Long Term Partnership with Olam

Joydeep Bose, Managing Director & Group CHRO at Olam International shares his experience partnering with ExecOnline.


Joydeep Bose, Managing Director & Group CHRO, Olam International

So we’ve been with ExecOnline for the last four years. I think when ExecOnline started, we must’ve been one of the first few clients that ExecOnline had at that point of time. And we’ve continued. Online virtual learning has, typically in the past, catered well for hard skills. You want to pick up something in finance – you want to know how you can improve your skills in Excel or in PowerPoint – you go on an online course and it does serve you well enough.

But when it came to more complex behavior-led skills, I don’t think any of the online programs that were there at that point of time really offered the right value proposition.

So all of that, there was a good blend of all of these in the ExecOnline programs. And also some of the topics that ExecOnline had chosen. They were around operational excellence, they were very pertinent and relevant for us as an organization.

So we’ve been with ExecOnline since then and every year we’ve, in fact, added on to the number of people who use these programs. However, in these last four or five months, from my perspective, I see a huge increase in the number of participants. And more and more participants are completing. In the past they would complete, but there would be some followup and we used to get those reports. Now I see there’s less followup and people on their own are completing the programs, are looking forward and requesting to attend these programs.

And personally, I’m still going through one of the programs of ExecOnline, and this is around diversity and inclusion because with some of the recent events that have happened in the U.S., I just wanted to update my own knowledge in this area.

And really, I’m amazed at the kind of insights that a program of this nature provides. So initially I was a little skeptical. I got over my skepticism. And as I was saying to members of my team, it’s like going on a Netflix, start a show, until you reach the second of the third episode, that’s an investment you’re making in the show. But once you’ve reached that stage, thereafter, the show draws you in.

So, some of these programs, at least this one that I’m going through is of a similar way. Now that I’m into it, now I’m just waiting to move to the next module and the final module thereafter. So, ExecOnline has really supported us. The experience, which is very important, has been able to deliver on that experience. Feedback has been excellent and the program also tries, in some ways, to arrive at a return on the investment.

Now, when I go to my CEO and I show him the budgets around learning and development, there is that conversation that happens, which is around what returns are we getting? So ExecOnline tries and attempts to come up with the return that the company has received from the program in terms of the projects that participants work on.

So I think it’s a great step forward in the whole world of virtual learning.

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