Eight divisions with more than 117,000 employees in almost 50 countries - Bertelsmann employees are part of a large worldwide family of companies. In order to feel part of it, regardless of the location of the workplace, the identity of the company and its employees is of great importance. To support this goal, Bertelsmann has for many years held Orientation Days. This proven format helps employees learn about the history and corporate culture of Bertelsmann, get to know its diverse, global operations, products, and services, and begin to establish or expand their own personal network.
This opportunity recently presented itself at the first Orientation Day in India, organized by the Bertelsmann India Corporate Center in collaboration with Bertelsmann University and the HR chiefs of the local companies. Around 20 employees attended the event. Besides employees at the Corporate Center in India and Bertelsmann India Investments, all of Bertelsmann’s divisions with operations on the subcontinent were represented, including Penguin Random House and DK India, RTL Group (Fremantle Media/YoBoHo) and Arvato.
Getting to know Bertelsmann together
"The Orientation Day is a great format to support Bertelsmann's growth strategy in India. We bring together employees from India so that they can learn more about the Group’s past developments and present activities, as well as the Bertelsmann values ??and Essentials," said Svenja Müller, Senior Director of Business Development at the Corporate Center India.
At the DK India offices in New Delhi, Müller gave an overview of Bertelsmann’s history and current structure. The participants learned about how Bertelsmann developed from a small Westphalian book publisher into a global media, services and education company. Divided into several teams, they then explored the key information about each division – lines of business, products, strategies, locations, number of employees, etc. – and then presented the results to the group.
During the second part of the day, the participants were given an overview of Bertelsmann’s business activities in India, to help them see beyond the boundaries of their own employers and areas of ??responsibility. Aparna Sharma, Managing Director of the Penguin Random House subsidiary DK India joined the event as a speaker and gave a detailed overview of DK, as well as sharing insights into her personal career journey. A tour of the site, a closing discussion, and the announcement of the winning team from the workshops rounded off the event.
"The enthusiasm was palpable"
"We felt very honored to host the first Orientation Day in India," said Sharma. "The participants’ enthusiasm and interest was palpable. The day showed me just how much creative potential our employees have and what a great opportunity it is for Bertelsmann to benefit from their new ideas and their innovation."
To be established as a regular format
The winning team included Rukun Kaul, Digital Lead at Penguin Random House India, who summed up her impressions of the Orientation Day as follows: "Even after several years with the company, the workshops helped me learn more about the other Bertelsmann divisions. I even heard about some businesses for the first time, and we can adapt some of their growth story for our own businesses. Naturally, a platform like this gives rise to new approaches for cooperation when we share ideas with other colleagues and strengthen our feelings of community."
Other participants gave similar feedback. "We’re happy about the positive response and would like to host more such events for our colleagues from now on," said Svenja Müller. The Corporate Center in India is planning to establish the Orientation Day as a fixed, semi-annual format.