave, 8% of workers possessed dual jobs ,e.g., driving for others, mechanic work etc., so they felt that they could earn more on a particular day by remaining absent; 96% of the workers did not like night shifts and they remained absent from duty; 28% of the workers were not satisfied with the working conditions i.e. canteen facilities, drinking water, social and cultural activities and cleanliness. In 1998, the company tried to reduce absenteeism by introducing conveyance allowance for attendance and night shift allowance. The scheme called Inaam; was launched in which a worker who did not avail leave in three months, received Rs 200 per month. In­house training was imparted to workers In order to educate them about the consequences of absenteeism. They were also sent for 3-6 months training to the Central Board of Workers Education on rotation.

Counseling sessions were held for the workers in order to increase their awareness. The company also introduced the philosophy of workers participation in the management to increase their involvement and commitment towards the work. The practice of organizing picnics, festival celebration, informal get-togethers, and sports activities were also adopted to increase the commitment. Regularity was made an important component of performance appraisal and promotion. After one year, Gyanchand was highly perplexed to see only a negligible improvement in the report of the survey conducted by the personnel administration department. The rate of absenteeism had dropped by only 3%, i.e. from. 20% to 17% in spite of introducing the aforesaid schemes.


1. What role do the non-financial incentives play in motivating the workers and minimizing the rate of absenteeism?
2. What innovative solutions would you suggest to minimize the rate of absenteeism?


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